Perth based Brazilian singer and songwriter,  Juliana Areias, the Bossa Nova Baby –  is granted a Global Distinguished Talent Visa in Australia in the year she celebrates 15 years of living in Perth and 25 years of living outside Brazil. Catch her next concert “Juliana Areias – Viva Brazil” on Saturday 24 August at The Ellington Jazz Club.

It was way back at the end of February 2020, when just before catching a plane to perform in Singapore, that Juliana Areias ran with partner Geoffrey Drake-Brockman and her kids Jobim and Lilas to the Post Office to send her over 400 page long application requesting that to be granted a Global Distinguished Talent Visa in Australia (Permanent Resident Visa Subclass 858).  That morning she could not predict that a pandemic would shake the world and that it would also delay the outcome of her application.

The Global Distinguished Talent Visa – subclass 858 is a permanent visa for people who have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field of arts, sport, academia, research or the professions.  To demonstrate this exceptional and outstanding achievement in her field of Bossa Nova and Brazilian Music locally, nationally and internationally,  Areias had to submit a huge application consisting of  newspaper reviews, articles, interviews, plus award confirmations, tours photos and support letters from APRA AMCOS, WAM, Brazilian diplomats, music producers, academics, and key Brazilian Jazz music experts and musicians in Australia, Brazil, USA, Europe and Japan  – who were all keen to recognise her work as relevant in the Global Contemporary Brazilian Jazz  – Bossa Nova Musical Movement – including Bossa Nova icon Roberto Menescal and famous Brazilian journalist Ruy Castro who nicked named Juliana Areias – Bossa Nova Baby since in her teenage years.

While waiting for the application result and the  “normality” to be restored, like all artists in Western Australia, Juliana kept working locally, respecting the closed borders. During this two year plus period she developed over 12 different thematic concerts for The Ellington Jazz Club, countless outdoor Sunset Songs performances at North Cottesloe Beach and Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre and performed at The Perth Festival, at the Western Australian of The Year Ceremony with The Perth Symphony Orchestra and at The Perth Concert Hall with The WACO Philharmonic Orchestra. Yet she was afraid that the application would not be accepted because of the pandemic’s effects – making the future very uncertain for independent artists like her. 

Juliana celebrates: “You can imagine how overjoyed I felt when I received the visa approval news.  This is monumental for me not only because it benefits my career by giving recognition of my work as a composer and singer – but on many other levels as well. It brings me a very strong symbol of acceptance and belonging. It means that  Australia values my contribution to the arts and cultural diversity. It also means that both my kids Jobim and Lilas are now permanent residents of Australia due to their mum’s work as an independent artist. Symbols are so important.”

“This news marks 15 years since I moved from New Zealand to Australia with my kids and 25 years since I left Brazil to perform abroad, when I was 21 years old. Now my son Jobim is 20 and my daughter Lilas is 16. Although the three of us have New Zealand passports which means we can live and work here in Australia indefinitely (special category visa for kiwis – subclass 444) – without needing to have a Permanent Residence Visa, and although I also could have applied for Partner Permanent Residence Visa via Geoffrey, which is a much easier visa option. I did not want to do so, because that option just didn’t seem romantic to me and because I would much rather give my kids an example based on my artistic work and achievements. I thought that applying for the Global Distinguished Talent Visa, – a much more difficult visa especially when you do it without any immigration agent’s help – would be the best way to show to my kids the recognized value of the arts. Of course, Geoffrey’s love, help and support was also pivotal in this entire process.”

This news also comes just before Juliana Areias next concert at the Ellington, “Viva Brazil” on Sat 24 Sept 2022 – a celebration of the 200 years of Brazilian Independence and music. 

Juliana comments:” I hope this story can help other CALD immigrants and all artists to keep inspired, inspiring, persisting and contributing with their work and heart for our rich Australian multicultural society. “