Fast-tracked through school, Tipoki, who plays piano, saxophone and violin, became one of the youngest students accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Roles in The Lion King and the Queen musical We Will Rock You followed before she won the role of understudy for Elphaba in 2008.
Through it all, Tipoki has remained true to her faith. “I grew up going to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints with my family, but when I moved away at 16 going on 17 it was the first opportunity I had to decide if I wanted to stay with it,” she says.
Today her faith informs everything she does and, in a public testimonial filmed for the Mormon church, she credits her faith for sustaining her through the loss of her younger brother Maui in a car accident three days before her wedding to Richard Arkins.