Name: Maddison O’Gradey-Lee
Pursuit: Global Young Leaders Conference
My name is Maddison O’Gradey-Lee, I am 17 years old and live in NSW. I am in year 12 at Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College studying Advanced English, General mathematics, Society and Culture, PDHPE and Biology. This year I will be representing Australia at the Global Young Leaders Conference in DC and New York. I am actively involved in sports, cultural activities and various leadership programs within my community.
When did you start?
From my first day of Kindergarten I decided I was going to be the “president of the school” which meant I wanted to be the school Captain. In year 6 I was the finance minister for our parliament but it wasn’t until year 9 with the guidance of my amazing teachers at Tumbi Umbi Campus I began to become involved in various leadership , academic, sport and cultural activities. In year 9 I was the SLC representative and in year 10 I had the honour of being school captain where I had various opportunities to grow as a leader. Through my community work at Tumbi and in the community I was nominated and awarded ‘The Australian Youth Excellence Award’ and was then nominated by the company to be an Australian representative at the Global Young Leaders Conference.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Being selected to represent Australia at the Global Young Leaders Conference in D.C and New York
What is your dream?
My dream is to continue my leadership and gain more confidence as a young Australian Leader. In the future my dream is to run my own psychology clinic for youth which uses alternative therapies in conjunction with conventional therapies. Currently I am working on a program to set up mental health workshops (called It’s All About MI) for high school students and would love to see them continue into the future and grow in size. I would also like to move into the field of politics in years to come having my own portfolio such as health or education. Ironically I’d also like to continue to raise money for my Dream Project – a project to raise $25,000 to build a school in Cambodia.
Who or what have inspired you?
I have always been surrounded by strong positive female role models such as my mum- Kerri, my principal Ms Shayne Player, teachers and friends who have supported me, pushed me beyond my limits and have shown me that one person can make a difference. My mum has never had easy but continued to make sure I had everything I could have ever needed or wanted and as single parent stretched herself between 2 jobs, watching all of my activities and funding them. I would definitely not have achieved so much without the backing of my mum. She continued to support me when I felt I couldn't.
Who's your hero?
I have few hero’s and they would be my amazing mum Kerri, my sister Belinda, Bethany Hamilton, Nelson Mandela and Layne Beachley. Each of these people never gave up fighting for their dream and always found time to give back to others.
Any other special talents?
I have my Black Belt First Dan in Martial Arts-Karate
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift
Soul surfer by far
The Book Thief
Favourite TV Show?
My mums lemon chicken and pizza
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The scholarship will allow me to attend the GYLC this year, as total costs are approximately $8000. The grant will take a large financial burden from me. The money will be used to pay for the conference entry fee ($4130). Attending GYLC will challenge and expand my perception of leadership, making me a better leader for the community. The skills I will develop from the conference will translate into my work with the Dream Project. Being able to advocate something I am passionate about on a global scale will help push along my Dream project and lead to further development and eventually equality for all in developing countries. I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity both the financial and mentoring support.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
Either – It always seems impossible until it’s done- Nelson Mandela OR Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of.- Bethany Hamilton