02 November 2012
Julie has had a varied career path, including roles like driving a horse and sleigh taxi in Switzerland and managing an organic market garden in the far north, before establishing StarJam with her husband Roy in 2002.
StarJam is an organisation dedicated to young people with disabilities. It offers various dance, singing and music classes and displays the skills learnt in big, professional stage shows.
The idea was inspired by Julie’s brother Ross. Five years younger than her, Ross was never brought home from the hospital after he was born. Julie was told as a child that he was a ‘bad baby’. He, in fact, had Downs Syndrome and Julie never laid eyes on him until she was seventeen years old. She soon realised that he was such a ‘cool person’ and the two became very close.
Julie has been nominated twice as Aucklander of the Year and was named Next Woman of the Year for 2012. She has been awarded the Attitude Community Award, a Local Hero Award and in 2007 she was also presented with a Living Legend Award by Dick Hubbard.