MADELEINE MAKES HER OWN MARK
AS the granddaughter of late Aboriginal activist Charlie Perkins, politics has played a big role in Madeleine Madden’s life.
Ensuring she continues his legacy of being an active voice for change is important to the 18-yearold actress.
“I think all Aboriginal people are born with an urge for a political voice because we’ve always had to stand up for ourselves,” she says.
“I’ve always been passionate about trying to do the best I can in my community.”
And one of those ways is making sure she showcases positive indigenous stories. Case in point is her latest project, teen drama Ready For This. Produced by Blackfella Films (Redfern Now, First Contact), it centres on six talented indigenous teens who move to Sydney to chase their dreams.
Madden is Zoe, a talented sprinter who struggles to fit into her new school – and faces serious sporting competition for the first time in her life.
“She’s learning that you have to work really hard for what you want,” Madden says. “And that you have to speak up and be present in society to make a mark.” It’s a lesson Madden learnt early. At 13, she was recruited to front a campaign for Generation One, the national movement to encourage employers to hire more indigenous workers.
“There were so many positive outcomes for the campaign and Australia took a step forward,” Madden says. “To make change you need to educate and you need to do it vocally and visibly. That’s why I take my career so, so seriously – I want to be a successful actor but I also want to make Aboriginal people a visible part of our society.”