Thank you to all of our donors who gave so generously in our End of Financial Year campaign. Your gifts make it possible for Gondwana Choirs to continue to deliver the highest possible calibre of choral training to talented young people throughout Australia, regardless of their economic, social or geographic circumstance.

A special thank you to Vicki Olsson who pledged to match individual donations up to $10,000. This total was quickly met and we thank Vicki for her ongoing support over so many years.

Become an Innovation Patron by supporting Gondwana Choirs. Thank you to our donors from 2017 (* indicates donation to Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir Vienna Project and/or Songs of My Country):

Vicki Olsson*
Shaw Family
Kim Williams & Catherine Dovey, Williams Dovey Creative Fund
Anonymous (1)

Ainsworth Herschell Family
Christine Bishop*
Larry Boyd & Barbara Caine AM
Peter Goes & Michelle Harvey
In loving memory of Aisne & Ross Krieg, Magda & Ferenc Kozák
The Magnolia Foundation
Samway Family*
Todd Family Foundation
Lyn Williams OAM*
Anonymous (1)

Tessa Boyd-Caine & John Chan
Grimshaw Family
Hans & Petra Henkell through Henkell Family Fund*
Kate Lidbetter & Peter Kerin
Longmuir Family
Helen Williams*
Melanie Wroth
Helen Williams*
Anonymous (1)* (1)

America Family
Belinda Ashe and David Duncan
Prue Ashurst*
A C Beck
Karin Brown
Cairns Regional Council*
Alexandra Cameron-Fraser
Rosemary Curtin & Alex Wonhas
Dr John Dargavel*
Dr Janice Dudley, in memory of Raymond Dudley
Katy Evans
Gorbatov Family
Hairhouse Warehouse – Cairns Central*
Darryl & Katherine Hodgkinson
Diana Horvath
Hofflin Family
Kains Family
Lee Family
Robyn Martin-Weber
Elisabeth McDonald*
Miller Cohen Family in memory of Leora
Ken & Elizabeth Nielsen
Ron, Lynn & Marcus Ogden
Dr Donna M O’Sullivan*
Catherine Playoust & Elliott Gyger
Vanessa & Mark Rohanna
Rotary Club of Cairns Mulgrave*
Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise*
Rotary Club of Cairns West*
Caroline Sharpen & Andrew Parker*
Dimity & Julian Smiles
Michele Tjeuw & Alan Yap
WGCDR Michael Stuart-Watt
Penny & Imogen Sturrock
Els Wynen & David Vanzetti*
Frances & Gary Whatling
Judith Wheeldon
Ray Wilson OAM in memory of James Agapitos OAM
Mark & Anna Yates
Anonymous (8)

Sue  Barnsley
Lori M Barton*
Blue Wing Constructions
Kerin Brown
Mark Brusasco
Steve Burns & Louisa O’Toole
Sue Burton*
Capricorn Star Charters*
Frances Carlile*
CBRE Cairns*
Kathleen Chiswell*
Caroline Cockburn*
John & Elizabeth Curtin
Kathy Day
Sharon Edwards & Russell Singe*
Warren G Faithfull*
Shirley Goldrei & Alan Fekete
John and Susan Grant*
Belinda & Scott Griffin*
Stuart and Gail Hazell*
Gaye Headlam
Mary Heath
Hendriks Family
Louise Hughes
Mrs Beverley Johnson
Sally Josh
Leanne Knowles*
Annie Kwok
Lynette Leigh*
Norman Long
Mr Greg Massingham
Sarah McNaughton
R & C Michaels
Ross R Moller*
Moser Family
Diana M O’Neil*
Tania Panico*
Mark & Sally Pierce
Mrs Denise Playoust
Lauren Power*
Colin Prebble
Robert & Lucinda Regan
Kate Reid
Christophe Renaud & Sylvie Renaud-Calmel
Rotary Club of Cairns Southside*
Joann C Schmider*
Coral Seaborn*
Suhasini Sumithra*
Marie Taifalos*
Clara Teniswood
Dr Murray & Kirsten Towne*
Rod & Melinda Unmack
Peta Weaver*
Chela Weitzel*
Nuala Williams*
Wittenoom Louw Family
Wei Family
Toni Wynne
Anonymous (1)* (8)

Last updated 16 June 2017.
Please email Francis Greep if you have a question about your listing.

Donations can be directed to the following areas. Please contact Francis Greep, Development & Communications Manager for any questions or more information.

As conductors, as artist musicians, we are driven by passion, driven by inspiration and driven by a desire to achieve the highest possible artistic standards. As choral conductors we also have the privilege of being involved in the most inclusive form of music-making. A choir only comes to life when every voice, every personality is captured and expressed through the performance. As a conductor of children’s choirs, I have also found it thrilling to see young people mature and thrive in the choral environment, and go on to become fine professional musicians or professionals in other spheres who maintain their passion and drive in life as they did in music.

Lyn Williams OAM, Founder and Artistic Director, Gondwana Choirs

Support the creation and performance of new Australian music. Since 1989, Gondwana Choirs has commissioned and premiered over 200 new works from great Australian composers. Through Lyn Williams’ vision, we have built a unique and innovative choral repertoire, including works in Indigenous languages and the first Indigenous children’s opera ‘Ngailu: Boy of the Stars’. Our commissioning and collaborations with artists such as Michael Leunig and Neil Finn, Shaun Tan, Synergy Percussion and the Australian Chamber Orchestra ensure that our young choristers are performing contemporary, culturally representative material.

We are currently preparing several major projects, including commissions, multi-artform collaborations and performances in high-profile festivals and venues. To enable this vision, the Artistic Director’s Circle provides a means by which to make a transformative gift to Gondwana Choirs, specifically to support long-term creative projects. Individuals making donations of over $20,000 each year may become members of the Circle.

Donate now and support the Artistic Director’s vision

They’re pioneers! That’s what I always remind them because that’s what they are. They are ambassadors for their people; their professionalism and example paves the way for future opportunities being opened to other Indigenous children. Our involvement with Gondwana Choirs and all that has stemmed from it has been incredible and our lives are all the richer.

Rubina Kimiia, Music Teacher, Education Queensland, Cairns

The Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir (GICC) gives talented Indigenous children the opportunity to join with their peers from across Australia, take part in musical, social and cultural education and performance opportunities, and share the voice of their generation with the nation and the world. Under the direction of Artistic Director & Founder Lyn Williams OAM, the GICC developed out of a successful collaboration between the Sydney Children’s Choir and children in communities across the Torres Strait Islands during 2008. Since then, over 2,000 Indigenous children from QLD, VIC, WA, NSW and the NT have taken part in GICC activities.

The Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir program is a pathway: Indigenous children aged approximately 8 – 16 with musical potential are identified through community workshops held in schools with a high proportion of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children, and regularly rehearsing Choral Hubs are now established in Cairns and Western Sydney. 2014 was a landmark year for GICC, as they were integral to a spectacular performance of Paul Stanhope’s Jandamarra: Sing for the Country, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House.

I love being a member of the Cairns GICC – it has given me some of the best days of my young life. To Sani, Erica and Aunty Gina, you’re the best! To my fellow choristers, I love you. You are my second family.

Mataika – Soloist, Jandamarra: Sing for the Country Gondawana National Indigenous Choir

All GICC activities are provided at no cost to participating children, schools and communities. We need your support to continue to offer life-changing opportunities and high-quality musical education to current Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir members and many more Indigenous young people throughout Australia.

All GICC activities are provided at no cost to participating children, schools and communities. We need your support to continue to offer life-changing opportunities and high-quality musical education to current Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir members and many more Indigenous young people throughout Australia.

Donate now

Help young Australians find their voice and share it with the world!

We are developing a unique Australian choral voice by providing high-quality music education to talented young musicians from across urban, rural, regional and remote Australia through our internationally-renowned choral training programs. As well as training, we provide opportunities for our choristers to perform with innovation and excellence alongside artists of the highest calibre in Australia and throughout the world.

As a small arts company with a wide reach and a big vision, we receive just 15% government funding, and so we need your support to help us continue to nurture and inspire young people.

Gondwana is like a patchwork quilt: every person ever involved with the choir contributes a patch. Every patch is unique but when joined together they create the greatest warmth and satisfaction. This quilt that we have created together has helped me to grow to my greatest potential musically and emotionally.

Gondwana Voices bursary recipient.

Your donation will help Gondwana Choirs continue to provide life-changing opportunities to young Australians. Bursaries which give socially, physically or economically disadvantaged young Australians amazing musical, social and educational opportunities through our Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana National Choirs. Accessibility is one of our core values – we want to ensure that no suitably talented and enthusiastic child is excluded from our programs due to financial or geographical barriers. Bursary recipients include Gondwana choristers from rural and regional Australia, whose families have been adversely affected by drought, floods, and increased food and fuel prices. Others are single income families, reliant on government income support or families touched by tragedy.

Donate now to the Gondwana Choirs Bursary Program

Sing on: Supporting the future of Gondwana Choirs

Gondwana Choirs believes that all young Australians with demonstrated talent, drive and dedication should have the opportunity to be part of this life-changing program. Leaving a gift in your Will to Gondwana Choirs will ensure the participation and outstanding opportunities for the next generation, and a lasting legacy in your name. Many people have the misconception that you have to be wealthy to leave a gift in your Will to a non-profit organisation, but it’s an opportunity available to all.

A bequest to Gondwana Choirs, however large or small, makes an enormous difference.

What to do next

Once you have decided to leave a gift in your Will to Gondwana Choirs, please contact our General Manager to hear more about future plans for the organisation, and how your gift can help. We then advise that you contact your Solicitor to ensure that the appropriate wording accurately reflects your intentions. Listed below are three of the most common bequests and wording:

Ways to bequest Percentage of an Estate Bequest

This refers to leaving a gift of a set dollar amount determined by you at the time of drawing up or altering your Will.

I GIVE AND BEQUEATH to Gondwana Choirs ………. % of my Estate to be used for its general purposes and I DIRECT that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said organisation shall be sufficient discharge of my Trustees.

Specific Bequest

This is leaving a gift of an item of specific value to be passed on to Gondwana Choirs in order to generate funds. Suggested wording for a bequest to Gondwana Choirs:

I GIVE AND BEQUEATH the sum of $………. to Gondwana Choirs for its general purposes and I DIRECT that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said organisation shall be sufficient discharge of my Trustees.

Residual Bequest

This is simply a gift of whatever is left of your estate (or a percentage thereof) after all your other gifts, taxes and debts have been fulfilled. As they are not specific amounts of money, this sort of bequest keeps its value regardless of inflation over the years. It means that the gift you include today is worth just as much when the time comes to put it to work to help Gondwana Choirs.

I GIVE AND BEQUEATH the residue of my Estate to Gondwana Choirs for its general purposes and I DIRECT that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said organisation shall be sufficient discharge of my Trustees.

We recommend that you seek advice from your solicitor when making or updating your Will.

Name of Organisation: Gondwana Choirs Pty Ltd

ABN: 16 065 410 577

All donations over $2 to Gondwana Choirs are tax deductible.

For further information regarding making a bequest to Gondwana Choirs, please contact Bernie Heard, General Manager

Did you know that when employees of Westpac Group make a donation to Gondwana Choirs, Westpac will match the donation through their workplace giving program, effectively doubling the amount?

This includes employees of Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, BT Financial Group, RAMS, St.George and Westpac.

Now in its 17th year, Matching Gifts is the Westpac Group’s largest community support program and was the first of its kind among Australian banks. Westpac Group and its employees donated approximately $5.37 million to more than 670 Australian-registered charities as part of its 2015/16 Matching Gifts program.

More information can be found on the Westpac Intranet

Did you know you can donate shares instead of cash?

ShareGift Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides you with an easy and tax-effective way to sell your shares and donate the proceeds to charity. You don’t have to engage a stockbroker, there are no brokerage fees and if the value of your donation exceeds $50, you can nominate Gondwana Choirs as your recommended charity to benefit from ShareGift Australia’s donations.

How to donate

Simply complete the share sale donation form on the ShareGift Australia website and remember to recommend Gondwana Choirs.

How ShareGift Australia makes donations to charities

ShareGift Australia makes donations to eligible charities guided by the recommendations received from donors.

To find out more, visit the ShareGift Australia website.

What l learned have been lessons for life:
how hard you have to work to elevate many individual voices into unison and harmony and how worthwhile that effort is.
Its collective impact far outweighs that of any individual.

Dr Tessa Boyd Caine
Founding Chorister, Sydney Children’s Choir
CEO, Health Justice Australia

Being a member of Gondwana Choirs has a profoundly positive impact upon the lives of the young musicians in the world-recognised programs.

Gondwana Choirs is where young people make life-long friendships based upon a love of music and a passion for singing. They develop their musical experience with the most inspirational musical artists and ensembles in the country and in doing so, learn that striving for and achieving excellence comes from the hard work and dedication of each individual member of the choir.

The three distinct arms of Gondwana Choirs – Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana National Choirs, Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir – are offered to young Australians regardless of economic, social or geographic circumstances. Participating in the choir enables young people from all over Australia to join together to perform music of extreme sophistication and complexity with an honest sound that communicates directly with the listener.

Many of our former choristers are now professional singers, composers, conductors, instrumentalists, developing the skills necessary to excel in their field throughout their years in our programs. Others have taken the ethos of hard work and dedication learned with the choir to enrich the lives of others as teachers, medical professionals and social justice advocates.

For 27 years under the inspirational leadership of Founder and Artistic Director Lyn Williams OAM, Gondwana Choirs has enabled talented young people from every part of Australia to achieve more than they thought possible. Recent funding cuts by Federal Government to Gondwana Choirs have taken effect this year, which means that support from individuals is more important than ever in helping realise the vision of Lyn Williams and ensuring that the next generation of talented young people can find their voice.


Member of Gondwana Chorale

Gondwana Choirs has given me incredible opportunities that helped me to form my identity as a musician and composer.

Being a part of Gondwana Composer School meant I had the best teaching and mentors possible from an early age. Being a member of Gondwana Chorale gave me incredible performance opportunities in so many interesting places. And being Composer-in-Residence for Sydney Children’s Choir gave me the humbling experience of hearing my own compositions performed by the over 300 choristers at Barangaroo.

Thank you to Lyn Williams and Gondwana Choirs – I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.


Gondwana Voices
Violinist, Australian Chamber Orchestra

Gondwana taught me the importance of teamwork, hard work, and finding the joy in music-making, all the while working at an exceptionally high standard.

I was challenged by time signatures I’d never heard of, learned about quarter-tones for the first time, and memorised all the music, while having the best time!

I definitely wouldn’t have a professional career in music without my time in Gondwana.


Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir
1st Year Doctor of Medicine Student, UQ

Performing in prestigious venues and collaborating with a multitude of famous singers and artists – as a young girl from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, this was the most exciting opportunity you could imagine.

We had been blessed with the opportunity to learn songs which had been passed down through generations and it was our responsibility to share them with the world. My experience in the choir, together with my everlasting passion for my culture, has inspired me to share my culture to my fellow peers through song and dance.


Founding Chorister, Sydney Children’s Choir
CEO, Health Justice Australia

As a child, joining Sydney Children’s Choir gave me a much-needed avenue to develop my love of singing.

What l learned, particularly from the Choir’s ensemble work, have been lessons for life: how hard you have to work to elevate many individual voices into unison or harmony; and how worthwhile that effort is, with its collective impact far outweighing that of any individual.

Now I am a Board member of Gondwana Choirs and I am loving the opportunity to be involved again in this extraordinary organisation, supporting its impact through education and opportunity as well as making beautiful music.


Founding Chorister, Gondwana Voices
Sydney Children’s Choir
Tenor, Nationaltheater Manneim

Gondwana taught me my music fundamentals. Not only the technical skills I needed for analysing harmony, understanding polyphony and approaching language; but the performance skills I still use today.

Being in Sydney Children’s Choir taught me how to use my ears, how to blend, to be aware of around me and take in everything that is happening.

It taught me to love choral music and the voice as an instrument. I’m so thankful for that.


Sydney Children’s Choir & Gondwana Voices
International Countertenor

Under the leadership of Lyn Williams, I enjoyed a varied repertoire with a strong focus on contemporary music, new commissions and Australian composers. Weekly rehearsals and Saturday school enhanced my sight reading and musicianship skills in a caring and nurturing environment.

Amazing performance opportunities at a young age surrounded by other talented young musicians, encouraged me to pursue a career in music.
I am currently at Glyndebourne for Rosencrantz for Brett Dean’s new Hamlet. Lyn’s passion for new and challenging music has clearly rubbed off!