I grew up in Coonabarabran and after I finished high school I moved to Bathurst where I studied a Bachelor of Communications for Theatre and Media which I’m almost finished. Then I moved to Dubbo in the middle of last year and have been working with Orana Arts as a projects officer. I also work for the Macquarie Conservatorium teaching the Youth Music Theatre Program.
How long have you worked with the students at the Macquarie Conservatorium?
I was fortunate enough to have met Camilla Ward who asked if I would like to apply for the job. I did and I was fortunate enough to get it. I’ve only been working with the kids since the beginning of the year, but it’s been lots of fun and I’m looking forward to continuing for next year. We just finished Tuishi Pamoja at the Macquarie Conservatorium which was lots of fun and it was the first time I’ve worked with youth. Mainly I’ve worked with adults, so it’s been quite challenging and there’s definitely a different way going about things but I’m learning as I go.
I have a lot of other projects going on outside of the Youth Music Theatre Program. I just finished directing a Black Box Theatre show. Again, Camilla Ward is the Creative Director and got me on board for that as well. The show we just finished was called Girls Like That and it was about online bullying. It was a physical theatre piece about a photo that had been leaked among young girls. It really challenged the girls ethically and where they are in their lives. The subjects and language we talked about in the play were heavy, so it was a big challenge for them but it was lots of fun.
The Black Box Creatives is part of the Western Plains Cultural Centre. We encourage a lot of people to come along. We try to dabble in different forms of theatre and teach people about backstage. You might not want to be an actor but are interested in stage management or lighting and sound, so we’ll teach you through those as well so it’s not only about performing.
Do you have a background in the arts?
I did a few different shows growing up in Coonabarabran. Every second year, we had our high school musical but they weren’t mainstream musicals, they were funky ones. Then once I went off to uni, I was fortunate enough to meet some pretty cool people and I got a job with the ABC doing hair and make-up for the Angus Project which is a great show. I’ve done stage management work for some festivals, so I’ve managed to get out there in the industry and give it a go but now I’ve come back and I’m teaching a bit here.
What other organisations have you been involved with?
I was named 2019 Coonabarabran Showgirl. My hometown asked me to come back and be a part of that. It’s very exciting and it’s great that next year I get to go represent my home community at the next level which will be held in Mudgee. I was just part of Miss World as well, which was a huge eye opener. It’s a lot different to Miss Show Girl and was probably the first proper beauty pageant I’ve been a part of. Somehow, I made it all the way to the state finals.
What are the stages of the Miss World Beauty Pageant?
There’s an application online and then there’s the preliminary finals which was held in Sydney and I was the first heat off the bat and didn’t make it on the day, but I managed to pull a wild card. Then I went all the way to the state finals which is held in Sydney again and it was an incredible opportunity. The girls are so supportive and you come out of it feeling like a million dollars. I’ve learned how to walk and talk and be graceful and since then I’ve gone pageant mad! I’ve applied and been accepted into two more pageants – one is happening at the end of the year, Miss International, and next year is Miss Diamond (for which) I am supporting drought relief so there will be events coming up (through which) I’ll be raising money with my platform as Rural Aid Drought Relief.
What are your goals for the future?
Every time I get asked this question, I have no idea. One thing I do love is working with community and the arts and I guess I’d love to be in more of a position where I can advocate for both and make a bit of a difference.
Do you have a most memorable moment?
I’ve had so many. Just recently I’ve done two shows and after seeing the kids do all their hard work and what they were able to produce in the end and seeing how happy they were about what they’ve accomplished was quite fantastic. For me, being able to sit back and say “I did it!”
- Interview and photo by Sophia Rouse