Join over 5,000 people who receive the Anecdotally newsletter—and receive our free ebook Character Trumps Credentials.
- Business storytelling
- Corporate Storytelling
- Employee Engagement
- Leadership Posts
- May 2023
- April 2023
- March 2023
- February 2023
- January 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
181 – It’s never too late – Judith Curphey
Filed in Anecdotes, Podcast
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS
It’s never too late; if you believe something should be different, try to change it. Listen to hear how Judith Curphey went from retirement to founding and training one of Australia’s most renowned choirs.
This week on Anecdotally Speaking, Shawn shares the story behind the Australian Girls Choir, which famously featured in QANTAS’ I Still Call Australia Home campaign. Judith Curphey founded the choir after retiring from her career as a music teacher, tiring of the common belief of the time that boys were better singers than girls.
Later in the episode, Mark invites listeners to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Anecdotally, from where we’ll point you towards our latest and best content! You can do so here.
For your story bank
Tags: beliefs, bias, change, growth, making a difference
This story starts at 01:50
In 1984 and at 55 years old, Judith Curphey retired from her career as a music teacher. She’d worked as a Music Director across girls’ schools in Melbourne and had worked in London too.
But she was bothered by the common belief of the time that boys were better singers than girls. The famous choirs of the day were all boys’ choirs.
So she decided to do what she could to change it and started a company that trained girls to sing in choirs—the Australian Girls Choir.
Judith enlisted her family to help. Her mum worked in administration for the company, and her sister worked in logistics, leaving Judith tutoring. They held four classes in Burwood, Melbourne, and had 150 students.
Judith had the instinct that their choir training would need to be rigorous to be respected. So she implemented a uniform and strict rules for her students, governing how they dressed and behaved.
But she also knew that children learned best and persisted when they had fun, so she filled their classes with games.
Under her leadership, the Australian Girls Choir grew and grew. The company is now represented in each Australian capital city and trains some 7,000 girls.
Judith is 94 and is still active in the company. In 2004, she received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to music, particularly through the Australian Girls Choir.
About Anecdote International
Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.