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Launch of With One Voice Brisbane

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We’re thrilled to be launching With One Voice Brisbane this month, with rehearsals to start on Wednesday 2 April, led by Cath Mundy!

Queensland’s flagship With One Voice program will connect partners and participants from business, community, philanthropy, education and government sectors. It’s just one more step towards a nationwide (hey, why not worldwide… we’ve had an enquiry from Phoenix, Arizona!) With One Voice singing movement.

With One Voice Brisbane is a three-year initiative, seed-funded by the English Family Foundation, with additional support from Page and Maria Maxson, The Curavis Fund, the Mather Foundation, Mike de Gruyter, CBA, Brisbane City Council, OzHarvest and Mind Shift.

Please spread the word to your Queenslander friends, family and colleagues!

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Tania at TEDx: How singing together changes the brain

News just in! Here’s an awesome video of our Founder and Chair Tania de Jong AM presenting this month at TEDxMelbourne on How Singing Together Changes the Brain.

In her presentation, Tania talks about creativity as the strategic tool of the 21st century! How do we unleash this creativity? Singing together in a With One Voice choir.

Please watch, enjoy and broadly share these incredible insights into the power of song, neuroscience and the future of our communities.

We would love this video to go viral so we can help transform many more lives through our innovative With One Voice programs.

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Funding gong for singing movement

CPA

Wow! Creativity Australia is the grateful recipient of funding through Creative Partnerships Australia! Here’s the low-down.

Creativity Australia’s Executive Director Ross Maher said the funding will be used to employ an Arts-Business Development Manager.

“The new Arts-Business Development Manager will be instrumental in building relationships with donors and will create strategic partnerships to assist Creativity Australia to fund and develop its programs and deliver on our mission to ensure diversity,” Ross said.  (more…)

Sydney Sings’ Littlest Adventurer

Creativity Australia - WOBV

From the steps of the Pitt Street Uniting Church to the banks of the Ganges, little Holly has big dreams to share the joy of song.

Julie and David and their 10-year-old daughter Holly are mainstays of New South Wales’ flagship With One Voice choir, which rehearses weekly in the Sydney CBD.

“It was wild!” Julie said of the first Sydney Sings rehearsal her family attended.

“Choirs are often sensible and straight… but this was vivacious and inspiring! We just let rip!” she said.

“My husband hadn’t done anything musical in his entire life… but he loved it. Holly said: “Wow! We’ve got to stay, Mum. This is great!” So we did.”

Sydney Sings embraces a wealth of colourful characters, from people living on the streets to people who are running corporations.

“Liz (the vibrant conductor) has a holistic approach that gets you to step out of your head and into a community,” Julie said.

“It’s not just warming the voice up… it’s warming up the whole body and mind.

“It’s a whole new world for Holly. A brilliant world. For her, this has been a real learning exercise… understanding that we’re not all the same; understanding that there are people who have great qualities, and they may not have a home; and understanding homeless doesn’t just mean “on the street”.

“Holly’s education there has been huge. And she’s taken that to school, talking to children about her wonderful choir.”

At our 2013 With One BIG Voice concert, Holly led Sydney Sings with a solo of John Lennon’s Imagine and Julian Lennon’s Saltwater in front of an audience of 2,000 people at the Melbourne Town Hall.

As if this wasn’t exciting enough for a 10-year-old, Holly soon got to share this song much further afield.

(more…)

Joyful festive wishes

Christmas WOV team awesome design

From all the team at Creativity Australia, conductors, volunteers and choir participants… thank you for your support of the With One Voice program during 2013. We’ve had an amazing year.

In 2014, join us on the next chapter of our singing movement, which will see the launch of new choirs in Altona Meadows (VIC), Redfern (NSW) and Brisbane, our flagship choir in Queensland.

To continue and improve our programs, and ensure they are open to all people, we appreciate your continued support. If you can donate, bring a friend or simply spread the word… you are playing an essential role in the development of one of Australia’s top social innovations.

Let’s work together to empower individuals and build supportive communities nationwide in 2014 and beyond!

Wishing you and yours a magical festive season, filled with the joy of song.

Choirs will resume for 2014 in the first week of February.

Emotional sunshine

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“I have been attending Melbourne Sings at the Sofitel for over a year but only on an irregular basis because of work commitments. I am now delighted to be retired and so can do all sorts of other things, one of which is to get to a choir at least once a week.

I wanted to let you and of course the wonderful Shaun and the Creativity Australia team know that being able to get to choir is incredibly important to me. I relocated to Melbourne from Brisbane a couple of years ago and after going to the concert at the Melbourne Town Hall, started coming to the choir.

What I realise is that I want and need to be part of something greater that myself and have searched around to see where I can fit and make a contribution. I am navigating this new chapter in my life.

Every time I have been able to come back to Melbourne Sings I am filled with joy and I have given this joy a name and I call it emotional sunshine.

So I  thank you and wish all of you the best for this festive season and look forward to an emotionally sunshine filled 2014 with lots of singing, of course!”

Ely

I Wish

November 2013 I Wish banner

Through the Wish List, With One Voice choir participants grant one another wishes big and small. The short video above features the smiling faces of With One Voice choir participants… who know how to dream big!

Share the joy of song this festive season and support the With One Voice program to thrive in 2014.

Click here to watch the extended version of the I Wish video.

Beth & JD dream big

Beth with group

This year, Beth had one big wish… to stand up. Last night, Melbourne Sings choir was honoured to celebrate this achievement at their rehearsal.

Beth, one of Melbourne Sings’ oldest and most enthusiastic members, has cerebral palsy. Her infectious love of life bring us joy every week. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

This Saturday, the Moonee Valley City Council are launching a documentary featuring Beth, in celebration of the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). Click here for details.

Also last night at Melbourne Sings, the wonderful JD, whose smiling face (below) graces our With One Voice postcards, played for the choir a song of his own composition, inspired by his love for Australia.

JD lived in China during the reign of Mao Zedong, and his stories inspire and fascinate his fellow choir participants.

Last night, JD thanked the choir, especially Shaun and Peter, for helping him bring this big wish to fruition. Click here to hear JD’s beautiful song.

Melbourne Sings

Back your choirs!

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With a new year fast approaching the time has come to BACK YOUR CHOIRS! 2013 saw Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program named one of Australia’s top social innovations and we want to take it to the next level.

We need the help of our choirs, their communities and the public as a whole to double our membership this festive season and continue building the With One Voice program in 2014 and beyond.

Unsure of how you can help? Your contribution could be any of the following:

The With One Voice program has a foundation on which something even more special can be created, but to make this possible we need you to raise your voice, crank up the volume and BACK YOUR CHOIRS!  

Click here to download the Back Your Choirs media statement.

Westpac Community Leaders Award Finalist

Westpac Community Leaders Awards 2013

Creativity Australia Founder and Chair Tania de Jong AM is a finalist in the Westpac Community Leaders Awards 2013! The awards seek to identify those outstanding leaders who have made an impact on the community through their work in the social sector.

The annual Westpac Community Leaders Awards offers grants to those Australians who make a significant contribution to society through their service ensuring that the Not for Profit (NFP) sector delivers benefits to those most in need. Tania has been nominated as a Social Entrepreneur, an award open to leaders from any sector who are using innovative solutions to solve social problems, for the founding of Creativity Australia, specifically the scalable model used to bring our choirs to those who need it most.

Tania is pictured above with Westpac’s General Manager of Retail Banking Jason Yetton and Creativity Australia’s Executive Director Ross Maher. (more…)

TEDxMelbourne presents Seeing the Unseen

Brain TEDx

Creativity Australia Founder and Chair Tania de Jong AM will be presenting a TEDxTalk “How singing together changes the brain” at TEDxMelbourne presents Seeing the Unseen. The topic relates directly to our message at Creativity Australia and is something we hope to achieve through our choirs.

Hosted by former TEDxMelbourne speaker and well known MC Zara Grose, Seeing the Unseen will involve highly intriguing, thought provoking discussions lead by a panel of informed speakers, of which Tania is a part. There will also be a special performance by world renowned guitarist Tommy Emmanuel!

For more information and bookings please click here.

Where: Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank, VIC 3006
When: 3rd December 2013, 1pm. Registrations open at 12 noon

Make it POZIBLE for Sydney Sings!

Dee

An amazing documentary is being created about Sydney Sings, and we need your help to complete it! Albert Lecoanet, filmmaker extraordinaire and husband of Elizabeth Lecoanet – our vivacious Sydney Sings conductor – has been following the stories of several of the choir’s most colourful characters.

Sydney Sings is one big happy family and this film is a celebration of their spirit and community not to be missed.

The exposure of this wonderful film would help Creativity Australia expand its programs to reach more communities, and more people in need. So pledge now and share the joy of song.

Click here to watch the trailer and pledge your support to this terrific cause.

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