ArtsNational Narrabri presented its 2024 Young Arts Award to eight-year-old Fairfax Public School student Poppi Bottle-Hart on May 2, 2024.

The funds will be put towards singing tuition with tutor Mary-Anne McPherson for the talented young singer, who despite never having received formal training in vocals, won her solo section in last year’s Eisteddfod.

ArtsNational Narrabri select a school or arts related student group or individual across the Narrabri shire district to receive the annual award.

Targeting schools, local groups, and making enquiries with teachers in the arts sector, each year the search is on for talented and financially disadvantaged students or arts organisations.

Arts National Narrabri chair Elizabeth Campbell was delighted to present the award alongside Arts National Narrabri young arts co-ordinator Mrs Judy Pownall and singing tutor Mrs McPherson.

“We cover all aspects of the arts – music, vocals, dance, theatre, photography, filmmaking, artwork, wood/metalwork, textiles, sculpture, and literature.

“It is especially poignant this year to be focussing our attention on Poppi, who is a delightful, dedicated, and hardworking young student at this gorgeous little school set in the foothills of the Nandewar Ranges.

“We look forward to catching up with Poppi to hear how she is progressing throughout the year.”

“I am very happy and excited to have singing lessons. I am very proud of myself,” said Poppi on receiving the award.

Principal of Fairfax Public School, Mrs Diana Burtenshaw, added “We are very grateful to ArtsNational for this amazing and generous donation. This will enable Poppi to access learning for something that she is passionate about and is good at.

“Without the $500 donation, it is highly unlikely that Poppi would have had this opportunity. Poppi is a delightful and much-loved student who thoroughly deserves this opportunity. The Fairfax staff have given her as many opportunities from a school perspective as we can to enable her singing but this really is the icing on the cake.

“Can I personally express my thanks to ArtsNational and the members that have taken an interest in enabling this opportunity. We are so impressed that a little Year 2 student from a small rural school with little exposure could be given this opportunity. Thank you to ArtsNational for ‘looking beyond’ and identifying Poppi as your award recipient in 2024.

“We are looking forward to the progress Poppi makes with Mrs Mary-Anne McPherson as her singing tutor. Thank you to Liz Campbell, Judy Pownall and Jenny Falkiner in particular.”

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