Tania de Jong

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Tania de Jong AM
Born Arnhem, the Netherlands[1]
Origin Melbourne, Australia
Occupations Soprano, Social Entrepreneur
Instruments Voice (soprano)
Years active Since 1995
Labels Pot Pourri
Website www.taniadejong.com

Tania de Jong AM, is an Australian soprano, social entrepreneur, creative and innovation catalyst, business woman and motivational speaker. She is the co-founder and artistic director of entertainment and event company Music Theatre Australia. She is also the founder and a performer in the musical group Pot-Pourri and has released 7 albums with Pot-Pourri, as well as an improvised relaxation and meditation CD titled Soundstations with ex-Buddhist monk, Dorje. De Jong has performed with the Victoria State Opera and has performed in over 40 countries. She is the co-founder and artistic director of entertainment and event company Music Theatre Australia – MTA Entertainment and Events. De Jong has developed Creative Universe and Inspiring Minds to help unleash potential and improve wellbeing, engagement, innovation and productivity in organisations through creative thinking, innovation and leadership programs.

She is Founder and Chair of Creativity Australia which works with a range of marginalised individuals (including migrants, people with depression and disabilities and job seekers) and communities to build transformational networks through the acclaimed “With One Voice” choir social inclusion programs. Her recent TEDtalk has inspired thousands of people. de Jong consults to multinational organisations on creative leadership, capability and team building and developing a culture of innovation. She presents keynote speeches in Australia and internationally for a diverse range of conferences and events.

She is Founder and Executive Producer of Creative Innovation Global, a global future-shaping innovation forum. It is the place to learn from world-changing innovators, futurists, inspired thinkers and curious souls gathered together in an interactive community. A place to imagine the future. Creative Innovation 2013 Asia Pacific was named Corporate Event of the Year in the Global Eventex Awards.

de Jong is working on a number of creative projects including a solo CD titled Heaven on Earth with Joe Chindamo, a book on creative leadership and ECHO a new music theatre work with Stefan Cassomenos and John Romeril. She has sung in many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew.

Education[edit]

De Jong is a graduate of the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Law with Honours, and the Victorian College of the Arts with Graduate Diploma in Opera and Music Theatre and a Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Opera and Voice). She also attended college in the USA on a tennis scholarship.

Not-for-profit activities[edit]

In 1999, de Jong created The Song Room, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing access to music and arts programs in Australian schools and communities. Since 2001, The Song Room has reached over 300,000 disadvantaged children, enhancing their education, personal development and community involvement and engaging them in a passion for creativity and lifelong learning.

In November 2008, she founded not-for-profit organization Creativity Australia. Creativity Australia inspires people to find their voice through delivering creative programs that result in positive social and economic outcomes for individuals, organisations and communities.

The acclaimed With One Voice choir social inclusion and community wellbeing programs aim to recognise each unique voice. The choir programs are unique in that they deliberately build and bridge social capital. They bring together people of all ages and from all walks of life, cutting across socioeconomic, cultural, religious, generational and linguistic barriers in the pursuit of harmony. The program is an award-winning social innovation, recently named in Anthill’s Smart 100! The science of singing is proven to make you happier, healthier and smarter… but the With One Voice program offers so much more! To hear the choirs and their inspirational stories visit our video gallery online.

The With One Voice choir program deliberately brings together migrants, the unemployed, those with disabilities and disadvantage, and general citizens and workers seeking to unlock their creative potential and make a difference. The programs build bridges of The programs build bridges of understanding across all areas of society...from asylum seekers to CEOs of organisations.

The choirs provide important opportunities to develop weekly networks for friendship, belonging, wellbeing, skills, teamwork, mentoring and employment. One of the most unique parts of the With One Voice program is the Wish List, through which anyone in the choir can make a wish and other people have the opportunity to make it come true! Through the Wish List, people have been granted help with resume-writing and job interview practice, work experience and employment opportunities, free singing and guitar lessons, help with English, friend finding and much more.

When many diverse voices come together as "one voice" on a regular basis, the outcomes are transformational. Over the past five years fifteen With One Voice choir programs have been developed involving thousands of people in Victoria, NSW and now launching in Queensland. These diversity choirs have in turn reached out to thousands of people with their moving stories and inspirational performances.

Tania donates a considerable amount of time to a range of charities via performances and speaking and served on the Board of Child Abuse Prevention and Research Australia.

Discography[edit]

  • 1995: Rhythm of Life - Pot-Pourri
  • 1997: Something Familiar!, Something Peculiar! - Pot-Pourri
  • 1999: This is the Moment - Pot-Pourri
  • 2001: Friends for Life - Pot-Pourri
  • 2003: Chanson d'Amour - Pot-Pourri
  • 2004: Soundsations - Dorje and Diva (Tania de Jong & Chris Walker)
  • 2006: Nella Fantasia - Pot-Pourri
  • 2012: Silver - Pot-Pourri

Recognition[edit]

In 2006 de Jong received the Ernst and Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her work with The Song Room charity. De Jong's other awards include the "Outstanding Individual Contribution to Australian Culture" (1998) and the Accessibility Award in The Melbourne Awards (2005). She was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards (2001) and studied overseas on a Churchill Fellowship in (1996). She has recently been inducted into the AGSE Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame at Swinburne University. De Jong was named Brainlink Woman of Achievement 2009. She was a runner'up in the Westpac Community Leader Awards in 2013.

De Jong was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 for service to the arts as a performer and entrepreneur and through the establishment and development of music and arts enrichment programs for schools and communities.

Personal life[edit]

Tania was born in Arnhem Holland to her Dutch father, Henri and Austrian mother, Eva. The family came to Melbourne, Australia when Tania was one. She is one of the grandchildren of Karl and Slawa Duldig who were Polish refugees who escaped the Holocaust and came to Australia with very few possessions but a great determination to make a new life in Australia. Her grandfather, Karl Duldig, was an acclaimed Vienna-trained sculptor, and her grandmother Slawa, also trained in Vienna. She was an artist who created the world’s first modern folding umbrella in Vienna (patented in 1929). Their home in Melbourne’s Malvern East now operates as a museum, The Duldig Studio.

Her mother Eva de Jong-Duldig was the Dutch National Tennis Champion, a Federation Cup player for Australia and a quarter-finalist at Wimbeldon.

At 14, de Jong was advised by a friend not to bother with singing lessons. She finally got up the courage to audition for the chorus of the school musical Oklahoma at age 17 and won the lead role.[7] In one of her interviews, she said "I was the kid who said my favourite pop group was Beethoven."

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