Playing the country girl comes naturally to Thorpdale’s own Alicia Gardiner and helped launch her successful career in the Australian entertainment industry.
Performing began as child’s play for Alicia and from an early age her first loves were singing and dancing.
Born in Melbourne, Alicia grew up on small farmlet in Thorpdale on about ten acres. She was just an infant when her family moved to the Latrobe Valley for her dad’s work at Loy Yang. Initially, they lived in Traralgon before relocating the short distance to Thorpdale.
Alicia discovered the joy of expression through sound and movement at an early age. She smiles at the memory of special times spent with her childhood friends the Hughes sisters on their nearby dairy farm.
“We would put on shows and sing to the cows with plastic tubing as a microphone,” Alicia recalls.
Those were the days of Young Talent Time and Alicia and her friends were girls who wanted to sing their hearts out and entertain just like the up and coming stars they watched on the television every week.
“My interest in performing definitely originated from those early years in Thorpdale,” Alicia comments.
“Dad was the President of the local football club and as part of their social activities they would put on revues at the clubrooms and town hall. As a young girl, I loved watching those shows. It was all a bit wild and there were really no rules!”
Dancing was Alicia’s main focus for several years after she began attending dance classes in the local hall at Thorpdale from a pre-school age. She also began singing lessons with Sharon Poole. After reaching her teens, she then progressed to appearing in an amateur theatre show in Warragul as her interest widened.
“The director there took me under his wing and encouraged me to travel to Melbourne more often to see some professional shows and expand my horizons,” she remembers.
Alicia was about fifteen when her family moved again to Mirboo North, where her mum owned and operated a hairdressing salon. At seventeen, Alicia then made a life-changing decision when she came to Melbourne to study music. She enrolled at the Victorian College of the Arts to study classical voice and graduated with a Bachelor of Performance degree, majoring in Voice.
Excerpt from article written by Chris West
Image courtesy of Network Ten Melbourne (Buy a copy of the Winter Edition and read the full story ~ see where to buy)