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National Australia Day Broadcast

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The Story of Australia

This is the Story of Australia - the story of an extraordinary nation.

The Story begins 60,000 years ago. New chapters are written every day.

On Australia Day, we reflect on our history, its highs and its lows.

We respect the stories of others.

And we celebrate our nation, its achievements and most of all, its people.

We're all part of the story.

Master of Ceremonies
District 9800 Governor-elect
Amanda Wendt

Amanda runs brand and communications company, Matter Group, working with organisations to increase their impact through developing the qualities of relevance, trust and leadership. She has over 15 years experience having worked in London and with clients across Australia, USA, UK and Europe in diverse industries including financial and professional services, health, environment, not-for-profit and the public sector.

As District Governor Elect for 9800, Amanda is thrilled to be working with such a talented team to position Rotary as the go-to organisation for people who want to volunteer and give back to the community, especially younger volunteers.  She believes Rotary is the perfect organisation for people who are passionate about a cause and want to take hands-on action.

Amanda has held many roles at club, district, zone and international level and is a Director on the Host Organising Committee for the Rotary International Convention 2023 and has previously served as Vice-Chair of the Rotary International Communications Committee supporting the strategy and implementation of the Rotary brand, People of Action position and public image learning and development.

Amanda is a proud member of Rotary Melbourne and supported in
her Rotary journey by fiancé Greg Harbour.

Zone 8 Director
Dr Jessie Harman 

Jessie has been a Rotarian for the past seventeen years, a member of the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast in District 9780, Australia. She has been active at club, district and international levels.

Jessie is a past club secretary and president and was governor in 2010-2011. More recently she has served as Rotary co-ordinator (2013-2016) and project lead for the Regional Membership Plan for Zones 7B & 8 (2013-2017).

She has been a member of the national training team and training leader at Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego. She is presently the seminar trainer for International Assembly. Jessie’s first experience of Rotary was as a participant of RYLA in 1987, and she maintains an active interest in Rotary’s youth and leadership programs to this day. She is also keenly interested in membership development and is co-author of ‘101 strategies for recruiting and retaining members’.

Continuing her interest, Jessie has also served on Rotary International’s Membership Committee – a standing committee of the Board of Rotary International.

Lisa Edwards

Lisa is a consummate performer and her success as a vocalist has been well documented. She has worked with high-profile Australian acts such as: Noiseworks, Black Sorrows, Real Life, Ross Wilson, Billy Thorpe, Brian Cadd and Kate Ceberano, and was one of the most impressive vocalists on the Kylie Minogue European tour. However, Lisa is probably best known to Australian audiences as one of John Farnham’s accomplished and dynamic backing singers.

Josh Piterman

Josh Piterman is an established musical theatre performer and classical crossover artist who has been working consistently on Australian and UK stages over the past 15 years. His past credits include being a part of international pop opera group The Ten Tenors, Tony in the 2010 Australian production of Westside Story, Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger in the 2015/16 Australian season of Cats (a role that one him the Green Room Award for best supporting actor in a Musical), Corny Collins in the UK tour of Hairsprayand Gerry Goffin in the 2017/18 Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. His impressive West End debut came as he took on the most coveted role as The Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera in 2019, a role he will reprise at the Sydney Opera House from August 2022 followed by a season at the Arts Centre Melbourne from October 2022.

Alison Rae Jones

Alison Rae Jones was born and raised in Gippsland and studied music at the Victorian College of the Arts. She was accepted into Victoria State Opera Young Artist Program, going on to perform with the major Australian Opera Companies in roles including Despina Cosi fan Tutte, Zerlina Don Giovanni, and Gilda Rigoletto. International engagements have included Adina L'elisir D'Amore, Rosalinda Die Fledermaus and Violetta La Traviata; Micaela Carmen (Spier Opera Festival, South Africa);Yum Yum Mikado (Nationale Reisopera, Netherlands); Governess Turn of the Screw directed by Elijah Moshinsky. She has also sung Governess twice for The Nationale Reisopera with Phillip Langridge as Quint and Reinbert De Leeuw conducting the Shoenberg Ensemble.

Alison was a Principal Artist with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and sang Mabel in Pirates of Penzance and Josephine in HMS Pinafore on the West End, Savoy Theatre and in the USA. Concert and Oratorio appearances have taken her throughout Europe from the Royal Albert Hall to Elton John's birthday party and she appeared on the BBC television series The Genius of Mozart.

Alison returned home to Melbourne in 2007 after over a decade based in the UK and France. Since returning she has sung Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphee for Victorian Opera, appeared as Mimi in Melbourne Opera's La Boheme and toured extensively with Promac Productions. In 2008, Alison founded La Prima Opera Company, taking high quality fully directed opera shows into non-traditional venues and touring to regional and rural theatres. 80% of their audience has never set foot in an opera house.

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