Bernadette was born in Melbourne and has been involved with the Estonian community in Melbourne since the early 1970’s. She has an Anglo Saxon background and is not literate in the Estonian language.
Bernadette became an active member of the folkdancing group in 1985, in time for Eesto ’88. She travelled to Estonia in 1994, to perform at the Estonian XV Dance Festival. Bernadette remained a member of the Eiderattad till her husband Peeter Pilli died in 2006 and then she joined the Sügislilled. Bernadette’s children and grandchildren are active members of the Estonian community.
Bernadette chaired the Eesti Päevad 2014 Art Exhibition committee. In 2018 she facilitated the Living Space Exhibition. The exhibition showed contemporary Estonian artworks, and included workshops and talks by the artists who through fundraising and grants were able to travel to Melbourne from Estonia. She is the presently Chair of the Eesti Päevad 2020 exhibition.
Bernadette joined the Melbourne Estonian Society, in 2018 and is now the Chair of that committee.
Her educational qualifications include Fine Arts, Education and Community Development. Working in the areas of arts administration and teaching in secondary and TAFE systems. Bernadette is now retired.
As a member of the Working Group, Bernadette brings a broad understanding of community development and the importance of all voices being given the opportunity to be heard.