St Margaret’s Old Girl Etienne Steven (’20), who this year rose to national prominence following her appearances on The Voice Australia, says the post-school years are about “growing, maturing and learning about yourself”, wisdom she shared with St Margaret’s next generation of aspiring young women recently.
The Queensland Conservatorium third year jazz music student offered practical advice for senior students at the October Aspiring Young Women’s Network Breakfast, including networking, becoming financially educated and the importance of consistently taking care of your health.
Etienne also emphasised the attributes of resilience, confidence and courage as keys to success, which in her case led her to audition for The Voice Australia and to join jazz royalty Vince Jones on stage in concert.
Etienne’s passion for music was nurtured at St Margaret’s where she was given several opportunities to pursue her gift. After being encouraged to audition for the school musical, she was successfully cast as the lead role of Morticia in The Addams Family, an experience she says “totally changed my perspective on everything”.
She started to pursue her passion for music with more enthusiasm, taking up vocal lessons under the tutelage of experienced voice teacher Stephanie Taylor. In Year 12, she held the leadership role of Choral Captain.
Etienne was also encouraged by both Stephanie and St Margaret’s Head of Performance Mr King to continue to pursue her musical talents through the Griffith University’s Conservatorium of Music jazz program where she has continued to focus on music.
Year 11 student Ava Barber is hoping to pursue a career in music herself when she finishes school and found Etienne’s story inspiring.
“I would love to continue playing the flute and pursue a career in music and law.
“Etienne’s honest account showed there will be setbacks and challenges to overcome, but I loved how she shared her belief it is all worth it to pursue a career you love,” said Ava.
Year 11 Grace Marchant sang at the event and said: “As a performer, it is often hard to believe in yourself. Personally, I found Etienne's self-belief was the most inspiring part of her journey. It was clear through both speaking personally with Etienne and her address to the group that her levels of self-belief when it comes to performing have always been significant, a quality which I sometimes struggle with when singing, so I found it very inspiring.”
In her conclusion, Etienne shared a photo of her performing at Battle of the Bands when she was in Year 9 alongside a photo of her performing on the national television show The Voice Australia.
“I would have never thought, standing there under the undercroft, that I was going to be standing on The Voice Australia stage. There are so many possibilities, keep working hard, keep believing and keep pushing yourself because you are capable of much more than you think,” Etienne said.
Thank you to the event sponsors for their support, including Cressbrook Station Pastoral and Pitcher Partners.