Memories@Merici with Jess Hutchinson (nee Chambers), Class of 2004

"I’m proud to have an extraordinary career in the arts and Merici prepared me for that."


Jess Hutchinson (Chambers) Class of 2004

My name is Jess Hutchinson (previously Chambers) and I’m an alumnus of Merici - I graduated in 2004. I remember my time there very fondly - I made wonderful friends (who I’m still close to) and had inspiring teachers, and the sense of belonging I experienced while at the school has been hard to match since. The staff at Merici helped me to uncover and nurture my gifts and figure out how I might best use them. I’m proud to have an extraordinary career in the arts and Merici prepared me for that. Critical thinking, curiosity and kindness are key to my work now and Merici fostered those qualities in me. After ten years away, I have recently moved back in Canberra, and I would be thrilled to speak to current students about my journey since school and encourage them to make the most of their time at Merici so that they might set themselves up for extraordinary futures.

Jess Chambers - Biography

After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Drama at ANU, Jess travelled to London to study a Master of Fine Arts in Voice Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama. The school’s alumni includes Judi Dench, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, and many more notable actors. The Voice Studies course there is recognised worldwide as the best training for voice coaches. Jess graduated with Distinction, and she now works internationally as a Voice and Dialect Coach. Jess coaches actors in the spoken voice. That is, she helps them to be heard and understood, and to create believable performances. Sometimes Jess is responsible for teaching them foreign accents, for example, when an Australian actor is playing a British character.

Most recently, Jess was Voice and Dialect Coach on Matilda the Musical in Australia and on the West End. She is a Voice Coach at Bell Shakespeare, where recent credits include Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard 3. Jess has coached the children’s casts for the national tours of The Sound of Music and Les Miserables. Other credits include: Sydney Theatre Company’s Power Plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Battle of Waterloo, Noises Off, Romeo and Juliet, and Storm Boy, Mel Gibson’s film Hacksaw Ridge, and productions at theatres across London and at the Shaw Festival Theatre in Canada. She also trains student actors and has taught on many undergraduate university drama courses in London and Sydney.

The AMEB recently interviewed Jess for their newsletter:

We congratulate Jess on her achievements and look forward to meeting her at an upcoming awards ceremony so that she is able to share her story with the Merici community.


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