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Curriculum Vitae of The Governor's Spouse
Function of the Governor’s Wife:
The Governor’s wife supports her husband, the Governor in carrying out his non-constitutional work and duties as State Governor. She also undertakes a variety of public engagements some of which are for organisations of which she is Patron or President.
Mrs Frances Underwood, BA, Dip Ed, Grad. Cert. Music Ed, A. Mus. A, MACE, was head of the Friends’ Junior School for 15 years until her retirement at the end of 2004. A trained International Baccalaureate Primary Years leader she also holds a Certificate in Music & Dance Education from the Universitat Mozarteum, Salzburg. She is a member of the Australian College of Educators, the International Kodaly Society, the Kodaly Music Institute of Australia and the Victorian Orff Schulwerk Association. She is a past member of the Junior Schools Heads Association of Australia and the Victorian network of IB Primary schools. Mrs Underwood was primarily responsible for the Friends’ Junior School achieving registration as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years School. In June 2008 the Governor General of Australia appointed Mrs Underwood a Dame of Grace of the Venerable Order of St John for service to the community,education and the arts.
Mrs Underwood has a commitment to contribute to quality teaching and learning for the very young through to adults. Much of her professional life has been devoted to developing and delivering educational programmes that are validated by research and supported by appropriate structures and professional development for teachers. After her retirement Mrs Underwood retained her registration as a teacher and turned her attention to developing and delivering music education programmes for parent/grandparent and baby/child, adult learners and professional learning for teachers. These programmes aim to teach an awareness of sound that provides the essential driver for learning to read and write, as well an appreciation of music for the joy and happiness that it can bring. Each year she prepares a group of adult beginner choral singers to go to Sydney and join more than a thousand singers from all round Australia and take part in the Sydney Philharmonia Chorus Oz in the Opera House.
Mrs Underwood gained her A Mus A in piano performing at the age of 16. She was a regular soloist on the ABC’s national programme “Young Australia” and a participant in ABC concerto competitions. She is currently a member of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus and a keen supporter of the arts and education in Tasmania generally. Mrs Underwood is Chair of the Tasmania - Antarctic Gateway Working Party, a member of the Calvary Community Council, Co-Patron with the Governor of Virtuosi Tasmania, Patron of Red Cross (Tas), Choir of High Hopes, and a number of other organizations.
Born in Templecombe Somerset, UK in 1947, Mrs Underwood came to Tasmania as a baby with her parents, Colonel Victor and Mrs (Tilly) Northam who left military life in India to make a new start in Tasmania where they raised their six children. Mrs Underwood has four children, three step children and a combined twelve grandchildren. Her interests include education, the performing and the visual arts, gardening, travel, canal boating, reading, music and grandchildren.