What is your dream?
My name is Rachael Richardson and I am a classical violinist. I am 20 years old and I am a young
Indigenous woman. I am currently in 3rd year studying for a Bachelor of Music in Classical
Performance at Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide. My dream is to become an orchestral player in a
major Australian orchestra. I aim to be in a position to show diversity in classical music and aspire to
make both my family and community proud.
How did you find your passion?
I chose to learn the violin when I was 4 years old and I have always known I would be a musician. I
love music and I especially love the violin. For me there is nothing more exciting than being in the
middle of an orchestra when everybody plays the first note. Playing my violin inspires, motivates and
gives me great joy and it is central to my happiness.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
My goal for 2016 is to complete my degree successfully. Throughout the year I will be aiming to
reach new standards in my playing and performance. I aspire to build my repertoire and develop my
technique as well as grow in confidence and performance quality. I am determined to increase my
ensemble experiences by seeking out opportunities to participate in projects outside of university,
participate in Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Professional Pathways Program and develop new
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
I am studying away from home so the scholarship will assist me in completing the final year of my
degree. It will enable me to commit to my course and my practice so that I will not have to work in
an unrelated field. I will be spending the scholarship money on the maintenance of my violin and
regular rehairing of my bow. I will also be using the money to assist me with my living costs which
include board, food and daily travel as well as flights home during mid year break.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
A significant highlight was being awarded the Margaret Schofield Memorial Scholarship for
Excellence in Music following my VCE recital. I was also a finalist in the Recital Centre Bach
competition in Melbourne and was also selected for two VCE Top Class performances.
How important is inspiration in your life?
Inspiration is vital to me as I pursue a career in music. My greatest inspiration is hearing my teachers
and other violinists play beautifully. It is the sound that inspires me. When I am inspired I feel strong,
independent and empowered to practice more and pursue my goals.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
My mum. She is always there supports me in everything I do.
How will you support your community in the future?
As an Indigenous classical violinist I believe I will be in the forefront of creating an ambassadorial
role. I aim to develop leadership skills and confidence so that in the future I will be able to mentor
emerging musicians and generate new paths in music for young Indigenous musicians. I hope I will
be able to influence and inspire Indigenous girls to follow their dreams.
What’s the motto that you live by?
Keep calm and play the violin
As a violinist I enjoy a wide range of styles not only in 'Classical' music but also many other genres.
Although a few of my all time favourite works include Beethoven Triple Concerto and Sibelius Violin
Salted Fish and Chicken Rice from my favourite Malaysian restaurant
The Hobbit is definitely one of my favourites.
Favourite TV Show?
I've been hooked on The Walking Dead, but others include Red Dwarf, Mighty Boosh and Round The Twist
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Take a chance you never know what might happen!