The Architect of Awesome And The Order of The Teaspoon

The Architect of Awesome And The Order of The Teaspoon

Kirsten Macdonald

Kirsten Macdonald

Wordsmith

The Architect of Awesome And The Order of The Teaspoon

Words by Kirsten Macdonald

When Ronni Kahn walks into a room, you know it.

It isn’t just because she is dressed in powerful layered shades of honey, laguna and mustard, her signature colour is yellow. She has a presence. One that is unapologetic and regal, shiny, sincere and on a mission. From the moment she walked onto the stage at PauseFest 2020, there was no need for written flourished speeches, she was there to connect and with a story to tell. She told the story of The Order of The Teaspoon. That is the moment I knew I must chat with Ronni. 

Ronni was born in South Africa, moved to Israel and then emigrated to Australia in 1998. In 2004, she founded the food rescue charity, OzHarvest, which started as a single van in Sydney. She delivered 4,000 meals in the first month. OzHarvest now operates nationally, rescuing over 180 tonnes of food each week from over 3,500 food donors and education has also become a part of this mighty mission. 

We asked Ronni where all her energy comes from. 

“The power of what I do, I am completely driven by the impact we can make, by the difference it makes and the gratitude I have for what it is that I do. I’ve always been a positive human being, a combination of presence and finding one’s sacred duty and living every single day in gratitude. Means I am inspired every day of my life.” 

So what is a sacred duty to Ronni? 

“Sacred duty means I stumbled upon my true calling, which allows me to radiate my life’s force. I am here to serve and do good and to try and live very consciously.”

OzHarvest is now a massive social enterprise, a large machine helping so many people with the very basics of food. It is quite intriguing, almost novel that an organisation like this also needing to co-exist within a corporate space has this enigmatic leader driven by purpose rather than the buck. How does this marry together? 

“It’s all about eclectic leadership, OzHarvest is a magnet for magnificent people,” says Ronni. 

“It is because it is a blessed organisation, it is unlike any other organisation. It is unique, people walk in and say “we love it!” the energy, we love what it is. Our people are inspired and inspiring; they have chosen to work for a purpose. Purpose at its very core is powerful and true.”

“People want to buy purpose at a supermarket- I want some purpose! Can I get some? I don’t know what I am supposed to do! It takes more hard work, you have to look inside, align with your values, know what values are. You have to do some inner work, I think absolutely OzHarvest is a very proficient business, it is not just that it has the packaging around it that drives it and protects it. OzHarvest is prosperous because those who are dedicated to it are there to serve others, we aren’t here to be the biggest or best. I am not here to be the most widely quoted leader. I am here to serve.” 

OzHarvest celebrated opening Australia’s first rescued food supermarket – the OzHarvest Market in Sydney this year, based on a ‘take what you need, give if you can’ philosophy. Philosophy is as aspect solidly forged through Ronni’s journey as a philanthropist and life changer.

A sharer of knowledge and a great communicator; Ronni’s story will go to print this year. The book is beautifully titled ‘A Repurposed Life’- with the release set for October. 

“It is a story about finding your true calling. It’s really a memoir of what I have learned over the last 15 years, it starts when I was little and reaches into today. It is vulnerable, scary, honest, and I hope the book resonates with people just like when I talk. This is what I want the book to do. To make people say; I can do this, I want to be the best human being I can be” says the beaming woman in front of me. 

We were blessed enough to have Ronni give you this special message The Order of The Teaspoon. I just know you will enjoy this as much as we did. 

To find out more about OzHarvest and how you can assist in its mission; go to https://www.ozharvest.org/what-we-do/ 

If you’re a business that would like to donate food, please call 1800 108 006. 

If you would like to donate money to OzHarvest to help them continue their daily work, click here. Every $1 donated means OzHarvest can deliver two meals to Australians in need. 

 

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A Forecast Of Charisma And Not a Plain Jane In Sightm

A Forecast Of Charisma And Not a Plain Jane In Sightm

words by Kirsten Macdonald

Jane Bunn is one very popular lady, with a prime spot as Australia’s beloved weather presenter and a feverish 40,000+ followers on Instagram and an App on the horizon; Jane is a bit of an enigma.

A glamazon and fashionista; she is a seriously educated Meteorologist and Atmospheric Scientist, and she really (really) knows her weather! Forget Gucci and Balenciaga, when this lady starts talking about negative and positive dipoles, the juicy clouds, the Southern Annular Mode and climate drivers; welcome to Australia’s Nigella of weather.  Warm, sincere and with a disarming enthusiasm; we are going to admit it, we were charmed.

K: How are you today, Jane?

J: I am very well, thank you! It is an interesting day to be alive in the weather world because the pattern has changed. Whenever the pattern changes, I get very interested!

K: There is so much to talk to you about! Your education in meteorology, journalism and atmospheric science are extensive, Monash, Penn State in the US just to name a few. Penn State is really impressive, how did that come about?

J: Well, I was at Monash University. To start off actually, I was studying software engineering at RMIT. To be honest, I was not great at it, but I’m so glad I did the first year of that because I don’t love it, but it’s handy! 

Then I worked for a little bit and worked out what I actually wanted to do, I found that I was procrastinating with the jobs I was meant to be doing. I was looking at the weather, and so after a while, I thought: that’s actually what I want to do. This is what is driving me, this is what I’m interested in. I went back to Monash Uni and studied a Bachelor of Science. I majored in mathematics and atmospheric science.

The coolest bit was everyone was going over and doing a semester abroad. Everyone else went to Oklahoma to chase tornados. The thing that first got me into the weather was when I went skiing for the first time. I fell in love with snow and why it was falling or wasn’t falling or raining instead. Instead of chasing Tornados, I went to Penn State so I could live in the snow for six months! (Laughing)

 

K: So can you tell us about Jane’s Weather?

J: It is a term I coined a long time ago because people want to know about the weather and so Jane’s Weather made sense. I have been working on it for so long with these lovely guys that know a lot more about IT than I do. They are working a way to produce the App because while I’ve got three minutes every night on TV,

I can’t get across as much as I would love to be able to share in that short time. So I go and do talks to help people understand more about the weather. Everyone says “you need your own app” so I said yes! There is so much weather data, weather information out there now. It’s an amazing world we live in.

What I am trying to do is to collate the best of everything that’s out there. To put it all in one spot. It’s important to make it look good, so people want to take in this information.

K Are you purpose-driven? And if so, what is your purpose?

J: My original reason for getting into the job that I have now (or trying to get the job that I have now), was because I was working at the weather bureau. I did a graduate diploma in Meteorology with them. Then I was working as a forecaster, and I would get really annoyed with the media because we would sit there all day, perfecting the forecast. 

There are certain words you have to use, terminology. So we’d get them all in the right order and around the right way and what we could say. Then “the media’- certain people in it, would change those words and then change the meaning completely. But a forecast of “fine and mostly sunny”, what “fine” actually means in Australia is “it’s dry.” It says nothing about the cloud, whether it’s hot or it’s cold it just means that it’s not wet. So a forecast of “fine and mostly sunny”- that means that it is completely dry and there’s lots of sunshine.

So this woman on the radio used to take that and think it was a little bit too long and shorten it to “mostly fine” she had changed the meaning of that completely she said it is “mostly dry.”

 So I’d be like what? We put some wet weather in there that I don’t know about? (laughing) So just a little tiny thing like changing one word around like that has massive meaning, and so I went, that’s it! I want to forecast the weather. I also want to avoid the middleman, and I want to be able to get the right information out to as many people as I can. And so, that’s what I’m all about!

 

You’ve been on our screens for a long time now. Have there ever been any self-doubt moments, especially in the media industry for you? And if so, what was your strategy for continuing to shine so brightly? 

J: Oh thank you! What I think about is where we’re living now. Could you imagine having done this 20, 30 years ago where there was no social media? And the only people you ran into were the only people you got feedback from, rather than where we live now -which is so social media based.

Part of my job is to get the message out to as many people as I can. So, I put things out on Instagram, I put something out on Facebook, I put it out on Twitter. But then, people now have a license to say whatever they like straight back at you and you see it. 

So, that’s what’s interesting about how we live now is the feedback you get from that.

It can be anything from gross sexual stuff which I just completely ignore and move on from or things about the way I look or how I did something or those sorts of things. Some of it can hurt when you read it. What I end up doing is overtime, working out a strategy of how to actually live with that. 

Some of the things are; Don’t look at social media before you go to sleep- because that’s the last thing you want to see before you shut your eyes. 

Also, don’t be constantly looking at it. Control how often you go and look at these things. My ruling is; if you’ve said something gross I’m not going to respond to you. But if you’ve asked a weather question, then yeah if I have the time absolutely I’d love to do that. Also, if you’ve said something that isn’t correct, then I’ll come back to you and try and challenge you and help you grow and understand what these things actually mean. It’s actually quite pleasing to see how many people I’ve been able to do that with. Just a one on one basis back and forth. We’ve been back 10 times on Twitter, and by the end of it, I feel like the person’s walked away with “Oh I actually get that now.” Which is good!

 

K: If you had a spirit animal, what would it be?

J: Hmmm I’m cross between two things. So if you aren’t trawling through Instagram, I reckon the things that catch my eye are cute little dogs but also randomly and how Australian is this?! Quokkas! You’ve seen Quokkas, right?!

So when I went over to Perth a couple of years ago I went out to Rottnest Island- they are the cutest things ever. So, I think a cross between a little furry dog and a Quokka.

K: You be vibing with the Qokkas, I like that

J&K laughing

K: If you have a devastating personal moment or event or just having a shocking day and you’ve got to get up on that screen. You have to shine brightly, and you are so professional. How do you transform into that space?

J: When I get up, literally the first thing I look at is what may have changed overnight and then any data that comes in. It takes me about an hour and a half every morning. My husband loves it! (laughing) Then you sit throughout the day, and you are weather watching. Checking the radar, monitoring the satellite, seeing ‘has this popped up when it was meant to? What is the temperature doing?’ Then you are planning what you are actually going to go out and say there.

I had a colleague once and we weren’t getting along. She walked into my room at 5 minutes to 6 one night and started yelling at me. It was quite difficult from that screaming match then at 6:02 to go back into weather mode.

There’s something about it because what I’m trying to do out there is make sure the right information is getting out to as many people as possible. I think my mind just shifts and goes back into the right gear. There’s something about going into the studio. As soon as I step into my shoes in wardrobe, and they put the audio pack on,-once you feel that, and makeup are doing your last checks- there is something about no matter what else is going on- your head is there. It’s dark in there. There are lights only in the right spots, so it feels like you’re in the wings of a stage -so you’re on!

K: It’s Sunday, you’re in your lounge, there’s no one else around, a song comes on, and you have to dance. What is that song? 

J: (laughing) What is interesting about that is I think it changes. That’s the problem. About 4 weeks ago I would have said Dance Monkey -how can you not dance to that?! There’s just something about that (laughing), but now it is a Billy Eilish song. There’s just something about the beat in the back of it that you can’t not move to.

 

K: I was reading that you recently took up Ballet again after a hiatus. And as an ex ballet dancer, I was like oh, ok you can go back? Are you going to go back en pointe?

J: That’s a massive question! I was never good at it in the first place (laughing)

SO, I am doing this class every Wednesday. I’ve been going there since November, and we had a little hiatus over Summer, but I’m back in! The best thing that my ballet teacher said to me yesterday was “You’re getting stronger.” I was like “Oh!” I can actually feel it myself too!” The other thing that I wasn’t really good at was turning.

Every time I’ve had to turn, I’ve been heading into what I thought was the right direction (laughing), but yesterday I got  three of these in a row, and it felt like I was starting to nail this!

You know what?- around me are all these semi-professional dancers that are working on doing these things most amazingly. It was a struggle, I’m so glad I’m doing it.

What is the funniest thing that has happened during a segment, that maybe the audience would not know that you’ve had to like cover or something embarrassing where no-one’s had any idea unless you’re behind the camera?

J: Oh! There was one where my earring fell out. Generally, I’m in pretty big earrings, and it’s like it just had some kind of projectile behind it and it has not just fallen out it’s like it’s gone voom! And it actually landed right in front of me and made this big sound. So that’s always quite amusing.

The other thing is, I don’t know if you can pick it up, but Mitch and Tim are following along with what I am saying which is lovely of them, but sometimes they can actually start laughing over something I have said and so they’re trying to contain some giggles like when I say there are some “wispy clouds” haha Tim…

So then they are laughing just off to the corner of my eye. I’m getting the counts in my head, I know how long is left, I’ve got to get all of this out, and these guys are sitting over there giggling and trying to keep it quiet.

 

K: That would be like being in school, and everyone has got the giggles around you, and you’re trying very hard not to laugh. Especially when you’re in front of Australia!

J; MMhhhmmm! (laughing)

K; So what are the attributes that you find in people that really resonate with you and make you walk away thinking “you know, I really like that human!”?

J: Hmmm. I’m not sure how to answer that. The thing that is immediately hopping into my head is all the people that I have interacted with recently that have rubbed me up the wrong way! (laughing)

When you think about that question, why do you like hanging out with these people? And why do you not like hanging out with those people sometimes? Some of the people you are with, you really don’t enjoy being around, it’s hard work.

Whereas when you find people that you actually love, how much better is that feeling?

And just everything sort of inside. I reckon I got a little bit of that last week. I MC’d the Saints AFLW launch- which was so exciting to be a part of. The first year that the Saints have a women’s team and I got to meet all of the girls. I got to read out their name and number. To meet all of these girls, and see how excited and ready and pumped they are just before this new season.

They’re getting to do what they have always wanted to do and never thought they would be able to do. Just that energy rubbed off on me in such a good way, that when I came back in on Monday morning, I was like “Right! We’re going to do this today, this is going to be amazing! This is going to be so good!”

So I think when you interact with positive people you can get so much done in your world too. It’s beautiful. 

K: Do you think when you get to 40, you start to realise that you can actually give yourself permission on who you invest your time with? And who’s not so good to spend your time with- like energy conservation.

J: Yeah, I agree. I reckon there is something about turning 40. I was very apprehensive about it (like most). Everyone was asking me if I wanted to have a big party, and my reaction was no, I actually don’t want to do that. I want to go on holiday and get away. So I had friends that I actually like come on this holiday with me (laughing). Then I go off on this romantic thing with my husband, so it was just this really nice week of our lives which was really really good.

K: That’s exactly what I did for my 40th!

J: I reckon that’s the way to go!

K: I took them all to a tropical island

Jane: Yep! So good! When you’ve got the big 4 in front of the number that you are now it’s like you kinda go “I don’t have time for this crap anymore” and you actually feel ok saying that.

Saying no, I’m ok with that and I’ve already moved on! (laughing) rather than thinking about it when I go to sleep, and I think that’s a great way to be! I just wish I had that a little while ago (laughing) 

 

K: Cubby house or treehouse? And why?

J: I had what was called a cubby house built for us when we were kids, but my dad took so long to build it that by the time it was built we didn’t fit in it anymore! Anyway, that became the spot where we stored all of the pool toys!

But for some reason, I mean I grew up watching the Simpson where Bart had Milhouse and a treehouse. So yeah, the media has made me think of a treehouse, but if I go back to my childhood, it was definitely a cubby house.

K: Instincts win

K: What is something that a lot of people don’t know about you? 

J: Wanna know how I spend my day off? I take myself out for lunch! And I go out and have a glass of wine- I get them matched to all the dishes I’m ordering, and there are these places that will do half serves of something.

I can have like 6 dishes which is great! So I go out for my own little degustation by myself, which is actually THE best thing in the world. It is THE nicest way to spend an afternoon!

Then I take myself off to the movies. Again, by myself, which is so good! It means no one is disturbing you through it! You get to watch the entire movie, and you get to pick and watch what you want to do! 

K: Thank you so much, thank you for giving us your time

J: Pleasure.

To check out more about Jane you can head to Jane’s Weather or the official Jane Bunn website. Her Instagram is pretty awesome too!

Connection, Crisis and Corona

Connection, Crisis and Corona

Connection, Crisis and Corona

words by Fr Rod Bower

Thoughts and prayers have got a lot of bad press of late.

The term has been hijacked and used to characterise inaction when action was so desperately needed.

Appropriate action in a time of crisis is always important as the 13th-century mystic; Meister Eckhart said, “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” Perhaps it’s also time to revisit the real value of thoughts and prayers.

We are all inextricably connected; we are all part of the ONE when you hurt, I hurt.

Prayer is the intentional consciousness of that reality, and it is powerful, more powerful than we can imagine. It can be felt. I posted something along these lines on Twitter, and one tweeter retweeted with the comment “There goes Fr Rod, even teaching atheists to pray”. I was encouraged and just a little tickled by this because I think this understanding of thoughts and prayers is available to all humanity, regardless of your belief system. 

 

When discussing the current COVID-19 crisis with my wife Kerry and the consequences of isolation due to social distancing, we found our way into the subject of ‘thoughts and prayers’.

Now Kerry has a very acute discerning radar when it comes to platitudes, especially when they come for either politicians or religious leaders, which constantly rescues me from making too much of an idiot out of myself.

So, when Kerry suggested that “prayer is the space between us” I recognised deep wisdom and universal truth. 

Thoughts and prayers expressed out of love, concern and compassion is the true space between us. When we embrace this consciousness, we may well be practising social distancing, and rightly so, but we will never be isolated. SO, PRAY. Hold each other in your deepest consciousness and in the Ultimate Consciousness.

Let people know that you will intentionally hold them in your heart for ten minutes (or more) every day. Light a candle for them, take a photo and send it to them, let them know they are loved.

We need to flatten the curve, to slow the spread of Coronavirus so that our health care system can cope and lives of the most vulnerable saved. So, practice social distancing, but don’t be isolated. When thoughts and prayers fill the space between, that space connects, rather than separates us.

The Venerable Rod Bower is an Australian Anglican priest and social activist and a treasured conributor to Ponderings. He is currently the Rector of Gosford, Archdeacon for Justice Ministries and Chaplaincy in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and lives on the NSW Central Coast. Visit here- you won’t be disappointed. 

Four Points to Ponder from Netflix Documentary: Miss Americana

Four Points to Ponder from Netflix Documentary: Miss Americana

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Wordsmith

Four Points to Ponder from Netflix Documentary: Miss Americana

Taylor Swift’s new documentary Miss Americana aired on Netflix this year. It is vulnerable, raw and just a little more than surprising. 

Coming from the girl that used to write 13 on the back of her hand and practice the famous hair flip in front of the mirror, she could have spoken about her love of cats for an hour. 

Thankfully, there was more to learn than her devotion to cats. 

 

Taylor says, “one of the major themes about the doc is that we have the ability to change our opinions over time, to grow, to learn about ourselves.”

 

Through Taylor’s experiences, her highs and lows, her insecurities and vulnerabilities, the viewer reflects on who they are, what they stand for, and the effect their words have on others.

 

Here are 4 facets of inspiration to take away from Miss Americana.

Respond to disappointment with determination. 

When Taylor finds out that her album Reputation wasn’t Grammy-nominated for any of the major categories, she is visibly disappointed. But her immediate response is determination. “I just need to make a better record,” she says, “I’m making a better record.” 

 

Good things can come from your lowest points. 

Taylor dropped off the map after the “Taylor Swift is over party” in 2016. Thankfully, after a year of being MIA, she bounced back, creating beautiful music from her darkest days. 

Don’t be what people want you to be. 

Standing up for what’s right might go without saying. But Taylor stayed silent because people didn’t want her to have opinions. They wanted her to be a “good girl”, so she was. Until now. She shed her “good girl” persona and now stands up for her beliefs, no matter the ramifications to her career. Instead of seeking approval, she now cares about being on the right side of history. She is no longer afraid to talk openly about her experience with sexual assault, her views on feminism and who she’s voting for in the election. 

 

Life is transient, so focus on what is real and important. 

Taylor talks about her mother’s fight with cancer and how this changed her perspective. While the world crucified her on social media, Taylor was spending time with her family, especially her mum. She got back in touch with what mattered. Taylor says, “do you really care if the internet doesn’t like you today if your mom’s sick from her chemo.” Ponder that. 

 

The premise of this article is that I basically resonated the heck with Taylor’s doc and felt all kinds of inspired afterwards. The message that spoke loud throughout was precisely what I needed to hear. If these points to ponder resonate with you, then I highly suggest giving it a watch, even if it’s just to see her mum’s gigantic dog or her backpack specifically made to carry her cat around.  

 

P.S. Taylor also did Todrick Halls nails for the VMAs. Iconic.

 

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There’s Something About Baz

There’s Something About Baz

Cassidy Krygger

Cassidy Krygger

Hollywood Reporter

There’s Something About Baz

“The films I make are couture frocks — extremely labor intensive. You know, they’re like a beacon. You’re not going to be making something that will endure or have an imprint on the culture if it isn’t drawing violent juxtaposing critical responses.” – Baz Luhrmann 

If you love cinema, then you know about the Australian director, producer and writer Baz Luhrmann. Having four of his five films in the top 10 highest-grossing films in Australia, his mark on the film industry Down Under is indelible. But just who is the man behind the movie magic?

The man we know as Baz Luhrmann was born Mark Anthony Luhrmann on September 17, 1962, and raised in the small rural town, Herons Creek on the North Coast of New South Wales. With a population of only 247 people, entertainment was limited for the young boy with a creative genius flair. Luhrmann spent the majority of childhood watching old films in his parent’s movie theatre.  

 

But a theatre show about Ballroom Dancing is where this story truly begins. While studying at NIDA in 1983, Baz and a group of fellow acting students put together a short 20-minute play about a young male Ballroom dancer who shunned convention. The reaction was ecstatic, and Baz discovered something about himself, he later told The Guardian,  “I knew for good or bad I would be making shows for the rest of my life.” And so it began. 

 

Luhrmann and his creative team, now called Six Years Old, joined the Sydney Theatre Company and this is where the fully fleshed out production of Strictly Ballroom came to life.

Movie producers saw the theatre show and offered to transform the play into a feature film. Luhrmann agreed but only if he was to direct. Baz, the Hollywood movie director, was born. 

After the surprise worldwide success of Strictly Ballroom (who would have thought ballroom dancing would become trendy again and inspire an episode of The Simpsons?), Luhrmann was given the financial freedom to let his creative flair fly. He followed this success with his first big Hollywood production starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Romeo + Juliet in 1996, bringing the Shakespearean classic into modern cinema. Only Luhrmann could successfully retain Shakespeare’s original dialogue, mix it with modern America and create a spectacular twist on the classic tale of the troubled lovers. It was nothing short of genius. 

 

The arrival of Moulin Rouge! Cemented him forever amongst the Hollywood elite. The sheer brilliance of mixing the soundtrack to a smart blend of the ’80s and ’90s against a backdrop of Paris in 1903 attests to Baz Luhrmann’s quirky brilliance. Not surprisingly, Moulin Rouge! Was nominated for Best Picture, Luhrmann’s only Academy Award nomination. Interestingly, at the same Academy Awards, he was snubbed for Best Director leading the show’s host Whoopi Goldberg to quip “I guess Moulin Rouge! just directed itself.” 

Stepping away from musicals, but keeping with the troubled lovers narrative, Baz Luhrmann partnered once again with his Moulin Rouge leading lady Nicole Kidman to deliver Australia. A love of letter of sorts to his home and Australia’s first people. He provided a porthole for the world to see elements and parts of Australia not often explored. 

 

Bring on another set of troubled lovers, the most epic party you’ve ever seen, complete with 3D filming, the most bopping soundtrack, and that my friends lead to 350 million US dollars at the box office. Please enter the stage… The Great Gatsby, Luhrmann’s most financially successful film to date.

 

The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, will be interpreted and brought alive with Luhrmann’s magic in 2021 with a biopic currently in production on the Gold Coast. The mind boggles with costume possibilities, rhinestones and the musical genius and magic that is to come. 

Baz has become known for his lavish productions, over the top and opulent set designs and his love of heightened reality. 

All five of Luhrmann’s films have been inspired by Italian Grand Opera with a mixture of Old Hollywood Musicals and Bollywood movies thrown in.

So why, with only one Academy Award nomination, hasn’t he been more widely recognised from Hollywood? I’ll leave you to ponder that. 

 

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Eight Young Rising Stars

Eight Young Rising Stars

Eight Young Rising Stars to Watch for 2020

by Ponderings Radio

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Wordsmith

Eight Young Rising Stars

In need of some fresh, new Australian talent to get excited about? Well, you have come to the right place Ponderer. 

 

Brenda Ueland once said, “Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.” This may be true, but not everyone has the bravery and determination to share their talent with the universe, letting us all have a bite of it. 

 

So, without further ado, let’s look at eight Australian youngins to keep your eyes peeled for in 2020. 

 

Cassidy Krygger 

(actress)

Sparkling new talent, Cassidy Krygger is an aspiring actress. She has been featured in The Slap, Theatre productions Wuthering Heights, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and her portfolio runs like a “WATCH THIS SPACE” advert. She’s purely amazing. 

 

Shantae Barnes-Cowan 

(actress)

The Casting Guild of Australia chose this phenomenal actress as one of the top rising stars for 2019. She made her screen debut in the television drama series Total Control, working alongside screen icon Deborah Mailman. We will see her next in the espionage thriller Fallout, due to air on the ABC this year. 

 

TL Mach 

(boxer)

After achieving back-to-back national titles last year, Geelong boxer TL Mach plans to go pro this March. The 19-year-old is a four-time state champion and is ready to take the next step in his career. The Sudanese refugee is dubbed a “boxing sensation”. Just watch his lightning-fast speed with the skipper rope at training. 

 

Amani Haydar 

(artist)

Amani used art to find her voice after her father murdered her mother, Salwa Haydar, in 2015. She has already gained a lot of respect for her paintings and illustrations, which frequently depict women expressing bittersweet emotion. The self-taught artist uses her work to celebrate hope and resilience. 

 

Sariah Paki

(rugby player)

Her bone-crushing hits and powerhouse strength has afforded Sariah the nickname “Big Girl”. She made her World Series debut with the Aussie Sevens last year at the remarkably young age of 17, making her the youngest Aussie Sevens player in history. Go girl!

 

Genesis Owusu

(musician)

What do you get when jazz and hip-hop collide? Delicious sound for the ears. Genesis Owusu leads Australia’s new wave of hip-hop at only 20 years of age. His hits ‘Sideways’, ‘awomen amen’ and ‘Wit’ Da Team’ have captured people’s attention. He is definitely one to watch!

Kira Puru

(musician) 

Kira Puru is one of Australia’s most exciting new pop acts. She released her debut solo EP in 2018, full of funky colourful music. Kira has worked with big names such as Illy, Paul Kelly and Urthboy and is known for her dynamic live performances. You’ll find her at every second music festival. 

Kwame 

(musician)

This 20-year-old rapper and producer from Sydney has already released two EP’s and opened Splendour in the Grass. His musical dreams began when he was just 12 years old and heard Kanye West’s hit “Power”. Now, he is the talk of the town. Or the country I should say.

It’s always fun to support home-grown talent. How wonderful that we get to sit back and watch their careers flourish and dreams come true? Here’s to the magical genius of youth in 2020!

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