Sebastien Izambard, Singer
Pop-opera star and TV personality, Sébastien Izambard, is perhaps best known as a member of the multi-platinum selling vocal group, Il Divo.
French-born Izambard enjoyed a pop music career in his native France before becoming a household name in 2004 after a worldwide search by Simon Cowell resulting in the formation of the Il Divo. He is an accomplished singer, composer, pianist and guitar-player, who has garnered international success appearing as a mentor and judge on UK television talent show Pop Star to Opera Star and Born to Shine.
He has performed alongside many musical greats including Johnny Hallyday, Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. Together with his Australian wife Renee, Sébastien has three beautiful children.
The Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation is delighted to have Sébastien on board in the hope that his musical talent, humanity and international appeal will bring much-needed attention to this horrifically debilitating and fatal disease.
Jessica McNamee, Actress
Jessica McNamee is a talented and well-known Australian actress. You might recognise Jessica’s beautiful face from Australian TV shows such as Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters. Jessica has also starred in several films including The Vow alongside Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. More recently she appeared in the USA Network TV series Sirens, in which she played the character of a Chicago police officer, and also the Australian ABC series The Time of our Lives. Jessica is currently shooting and soon to be seen in the Last Days of Summer.
Jessica lives in Los Angeles in the USA but regularly returns home to the Sydney, where she grew up. Jessica’s high profile, talent, compassion and interest in the Sanfilippo cause will no doubt help shine the spotlight on this catastrophic condition and the very important work of the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation.
Dan Ilic, Comedian
A self-described “comedian, film maker, writer and rabble-rouser,” Dan Ilic is a well-known Australian performer on the stage, behind the camera and on the small screen. A regular on the TV show Can of Worms and a prolific writer, Dan is perhaps best known for his parody work including Beaconsfield: The Musical, which he authored, and as a reporter on the ABC’s Hungry Beast.
Dan has his own mini media empire, Downwind Media, for which he has produced various campaigns for clients such as Dick Smith Foods, Get Up!, Apple, Honda and The Commonwealth Bank. We are excited to have Dan on board as an ambassador and occasional MC for the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation. To check out Dan’s show reel, read his blog or watch clips of his many spoofs and antics, go to: www.danilic.com
Sonia Marinelli, News reporter
Sonia Marinelli is a television news reporter for Nine News in Melbourne. Sonia was personally touched upon meeting Australian families with children battling Sanfilippo when producing a story on the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation in 2015.
Sonia is also a talented and passionate event host and MC. She has hosted numerous events, including Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights. She was also the stunning host of the inaugural Violet Diamond Ball which raises funds for the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation. We are delighted to have Sonia on board as an official ambassador for the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation in the hope she will help us to reach new audiences and assist us in our fight against this debilitating and deadly disease. With her compassion, grace and intelligence as a mother, broadcaster and story-teller, we are confident Sonia will do exactly this.
Jeannette Rowe, Author
Jeannette Rowe is a much-loved Australian children’s author and illustrator, who has sold over 4.5 million books worldwide and has had her publications translated into over 15 different languages in 23 countries.
Jeannette lives in Melbourne in a house by the sea where she illustrates and writes her best-selling books. She began her career as a primary school art teacher and curriculum writer and once worked as a talent agent in the film and advertising industry before finding her true passion: writing and illustrating children’s books.
Jeannette is known for her popular “Whose?”, “My”, “SmartyCat”, “YoYo”, “Dinosauritis” and “Guess What?” book series. Her books particularly appeal to babies and preschoolers with their flip the flap format, simple storylines and bright bold colours. Jeannette’s latest project is developing a digital application called Giggle Kids Games for the iPad and iPhone.
We are delighted to have her join our team at the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation. Jeannette is also an ambassador for Playgroup Victoria. For more information on her delightful children’s books, go to: www.jeannetterowe.com.au.
Catherine Bouchier, Soprano
Catherine Bouchier is an Australian Soprano and graduate of The Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she completed her Bachelor of Music and Diploma of Opera. During 2006/7 she was a finalist in the McDonalds Operatic Aria and Opera Foundation Australia’s; German Operatic Award, Italian Opera Award and National Opera Studio Award. She was granted the AIMS prize to study in Graz, Austria in 2007 after having made her professional operatic debut as First Bridesmaid in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and the ensemble of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd both with Opera Australia. In 2008 Catherine relocated to the UK to pursue her career and made her debut with Diva Opera in 2009 in the role of Mimi from La Boheme by Puccini appearing at the Vezere Festival and Azuriales Festival in France.
She has also performed the role of Venus in Orphee aux Enfers by Offenbach and Ida in Strauss’ party scene from Die Fledermaus at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2010 she sang the role of Micaela in Carmen by Bizet throughout the UK, France, Switzerland and the Channel Islands, also for Diva Opera. In early 2011 Catherine took part in Clonter Opera’s Masterclass series with Wyn Davies also performing in their annual Gala Concert. In July of that year she sang the role of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello for Dorset Opera under the baton of Robin Stapleton. In 2012 she returned to Dorset Opera to sing the role of Leonora in Il Trovatore by Verdi conducted by Phillip Thomas. She has performed extensively throughout Europe in concert for London Festival Opera from Puccini Festivals on the Amalfi Coast to Verdi highlights in Bari, Italy. In 2012 she performed the role of Violetta in La Traviata ‘Highlights’ by Verdi in concert for London Festival Opera at the Windsor Festival. She has appeared as a soloist for the Huddersfield Philharmonic and in March 2013 performed the roles of Georgette in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Nella in Gianni Schicchi both for Caledonia Opera in Aberdeen, Scotland.