“I knew even as a child that I would be identifying with the world through music. At six I started playing the piano. At thirteen I was singing solos in school concerts. I loved all sorts of music – opera, jazz, gospel, musical comedy and pop.
I collected an enormous amount of sheet music and would swap between different styles, experimenting both on the piano and with my voice.
My earliest influence was my father who played the piano. When I was growing up I enjoyed a wide range of artists; a major influence was Tom Springfield. He wrote a number of The Seekers most popular songs.
He had a vision of a commercially popular sound made up of my voice backed by the harmonies of the boys.
In terms of music the most memorable was probably the first time I received a standing ovation. This was at the Myer Music Bowl in 1961. I sang The Lord’s Prayer. To realise I could move an audience to that degree was an amazing experience.
Meeting my husband was the most significant event in my life overall. He was also a major influence on my development of alternative ways of thinking – an awareness of environmental and social issues.
Vegetarianism and a cruelty free lifestyle are very important to me.
When I first became a vegetarian I didn’t think much about animals. However once I had stopped eating them I started to think about how they were being treated. Through a sort of natural evolution I became a more compassionate person. I can remember starting to shop in health food shops in England and noticing a range of beauty products produced by Beauty Without Cruelty.
Until then I had not been aware that there was cruelty involved in the beauty industry. Some time later I came in touch with Choose Cruelty Free in Australia. Through CCF I realised how many alternatives there were. I tried out products by different cruelty-free companies. Prior to that I had always suffered from eye allergies. Cruelty-free products didn’t irritate my eyes at all.
Music is a powerful vehicle for any message. Songs stay with us and influence the way we think, our opinions and our philosophy on life. I believe we must all try in our own way to work towards improving the world. I would like to think that I am helping in my way, through my music. ”