Woman’s Day (Australia)

I’m the original little Vegemite!

After starring in the 1959 TV ad, Trish is still humming the jingle


Television was still new to Australia in the late ’50s, so when seven-yearold Trish Cavanagh learned she was going to be on it she was excited. “Eight of us were picked from our class at the Helen De Paul School of Dance to star in an advert for Vegemite,” Trish tells Woman’s Day nearly 64 years on.

The ad and the Happy Little Vegemite jingle catapulted the salty spread into becoming an iconic Australian brand and became the five minutes of fame that would change Trish’s life.

When the long-awaited filming day came in May 1959, Trish was paid £27 to play the starring role. Dressed in a band uniform, she was asked to march on top of a huge jar of Vegemite, and sit at the breakfast table and take a mouthful of Vegemite-covered bread.

“I don’t know why they picked me. I wasn’t the smallest. Maybe it was my smile. Maybe I looked like I ate Vegemite,” says Trish, now 70, from Tuncurry, NSW. “But little did I know it would have such a big impact on my life and that I’d still be talking about it all these years later.”


Over three days, the crew filmed the famous marching band scene, a circusthem­ed one and one in a playground, which Trish says nobody can find now.

“I remember it was a lot of fun and we got through a lot of loaves of bread filming the bite I had to do at the breakfast table. I also remember that at the lunch buffet they had every kind of sandwich apart from Vegemite ones!” she says.

Back home, that was that, thought Trish. But when the Happy Little Vegemite ad arrived on TV screens a few months later everyone went wild for it.

“I think Mum and Dad bought a TV to watch it on,” says Trish. “Everyone at school saw it. People loved it, especially the jingle. People still tell me how much they loved the ad and still ask me to sing the song!”

Married and with a tribe of eight grandchild­ren and great-grandchild­ren, Trish is still a huge fan of the salty spread, which turns 100 this year.

“I grew up on it and my kids grew up on it,” she says. “Not many products have been around as long as Vegemite and I feel very proud and privileged to have played even a small part in its history.”

We’re happy little Vegemites As bright as bright can be We all enjoy our Vegemite For breakfast, lunch and tea Our mummies say we’re growing stronger Every single week Because we love our Vegemite We all adore our Vegemite It puts a rose in every cheek!

 ?? ?? The beloved spread celebrates its centenary this year.
The beloved spread celebrates its centenary this year.
 ?? ??

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