Donna De Paoli was nominated for the Queen’s Baton Relay by Lisa Butler – one of the mothers of her dance school – for the work that she does in the community.

    “Elenya Performing Arts Centre runs a Busy Feet program in conjunction with Rotary. Our students have performed at the ‘Dancer Cancer Initiative’ for 10 years raising money for cancer and this year will perform at ‘Together We Dance’ to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital – Good Friday Appeal.

    “When I was younger I was part of the Leeton Cerebral Palsy Society and worked to raise over $65,000 when entering the Miss Australia Quest.”

    Donna moved to Melbourne to follow her dream in the performing arts industry, helping establish Dance World 301 which at that time was the innovative, leading full-time school in Australia.

    “The experience was so surreal, to be a part of something that is so much bigger than just you.

    “Seeing the talent in the west I moved here. Living in Werribee, I opened my own dance school Elenya Performing Arts Centre in Altona. I love working with children, I find them very inspiring. My dream for the west is to open a community junior performing arts company in Melbourne’s western suburbs.”

    With her strong ties to the industry bringing passionate, creative people together, leading to a more positive environment, Donna wanted children to realise that they can achieve their dream with hard work and passion.

    “And my favourite Cafe Restaurant? That would be Cody’s in Manor Lakes or Creme in Altona.”

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