King’s Birthday honour for local educator

LOCAL music educator Susan Reppion-Brooke has become one of the first Australians to receive a King’s Birthday honour in the reign of King Charles III. The New Norfolk woman is one of about 40 Tasmanians among the 1191 outstanding and inspirational Australians who will feature in the King’s Birthday Honours List tomorrow.

Ms Reppion-Brooke will be awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to music education. She has been a specialist music teacher in public schools in New South Wales and Tasmania and was featured in SBS-TV’s 2008 television program Inspiring Teachers. She also gave voice to singing animals in the 1998 movie Babe: Pig in the City.

“I feel very honoured to be given this award and very surprised,” Ms Reppion-Brooke said earlier tonight. “I’d like to thank whoever nominated me and I look forward to keeping making music in the valley,” she said.

Susan Reppion-Brooke.

Ms Reppion-Brook was the founding conductor and director of the Jubilate Singers Community Choir in inner-western Sydney from 1995-2011, and musical director and conductor of the Hobart Orpheus Choir from 2018-2022. Locally, she spent five years as conductor of the Derwent Valley Concert Band’s development band from 2013-17.

She has been the director of the St Matthew’s Singers at New Norfolk since 2013 and part of the 16-member St Matthew’s Motet. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic she was also part of the small Valley Baroque orchestra and she hopes that group will restart in the future.

Ms Reppion-Brooke and her husband Roger Brooke have lived in the Derwent Valley since 2012, joining family members who were already living here. The couple lived initially at Lachlan before moved into central New Norfolk several years ago.

In 2005 Ms Reppion-Brooke was awarded ABC Classic FM’s Flame Award for excellence in music education, and in 2006 she received an award for services to music education from the Conservatorium High School’s Association of Old Students.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff today congratulated all the Tasmanian recipients of awards in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours. “This is one of the highest acknowledgments of community service an Australian citizen can receive, and all the Tasmanian recipients should be proud at this appropriate recognition of their service to our community,” Mr Rockliff said. “On behalf of the Tasmanian Government, I congratulate each and every recipient on their outstanding achievement and thank them for their service to our state.”

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at www.gg.gov.au.

Congratulations Susan.

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