The 2021 winner of the Zonta Achievement Award for a Young Indigenous Woman was Maddison Kennedy, a year 12 student from St Francis de Sales Regional College, in Leeton, NSW. She is a proud young Indigenous woman who has made significant contributions to her school and wider community.

Maddison has overcome significant trauma in her life following the death of both her mother and then father, when she was a young teenager. Her loving grandparents subsequently took on the role of parenting her, and her siblings. 

Despite these incredible challenges she maintained her focus on school academic achievement with the goal of training as a K-6 teacher; she contributed service and leadership in her school and in the wider community throughout Years 7-12; she is committed to sharing her Indigenous heritage with her peers and worked to ensure that younger Indigenous students learned of, and valued, their heritage as well. 

Her school recommendation cited her important role as a mentor to fellow students as well her deep commitment to her HSC studies, as well as her role in assuming some ‘parenting’ roles with her younger siblings to assist her grandparents.