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Talented soprano Kirsten Busby named Hunter Disability Expo ambassador

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Blind soprano sensation Kirsten Busby will make a triumphant return to Newcastle this week as the ambassador for the Hunter Disability Expo.

The free event, focusing on people with disabilities, families and caregivers, is scheduled to take place at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May from 9am until 3pm.

Ms Busby, known for her extraordinary talent and passionate advocacy for disability rights, will open the expo with a stirring vocal performance and share her journey of overcoming challenges to succeed in the arts world.   

She started her formal classical training in 2014, as a soloist in the ACT, performing at the Opera Australia emerging artist’s concert, the High Court Christmas Party and for Judith Clingan in Songs of Passion and Compassion in 2015.

Along the way, she won the highly sought-after leading role of Cosette in Gungahlin College’s Les Miserables and participated in Sweeney Todd.

After performing Time to Say Goodbye at the ACT Education Directorate’s Step into the Limelight: Inspire Concert, Ms Busby received the 23rd Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) Award for Best Variety Performance by an Individual or Ensemble in 2017.

She then moved to Newcastle in 2018 to begin her Bachelor of Music and Diploma of Languages at the University of Newcastle.

Also, she’s sung with Opera Hunter, Newcastle University Choir, Ecology, and the Christchurch Cathedral Choir, as well as performing in shows for Maitland Musical Society including A Night with Gilbert and Sullivan, Showstoppers and Wizard of Oz Retro

Ms Busby’s now making her mark in Sydney to great acclaim.

“We are so honoured to have Kirsten’s presence at the Hunter Disability Expo,” director Kathryn Carey said.

“She’s faced and overcome numerous challenges throughout her career.

“For example, directors were hesitant to cast her in performances.

“However, she broke out of the stigma and has earned praise on global stages.

“She’ll relay her story onstage to inspire others to break through limitations.  

“So, Kirsten perfectly represents the empowerment that defines all our expos.”

With approximately 75,884 people in the region living with profound or severe disabilities, comprising 6.6% of the population (compared to NSW’s 5.6%), the Hunter Disability Expo aims to support the local community by bringing together hundreds of service providers in an inclusive environment.  

Unique to this year is the inclusion of Scuba Gym Australia.

“They offer innovative scuba therapy experiences for people with disabilities – including MS, autism, and quadriplegics; removing all their limitations while underwater, strengthening their minds and using the parts of their bodies they don’t use in everyday life,” Ms Carey said.

“Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon, a fifth-generation Novocastrian who has worked in the community-based disabilities sector, will attend the opening ceremony, too.

“Our partnership with BindiMaps will also ensure accessibility for people with low vision to navigate the venue easily.

“Additionally, the expo will showcase NDIS providers, which offer a range of services, including independent living support, mental health services like Sunflower Services and social leisure opportunities like Balloon Aloft.”

For further details, visit www.hunterdisabilityexpo.com.au  

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