BSSC Student Council is a familiar setting for Year 12 student, Maddi Schultz. She has been a member since starting the college in 2017 and sees the council as an opportunity to get a bit more happiness into the world.

“Doing things for other people makes me happy,” she says. “I guess that’s a kind of vicarious happiness.

“I think being on Student Council is also helping me to listen more carefully to others and understand how to work with people when there are conflicting points of view. I hope I can look back on this year and feel I’ve enjoyed myself but also contributed something to others.”

Maddi is on the fundraising committee and they have big plans for 2018.

“Last year I shaved my head for ‘Shave for a Cure’ and also raised an extra $700 for blood cancer research by making and selling scunchies.”

This year Maddi has already been involved with Rainbow Day, with the Biggest Morning Tea and a Pop-Up-Op-Shop coming soon. The funds raised by the Pop-Up-Op-Shop will go to a local charity supporting homeless youth.

“I really love this school. I feel so comfortable with the connection I have with all my teachers,” Maddi says. “It’s as though the ‘authority barrier’ has been knocked down.”

One of her favourite subjects is Allied Health—a subject that is “half VCE and half VET”—and will allow Maddi to partially complete Certificate III in Allied Health by the end of the year. The other favourite is Psychology, “because it’s cool to think about how we think.”

It’s no surprise that Maddi would like a career in healthcare.

And if laughter is the best medicine, then Maddi is destined to be very healthy.

“I laugh every day,” she says. “My friends and I see the funny side of almost everything—even stuff that’s not that funny!”

But there are also things that are of deep concern to Maddi. On a global scale, she is appalled by the impact of oil spills and pollution on the ocean.

“They have such a massive impact on marine life. It’s so vulnerable to events like this,” she says.

At a more personal level Maddi wonders whether people who have a ‘really negative vibe’ or who are arrogantly certain of their superiority to others, can change.

“Clearly attitudes like this need to change, but I’m not sure that can be taught.”

Then there are people Maddi thinks are changing the world for the better. Emma Watson is a hero.

“She’s been such a great advocate for women’s rights and others who cannot speak up for themselves,” she said. “And Malala Yousafzai who is so outspoken, but so calm and clear about the importance of education for girls.”

When asked about the advice Maddi would give her 12-year-old self, she says: “Stop wishing you were older… enjoy who you are right now. Especially enjoy the lack of responsibility—because you are going to have a lot in the future.”