When Erin Bubb was named Illawarra Women In Business Young Business Woman of the Year at City Beach Function Centre last week, many people in the room did not know her.
But they soon discovered the 29-year-old had run Acting Up Drama Academy from her Cordeaux Heights home for more than a decade.
In that time she has taken it from a handful of students to more than 60.
This was just the first time she had entered for an award.
Ms Bubb offers fun-filled courses to promote speech and communication skills through drama.
She has developed classes to help children of all ages gain self-confidence and greater communication skills.
‘‘I started when I was young and just finishing my studies in speech and drama,’’ she said.
‘‘I began by tutoring a few small children.’’
Ms Bubb is a trained primary school teacher who studied at the University of Wollongong and has an additional diploma in speech and drama.
She is now finishing further study that qualifies her as an examiner.
‘‘I have done more than six years of study,’’ she said.
‘‘I am based at Cordeaux Heights but I teach from a few different locations. I teach at the Wollongong Salvation Army where I run a church community group. I also teach at Mount Ousley.
‘‘I have children coming from as far as Thirroul and Shell Cove. My youngest students are in kindergarten. I also have adults and uni students finishing up their studies.’’
Some of Ms Bubb’s students take that one step further and become serious performers.
‘‘At the end of the day if they can communicate in a clear and confident way then that is the life skill they are really gaining in coming to speech and drama.’’
Ms Bubb has never advertised the business, which has grown from word-of-mouth from happy families.
Ms Bubb also teaches drama at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.