As a high school student, Hannah Yates was told by more than one teacher that she’d never get anywhere in life simply because she comes from Elizabeth. Not surprisingly, Hannah found this very upsetting. Her hurt feelings didn’t last long, however. She used it as motivation to prove the naysayers wrong.
Hannah radiates a positive energy, and with her gregarious nature and a healthy dose of Elizabethan mongrel, it’s no surprise that she is finding success in her chosen field of music.
After completing Year 12, Hannah entered the prestigious Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide whose alumni include Lionel Logue, Anna Goldsworthy and many other musicians and composers of note. Despite negative public attitudes about her background, Hannah completed a degree in popular music and creative technologies. She is currently studying for her master’s degree, exploring the preservation of indigenous culture and language through music. Hannah is passionate about the language and culture of the Kaurna people on whose traditional lands Elizabeth is situated.
There are many things outside her study that keep Hannah busy, all of which she approaches with strong values and robust enthusiasm. Something that gives her immense satisfaction is working with the Department of Education and Child Services, where she regularly talks with school principals to raise awareness of the stereotyping that can derail even the most promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She also works directly with kids letting them know that, just like her, they too can make it in this world regardless of where they come from.
Hannah loves Elizabeth and finds it hard to think about leaving. Even if she should move away for the sake of her career in music, she says, “I’ll always be an Elizabeth girl”.