Presenter Profile - Terry Larsen


TERRY LARSEN has devoted the majority of her adult life to teaching children how to become effective speakers, good communicators and confident performers.

Terry ran her own successful Speech and Drama Studio for eight years, preparing children for their speech and drama examinations, eisteddfods, oral presentations and public speaking.   She also provided remedial assistance to students experiencing speech difficulties and those underachieving in reading and the written word.   Terry’s teaching qualifications also extend to the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.

For 23 years Terry has worked within Catholic Education and is highly respected in many schools, not only as a valued member of teaching staff but as a worker within the various Parishes.  In 2010 Terry was selected as a representative to visit Rome, to attend the Canonisation of St Mary Mackillop at St Peter’s Basilica.

Over the past 16 years Terry has introduced many innovative speech and drama programs.  At St Rita’s Catholic Primary School, as their appointed Speech and Drama Specialist she worked with all year levels, incorporating role play, poetry and prose to build confidence, self-esteem and social values that supported the curriculum.   For two years Terry acted as President of their Parents and Friends Association and was a member of their Parish Council.  Over the same period Terry was the Reader at St Rita’s Catholic Parish for Sunday Masses and all special liturgical ceremonies.

Terry has worked since 1999 (and still currently) as the co-curricular Speech and Drama teacher at St Mary Mackillop Catholic Primary School and has also acted as their Specialist teacher working on drama within the curriculum, having been appointed to the foundation staff in 1996.

Over a period of 16 years, Terry has written, directed and produced a myriad of plays, musicals and scripts for end of year concerts and parent presentations.  Terry introduced students to choral verse speaking, mime, reader’s theatre, dramatic movement and improvisation.  Terry was responsible for the entire production of the ‘Mary Mackillop Celebration’. 

As a private tuition Speech and Drama Teacher, Terry worked for three years at the Springfield Anglican College.   During this time she trained children from Years 1 to 10 for examinations and eisteddfods and worked on increasing confidence, self-esteem and broadening their general knowledge of poetry and literature.

Over a period of eight years Terry has written, directed and narrated the children’s Nativity performances for the Star of the Sea Catholic Parish Christmas Eve Mass.  She is a member of the Star of the Sea Liturgy Committee responsible for planning weekly and special liturgy celebrations and is a reader at their Sunday Masses.  Terry has also directed and narrated several official events and end of year performances and presentations for Star of the Sea as well as running their co-curricular speech and drama program.

Terry has been a performer and has directed and produced many adult productions alongside her scriptwriting and teaching of children.   Through the US Playwright Association, Terry was invited to direct the 2013 international premiere of the anti-bullying play ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’

In 2010 (and currently) Terry was the co-founder of the popular Redlands Young Actors Group (RYAG).  The group caters for children from eight years of age to early teens and provides three hourly Drama Workshops and regular stage presentations.

Terry is the original creator of the Australian Performers and Speakers Syllabus (APASS), which for many years sat alongside the renowned St Cecilia’s Music Syllabus.  APASS provides the modern approach to drama and communication through step-by-step examinations.   The program was accredited by the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority (QCAA) as a recognised study contributing to the Queensland Certificate of Education (CSE).   Terry planned the new syllabus by taking into account modern day needs, providing elements of communication that will assist the upcoming generation to become more efficient communicators in a fast-changing, technological world.  Her user-friendly syllabus is designed to make examinations more student-owned, therefore adaptable to any culture and country.