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Nathaniel O’Brien Class of Cabaret Scholarship

About the Nathaniel O’Brien Class of Cabaret Scholarship

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Since 2016, regional students in Year 10 and 11 have been given the opportunity to apply for the Nathaniel O’Brien Class of Cabaret Scholarship for the following year's program. The recipients of the scholarship will participate in the Class of Cabaret program culminating in a group performance during Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Each scholarship is valued at up to $6,000 to assist with travel, accommodation and private vocal tuition in order for the selected student to participate in the program in Adelaide throughout Term 1 and 2 each year. In addition, Adelaide Festival Centre's CentrED program will provide a SACE teacher to guide each student through assessments to achieve SACE Community Studies Stage 1 or Creative Arts Stage 2 accreditation by the conclusion of the program. Applications for the 2025 Nathaniel O'Brien Scholarship for regional students open July 2024.

For more information about the Nathaniel O’Brien Scholarship please contact Livia Abreu at

The Nathaniel O’Brien Scholarship is proudly funded by the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Foundation and was created to honour the memory of Class of Cabaret graduate Nathaniel O’Brien.

Nathaniel O'Brien

Nathaniel O’Brien passed away in late 2015 as a result of a car accident north of Adelaide whilst on his way to perform at a gig. A truly exceptional and determined individual, Nathaniel began his musical career at just seven years old, winning Pop Idol and taking part in the Balaklava Eisteddfod. Over the next 12 years Nathaniel won awards at numerous state and national musical competitions and festivals, and performed on multiple television programs including Australia’s Got Talent, The X Factor and New Zealand’s Miss Popularity. Music was a huge part of Nathaniel’s life, he enjoyed a range of genres and aside from singing, was a talented and award winning songwriter and instrumentalist playing; guitar, mandolin, keyboard, bassoon, stomp box and ukulele..

In 2013 Nathaniel performed as part of Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s Class of Cabaret, a program where young talented vocalists are given the unique opportunity to shine at the world’s premier Cabaret Festival. Each year the best and brightest performing arts students from South Australian high schools come together after months of cabaret masterclasses to share songs and personal stories in performances of raw aspiring and awe inspiring talent. Nathaniel returned to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival stage as a part of Class of Cabaret Grads in 2014.

Nathaniel would be proud to have this scholarship named after him knowing it will help fellow rural students to receive the opportunities that he experienced by attending and performing in the Class of Cabaret.

— Danny and Karen O’Brien, parents of Nathaniel

Past Nathaniel O’Brien Class of Cabaret Recipients

Tahlia Hearn (2023), Riverland | Year 11, Loxton High School, Loxton

Joey Haenen (2022), Riverland | Year 12, Loxton High School, Loxton

Charlee Watt (2021), Eyre Peninsula | Year 11, St Joseph's School, Port Lincoln  

Tasmin Durdin (2020), Eyre Peninsula | Year 11, St Joseph's School, Port Lincoln

Tashi Freer (2019), Limestone Coast | Year 12, Kangaroo Inn Area School, Beachport

Tascha Jordison (2018), Eyre Peninsula | Year 11, Navigator College, Pt Lincoln

Reilly Muller (2017), Limestone Coast | Year 10, Saint Martins Lutheran College, Mt Gambier

Zara Nicholson (2016), Murraylands/Riverland | Year 11, Loxton High, Loxton

The Nathaniel O’Brien Class of Cabaret Scholarship is supported by Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation. You can support the work of the Foundation in delivering youth and education programs and career development opportunities - find out more.

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