Bringing about change through the power of her voice

Brendan Rees

Long-time Southbank resident Jannine Pattison is not afraid to put herself “out there” for the betterment of the community – and she’s fast gaining support. As an opera singer, Jannine Pattison is not shy from using her voice.

But since discovering it can also empower a community, she’s not afraid to stand up on issues that matter most to Southbank.

The passionate resident was thrown into the public eye for the first time in May this year after launching a petition calling for improved safety at the notorious Power St-City Rd intersection after a truck ploughed into a group of pedestrians.  

Her advocacy on the issue saw her land several media interviews – with her face also appearing on TV to voice her concerns, which she admitted she never expected.

“For 16 years I have sat on my balcony and witnessed so many accidents and near misses on that strip of road,” she said.

 

I decided I could sit back and be a bystander, or I could choose to stand up and have my voice heard.

 

“It is a pity that it took such a public tragedy to force the hand of change, but I am pleased the issue got all the way to the top, and the state government is investing over $3 million into designing the intersection.”

Ms Pattison has led other campaigns including raising the need for a pedestrian crossing from Balston St to Boyd Park and better safety at the Kavanagh St-Power St intersection.

She also drew 1000 signatures in another petition to protect Boyd Park from a proposed mixed-use development building but “sadly this was a battle the community did not win”.

Her drive to advocate on issues for the community stems from her love for everything that Southbank has to offer including the DFO outlet where she works as the store manager of Adairs.

Ms Pattison is also a huge fan of living in the heart of the Arts Precinct as she is a trained opera singer, having performed since she was three years old, which sparked a “life-time passion” for musical theatre.  

She is known to sing at La Camera restaurant’s “opera nights” and has also been “very fortunate” to perform many “exciting and iconic roles” in amateur and community theatre such as Maria in The Sound of Music and Valencienne in The Merry Widow and more. 

“COVID has been very difficult for the arts and entertainment industry and many of my friends have struggled with empty diaries,” she said, but added with the city emerging from lockdowns she looked forward to attending “some magnificent theatre” soon.

In the meantime, Ms Pattison and her husband Daniel love tending to their “lovely little” green tree frogs – an interest her husband developed while living in Port Douglas, Queensland.  

“I love them, they all have their own personalities. They are getting old now, we have had these guys for at least 13 years. We also have a beautiful three-year-old cat Smudge, who is our world.”   •

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