One Voice still lifts spirits 10 years on

Community choir makes a big noise over anniversary


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SING OUT LOUD: Melbourne Town Hall will be filled with 400 voices to celebrate 10 years of Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program. Photo: Graham Denholm.

SING OUT LOUD: Melbourne Town Hall will be filled with 400 voices to celebrate 10 years of Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program. Photo: Graham Denholm.

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Creativity Australia's With One Voice choir is helping change lives and combat isolation

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Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program is celebrating 10 years of inspiring tens of thousands of lives through singing in choirs, sharing supper and granting people’s wishes.

And they plan to make a noise about it.

On December 2, more than 400 voices will unite at a celebratory With One Big Voice concert at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Every week across Australia, 21 With One Voice choirs meet.

They include people aged from nine to 90 from all backgrounds and walks of life.

By 2020 –  and with up to $10,000 seed funding – Creativity Australia aims to support up to 40 choirs.

Participating in the choirs bring many social benefits, including alleviating loneliness, depression and social isolation.

Swinburne University research showed that 98 per cent of With One Voice choir participants experienced less stress, 91 per cent have improved social bonds, 84 per cent made new friends, 71 per cent feel more included and 66 per cent are less depressed.

Creativity Australia founder Tania de Jong said everyone was welcome to join. There are no auditions and the choirs empower all participants to find and share their voice.

“We recognise that singing in a group improves wellbeing, inspires personal growth and transforms communities,” she said.

“Our choirs create new social connections and encourage everyone to participate, celebrate diversity and develop social cohesion.”

Wish list

Participants have the opportunity to share a wish – no matter how big or small – and other choir members help those wishes to be realised.

In fact, since 2013 more than 3000 wishes have been granted.

“Through the Wish List we've helped to initiate hundreds of jobs, work experience and mentoring opportunities,” Ms de Jong said.

“We've connected people to health services and we've even had a marriage. And we've united people with incredible hope, joy, happiness and inspiration.”

Tickets for the With One Big Voice concert are $15-$25 plus booking fees.

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