Posted by Julia Hassall
Morwenna Bernadette Harslett
Morwenna was born and bred in the Granite Belt attending Amiens SPS, followed by Stanthorpe State High to year level 10. She then spent 2 years as a border at Fairholme College in Toowomba. Her parents wanted her to further her musical education particularly with violin tuition which was no longer available in Stanthorpe and she was keen to leave home with her brother having completed his school education at this point.  The experience was a great success in that she loved boarding school and within 1 year she was elected school Performing Arts Captain and went on to gain her Associate of Music in piano and level 8 violin at later dates. While living in Brisbane as a student she was able to earn money teaching music and play with a Brisbane municipal orchestra.
Following school Morwenna spent a year in Spain on Rotary Exchange before returning to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Arts at UQ studying Political Science, Spanish and Indonesian.
She then spent a year in Sweden on the Island of Gotland on Agricultural exchange before returning to Australia to study for a Dip Ed at Edith Cowan Uni in Perth. This led to her first appointment as a Primary School teacher at Karatha where her extra-curricular talents in music landed her the role of school music teacher. This was followed by three years in remote aboriginal communities in the Kimberleys, before returning to Stanthorpe where her uncle talked her into becoming an Italian Immersion teacher at SSHS even though her foreign language experience was Spanish! She went on to teach Italian Immersion Maths at North Lakes College in Brisbane, claiming she could explain Pythagoras Theorum in Italian much more competently than hold a conversation!
She claims to need a change every 7 or so years and when Cherry Lane Nursery came on the market in 2013 she thought growing up on a farm, having one grandmother a keen botanist and the other a keen gardener qualified her to become a nurserywoman. In reality, it is probably her ability to learn quickly and to communicate with customers in a confident manner which has stood her in good stead in this new role in life. She loves working outdoors and with living things though sometimes the 2 legged living creatures test her patience!
The Rotary Organisation has played a major role in Morwenna’s life with her grandfather and both her parents being members of the Stanthorpe club. She participated in a short matched exchange at age 15 with Sheree Bryant from Dargaville NZ before the year long exchange to Spain. She was an inaugural member of South Brisbane Rotaract club and on her return to Stanthorpe, to live, joined the Stanthorpe club, where she quickly rose to the role of club President and had been asked to take on the role of Assistant Governor before resigning from this organisation. She participated in two active FAIM trips to Timor L’este and Nepal.
Since returning to Stanthorpe Morwenna has involved herself in all manner of community activities. She has always been a keen sportswoman having performed well in swimming, athletics, softball, netball ,tennis and volleyball while at school and going on to qualify as a netball umpire in Brisbane competition. She briefly dabbled in Stanthorpe soccer and indoor netball as an adult but has become keen on rowing and been treasurer of the fledgling Storm King Boat Club since its inception.
After joining the Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce she involved herself with the Apple and Grape Festival and the inaugural Snowflakes Event. She is still an active member of the Chamber.  She participated in the 100km walk for Oxfam and helps with Meals on Wheels when called on.
Her major contribution to the Stanthorpe community is in the field of Performing Arts. She is Musical Director and conductor of the Stanthorpe Junior Choir and a member of the Senior choir. She plays violin with the Occasional Players and other instrumental music groups in town. She has been a driving force behind the Border District Eisteddfod each year for many years now as President, Secretary and Publicity Officer as well as setting an example as a performer in violin, piano and singing. Morwenna has also taken on the role of President of the Amiens History Assn for the last 2 years- her great grand parents having been Soldier Settlers over 100 years ago. Morwenna has been instrumental in the production of  a couple of historical documentaries used at the Legacy Centre as well as driving the production of electronic “Soldier Passports” for each of our Soldier Settlers.