Anna Coles and Zara Lowe

Anna Coles and Zara Lowe on stage at Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

From Actor to Adjudicator


The Sydney Eisteddfod team is happy to welcome former alumnus, Annelise McCarthy to the official Speech & Drama adjudicator ranks.

Having developed her love for performing early on, Annelise has been involved with Sydney Eisteddfod from an early age, with drama in particular playing a significantly influential role in her early life. 

“As a young girl I had an adorable lisp, but it affected my ability to speak clearly, so my parents enrolled me in a speech program at school. Over time my lisp began to slowly get better and better” Annelise said.

With her speech tremendously improved, but her confidence trailing behind, Annelise joined her first amateur theatre production company to gain more confidence in speaking and performing, gradually discovering her life-long passion for speech and drama.

“To engage someone, whether it be an audience or singular person, and to share a story with them or inform them of something you care about was a skill I knew I wanted to perfect. It was an art form I fell in love with and to this day am incredibly passionate about.” Annelise said.

With a wealth of knowledge and experience behind her, Annelise is getting ready to face the challenges of being an adjudicator, reflecting on a time, not so long ago, where she was the one being judged on stage.

“Being a judge is a very special experience as the opportunity to mentor and guide young people is incredibly rare. It is quite a nostalgic experience for me as it feels not too long ago that I was up on stage fighting down a stomach full of butterflies and trying to remember my lines!” Annelise said.

Having experienced the Sydney Eisteddfod process first hand, Annelise says that the key to not getting nervous or overwhelmed is the remember to stay positive and have fun, regardless of the results.

“Challenge yourself, enjoy yourself and be positive towards those around you. It’s always rewarding to see a performer truly enjoy themselves and I hope to remind contestants that, regardless of the result, the experience you have and the memories you make are the most important thing.” Annelise said.