Annette Hawkins

Singer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, Entertainer.

2008 Norfolk Island Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year.

Annette Hawkins was born in Whangarei, New Zealand on the 6th of November 1965, and hasn’t left Whangarei since, except on holidays. She is the eldest of 4 children – 3 girls and 1 boy. All Schooling was in Whangarei, Primary, Intermediate and High school, left school at the age of 16.

While growing up my family spent holidays at their Bach in Ngunguru, a local beach where I enjoyed swimming and water skiing. We also had quite a lot of social occasions which is where I can first remember hearing Country Music, such as Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, and Charley Pride just to list some of the many. Guitars and singing seemed to go till early morning while growing up.

Through family and friends I was introduced to the local Country Music Club at the age of 10. I can remember the song I sang – ‘Amazing Grace’. It was the song I was practicing as I had a solo part in it for Church through being a member of The Girls Brigade. A family friend (Silver Kanara) heard me practicing as he walked past my bedroom window into the house and suggested I go to Club. I always wondered were dad went on Sunday Nights – now I know! That was that, and I’ve been there ever since.

The first Award I won at Club was the “Most Improved Artist”, a real trophy in the shape of a guitar with a canvas covered wagon on it; it even had my name on it. I treasured it for a whole year, I was so proud. It sat on top the TV for all to see.

Silver Kanara, our family Friend was a well known musician, and had his own band and he would get dad to take me to where he was playing, socials and balls and I would perform the supper waltz, the memory is as clear as yesterday, even down to what I wore. I must have been about 10 or 11 years old. This went on for some years, sadly he passed away .I got invited to do ’brackets’ in a Band called the OutLaws, (Wallace Family band).Also the Dealers were another local band I did brackets with. Later in my teenage years, my sister Karyn and I were part of a band called Pasadena, and played at local functions.

Growing up within the Whangarei Country music club family led my family down many a road all over the country to listen and partake in bus trips, concerts and charity work and awards. In which I had the pleasure of meeting and performing on show with Rusty Greaves, Pasty Riggir, Suzanne Prentice, Jody Vaughn, Gray Bartlett, Brendon Duggan, Tony Williams and Jan Copper. We also visited many clubs along the way and became members of many, while my sisters and I were young, and travelled regularly to their club days or evenings. Those clubs were Little Tennesse Country Music Club and Hibiscus Coast Country Music Club.

Family time and Holidays were also spent involved with the Country Music Awards Circuit, which lead to travelling around NZ entering Awards and enjoying meeting friends and listening to music, which I still enjoy doing now. Back then my younger sisters Joanne and Karyn would sing as well. As a group we were known as the Dixielanders, and the girls would do a duo act together. The first award I entered in was the Auckland Country Music Awards, in the days when it was held in the Auckland Town Hall – an amazing place to perform in. Many a story could be told of our trips away with country music.

I Left school at 16 to do a hairdressing apprenticeship, which led me to own and manage a salon for 8 years, then I rented a chair in a salon for a further 8 years, Somewhere in this time I completed a Aromatherapy/Massage diploma and operated my own clinic for 3 years. Now I work from home hairdressing and studying a new alternative health system, called Body Talk. Just awesome!

In-between all this I Live on a 40 acre block, 12Kms from Whangarei with my husband Reece of 16 years. We rear calves, a few sheep, and there’s housework and gardens to keep up. I have 2 Donkeys, Jenny the mare and Elvis – an up and coming 4 year old gelding – Elvis was only 10 days old when he arrived and at present he’s such a lovely boy and we spend a lot of time together (a real time waster).He’s my baby.

7 years ago I teamed up with Kim Copedo to form a Duo Act for the Awards. We now work together as a two piece band working RSA and festivals etc.

I have continued to enter awards as a solo artist throughout New Zealand. I have enjoyed learning the art of song writing, I just need more time or to make some time. I have appeared on the NZCMA Entertainer of the Year award show as a senior finalist in 1999. In 2005 a Finalist in the song writing section of the NZCMA E.O.Y awards, a song which was co-written with Kim Copedo.

I have travelled around NZ performing in showcases and doing charity concert work and loving every aspect of it – performing, friendship and sharing country music. Overseas I have had the pleasure of supporting Kim Copedo on Norfolk Island for the Trans Tasman Festival as well as having a holiday, and entertaining at the festival in the local township street, RSL and golf club.

Artists I have performed with this far: Dennis Marsh, Laura Downing, Wayne Horsburgh, Joy Adams, Brendan Douggan, Jody Vaughn, and Roger Tibbs. What I listen to at the moment: Patsy Cline (what a voice!), Laura Downing, Ricky Van Shelton, George Strait, Carter and Carter, Asleep at the Wheel, Melinda Schneider, and Belinda Gail to name a few.

“If you spread your dreams before you like a stair way to the sky, no star you dare to reach for will ever be too high.”

Take care,