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Albury's Young Citizen of the Year heads south to pursue musical dream

15 Mar 2011

Fairfield-based singer songwriter Emma Percy has been performing in her home town of Albury, NSW, since she was in primary school. This year, however, Emma migrated south to pursue a life-long dream of a career in music and enrolled in NMIT's Certificate III in Music.

Emma, now aged 18, also recently became a local celebrity in her home town after, being named Young Citizen of the Year at the Albury Australia Day celebrations.

Emma says she was surprised to win the award at the Australia Day ceremony after being nominated by her teacher. “It was a shock even though I knew I was nominated. It's quite humbling.”

A lifelong love of music led to her involvement in various bands and choirs when she was growing up. But it was her participation in programs like the Kool Schools Recording Project and performances at events and fundraisers like White Balloon Day that led to her nomination for Young Citizen of the Year. The Kool Schools program invites students to record original songs and covers and Emma has been involved in performing and coaching other students for the past two years. The former school vice-captain has also been a finalist in the Australian Children's Music Foundation national songwriting competition.

She moved to Melbourne after exhausting the opportunities in her home town. After checking out other institutes, she enrolled at NMIT. “I love the culture in Melbourne. There are so many opportunities for performance, and what they have at NMIT is just fantastic. I'm so excited to wake up every day because I get to spend the whole day with musicians.”

Emma, who taught herself guitar at the age of 7, describes her music as contemporary easy listening. She plans to move on to NMIT's Advanced Diploma of Music when she finishes the certificate and expects the course will give her a good grounding in songwriting as well as performing. “Once I'm finished I'm hoping I'll be a tighter package as a musician. I'll have a broader understanding of theory and performance.”

Background: Music Student Emma Percy in Concert at the Kool Skools Awards night 2008.

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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