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Celebrity Spotlight: The Wiggles
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 1, No. 6 - November/December 2009

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How do The Wiggles contribute to the education of kids?

Everything we do reverberates our early childhood training which emphasised the importance of seeing things from the perspective of the child. Murray and I were both pre-school teachers, and we know that children learn best through play and music.

So that is what we incorporate into all our CDs, DVDs and live shows. Through our shows, we attempt to empower children through participation in singing and dancing.

There are many learning opportunities for children; they are exposed to a wide range of music through the many styles of music we play. We have sung songs in many different languages (Balla Balla Bambina) and of course we sing about the world children live in, where, for example, eating is a big part of the day (Hot Potato). We recognise the importance of pro-social learning and are aware of the power of the hidden curriculum - we try and promote a healthy lifestyle with songs about exercise (Getting Strong) and eating healthily (Fruit Salad).

Where did you go to school?

I went to St Bernadette's in Lalor Park (western Sydney), this is where I first started to play an instrument, the violin. I then went to Patrician Brothers Blacktown where I learned to play football and say the Rosary with an Irish accent!

My high school was St Joseph's College in Sydney where I played in the orchestra and first played guitar in a rock band called 'The Cockroaches' with two of my brothers.

Please tell us about your family

I am the youngest of seven children, there's Maria, Patrick, Colleen, Paul, Anne, John and myself. My dad was a pharmacist, he was heavily involved in the local community. He counselled addicts and ran the Parents and Friends Association at school, as well as coaching us at football. He died about ten years ago and we all still miss him terribly.

My mother always said the three most important things in life are children, music and flowers! So she made sure that all of us learned at least one musical instrument.

Now I have three children of my own, Lucia, Maria and Antonio.

What are your hobbies?

I love being on Sydney Harbour on my boat, and watching rugby league - my team is the Wests Tigers. Go the Tigers!

What was your first job?

I worked at a used car yard along Parramatta Road with some amazing characters.

I helped clean the cars, but could never have been a salesman!

What are your career highlights?

Still performing after 18 years is pretty amazing in itself. Meeting Robert De Niro and Jerry Seinfeld at a Wiggles gig. The Macys' Thanksgiving Parade in New York City, recording and filming with Slim Dusty, John Fogerty, Kylie Minogue, Rolf Harris, Troy Cassar-Daley and so many others.

What do you value most in life?

My family

What are your most unforgettable personal experiences?

My wedding, the births of my three children, seeing the Tigers win their last grand final.

What is your favourite Australian destination and why?

Home in Sydney. I love getting out on the water in my boat and of course going to Leichhardt Oval to watch the Tigers play.

What was your best overseas experience?

I'm not sure what the best overseas experience was but performing and filming on the Great Wall of China was pretty amazing!

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The Wiggles

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Get Ahead Kids® Nov/Dec 2009

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