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Media Image 'Endless Universe'. Image credit: NASA M42 and graphic design by Melbourne Planetarium, 2023.

 

JENNA'S BIOGRAPHY

Scottish-Australian Jenna Robertson is a Certified Coach and Internationally Award-Winning Artist, based on Wangerriburra Country, Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia.

COACHING + LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT 

Known for her heart-opening, otherworldly and transformational presence, Jenna runs a consistently full practice as a Certified Regenerative Leadership + Life Coach. She supports executives, entrepreneurs and creative professionals worldwide and across sectors in their inner and outer regeneration.


Jenna founded her coaching practice in 2019 through demand from people wanting to work with her. She graduated from the Beautiful You Coaching Academy in 2022, where she was a finalist for Trainee of the Year and became a Certified Coach in 2023. Jenna was a Doctoral Candidate at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University from 2021-2024, where she researched the intersection of creative practice and regenerative leadership.

In 2022, Australia Council for the Arts funded her action research project, Burnout to Regeneration (in collaboration with Joel Carnegie), exploring regenerative business models for independent creative producers, which saw her host a leadership retreat in 2022 and presenting (and singing) at 2023 arts leadership conference APAX in Cairns.

 

In 2023, in addition to her 1:1 work, she started working with groups and organisations and delivered her leadership development program Creative Change Makers for visionary performers. In 2024, she has surpassed 300 coaching hours in her practice and is pursuing International Coaching Federation ACC certification.

Those who have supported Jenna's evolution as a regenerative leader and coach through their teaching, coaching or writings include Emily Lane (Evolutionary Intelligence Academy), Julie Parker, (Beautiful You Coaching Academy), Laura Storm (Regenerators Academy), Giles Hutchins, Otto Scharmer and the Presencing Institute Team (MIT), Heather Plett (Centre for Holding Space), Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan, Brad Peirce  and Cynthia Scott (Regenerative Change Lab), Jolinda Johnson, Lydia Fairhall, Dr Mary Graham, Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng, Jade Kennedy, Tyson Yunkaporta, Frederik Laloux, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, her ancestors and more.

THE EVOLUTIONARY CREATRIX

Jenna is an internationally award-winning singer, creative and executive arts leader with over twenty years’ experience across opera, music and film. Robertson's trailblazing leadership established her as one of Australia's leading independent creative producers.

Jenna's arts projects have engaged 974 artists, arts workers and community participants as well as 9550 audience members.

Robertson’s fearless vocal practice as a singer is grounded in the classical genre with an extension to folk and contemporary. An experienced operatic soprano, with fifteen leading roles from 2010-2021, from traditional to experimental, she has performed across Australia and the UK.

In 2020, she emerged as a powerhouse creator, writer, director, composer and producer of new voice-centred works in music and film. Her works embody advocacy for regenerative human evolution. She boldly explores the most complex issues of our time and combines her diverse knowledge and personal vulnerability with her creative practice.  

“The experience changed my view on the future of our planet

and inspired me on a micro level to make change.”

Endless Universe, Brisbane Survey Respondent, 2023

 

Her genre- and form-bending, debut concept album Unravelling the Voice was released in 2024 and her ground-breaking, autobiographical short chamber opera Spirit Orphan: Mountain Fire had its world premiere in the 2021 Brisbane Music Festival and was nominated for the APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards Performance of the Year category.

 

Her multi award-winning short film Spirit Orphan about the creative process of making the opera (directed by Salvador Cantellano) was awarded and/or screened in three continents in 2021-2 and seeded a music feature documentary in progress. 

Formerly a Chemical Engineer, Robertson blends art and science to create shows for Planetariums. Her planetarium work Return to Planet Earth, debuted at Brisbane Planetarium for World Science Festival 2021. Her most recent planetarium work, Endless Universe, premiered at the Brisbane Planetarium during 2022 World Space Week, and for 2023 National Science Week, returned to Brisbane Planetarium and debuted at the Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks.

Her expansion as a creative was enabled by graduating from the 2017 NIDA Open Directors Studio (Stage & Film) in Sydney and her place in Generate GC (Situate - Art in Festivals) from 2019-2020: a program to support artists to seed new works through creative labs and mentoring from Australia's top independent artists.  She completed the Force Majeure 2020 INCITE dance theatre making masterclass with Danielle Micich and Ghenoa Gela in Sydney.

She was a 2021-2 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leader and a board member for national arts peak body PAC Australia from 2020-2022 advocating for independent artists and producers at the national level.  She was a popular Arts Critic for The Music Trust and Australian Book Review.

VISIONARY LEADER IN OPERA (2011-2022)

"Robertson made a significant contribution to supporting emerging

singers and broadening the operatic repertoire for WA audiences”

Limelight Magazine, 2017

Prior to focusing solely on the creation of new works, Jenna’s 15 years of executive and artistic leadership spanned the breadth and depth of opera including performance, programming, casting and producing for traditional opera, creating and producing of new opera, and a decade producing regional community opera. Beyond this capacity to hold space for small and large-scale producing, Jenna also demonstrated the capacity to joyfully perform in all her projects.  ​In 2020, Jenna was one of thirty selected globally for the inaugural Beth Morrison Projects Producer Academy (global leaders in contemporary opera producing, New York, USA). 

From 2013-2021, Jenna worked on community opera projects in QLD and WA. As well as working with the Festival Directors on the 2019 Queensland Music Festival on outcomes reporting and on their Opera at Jimbour project, that same year she created The Opera Gala for Albany Arts Festival.  Building on an established relationship with community musicians in Albany, and a community-led model of combining visiting artists and community musicians, The Opera Gala was a bespoke operatic gala that also programmed world premieres of a local composer's work.  

 

This led to groundbreaking 2021 project La Traviata in Concert, which proposed new ways of producing grand opera in regional areas to maximise community outcomes.  91% of the 100+ performers in this grand project were from the local regional community alongside international stars, cited by local musicians as a highlight of their careers.  Watch a short documentary about the project here, produced by Jenna and directed by regional filmmaker Rob Castiglione.

In 2011, Jenna was a founding member of opera company, Operabox, in Perth, WA focused on creating a large-scale experience for the full suite of opera practitioners to hone their craft. OperaBox remains to this day the only opera company in WA (other than the State company), to have consistently produced fully staged grand operas with orchestra.  From 2014, in addition to Chair of the Board and Creative Producer positions, she took a leading role in the Artistic Directorship and financial growth of the company, solidifying OperaBox as “an innovative and professional contributor to the WA opera scene” (Noted, 2016). The company was wound up in 2023, distributing all its funds to the next generation of grassroots opera producers through the Operabox Emerging Arts Leadership Awards.

BALANCING ARTS WITH ENGINEERING (2006-2015)

 

Jenna worked in parallel with her arts practice for a decade internationally as a Chartered Chemical Engineer (Russia, UK, Australia, Netherlands, USA). In this capacity, she won prestigious industry level awards (CME Women in Resources WA and Salters Institute UK) and was earmarked for executive leadership. Here she developed strength in leading large and complex projects, in public speaking and in group facilitation.  

 

Jenna graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh with an MEng in Chemical Engineering as well as receiving a Music Scholarship for the duration of her studies providing tuition and performance experience in collaboration with Edinburgh University.

(C) Apr 2024

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