Macinley Butson doesn’t concern herself with the what ifs in life.
But the 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year winner has allowed herself to dare to dream of higher honours.
Illawarra’s stellar young scientist and inventor will learn on Thursday night whether she joins the likes of tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt and sailor Jessica Watson in being named the national Young Australian of the Year.
Win or lose, Macinley is just happy to be considered.
The 17-year-old from Mangerton spoke to the Mercury before she was slated to head to Canberra on Wednesday morning.
“I’m just very thankful and honoured to be the NSW Young Australian of the Year,” she said.
“I’m actually very excited now to meet all the other amazing state recipients whilst I’m down there.
“I’m very much looking forward to meeting my fellow Young Australian state recipients and connecting with them and talking more to them about the work that they are doing.”
It’s already been a “great week” for Macinley, who attended the Australia Day Address in Sydney on Tuesday.
That was absolutely incredibly inspiring and a good start to the week ahead.Macinley Butson
The address was delivered by internationally renowned high school mathematics teacher and internet sensation Eddie Woo.
“That was absolutely incredibly inspiring and a good start to the week ahead,” Macinley said.
“I don’t want to get too ahead of myself but obviously it would be an amazing opportunity [named national Young Australian of the Year].
“I’d be able to advocate and speak about issues I think are important and hopefully inspire fellow young people to get involved in industry and connect with communities.”
Macinley, who recently started year 12 at The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS), was named the 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year primarily for her ‘Smart Armour’ invention.
‘Smart Armour’ is a shield that can be used by breast cancer patients to protect their non-treated breast while undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
“Smart Armour is obviously one of my main priorities at the moment. I’d like to be able to get the Smart Armour into as many cancer clinics and hospitals around Australia. That’s my main goal at the moment,’’ she said.