Message from Lyn Williams OAM, Artistic Director & Founder, Gondwana Choirs

Two years ago we were shocked to hear that we would no longer receive core funding from the Australian Government. At the time we pledged that, far from withering away …

“with renewed vigour we will continue to collaborate with our distinguished colleagues across the country, we will tell our magnificent stories through song, we will nurture young voices including over 500 SCC and the more than 100 Indigenous children who sing with us every week and hundreds of national choristers each year. We will astound, uplift and inspire you”

I am thrilled to say that with your support we continue to do exactly that.

Reviews of the recent performance of Spinifex Gum by our Cairns-based group Marliya in the Adelaide Festival are a testament to this:

“Fresh, hopeful, strong and proud, these young women have taken their place in the spotlight; their voices not only fill the theatre in which they perform, but also embed into the hearts of the audience.”[In Daily]

“The sweetness of the singing, the power of the words and the movement make this a magical experience. The audience rose to its feet cheering at the end.” [The Advertiser]

Artistic activity across all the Gondwana Choirs have been at an all-time high. In fact, 2017 was the most ambitious year in our history, including:

  • In 2017, the ensembles of Gondwana Choirs gave 131 performances of works by Australian composers and 23 world premiere performances in 8 countries;
  • 3 Major international tours by Gondwana Chorale, combined Gondwana Voices/Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir. The choirs performed music by Australian composers to audiences in the USA and 7 European countries. Their performances included many works in indigenous languages;
  • The Sydney Children’s Choir and the Gondwana Indigenous Choir collaborated with the renowned Vienna Boys Choir in Songs of Country, a major cross-cultural project in Vienna, Sydney and Cairns;
  • We performed to more than 20,000 people;
  • We collaborated with The Idea of North, Suara Indonesia Dance, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Mongolian instrumentalist Bukhchuluun Ganburged, Felix Riebl, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia; and,
  • Nearly 900 young people from urban, regional, rural and remote Australia joined our programs.

The wealth of musical activity continues in 2018 with our workshops in the Torres Strait; interstate and regional tours and major commissions from Alice Chance, Ella Macens, Kenneth Lampl, Daniel Brinsmead and Dan Walker.

A lack of core funding has meant that creativity within Gondwana Choirs is not just reserved for the stage. The Administration Team within Gondwana has been extremely dedicated in ensuring that our programs continue to grow and thrive; that our artistic vision is secure; and that more and more young people are offered exceptional singing opportunities.

In a fact that I both delight in and shudder at, next year will be the 30th anniversary of the Sydney Children’s Choir and therefore Gondwana Choirs. We have fabulous plans and amazing dreams for the future and will soon be announcing a major performance celebration event. High on the wish list is a program which will see the Sydney Children’s Choir stretch its wings and embrace communities which have not traditionally been represented within the choir; a truly representative Sydney Children’s Choir .

We were driven to overcome an enormous financial barrier. With no change in the funding situation, this challenge remains as real as it was two years ago. Once again, with your generous assistance we can realise our dreams and we promise to astound, uplift and inspire you.

As a Gondwana community we can all be exceptionally proud. Thank you for being part of this community.


Thank you to all who have given so generously in the 2017/18 Financial Year.

Last updated 7 June 2018. Please email Francis Greep if you have a question about your listing.

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In loving memory of Aisne & Ross Krieg, Magda & Ferenc Kozák
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Donations can be directed to the following areas. Please contact Francis Greep, Development Manager at Gondwana Choirs, 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 mostinclusive 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 matureand 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 uniqueand 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, ShaunTan, 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 tomake 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, andshare 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 childrenin 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’sJandamarra: 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 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 IndigenousChildren’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 IndigenousChildren’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 trainingprograms. 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 togetherhas 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 andeducational 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 dueto 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 singleincome 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 theparticipation 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 anopportunity 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 toensure 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 sufficientdischarge 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 myTrustees.

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 ofinflation 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 ofmy 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 than670 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.

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