Sharni has been performing from a very young age: as a dancer when she was three years
old and as a seven-year-old she starred in a commercial. Sharni was also a student of ballet for ten years.
The role of Cassie in Home and Away is Sharni's first major television role although she has appeared in various television
shows such as The Big Arvo, Invincibles, Timmy's Place, MTV etc., and has taken part in a Guy Sebastion Video.
Sharni studied with the Australian Theatre for Young People for three years and enrolled as a student in the Brent Street
School of Performing Arts studying dance when she was twelve. On leaving High School Sharni enrolled as a full-time student
with the Brent Street School to continue her studies.
Sharni felt her direction was musical theatre and she wanted to concentrate equally on dancing, singing and acting. She
would have been happy to pursue either one of these fields.
As a singer and dancer, Sharni has performed in various stage and theatre productions, at numerous Sydney night clubs,
Fox Kids' Awards, Star City Theatre, a Soccer Final and in fact had a role in the musical Grease at the time she won the role
of Cassie in Home and Away.
Sharni has been inspired by both her mother and grandmother who were both performers in the theatre. Her grandmother was
a ballerina and her mother has appeared in countless musical theatre productions such as Evita and Seven Little Australians.
For two years Sharni was involved with an all-girl group known as Fox Fire IV where she feels she learnt so much and really
grew up. She says she joined the group as a kid and came out as an adult.
From this experience Sharni was able to be involved in various television guest appearances and it gave her great insight
into the industry. Mark Byrne, her agent since she was a kid, suggested Sharni start acting classes to further her acting
skills. At the same time, Sharni was also involved in dance/fashion shows as a way of earning money while pursuing her studies.
She wanted to continue with her performing.
Over a four-year period, she secured a successful line of commercials both here and overseas, which she calls good luck.
Sharni had twice been a guest on Home and Away before securing her latest full-time role.
In 2001 she played Tonya the bitchy ballerina and Summer, Hayley's (Bec Cartwright) friend in 2003. The casting agent for
Home and Away remembered Sharni from these roles and asked her to audition for the role of Martha MacKenzie in late 2004,
now played by Jodi Gordon.
"I remember thinking to myself I want this so bad and I set out to get the part. I originally auditioned for the role of
Martha and had a re-call for that role but at the same time they sent me scripts for the role of Cassie as well. I thought
it was a good sign because I had two chances", she says.
"Both were great roles, and I was excited to get the part of Cassie because she is much younger and I know what she has
to go through and I was excited at the challenge of playing someone younger".
"Cassie is so mature for the age of 15. She has gone through so much and is older in the head than what she realises. Although,
at the same time she is also naive because she is young," Sharni says.
In her spare time Sharni takes dance and singing classes and travels to her grandfather's family farm south of Sydney on
the South Coast of NSW. Sharni has been travelling there ever since she was a five-year old and going to Pony Club.
Since the time Sharni qualified for her driving licence, she has made regular trips to the farm with her friends and says
the farm is her haven. She also has her jet ski licence and boat licence and loves the chance to water-ski and jet-ski when
she is on the South Coast.
Sharni also likes to swim for fitness and fun; she was a State gold medallist swimming champion for four years running
while at high school. Before her dancing and singing took off, Sharni was going to be a swimmer!
Sharni was co-raised by her mother and grandparents. Sadly, her grandmother passed away in 1998. Growing up, Sharni sights
her grandfather to be one of her biggest supports. He gave her the stability and opportunity to get out there and she explains:
"I couldn't have happened without him".