Meet the Editors
Dr. Julia Nafisi
Julia Nafisi began her voice training in her hometown Munich/Germany under Kammersänger Friedrich Lenz and continued her studies in Vienna/Austria with, amongst others, Prof. KS Hilde Rössel-Majdan and Prof. KS Walter Berry, finishing with the Bühnenreifeprüfung Oper (Final Stage Examination Opera). She has appeared in opera, oratorio and recital throughout Europe and has for many years collaborated with Viennese Prof. Müller-Preis in her ‘breath-voice-movement’ (Atem-Stimme-Bewegung) work.
Upon moving to Australia, Julia has completed a MMus (Vocal Pedagogy) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, a Grad Dip Ed at the Australian Catholic University and a PhD at Monash University. She divides her time between performing, teaching and researching, the latter with a focus on 'the role of gesture and body-movement in voice teaching/therapy and performance' as well as 'German Lieder in Australia' and has published numerous articles on both topics. Julia currently teaches Voice at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Audiology and Speech-Pathology at the University of Melbourne.
Julia is the current president of the Victorian chapter of ANATS and a national board director of ANATS Ltd. She took on the role of editor of Australian Voice in early 2018 and is looking forward to expanding the scope and impact of the journal to affirm its place within the international landscape of scholarly publications in the field of singing and voice pedagogy.
Dr. Melissa Forbes
Melissa Forbes is a singing voice practitioner-researcher and music educator. Melissa is currently Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Singing in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Prior to her academic appointment, Melissa was a freelance musician and singing teacher. She has extensive experience as a music educator, researcher, performer, and community arts facilitator. In recognition of her leadership in higher education, she was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) in 2021.
As a music educator and through her PhD research, Melissa helped establish collaborative learning for music performance at USQ which values the learning and teaching contributions of both teachers and peers. She supervises Doctoral and Honours students on a broad range of topics related to singing and music pedagogy and practice.
In 2010, Melissa received the Churchill Fellowship to further connections with international CCM pedagogues. Through her Fellowship, Melissa established an enduring relationship with Jeannette LoVetri, one of the world’s foremost experts in contemporary commercial music singing voice pedagogy. Melissa has twice hosted The LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™ at the University of Southern Queensland (2017 and 2019).
Melissa’s community arts work centres on group singing for people with Parkinson’s disease. Together with the local Parkinson’s support group, in 2017 she helped establish “Park n Songs”, Toowoomba’s first singing group for people with Parkinson’s and their carers. Melissa is one of the facilitators for the group and is constantly inspired by the courage and resilience of people with Parkinson’s and their families.
As a singer, Melissa is equally at home singing jazz, rnb and soul, blues, and folk music. Brisbane News once described her sound as the "best of Ella, Etta and Aretha". She has released two albums, No More Mondays, and The Intimacy of Distance which was a collaboration with Brazliian singer and guitarist Bianca Obino. Both albums are available on global streaming platforms. Performance highlights include appearances at the Queensland Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Brisbane Jazz Festival, Women In Voice 21 and 23, featured vocalist with David Hobson and singing backing vocals for Michael Buble with a cappella super group Naturally 7. Melissa has performed nationally and internationally in Japan, Singapore, and the USA.
Building on her foundation of performance and pedagogical practice, Melissa’s research sits at the intersection of music psychology, music performance, and music education. Her qualitative research explores a broad range of singing experiences, from elite jazz singers to community arts participants. She has a particular focus on the ways in which singing can enhance wellbeing in everyday life. Her research is published in leading international journals on music psychology, music cognition, and music education. Melissa is the Early Career Development Chair for the Australian Music and Psychology Society (AMPS) and is passionate about supporting early career researchers.