My Favourite Teacher – Winston Hillyer

I’m Winston Hillyer. We’re here at Rowville Secondary College. Nowadays, I am a performer in the arts. Acting, singing, musicals…yes. So I went over to Germany, I ended up staying over
in Europe for about ten years. I did Lion King for three and a half years. Went on to do two separate productions of Hair, Joseph. Worked on new musicals with writers that
helped write the original production of Les Miserables and things like that. Doing studio sessions, yeah I’ve been quite lucky. My memories of this school was
every day down in the music room annoying the music teachers,
skipping maths. Going to the music room, yeah all of that. First off I’ve got Nick Lowes and he was my Yr. 9 drama teacher. I met you… look I think it would have been
Yr. 7 wouldn’t it? Yeah, I think so. I’ve got vague memories of you as a tiny… Well it was a while ago. In the beginner band playing trumpet. Yeah. I didn’t really know what drama was at the time. I’d never thought of acting as a possibility for me,
I never thought it was… I thought it was just a class where
they just went and had fun. He got us to do an exercise and
he had me miming washing a car and it wasn’t until I finished the exercise
and he said to me… ‘You ever thought about acting?’ That stuck with me. I never thought about it I never comprehended it. So Nick really introduced me
to the whole acting world. And then I’ve got my Yr. 10 and 11
English teacher – Carolanne Collins. Well when I first came into her classroom I hated anything that was academic. But it was in that Yr. 10 class that
I was introduced to Romeo and Juliet and all of a sudden that idea of text
not just being a story of words in a book but actually coming to life and
people saying those words to each other Carolanne helped me do that. And then she started encouraging me to write. I’d discover him sitting there writing,
drawing and writing away lyrics and just such heartfelt lyrics and I thought ‘Wow!’ You know… This guy’s got such a heart and soul… and I said to you ‘You’ve just got to… you have to!’ I remember that. You have to write songs, you have to perform the songs. Yeah. It’s all… everything for me… A nation without the arts is a nation without a voice and these teachers helping me to find my voice within myself as a student to be able to express that as a performer… I couldn’t have done it without these guys.

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