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“With One Voice Choir Altona Meadows has been singing at St George’s Aged Care Home for more than three years now. I believe it to be the single best and most effective activity that we conduct here. Music is such an essential element of our lives.

We have a core group of residents that love to sing in the choir and look forward to this every week. Add to this group, the residents that come to watch choir practice and then the residents that choose to remain in their rooms and listen from there, and the numbers quickly add up.

Nearly 80% of our residents enjoy the benefits of music from our choir every Wednesday afternoon. We even have family members and neighbours that come into the home, just to listen to the choir. I think what we have with “With One Voice Choir Altona Meadows” is the very definition of “Community.”

Carol Digna, Community Coordinator Residential Care – Benetas St Georges
October, 2017

“Kym Dillon is amazing in his ability to bring out the best in all of us. As a Member of WOV Altona Meadows, we see this every week when he brings joy to people in a Nursing Home, and instils a firm idea of self-worth in choir members. We community members have developed a close relationship with each other but, more importantly, with the nursing home residents.

My wife, Denise Bedford, and I have enjoyed our association with Creativity Australia through Footscray and Altona Meadows choirs. The philosophy behind the choirs is most important. We have seen many people develop through their association with the choirs. I believe that we must do more to tell the World about what we are doing, and what it is achieving.”

Ray McAlary
With One Voice Choir Ambassador – Altona Meadows
19 October, 2017

“About a month ago my mum joined the choir, so excited and inspired by the meaning behind it and the community spirit. She arrives back home each week with a massive smile on her face, singing the songs and retelling us everything that happened on the night. It makes us all smile as we hear mum humming around the house these days.”
Caitlyn Salisbury from With One Voice Ashburton

“I have been depressed for some time now and I have been feeling very empty, lonely and lost. Most days I am crying. I had been going to see a Psychologist. The talks we had were good, but I was still going home crying. My son suggested music, as music is good for the soul. He went on to the internet and found the Melbourne choir at the Sofitel.  Tuesday  is choir night and I love looking forward to it. Singing makes me happy. I have met so many nice people in the choir. I am now a happy person once again. I am surrounded by people who love me, The Choir.  And that lovely young conductor Kym, how great is he? The way he has control of his choir, the people in the choir hang on to every word he says,  the way he moves. His actions, the way he jumps around, he sure puts a smile on everyone’s face, what a guy…We greet people at the front desk, we love seeing smiling faces coming towards us. I greet them by saying,  ‘Hi, my name is Sarah’ with a big smile on my face,  no more tears.”  Sarah from With One Voice Melbourne.

“I would like to thank more than any words can describe Tania de Jong, Peter Kronborg and Creativity Australia for helping to save my son’s life. You have given up your own time to help a young Chinese person suffering from depression to find his way in the world.  He now has a promising future. This organisation makes disadvantaged people like me feel powerful. You represent the whole image of Australia as caring and inclusive to people of all backgrounds. With One Voice Melbourne is like our family and you have given us so much love and joy. We will never forget it.”  Xiao Rong, a member of With One Voice Melbourne from China

“I’ve been with the choir for only a couple of months so I’m still bashful and shy but I’ve attended every single rehearsal… which is VERY unusual for me! I have social anxiety and PTSD/bipolar and lupus SLE, and a lot of the time it’s hard for me to commit to anything due to my health/mental health etc. But this choir is amazing the energy is amazing the people are amazing the singing is amazing! Every time I go to choir I am reminded of what happiness feels like. Every time I go to choir I am reminded of my purpose in life. Every time I go to choir I feel less isolated, more connected. I get inspired so much every time I go to choir and it’s so so SOOOOO much more than just a choir. I’m so lucky I found this choir and I can’t wait ’til the next rehearsal! Suddenly backgrounds, occupation, race, religion and disability disappear and instead there are only voices, song, smiles and happiness.” Liz, member of With One Voice Melbourne

“I had bad anxiety, mainly from not working, which could have become depression if I had not found With One Voice Greater Dandenong. Singing has helped as it makes me happy, it’s uplifting, but also talking to people who had similar problems. The choir is supportive. We sing happy songs that give a sense of positive good feeling. I always look forward to choir. I think I will be singing there until I can’t anymore. My wife noticed the difference in me. I’m back to me normal self now.” Julian, With One Voice Greater Dandenong 

“I’m thankful and grateful I’ve found With One Voice Melbourne in late 2011 because at the moment I’m going through some very difficult times for the second time since late 2011 because I had received the results of an online course on managing anxiety and depression that I completed I was not expecting and has left me suffering with social isolation and feeling socially isolated from friends and some members of my family as well the act of violence I was a victim and have been a survivor of since in 2012.” Bianca, member of With One Voice Melbourne

“Thank you for the opportunity to literally and metaphorically have my voice heard – I felt, and still do, like I was a participant in something well worth doing and am still wearing my pride with a big smile and love in my heart. For me the performance experience was one of great joy and euphoria. And to regain the respect of my family is an added bonus! Photos taken by my brother were sent to everyone before I returned home – I cannot explain just how absolutely fantastic I felt and still do. Everyone was so happy for me. I felt like I was giving a present to others but also receiving so much more.”  Michelle, a With One Voice choir member

“My name is Vikki. I began singing with Geelong Sings in 2011. It was a slow start, as I was recovering from a flare up of a chronic back condition. I had been largely housebound, lonely & getting depressed. Joining the choir gave me something to look forward to every week, and a challenge as well. Everyone was very friendly & supportive and I quickly felt I had a new circle of friends. There were performances to be involved in, I sang in my first Xmas concert at Ocean Grove, which was great. I am learning new music skills and my voice is becoming stronger. It’s been fantastic and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the choir! Thankyou.” Vikki Davey, With One Voice Geelong

“I was looking for peace elsewhere, I couldn’t find it.  Once I joined this choir I have peace of mind.” Sarojini, With One Voice Greater Dandenong

“Reflecting on my recent months, I wanted to take the time to write you a brief note to let you know the impact the choir has had on me. I am anything BUT a wallflower in my day job (see important sounding job title below) but at the choir I keep a low profile. I take in and observe. I listen to the powerful stories of others and wish the voice in my head sounded better out loud. I am the girl who put into the wishlist bag that I wanted lots of puppies and to be happy every day.

But that’s not why I’m writing. I wanted to share with you the reason why I joined the choir and how it’s giving me so much back than you might know as you see me there hidden at the back in Natalie’s harmony “crew”. You see, my beautiful identical twin sister was diagnosed 12 months ago with a rare form of brain cancer that is sadly not curable. We are both extremely positive and empowered (I’m in the process of building a website to raise awareness for the cancer which is so under-funded), but it is undoubtedly a HEAVY time. Radiation first and now 6 months of chemotherapy. Every one of my absences from choir since I started is due to my commitment to my sister – taking her to oncology appointments and looking after her when she’s sick.

In fact when Tania came to RedBalloon to share the Sydney Sings opportunity, it was not my desire to sing that drew me to it. It was being able to ESCAPE for a few hours a week from my massive responsibilities at work AND home and have some time to recharge ME. You have given me that gift. But as I now sing loudly(still not well, but enthusiastic nonetheless) in my Holden Astra on my way to and from work and am filled with a quiet sense of joy each time, I realise how much more the choir gives. It has become not just an escape, but it makes me HAPPY at the same time.

Thank you for your energy and what you are doing for so many in the group.” Kristie, With One Voice  Sydney 

“Thanks so much for a wonderful, joyful, songful evening. I was tired and emotionally flat after another funeral yesterday so the singing was healing” Cecil , the Pastor at the Lutheran Church of Australia

“So far I am enjoying so much being in the choir…It is a great challenge that stimulates motivation as well as keeping the brain active. Being in the choir for me is very important, as it provides me with social connection, as well as giving me the joy of singing and performing. I joined the choir at a difficult stage of my life, where I had to make some medical decisions due to injuries I sustained as a result of what at time seemed to be a small accident at home. I am still dealing with it, so it gives me much comfort to feel ‘normal’ when I am in the choir. I believe we must continue to live, even if we are not 100%.” Sarita, With One Voice Greater Dandenong

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