One of Australia’s rising vocal stars, Göknur Shanal is no stranger to making things happen for herself.

Soprano Göknur Shanal has had two successful careers to date. For her latest enterprise, she’s adding entrepeneur, social activist and charity worker to her list of accomplishments. Here’s what she’s up to, and why.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Born in Brisbane, I grew up in Wollongong and I am a lyric soprano. I am one of five children brought up by my mother as a single parent, who was a music teacher and used to play the cello. At 20, I won the Australian Singing Competition and then, went on to win Symphony Australia’s Young Performers Award Vocal Category. At 21 I left for the UK to study at the Royal College of Music. After that, I came back and completed a post graduate degree at the Sydney Conservatorium. Another opportunity popped up when I won both the McDonald’s Operatic Aria and Opera Foundation’s Metropolitan Opera Award, to leave our shores this time for NY to be an adjunct young artist at the Met. I came back to Australia, signed up with an agent and started singing professionally. I toured...