BlogTrailblazerMadeleine Saxby – Woonona High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Madeleine Saxby – Woonona High School | Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer 2022

Madeleine Saxby

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders, build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, get exam ready in our 1-day HSC Trials Accelerator, and so much more!

Find out how Madeleine navigated Year 12 differently throughout 2022!

Introducing: Madeleine Saxby

Category: Social Impact & Change 

School: Woonona High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Law or politics


  • Finalist for the ‘One to Watch’ award in 2022 at the NSW Women of the Year Awards
  • Raising over $1 million for the Saving Chloe Saxby charity
  • School Captain

What makes Madeleine a Trailblazer?

A finalist for the ‘One to Watch’ award at the 2022 NSW Women of the Year Awards, Madeleine Saxby is an inspiration to her community, working tirelessly to raise funds for the Saving Chloe Saxby charity to go towards research into a cure for Vanishing White Matter Disease. A cause very close to her heart, Madeleine was a key contributor in raising over $1 million through running many different fundraisers, including cake stalls and merchandise tables. With a clear talent for leadership, Madeleine is currently School Captain and was previously a member of her school’s Student Representative Council for 3 years.

The fundraising effort that Madeleine led has been instrumental in beginning research into Vanishing White Matter Disease at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, which marks the first research into the disease in Australia. Throughout the process, Madeleine has educated thousands of people about the rare disease, raising awareness of the associated hardships for families which she unfortunately experienced firsthand when her sister Chloe was born with it. In addition, she has brought attention to the lack of funding towards rare diseases in general. Individually, Madeleine has developed strong management skills through her organisation of fundraising events. By selling merchandise and hosting events, she has also acquired the ability to speak in front of and educate strangers, not an easy feat at all. Her efforts have had a significant effort in uniting her community to fight against the disease, and the research has helped fund will change the lives of all those around the world diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter Disease.

Madeleine has gone through unimaginable circumstances these past two years since the passing of her sister. Her resilience in continuing to pursue her goals and contribute to the research into Vanishing White Matter Disease is truly inspiring. As is her self-awareness around the grieving process and her willingness to take time to recover, whilst still focusing on her studies.

“I have been able to educate thousands of people on the difficulties of living with a rare disease and the hardships faced by families.”

Madeleine would like to pursue a career in law and/or politics, as she has a passion for debating and educated discussions, evident through her participation in several debating and public speaking extra-curricular activities. She has also completed a week of work experience at a law firm, giving her a glance at a potential future in the legal profession. The leadership and public speaking skills that Madeleine has place her in great stead for a career in either field.

Her unwavering endeavour to support research into Vanishing White Matter Disease and her continued academic and extracurricular success make Madeleine an absolutely deserving member of our Top 50 Trailblazers!

If you would like to support the Saving Chloe Saxby charity, please visit this link:

The Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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