Madeleine Buchner – Becoming A Little Dreamer
- 2 November 2020
- Posted by: GIANNA LUCAS
- Category: Podcasts
Our epic guest this week, Madeleine Buchner has been on a mission to positively change the lives of young carers across Australia and around the world as the Founder and CEO of Little Dreamers, a not-for-profit based in Melbourne, Australia.
Maddy has achieved and experienced A LOT in her young life. Though she’s had her fair share of ups and downs, what we love about Maddy is her positive, go-getter attitude.
Like so many of us, Maddy experiences anxiety and imposter syndrome, however, this has never stopped her from achieving her dreams. She still shows up and faces challenges head-on. And because of her unwavering passion and persistence, she was a part of the Queen’s Young Leader program in 2017 and in 2019 was the youngest person to receive an Order of Australia Medal within the Australian honours list that year.
In this interview with Gianna, Maddy was honest and upfront about her triumphs and her trials over the years and explains how and why she’s able to push through.
Gianna and Maddy chat about that time she met Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II and Liam Payne all in one day! They also chat about her goals for Little Dreamers and loads more.
We’re super excited to say that Maddy is one of our Happow Instructors! In her Life Lesson, she teaches you how to ‘Start a Business with Impact’. It’s practical and features heaps of strategies and takeaways. The BEST news is, her video masterclass is 100% FREE, just like all our other Life Lessons! All you need to do is sign-up via our website.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s Power Up Life!
Host: Co-Founder/CEO Happow, Gianna Lucas
Producers: Gianna Lucas, Marija Dukadinovska, Carissa Shale
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Gianna Lucas: This is Power Up Life, the podcast. I’m your host, Gianna Lucas, co- founder and CEO at Happow, the social enterprise that powers this podcast. We help you slay life in high school, uni, and beyond. Each week on the show, you’ll learn epic life skills in a super chill way, hear from well- known legends as they reveal their biggest setbacks and milestones to date, and you’ll find out what our Happow squad think about a whole stack of topics too. From epic challenges to super raw moments, this show has it all. So let’s power up life!
There’s quite a number of people I really look up to, and on this list includes 27 year old entrepreneur, Madeleine Buchner. For well over a decade, Maddie has been on a mission to positively change the lives of young carers right here in Australia and even around the world, as the founder and CEO of Little Dreamers, a not- for- profit based right here in Melbourne, Australia. She has achieved and experienced quite a lot in her young life. Though she’s had her fair share of ups and downs, what I love about Maddie is her positive go- getter attitude. Like so many of us, Maddie experiences anxiety and imposter syndrome. However, this has never stopped her from achieving her dreams. She still shows up and faces challenges head on. And because of her unwavering passion and persistence, she was a part of the queen’s Young Leader Program in 2017, and in 2019 was the youngest person to receive an Order of Australia Medal within the Australian honors list that year. Incredible.
In our chat, Maddie was so honest and upfront about her triumphs and her trials over the years, and explains how and why she’s able to push through. We also chat about the time that she met Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II, and even Liam Payne all in one day. In case you need a reminder, Liam Payne was the guy in One Direction. Yep, okay. Now that’s cleared up, her goals for Little Dreamers and loads, loads more. Before I forget, I’m super excited to say that Maddie is one of our Happow instructors. In her Life Lesson, she teaches you how to start a business with impact. And let me tell you, her lesson is amazing. It is so practical and features heaps of strategies and takeaways. The best part is, her video masterclass is 100% free, just like all our other Life Lessons. All you need to do is sign up via our website, happow. com. Now that’s out of the way, let’s power up life. I’m speaking with her right now. Welcome to the show, Maddie.
Madeleine Buchner: Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Gianna Lucas: Now, Maddie, you have won a bazillion awards, but we’ll get to that a little bit later. I’d love to go back in time. Back to, say, 10 year old Maddie, when you basically were an entrepreneur from a very, very young age. Can you tell us a little bit about how this sort of business side of you spawned at such a young age, how it all came about?
Madeleine Buchner: I guess from a really young age, I was always taught that if you see an injustice, or you see something you don’t love, or you don’t agree with, or that doesn’t feel right, you need to do something about it. My family never had the opinion that you should just stick around and stay with what’s not treating you right. And so growing up, I grew up as an older sister to a very, very sick little brother. I guess I had this gut feeling that something didn’t feel right. Not only was my brother in and out of hospital all the time, but I felt like I was really overlooked and really left out.
I know that looking back on that now, that’s quite a selfish thing for a nine, 10 year old girl to think. However, when you’re nine or 10 years old, you’re meant to be selfish. That’s who you’re meant to be. You’re meant to be the center of your own universe when you’re nine or 10 years old, and I constantly felt like I was being left out and overlooked. So I didn’t agree with that. I didn’t see that siblings of sick kids were being recognized anywhere. So at the age of nine and then 10 years old, I started, right, running lolly stalls at school. We ran a little cart outside our house where we sold little, blue, stretchy alien things. And we ran-
Gianna Lucas: Are those the ones that you could flick?
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I don’t know. For some reason we had these gigantic box of blue, stretchy aliens at home. I don’t know where they came from, but I remember standing outside the house with a trestle table and a little box of coins and asking people to pay one or $2 for a stretchy alien.
Gianna Lucas: And did-
Madeleine Buchner: And they did. I don’t know how many we sold, but I definitely remember selling some. I don’t know if it’s because people felt sorry for us.
Gianna Lucas: Probably a bit of both.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah. But it kind of went from there. Me and my friend ran our first fundraiser as the Care Net Kids Club in 2002. So I was nine years old, turning 10. It was a party at the Plaster Funhouse in Melbourne, which is like an arts and crafts studio. You used to be able to pick a plaster mold and paint it and put glitter on it, and they used to fire it and all kinds of stuff. So I found something that I was really passionate about. I loved running events. I loved running fundraisers. It also kind of felt that people started to pay attention to who I was.
Gianna Lucas: I think it’s absolutely amazing. I just wanted to go back to something you said before, just because it piqued my interest about plaster. Did you say that you would blast it into the air, literally into pieces? Is that what you mean by blastering something?
Madeleine Buchner: No.
Gianna Lucas: I’m such a dork.
Madeleine Buchner: I wish. They used to fire it. I don’t know. You used to paint the plaster mold and then you used to be able to put different glazes on it and glitter and they would put it under a thing that would dry it out.
Gianna Lucas: Got you. So it would dry it out, so it would stay. Okay, got you. So a less intense, more safe version for kids. Okay, awesome.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: I love how you were saying before as well that by you raising around 250 to $ 500 at that particular event, you’d been able to really use that money to springboard you into what is Little Dreamers today. Can you tell us the next step you took after that?
Madeleine Buchner: So we ran a number of different fundraising events between the ages of nine and 13. We ran two children’s fashion parades. We had a sports clinic. We had movie night. Then my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 14 years old, and I realized that there was even a bigger gap in the healthcare system. So it was more than just siblings not receiving support. I came across this terminology called a young carer, and it was a term that, when I read the definition, felt so close to me that it was a bit weird that I’d never heard of it before.
So it was defined as someone under the age of 25 who grows up as a unpaid carer for a parent or sibling who might have a chronic illness, mental illness, disability, or drug or alcohol addiction. This research report that I came across, because I was a little bit of a nerd at the age of 14, still am, it said that the risk factors of being a young carer are things like loneliness, social isolation, anger, guilt for feeling the way that you feel, all different things that really spoke really closely to how I was feeling. And so at the age of 14 and then 15, my friends and I joined a competition called Youth Inspire, which doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a competition to try and get young people to change the world.
Gianna Lucas: Wow.
Madeleine Buchner: We put together a business plan, it’s the only time in my life I’ve ever written a business plan, and came up with this concept called Little Dreamers that aimed to change the world for young carers. And so we pitched to the competition in, oh God, 2008, I think it was. We didn’t win, which was really frustrating because I’m a very competitive person, but it allowed us to have an idea, I guess, that then went on to launch Little Dreamers in 2009, and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.
Gianna Lucas: Since 2009, I mean, we’re in 2020, so that was 11 years ago, it’s just incredible how much Little Dreamers has grown since its official inception. Probably the one question I imagine on people’s lips right now, or in their brains, is thinking, ” I mean, Maddie was able to do this even before she was a teenager.” They’re probably thinking like, ” How did people listen to you?” That’s what I want to know as well. How did you get people to say, ” Listen to what I have to say. This is really, really important. I have this idea. Something needs to be done and I’m the best person to do it”? How did you convince people a lot older, that have had more years of experience in the business world? How did you get them to listen to what you had to say?
Madeleine Buchner: I’ve always been of the opinion that you just have to ask, and if you don’t ask, you’ll never hear anyone say, ” Yes.” But the worst thing that anyone could ever say is, ” No.” So I’ve always been very shameless in asking for what I want and being quite direct in it. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve always been super comfortable with it. I have the biggest amount of imposter syndrome anyone would ever have. I am a very anxious human, and some days I still don’t think I’m the right person to be doing it.
But we have 11 years under our belt to show that we can do it. So every day now where I have a day where I don’t feel right, or I don’t feel like the right person, I remind myself that I’ve got 11 years of doing this, of showing that I am the right person. So an off week here and there is completely normal. But, yeah, I just think that from a very young age, I’ve always just asked and just gone for it. I think starting so young, I didn’t realize that there were so many risks. You didn’t see risks when you’re young.
Gianna Lucas: It’s so true. Exactly. I think that was probably your biggest asset is being young and probably a little naive to the business world because you didn’t know any better, and therefore, you just went for broke, thinking, ” Well, isn’t that how everyone does it?” I think you’re right, as you get older and as you probably are more aware of how business works and you’re watching people that are super successful, sometimes we can get very worried or anxious that what we’re doing isn’t enough, or how do we get to that level?
I think at that point, a lot of us tend to just crawl back into our shell, going, ” It’s safer here.” I think if you’re able to not be so afraid of that and to take risks, as you say, and not being afraid to take those risks, because the reality is, what could really be the worst case? The worst case is a no, and no is not that bad at all. I think sometimes we’re so afraid of failure that we’re too afraid to even start because of that. I think you’re a perfect example of somebody who just went, “You know what? Duff it. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m going for broke.”
I think that’s led you to extraordinary things, both in your business with Little Dreamers, an incredible charity, but I think one of the coolest things that has probably ever happened to you, at least in my eyes, and I know you and I have spoken about this before, is a moment where you were invited to meet the queen at Buckingham Palace. We have to talk about that in this show because it is so awesome. Can you tell us how on Earth you got invited to go to England to meet the queen herself? I mean, and I know, side note, you’ve also pretty much met most people, most of the senior family members in the British Royal Family. You’ve even had lunch with Prince Harry. Can you tell us how this all came about?
Madeleine Buchner: I applied for a program called the Queen’s Young Leaders Program, which was formed by Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. I don’t even know what a diamond jubilee is. She’d been in power for a set number of years, or 70 years, or something crazy. It was this program that was launched for four years, with four cohorts of young people from around the Commonwealth who were doing incredible things in their local community. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the program in the third year of the program. So my very, very good friend, Jacob Thomas was in the second year of the program and they told me to apply. I applied, and it was like the longest application process that I have ever been a part of. There was a really long written application. Then my referee had to write a letter. Then there was a police check. Then there was a phone interview. Then some people got a second phone interview. It went for what felt like months.
Then in November 2016, I received a call. Actually, it was a Friday night and I was babysitting. I was watching Gossip Girl, classic. I was sitting on the couch. It had been a really, really long week. My phone started to ring and it was a number from the UK, and I freaked out. I was like, ” Okay, this is it. They’ve called to tell me that I didn’t get in. They’ve called to let me down. I’m all alone. I can cry as much as I want. It’ll be fine.” I picked up the phone and this lovely, lovely woman on the end of the phone starts asking me about how my day was. And I was like, ” Come on, just get to the point here.” And she said, ” We had a huge number of applications come through for the program in 2017, and we’re really excited to have you as a Queen’s Young Leader for 2017 and meet you at the residential program in London in June.” I swore at her.
Gianna Lucas: What? I didn’t know that.
Madeleine Buchner: I’m not a swearer. I was so flabbergasted, is the only word I can think of. I had no words. I asked her if she’d called the right person. I was so blown away. Then she finished the conversation with, ” By the way, you can’t tell anyone for 10 days.” And I was like, ” Okay.” So I got off the phone and I called my mum, classic, and I told her. I said, ” Mum, are you sitting down?” And she said, ” I am. Your grandparents are here too. You’re on loud speaker. Is everything okay?” And I said, ” Mum, I’m going to meet the Queen in June.” I heard my grandparents start crying, and my mum was like, ” What do you mean? What do you mean?” The full program announcement came on my birthday that year, which is the 1st of December, which was just a really nice little synergy, I guess.
For the first six months of the year, we did an online course with Cambridge University, all about leading change and how to be a great leader for our projects. Then we flew to London in June 2017, and we did an incredible 10 day program with the University of Cambridge. We met with Facebook and Instagram and we had a meeting. We got to go inside 10 Downing Street, which I was very excited-
Gianna Lucas: Wow.
Madeleine Buchner: … because I thought it was going to look like the 10 Downing Street in Love Actually. Now, it doesn’t, which was very disappointing. But also, I asked one of the people who worked there about Love Actually and they said they get it all the time. So I didn’t feel like I was that alone. But we met with Sir John Major, who’s an ex- prime minister of the UK. He found out that I was Australian and asked me what I thought of the Ashes Test that was on at that time, and I don’t know anything about cricket. So I remember calling my dad after walking out of 10 Downing Street and yelling at him on the phone. I was like, ” Dad, why did you never teach me about cricket?” Who knew that I’d be sitting next to a prime minister of the UK and he’d be asking me about the cricket and I have no idea what to say to him? That was a little bit embarrassing.
But the very last day of the program, we were invited into Buckingham Palace, and for anyone who’s been to Buckingham Palace before, where you stand outside the front and there are big gates, we actually drove through the big gates at the front.
Gianna Lucas: Stop it! Amazing.
Madeleine Buchner: There were all these tourists. I reckon they we’re thinking, ” How do we get on that tour?” So we drove through the gates and we went into Buckingham Palace and there’s a big red carpet entrance, and there’s just so much gold. It’s just the most incredible place. We walk in, and we were in this holding room where they taught us. We had an hour and a half etiquette lesson where they taught us everything from where to stand, what to say, how to address people, how to curtsy, all these kinds of things. Then Liam Payne from One Direction walked in the room, and I just-
Gianna Lucas: One thing to another.
Madeleine Buchner: Oh, I’m an unashamed massive One Direction fan. As a 27 year old girl, I feel like I have the right to announce that I am a One Direction fan to the rest of the world. He walked in and I lost every ability that I have to be a normal human, basically. I saw him from a distance and then he walked out and I started crying because he’d walked away and I hadn’t gotten to see him yet. My friend was standing there with me and he was like, ” Maddie, calm down. I’m sure you’ll get to meet him him later.” We walked into this room, this big ballroom kind of set up in Buckingham Palace, and we had to stand up, and the queen kind of bobs in. She’s really short too. All you could see was the top of her head. And Prince Harry, and all these really incredible people, including Liam Payne, walks into the room. Once again, I started crying because, I don’t know, you’re in the room with the Queen of England. It’s a very overwhelming environment to be in.
My friend taps me on the shoulder and he says, ” Maddie, you’ve put so much effort into your makeup. Don’t ruin it now.” We got called up one by one. I remember, my name got called, and you walk three steps, you turn, you curtsy. You walk three steps up to the queen and you don’t shake her hand. She has to put her hand out to shake yours, and she has to say the first word to you. We had a, all of, I reckon, 30 second conversation. She shook my hand and she said, ” Congratulations,” and I said, ” Thank you.” And don’t turn your back on the queen. So you walk backwards, three steps, curtsy, turn, and walk out. I just felt like in that moment my entire life changed, and it’s never been the same again.
Gianna Lucas: That is one of the coolest stories I’ve ever been told, ever, not just on this podcast, but just in life, and I love hearing it again and again. It’s like a fairy tale. I mean, it really, really is. You’re Cinderella. You didn’t wear a glass slipper, you didn’t lose it either, but you did cry. So there’s similarities, although you didn’t marry the prince, but that’s a side note.
Madeleine Buchner: I didn’t, but I did get to embarrass myself in front of Liam Payne. I got to meet him later that day and he asked me how old I was. At the time I was 24, and I said, “I’m 24.” And he goes, ” Oh, me too.” And I said, ” Yes, I know.”
Gianna Lucas: ” I stalked you. I have stalked you many times, my friend.”
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. It’s all good. Don’t worry about it.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, goodness. I love it so much. Now, you have had lunch with Prince Harry at another occasion as part of an Australian event over in the UK. Is that correct?
Madeleine Buchner: Actually, it was the same event.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, same event.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah. So we went from Buckingham palace to Australia House, which is, fun fact, where Gringotts Bank was filmed in Harry Potter. But we knew that there were three Australians on the program, and we knew that we were going to be getting special treatment because the Australian High Commission was putting on this meal after the awards at Buckingham Palace. And so we were briefed, and they briefed us on purpose early because I squealed when they told me that I would meet Prince Harry. The program organizers had gotten so used to my love of Prince-
Gianna Lucas: Screaming?
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah, screaming, squealing, excitement-
Gianna Lucas: Swearing?
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah, that they had decided that they needed to brief us early to tell us that we were going to meet Prince Harry rather than spring it on us on the day. And so we were told that we were going to be welcoming him in to Australia House and introducing him to a few people. Funnily enough, Buckingham Palace was running really, really late, and the traffic in London was really bad, that Prince Harry got there before we did.
So we got there and we were introduced to him. There’s this hilarious photo of me staring up at Prince Harry like I’ve seen God. It’s actually my Facebook profile picture, and it’s been my Facebook profile picture for three years now because I’m just like staring at the sun. It’s amazing.
Gianna Lucas: He has orange hair, so you kind of are staring into the sun, just side note. Yeah.
Madeleine Buchner: It’s true. It’s true. He does have very orange hair. I got to meet him and speak to him. Then they directed us to go and sit down at our tables. I found my table. I was sitting at table number two. I walked up to my table, and I found out that Prince Harry was sitting next to me at the table. I turned around and he was walking towards me, so there was nowhere for me to run. There was no way for me to prepare. And it was like an hour and a half, two hours, that I was sitting next to him having this meal. We spoke about everything from mental health, to why young people go to social media rather than newspapers for their current affairs, to right through to young carers. We spoke about gay marriage. We didn’t have gay marriage legalized in Australia yet at that point, so we spoke about that. We spoke about the political situation in Kenya.
He’s the most knowledgeable person about absolutely everything. There was not a subject that he didn’t have a point, or an opinion, or something insightful to contribute. And it was hilarious. It felt like I’d known him my entire life, which is weird because as Australians, we kind of have known them our entire lives, we just haven’t actually known them. But we’ve grown up with this Royal Family. But, yeah, I embarrassed myself a few times in front of him as well, but that’s okay.
Gianna Lucas: Look, I’m sure he’s the most down- to- earth guy. He probably appreciated it, how just genuine and real you are. So good on you for being you, Maddie. I mean, you’ve obviously won lots of awards since, and I think probably the one that really stands out to me for the tireless efforts of your work behind the scenes in Little Dreamers was when you recently won in the last, was it year or so, the Order of Australia Medal?
Now, usually when I look at people who have won that, they’re usually in their forties, fifties, sixties, maybe eighties. Here you are, this 20 something year old, winning this award, which usually is a lifetime award. It’s an award that says, ” You have done so many years of service in this particular area, and we just want to honor you.” So to receive that is quite extraordinary. Can you tell us how that made you feel because you have done so much good work for young people, young carers. I mean, that must’ve been just a wonderful, wonderful, I don’t know, acknowledgement for your hard work.
Madeleine Buchner: It was, yeah, it was incredible. I was the youngest person to receive an Order of Australia Medal on the 2019 Australia Day honors list. So I remember at the presentation day, sitting in a room with exactly that, people who were double, triple my age. I kept thinking that everyone thought that I was there to represent my grandfather or something who was winning an award, and I wasn’t. But still to this day, it makes me a little bit uncomfortable when I have to put OAM at the end of my name. It’s kind of, I feel like a little bit of a show off, and that’s not who I am. I don’t like that side of things.
But the Order of Australia Medal has put young carers on the map more than ever before. It has helped me to get new opportunities, to reach out to new partners, to leverage more funding, so using it, and that’s what it’s meant to be used for. I think that’s why so many more young people should be recognized in this way, because it’s different being recognized with an Order of Australia Medal when you’re 25, 26, 27 years old, and you have the rest of your life to use that title to continue to make change versus when you get recognized for that at the end of your work. I just think that we need to be recognizing more young people and showing more young people that these things are possible. If we don’t see young people in those spaces, we’re never going to think that it’s possible.
Gianna Lucas: I love what you just said so much. It’s so true because if we’re able to utilize this OAM to our advantage in order to create and do more work, create more change and therefore empower the next generation, then that’s the best way to use it. You’re right. Because otherwise, if you’re getting it at the end, then it’s just almost like a gift to say, ” Thank you.” But what a gift it would be to receive it early on, so that you can do more and be more for others. I think that that is something that should definitely happen and no doubt it will. It’s just incredible that you were the youngest in 2019. I know that there probably will be even younger people than yourself in future, especially if this is what is going to happen in 2021 and beyond. So I just think it’s amazing.
Now, I’d love to ask you, Maddie, what is next for you and Little Dreamers? You’ve obviously done a lot in the last 11 years and no doubt you’ve got, no pun intended, big dreams that you would love to achieve. So what’s on the cards?
Madeleine Buchner: We just launched, well, in April 2020, into New South Wales and Queensland. So we’re growing our, I guess, national… We’re a national organization anyway, but now we have team on the ground in New South Wales and Queensland, which is very exciting. We want to move more into the policy advocacy space as well. So advocating for a national care act for policy support for young carers, to ensure that young carers can get access to the support that they deserve well beyond Little Dreamers and our reach and our existence. We want to be able to have teams on the ground supporting young carers in every state and territory across the country. And then who knows? Maybe we’ll open Little Dreamers Canada, Little Dreamers US. The world is our oyster.
Gianna Lucas: I think you definitely will do all of that and so much more. I mean, you are an extraordinary young woman. I mean, you look a lot younger than 27 anyway, so that’s working for you.
Madeleine Buchner: Thanks.
Gianna Lucas: So I know that with everything that you’ve achieved to date, can you just imagine in the next 11 years what you’ll be able to do? So thank you so much for all that you have done and will do in the years to come. Now, don’t go anywhere, Maddie, because right after this, I’m going to ask you all about what it is that you’re most grateful for, big and small.
Speaker 5: This is Power Up Life.
Carissa Shale: This week, we asked you to share a life lesson that you have learned so far in your life, and here’s what you had to say.
Speaker 7: One life lesson I’ve learned in my life is to stop analyzing things. Life is meant to be fun, filled with the challenges to undergo the great side of things. Stop worrying and caring about the could haves. If it should have, it would have. I’m very much about living in the present and living to your fullest enjoyment, seeing the little things around you that fulfill you with joy.
Speaker 8: One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re not taking time to recharge yourself and to rest, to relax, and to fill your own cup, you aren’t going to be able to give to other people as well as you could be if you were giving from that overflow. So for me, that’s taking time to rest and do activities that really fill my cup and bring me joy.
Speaker 9: That it’s so okay and so beautiful to be comfortable in your own skin. We’re all on a journey, and be okay with who you are at all times. Everyone’s going to change and grow, but just always be comfortable with who you are. As long as you’re living your truth, that’s all you can do.
Speaker 10: One life lesson that I’ve learned is that you can never control the outcomes of other people. You can only focus on how you respond in negative situations and how you yourself can be a positive role model to others.
Carissa Shale: I’m Carissa Shale, and that’s this week’s talk topic. Got something to share? Drop us an email, yoursay@ happow. com. Love Power Up Life, the podcast? Make sure you tap subscribe and share it with your mates.
Gianna Lucas: All right, Maddie, the time has come. I’d love to ask you, what’s that one big thing that you are most grateful for in your life? It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be related to your work, Maddie, to your personal life. What’s that one big thing?
Madeleine Buchner: The biggest thing that I’m grateful for in my life is my little rescue pup, Daisy.
Gianna Lucas: She’s cute.
Madeleine Buchner: She came into my life in January 2019 and, yeah, she’s a little ball of energy and cuteness and has helped me in more ways than I ever thought possible and more ways than I could ever have helped her. So, yeah, she’s definitely the thing I’m most grateful for in my life.
Gianna Lucas: Good answer. She’s absolutely adorable. I think the one thing that’s really special about dogs is that they sense our emotions and they’re able to elevate us when we’re feeling a bit down and vice versa, we can make them feel so much better too, because they love our company. So that’s an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous response. All right. Something small that you’re grateful for? It could be trivial, it doesn’t matter.
Madeleine Buchner: I’m really grateful for my hot water bottle.
Gianna Lucas: That’s a good one.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah. As someone who has anxiety, my hot water bottle is just incredibly calming. So I have a work hot water bottle and a home hot water bottle. Yeah, I live with my hot water bottle, so I’m very grateful for it.
Gianna Lucas: I absolutely agree. I think as well, especially when it’s cold in winter and you’re able just to let it sit on your tummy, it is warming, so I love it. It’s probably one of the better answers we’ve ever had. Not that I’m ranking them. Not that I’m ranking them, but I think a hot water bottle can sometimes be underrated.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: But I’m glad that you’ve actually given it the kudos it deserves. So, it’s a good answer.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah, exactly.
Gianna Lucas: All right, right after this, Maddie, we’re going to do our challenge and I cannot wait for this one.
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Gianna Lucas: All right, Maddie, now it’s time for the challenge. Now, we’re going to be playing with you a game that we like to call Rapid Fire. I don’t know why I did that in American accent, but side note, Rapid Fire. Now, basically, you’re going to have 30 seconds, as I will too. And we, in those 30 seconds have to answer as many questions as we can that Brendan is going to throw at yourself and at me separately. Now, you can’t skip a question. If a question is thrown at you, you must answer it, even it takes you a full 30 seconds to answer it, but then you only get that one answer. Does that make sense?
Madeleine Buchner: Yes.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome. So depending on the amount of questions you answer, each question is worth a point. So you could get four points, 10 points, 20 points. Unlikely 20 points, it would be amazing. But basically, the person that wins the most amount of points wins the game. Yay.
Madeleine Buchner: Oh, no. I’m so competitive. Okay.
Gianna Lucas: All right. Awesome. Now, would you like me to go first or would you like to go first?
Madeleine Buchner: I’ll go first.
Gianna Lucas: You want to go first?
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: Okay. Good. No, no. I find people like to go first in our challenges. It’s good. It’s excellent. All right. All right, Brendan, do you want to come to the mic?
Brendan: Alrighty. Here we go, Maddie. 30 seconds on the clock. Time starts now. Do you have a nickname?
Madeleine Buchner: Mads.
Brendan: Who was your favorite school teacher?
Madeleine Buchner: Mr Haines, my year 12 media teacher.
Brendan: Have you figured out your calling in life?
Madeleine Buchner: Yes, running a nonprofit.
Brendan: If you could live in a house shaped like anything, what would it be?
Madeleine Buchner: Ooh, a circle.
Brendan: What do you think is in outer space?
Madeleine Buchner: Mars.
Brendan: Where is the most wonderful place you’ve ever been?
Madeleine Buchner: Caye Caulker in Belize.
Gianna Lucas: Oh.
Brendan: Time’s up.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, she wouldn’t have got that last one, or did she?
Brendan: No, not-
Gianna Lucas: Oh, he’s not giving it to you.
Madeleine Buchner: Damn it.
Gianna Lucas: The timer went up. Sorry, but that was really good.
Madeleine Buchner: Caye Caulker in Belize is beautiful, if you ever get a chance to go.
Gianna Lucas: I’d like to go there. I haven’t been there yet. It sounds lovely.
Madeleine Buchner: It’s amazing.
Gianna Lucas: All right.
Brendan: You got five, Maddie.
Madeleine Buchner: Okay.
Gianna Lucas: All right. That’s really, really good. That’s really good. Okay.
Madeleine Buchner: Okay.
Gianna Lucas: My turn.
Brendan: All right. You’re on. 30 seconds on the clock. Time starts now. Where is the most wonderful place you’ve been?
Gianna Lucas: Disneyland.
Brendan: What are you good at?
Gianna Lucas: Singing.
Brendan: What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Gianna Lucas: I’m passionate.
Brendan: What are you most proud of?
Gianna Lucas: You.
Brendan: If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
Gianna Lucas: Ooh, I would go somewhere where I’m not allowed to go and observe something, but I don’t know what that is. But that’s good enough.
Brendan: Time’s up.
Gianna Lucas: That’s such a doozy of a question.
Madeleine Buchner: Because of my anxiety, I would be a fly on the wall in people’s conversations to see what they say about me.
Gianna Lucas: You know what? That’s actually really, really good. You’d get to know the truth, wouldn’t you?
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah, exactly.
Gianna Lucas: It’s kind of like Harry Potter when he had the invisible cloak.
Madeleine Buchner: He had the invisibility cloak.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah, exactly, exactly the same. How many did I get?
Brendan: You also got five, so it’s actually a draw.
Gianna Lucas: It’s a draw.
Madeleine Buchner: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome. That’s the best way to go, I think, because we’re both winners in our own right. Although, there was a couple of doozies there. Hang on. What were my questions again?
Brendan: You had, where is the most wonderful place you’ve ever been?
Gianna Lucas: Oh, yeah.
Brendan: What are you good at? What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you? What are you most proud of? And if you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. The one that I couldn’t believe it took me so long to say, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to or whatever the question was, I can’t believe it took me so long to say Disneyland. To be honest with you, it’s not the best place I’ve ever been to, so I don’t know why I said Disneyland, but it’s cool.
Madeleine Buchner: It’s the most magical place on Earth.
Gianna Lucas: It is. Well, it is magical. It is magic. Exactly. Exactly. Anyway, Maddie, thank you so much for coming on the Power Up Life show. How can people get in touch with you, follow you, engage with Little Dreamers? How can they do all of that?
Madeleine Buchner: You can head to our website, littledreamers. org. au, or you could follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at littledreamersaustralia.
Gianna Lucas: How can they follow you on the Instas?
Madeleine Buchner: Oh, me? Madeleine Buchner on Instagram, that’s me.
Gianna Lucas: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much, Maddie, for coming on the show. I cannot wait to see what the next 11 years brings for you.
Madeleine Buchner: Yay. Thanks so much for having me.
Gianna Lucas: Well, that’s Maddie for you. I told you she’s absolutely amazing, and now you get to see that for yourself. Maddie is so smart and knows a lot about business, social enterprises, startups, side hustles, you name it. So we’re so stoked that she’s one of our Happow Life Lesson instructors. To watch her Start A Business With Impact video masterclass, all you need to do is sign up to our free life skills platform to get access to our on-demand expert-led Life Lessons, like Maddie’s one, quizzes, blogs, and more. Simply visit happow.com.
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