Category Archives: Events & Activities

Communities Sing With One BIG Voice

“There’s a taboo about speaking or singing in public. We think that people will judge us or make fun of us. Yet we were all given a voice to tune in and to express ourselves.” Tania de Jong AM, Tedx Melbourne talk: How Singing Together Changes the Brain

Soprano and social entrepreneur, Tania de Jong, has been spreading the word about the health and social benefits of singing in groups for some years now. Backed by science, she has undertaken to change people’s perceptions of singing and to unleash voices she finds have often been ‘silenced’.

In an interview with The Institute For Creative Health, Tania explained in brief the physiological responses our brain has to singing and how this is important to human wellbeing.

“Neuroscience proves people who sing in groups are happier, healthier, smarter and more creative,” she said.

“Every time you sing you fire up your brain’s right temporal lobe and release endorphins, which heighten states of pleasure, bliss, bonds and love.”

To encourage this in others, and to remove the chains of being told ‘you can’t sing’, Tania has devised and implemented national music programs that reach individuals of all ages from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. One such program, the With One Voice choirs, are presenting a series of big events this October that will gather large groups together to sing along to happy and popular tunes.

With One Voice Brisbane are performing in Musgrave Park on 11 October, and the choirs of Melbourne are coming together for a huge concert at Melbourne Town Hall on October 12 to raise funds that will help keep the choirs going. Members of the public in Victoria will have the opportunity of joining in with choirs and taking part in a singing workshop at The BIG Community sing, happening at Federation Square this Saturday.

The With One Voice choirs gather weekly to sing together, build friendships, and live happier, healthier lives. Currently, choirs exist across Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane and are expanding, with new groups starting up in Holland and a pilot program launching in Arizona.

The group also take part in a Wish List program, where participants can share their wishes and grant them for each other. A number of pending and granted wishes can be viewed on the Creativity Australia website. This shows how valuable the With One Voice choirs are for connecting people and providing a community mentality that overrides our increasingly individualistic existences.

Photo credit: Eclipse Magazine

BIG Community sing @Fed Square (Main Stage) from 1:30pm- 3pm, 4 Oct
FREE event
With One Voice Choirs and the public singing together
The best of Sing For Spring videos will be played
Will feature a video of Tania’s TEDx Talk How singing together changes the brain

With One Voice Brisbane @Musgrave Park, Sth Bris 11 Oct, 11- 11:30am
FREE event
Presenting songs and stories

One BIG Voice Concert @ Melb Town Hall from 3-5:30pm, 12 Oct
Tickets must be purchased
Over 400 voices from a multitude of nationalities, faiths, ages,
Best of Sing For Spring videos will be shown

Film and Feminism in Melbourne

A topic that seems to have emerged in Melbourne at the moment is women in film, or rather, women making films. From an inaugural feminist-inspired film festival to a screening of films directed only by females, Melbourne is giving women a long-awaited front-row seat.

The Girls On Film Festival, set to start on 12 September, is gearing up to showcase –for the very first time- an entire weekend of film and talk focused on women writers and directors as well as inspiring on-screen female characters. The festival has been financed through an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign. A huge $14 500 was raised through Pozible less than a month ago, and exceeding their target by more than $2000. Does this then mean that such an event is in high demand? It would seem so.

Artshub has long been discussing the underrepresentation of women in the arts. Two years ago, Fiona Mackrell covered the alarming truths found by Australia Council report Women in Theatre, including that female playwrights are far less likely to have their work produced. This fact was echoed again recently in Richard Watts’ June article ‘Theatre Makers Act On Gender Parity’, making it clear the problem continues. In the same month, former 20th Century Fox executive and producer of films What Women Want and No Reservations, Susan Cartsonis, wrote about ‘Why Women Should Get the Jobs’. Cartsonis explains the impact that restricting female voices in film can have.

“When fewer female-focused films get made, it diminishes staffing of women in the executive suites and on set,” she writes.

The program being presented by Final Cut tomorrow night (26 August) celebrates that, in fact, many women are directing great films and shorts.
Final Cut: Girls Together Outrageously will show (again, for the first time) films that have all been directed by women. The night has been curated by filmmaker and Made In Melbourne Film Festival Co-director, Sarah-Jayne.

Final Cut is a monthly short-films screening and networking event with pre-show performances and free-entry.

Dates: 26 August, 6pm-10pm
Location: 1000 Pound Bend, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Girls On Film Festival

Dates: Sept 12-14
Location: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote

Forum: Understanding and Engaging Today’s Volunteers

Understanding and Engaging the 21st Century Volunteer is a free forum that will be held at the Boroondara Council Offices on Wednesday 3 September. Leading the talk will be UK volunteering expert, Rob Jackson. The session will look at key ways our society is evolving and how this affects the world of volunteering, as well as discussing what leaders can do to update practices and make the most of changes.

Rob Jackson has worked in volunteering for almost 20 years. His expertise covers volunteer programmes in education, advice, fundraising and children’s services settings at local, regional and national levels.

The forum is free to attend but bookings must be made to the Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre on 9278 4550 or at

Understanding and Engaging the 21st Century Volunteer: agency forum
3 September from 9am-12.30pm
Parkview room, Boroondara Council offices, 340 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell

Bushdance for Pregnancy Loss Australia

Stringybach Music is holding a bushdance fundraiser featuring the Eat Ya Greens Bush band and violin, cello, and vocal performances by Stringybach music students. The event will raise funds for Pregnancy Loss Australia, a national support service program for families who have lost a baby or babies during pregnancy.

The bush dance will be held on 16 August from 2pm- 5pm at the Kilsyth Memorial Hall, 514 Mt Dandenong Rd, Kilsyth.

Tickets of $10 or $25 for families will be sold at the door. For bookings call Fiona 0425 714 105 or email

Home Is Where My Heart Is Exhibition

A photographic exhibition, Home Is Where My Heart Is displays the work of youths who have experienced homelessness. The work presents their interpretations of ‘home’, providing insight into the lives of homeless youths in Western Australia.

The youths have been partnered with young and emerging photographers who guide and mentor them through the photographic process. The exhibition and sale of the work is the culmination of this four-month journey. All proceeds are fed back into the Home Is Where My Heart Is project.

Established in 2008, the project is the collaboration of the Youth Affairs Council of WA and Propel Youth Arts WA. This year, the exhibition coincides with National Homeless Persons Week.

Find details here

Hope For The Future

This weekend, the riverside façade of Melbourne’s Hamer Hall will host a public arts display that expresses a desire for an end to AIDS and hopes for a HIV-free generation. Incorporating images from the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt and inspirational quotes from local and international leaders, the digital art projections will showcase new works created for this event by artists from Melbourne and her six sister cities: Osaka, Tianjin, Thessaloniki, Boston, St Petersburg, and Milan.

Curating this visual narrative is Australia’s only youth-led HIV and sexual health promotion organisation, Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS (YEAH).

Honouring the Past, Hope For The Future: Towards a HIV Free Generation

DATES/TIMES: July 18-21, dusk-midnight

WHERE: Riverside façade, Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall