about me

I live in the Scenic Rim, Queensland, Australia. playing and teaching music, and writing features and reviews. I am interested in creative collaborations, so please get in touch here if you would like to discuss an idea!

Joanna’s bio

In Queensland, Joanna teaches piano at McAuley College in Beaudesert, and gives private piano lessons in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. She copywrites for Agency 888 and writes for Scenestr and other publications. She is represented by 888 for commercial work. Joanna plays at a resort and is in a local band. She has played for musical theatre and owns a melodica that she plays anywhere they let her.

Joanna is British Chinese, born in London to Malaysian Chinese parents. She has lived in London and Hampshire in the UK, New York City, Western France, Singapore, Malaysia and now resides in regional Queensland, Australia.

After working for five years as a bond dealer, Joanna switched to financial news and stayed in that field for 16 years in London. During that time she also had her first taste of music journalism writing for Straight No Chaser. In 2008 she took voluntary redundancy from the then newly-merged financial newswire ThomsonReuters.

Joanna published a book about music in 2012, quite inadvertently. She moved with her son to her parents’ birthplace Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, and spent four years discovering her roots. She became resident pianist in the Jesselton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, listened to a lot of live music and wrote a blog about the musicians. Joanna saw that the history of her family was directly linked to the development of Sabah. That idea of a shared history was a completely new and very moving experience. When she announced that the family was moving to Australia, there was widespread support to turn the blog into a book. The result was 1000 copies of a beautiful coffee table book residing in the Sabah State Library, the Sabah Tourism Board, libraries and bookstores across Malaysia, and in hundreds of households of Sabahan musicians and their extended families. At the book launch, it was said that Joanna gifted Sabah with documentation of their living history. Joanna believes it is Sabah which claimed her, blessed her with a sense of belonging and made her complete.