Ladder Alumni program member and budding artist Maddy generously volunteered to create an artwork for our Ladder Step Up Sydney office. Being a proud First Nations young person, Maddy wanted to include both her culture and experience at Ladder into the artwork.

Below is Maddy’s reflection on creating the artwork as well as her journey with Ladder.

“I felt honoured because it's not every day you get an opportunity to do such a project and it was the first time someone had requested for me to do a painting for them. It was nice to try something new and I enjoyed the fact that I could mix my First Nations culture and Ladder experience.

Art to me is a part of who I am. If I didn't have art, I wouldn't be who I am. It's peaceful, beautiful and has got me through some hardships.

At the start of the project, I felt nervous as it was the first time I completed a painting for someone other than myself. After the painting I felt proud knowing that I could complete such an artwork, and this improved my confidence to pursue my art aspirations.

The colour of Ladder's blue logo inspired the cool theme of the artwork. The turtle is representative of my experience through Ladder and how they influenced me to come out of my shell. The young people in the painting represent youth and how over the years the Ladder program has worked with young people and supported them to achieve their goals. 

It makes me proud that a piece of my artwork is on display and I'm so happy that the Ladder program is the foundations of my professional art journey. 

The Ladder program has helped me as it grew my confidence in all aspects of life. I was very shy and reluctant to engage in the program and with society but through my time with Ladder I have thrived and become more comfortable with uncomfortable circumstances. My Ladder mentor has assisted me to write a resume, obtain a Tax File number, determine career aspirations, and most importantly, enjoy life and socialise more. I have made new friends through the program and also reunited with old friends from the past.”

We are excited to showcase Maddy’s thoughtful artwork at our Ladder Sydney office. We have enjoyed watching Maddy develop into the confident, strong young woman that she is and will continue to support her on her employment pathway.