WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT KINGSTON?
I have lived in City of Kingston for nearly 40 years when, with my husband and son we moved to Dingley Village. I love the diversity of Kingston with parks, the green wedge belt, beaches and interesting little shopping strips, the close proximity to freeways and Southland Shopping Centre. I love living and working in this community and sharing this with varied community members who make up our city. During my work in arts and culture I have met an exciting and varied array of people whom never cease to amaze me.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PASSION/PRACTICE?
I have a great love for all the creative arts, having worked across all areas. However my great passion and my practice is the performing arts. I have been a practitioner in performing, teaching, directing and facilitating for many years having had hands on experience in all areas.
WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CRAFT?
As a teenager I loved June Bronhill and Jeanette McDonald but wanted to pursue a career in the visual arts. Instead I trained as a teacher and then followed my real love of singing and theatre. I trained in classical singing at Melba Conservatorium. I had lessons for 10 years from teachers and during this time I played many leads in operetta, musicals and concert work. I just love being on stage and performing for an audience – it always gives me exhilarating buzz like no other.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
I love working with creative and talented people and sharing the stage. I formed a theatre company in partnership with local council and managed, directed and musically directed many forms of performance for 15 years. This included traditional theatre, outdoor family theatre at Braeside Park in partnership with council and Parks Victoria and a multi cultural performance piece based in Westall, Clarinda and Clayton. This was a three year project in which I worked with a professional who wrote the play Welcome Matt. We consulted with many different communities in this area and culmimated in the performances which I also directed. For 20 years, I have been, and currently am, President and Senior Vocal Convener of Eisteddfod by the Bay formerly the Mordialloc Eisteddfod established in 1955
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON DURING COVID-19?
Sadly much of the work has been put on hold due to restrictions. I am a Choral Director and my choir is currently unable to practice. Also I am the Facilitator of Arts Centre Melbourne Members Conversation Group which is also unable to meet. However I was recently interviewed by ACM and asked to share my ideas and thoughts on recovery for the performing arts and return to the theatre. I am a subscriber to Australian Opera, Melbourne Theatre Company, Australian Ballet, Victorian Opera and Brandenburg Orchestra and all performances since March have tragically been cancelled.
I was determined to offer a performance opportunity for young talented singers, actors and musicians in a safe way and so Eisteddfod by the Bay continued our tradition of offering an annual eisteddfod for 65 years and we ran the ZOOM Eisteddfod by the Bay. This was a challenging learning curve as we are all volunteers, but my passion and commitment to performers overcame all challenges. We were overwhelmed by the huge response as there is nothing else happening. For the full story about our Zoom Eisteddfod I refer you to the Kingston Arts website.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AFTER COVID-19?
Sadly the performing arts industry has suffered incredibly badly, and because of restrictions, will be one of the last to return. It is a disaster for all our practitioners, venues and audiences. However we in the P A are a resilient lot, and have already displayed, in isolation and lockdown, our innate creativity and skills to offer many amazing virtual opportunities.
I was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the performing arts and services to the community.
I am a classically trained singer, performer, director, teacher of singing and director of drama workshop programs, facilitator, choral director. I have been and am a member of many arts and culture advisory committees, across several councils, public art reference group and choral director of Vivace Voices and Baytone Singers. Also, President and Senior Vocal Convener of Eisteddfod by the Bay, inaugural President of Kingston Arts Network, President of Arts Springvale.
I have also been a committee member of the Kingston Charitable Trust Assessment Panel and Chair of a Kingston Village Committee. I keenly support the performing arts and am a Patron of Arts Centre Melbourne and Victorian Opera.