Being a celebrity in a bloke’s world can be a tough gig, but The Footy Show co-host Rebecca Maddern seems to have it down pat.
One of the benefits of being a celebrity is the chance to use your name for the good of others, and recently Rebecca showed how it is done when she co-hosted Western Australia’s Oasis Ball.
The Oasis Ball is a glamour event that raises money for the Oasis Project, a fund-raising initiative of the Western Australia media industry that supports The Salvation Army’s Crossroads West program.
Crossroads West provides a safe, stable environment for young people whose families have been disrupted by domestic violence, alcohol abuse and drug addiction, and the Oasis Ball has been a huge contributor, raising more than $2 million for The Salvation Army since its first ball in 1996.
With her mother Wendy, Rebecca is also a regular at the annual fundraiser for the anti-violence charity The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which is held each year around Mother’s Day in Melbourne, and its success relies on celebrities like Rebecca giving their time and names to support it.
Having grown up in Geelong (Vic.), it’s no surprise that Rebecca is a patron of Geelong’s United Way Charity, which addresses community disadvantage, and she is also linked to the Very Special Kids charity, which supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Rebecca has carved out a very successful media career, firstly as a journalist and newsreader at Channel 7, where she won a prestigious Quill Award for excellence in reporting for her coverage of Victoria’s 2003 bushfires.
Last year Rebecca made her historic move to Channel 9, becoming the first woman to co-host The Footy Show, which has allowed her to combine her passion for AFL football with her journalistic instincts.
That passion for the sport is in her DNA as a girl bred in football-mad Geelong.
“Football was a part of everyday life, and to survive in a family with five boys, I had to like football, otherwise I’d never be able to watch television,” she told Melbourne’s Herald Sun.
Had Rebecca been born a couple of decades later, we may well have seen her in the new Australian Women’s Football League (AFLW), as she says she was a skilful player who had a chance to develop her skills in physical education classes at Geelong College.
One of Rebecca’s proudest achievements is becoming the No. 1 ticket holder for her beloved Geelong Cats, a role which led her to being involved in promoting the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) Rite of Passage, a special event which allowed families to introduce their children to the experience of being in the MCG stadium.
Describing Geelong as the best club in the AFL, Rebecca was truly honoured to be offered the No. 1 ticket holder position.
“I’m a lifelong Cat, and this club is my biggest passion,” she told geelongcats.com.au. “I believe we can achieve great things, and it’s a privilege to be part of it,” she enthused.
In this National Volunteer Week, it’s good to see that celebrities like Rebecca are keen to give back to the community, by giving their time and lending their names to help organisations like the Salvos continue their vital work helping those less fortunate than themselves.