Maddie Cook jumped into a Bachelor of Journalism at UTS with no idea what she was getting herself into. ‘All I knew was that I loved to write, and because my father was a journalist, good writing would be in my blood – right?’
Maddie’s father Ian, a Vietnam Veteran and powerhouse news journalist, inspired Maddie to follow in his footsteps.
Maddie’s’ first day at university was not what she imagined. ‘When I walked into my very first lecture, expecting to be able to chill out and write some cool stories on whatever I wanted, I realised I was very wrong. After standing in a huge circle, holding the hands of 300 journalism students I had never met before, reciting the ‘Journalist’s Code of Ethics’, I quickly realised this course was going to be full of surprises.’
Maddie worked diligently through her studies, earning terrific grades along the way. Now in her final semester Maddie says, ‘I’m feeling more than ready to jump into the workforce, taking all of my experiences from this course with me. In my final semester I do get to choose what I’m writing about.’
Maddie chose to write about Motor Neurone Disease, the disease she lost her father to four years ago. ‘I’m writing a mixture of stories all to do with the terrible disease, and I’m finding I’m learning so much about myself. Never did I think that by the end of my course I’d have the strength and writing ability to go and speak to all of my father’s doctors and meet with patients who are soon to lose their lives the same way as my father, but I did.’
One of Maddie’s greatest achievements at university was an internship at Marie Claire, the fashion magazine. She says, ‘My time there has been extremely valuable, it’s taught me what I want to do when I finish university – write for magazines. I’ve had original stories published on their website, which has been incredible, it’s surreal seeing my byline on a national website.’
With graduation fast approaching Maddie reflects on her time at university, ‘While I definitely won’t miss the all-nighters finishing assignments I will miss the valuable support I’ve had from my university tutors, and the entire team and sponsorship from AVCAT. Being able to focus on my studies, and not having to worry about working has been vital to my success at university, and I will be eternally grateful.’
Donate now to help our young people, like Maddie, reach their potential and achieve their dreams. Maddie is an AVCAT Legacy Scholarship recipient.