Celeb News

EXCLUSIVE: The wholesome priority that put Emma Watkins and her fiancé's wedding plans on hold

''We have tried to...''

By Faye Couros
Before chatting exclusively with Now To Love, former Wiggle Emma Watkins had driven into Sydney to visit a little girl in hospital.
"She used to come to the shows, and she's grown up now. She's definitely a friend of ours, and she's been in palliative care for about four years," Emma shares.
"Her mum wrote to me last night, and she was like, 'Is it possible if you could come and see her?' And I was like, 'absolutely.'"
Ever since she landed her role as the Yellow Wiggle in 2012, Emma's earnest and philanthropic spirit has shone.
What's more, at the end of 2021 the 32-year-old left the children's entertainment group to focus on her PHD in integrating sign language, body movement and choreography to continue her work with the deaf community.
From Yellow Wiggle to academic! (Image: Instagram)
The former Yellow Wiggle reveals she wasn't "initially going to be an academic," but after discovering the link between visual movements and sign language, she knew it was what she needed to do.
"My decision to leave tour was so that I could focus on finishing some of that research I felt was important to bring to the community. There is a real need for more opportunities for deaf talent to be part of creative teams.
"I've worked with so many deaf friends over the last 15 years. It's time now for some of these deaf creatives to bring their work to the world.
"We discovered some really interesting concepts. In particular, anyone that grows up a dancer spends many years detailing visual movements out of practice, routine, and discipline. Those skills could be utilised as a sign language interpreter," she explains about her work.
Emma's humanitarian heart drove her toward her latest collaboration with Witchery's 19th White Shirt Campaign, which famously fundraises for ovarian cancer research. However her own experiences with endometriosis also motivated her to encourage discussions about female health.
"Myself being diagnosed with endo in 2017 kind of put a lot of that into perspective for me. So, when I was approached to do the campaign, I was like, 'Oh absolutely,'" she recounts.
"I think, unfortunately, when you read some of these statistics about ovarian cancer, it's kind of startling how prevalent it is, not just within Australia, but in the world. I think that's really a shock."
Emma, who has been open about her endometriosis journey, adds that undergoing keyhole surgery was "disruptive" and something she never imagined considering.
"My mum uses the example, 'it's kind of like putting sticks into your handbag and rummaging it around and then taking the sticks out of the handbag looking still brand new'," she says.
"It's kind of like not seeing it physically on the outside, but internally it's an intrusive kind of surgery."
Emma has partnered with Witchery's 2022 White Shirt Campaign. (Image: Witchery)
While Emma's professional life is taking an academic path, in her personal life she's preparing to walk down the aisle.
In 2021 her former Wiggle colleague and partner Oliver Brian asked her to marry him, but they've put their wedding plans on hold for a wholesome reason.
"We have tried [to plan], but now we've had a bit of time to be able to see our families as well. That was a real choice to be able to spend more time with both of our families, especially now that we have new little nephews," says Emma.
"The little one is three, and the older one knows how to FaceTime us constantly," she adds. "For him to be able to call on his own schedule is just hilarious.
"Now we're kind of getting it a few dinner times a week! Little calls from the nephew, and we know he's got the iPad on his own. He knows what icon is our faces, and he happens to call us often."
Emma is engaged to her former Wiggle colleague Oliver Brian. (Image: Instagram)
Emma Watkins is a 2022 Witchery White Shirt Campaign Ambassador. The White Shirt, designed in collaboration with Michael Lo Sordo, is available online and in Witchery stores from 19th April - 8th May.
100% of gross proceeds will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to raise funds for the research to develop an early detection test.