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Gondwana National Choirs

Reflecting Australia through song.

Gondwana National Choirs brings together the country’s best performers from all backgrounds to create extraordinarily rich musical ensembles.

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Gondwana National Choirs are the voice of Australia’s youth, bringing together young singers from across the country to form vibrant musical ensembles. The choirs are proudly representative of people from every state and territory, and come together for annual seasons of rehearsals and performances under Australia’s leading conductors of choirs for young people.

In 1997, Lyn Williams AM and Mark O’Leary OAM joined young singers from every state and territory for a two-week season of music and song in Sydney. This began the tradition of the annual residential camp which would become National Choral School, where hundreds of young singers live, rehearse and perform together each January.

Two of the national choirs, Gondwana Voices and Gondwana Chorale, are amongst the finest choirs of their kind in the world, and proudly represent Australia on the world stage.

Welcome from Lyn Williams, Artistic Director 

If singing is your thing, then the Gondwana National Choirs are for you. Gondwana Choirs are known across the world for the great repertoire they perform and the remarkable quality of their performances. To see one of our choirs perform is to share in the joy and excitement of the singers. 

You can begin the year at National Choral School surrounded by passionate young singers from across Australia. Discover that there are hundreds of young people who are as crazy about singing as you are and as keen to perform at the highest musical level. We enjoy working with leading choral conductors from across the country; our Gondwana conducting family. 2024 will see several new faces at NCS joining these ranks. Conductors from Western Sydney, Western Australia and Canberra will conduct alongside members of our established team. Two of our new conductors were themselves former Gondwana choristers.  

We have a sensational year planned for 2024. All choristers wishing to participate in our activities will attend National Choral School. In 2024 Gondwana Voices will take flight to the United Kingdom, Gondwana Singers will get tropical in Cairns and we will be preparing for Gondwana Chorale to tour internationally in early 2025. 

We can’t wait to see you again or to meet you for the very first time. Don’t delay, apply now for Gondwana National Choirs.  

Lyn Williams AM 


2024 Seasons

All choristers must attend National Choral School to be eligible to participate in any other Gondwana National Choirs seasons in 2024.  

  • National Choral School: All Choirs

  • Cairns Songfest: Gondwana Singers

  • UK Tour: Gondwana Voices

  • Voices of Angels: All Choirs

  • International Tour: Gondwana Chorale

National Choral School: All Choirs

10 – 20 January 2024, Sydney 

The Women’s College, University of Sydney 

Performances: Wednesday 17 January, Friday 19 January
Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music 

After a successful return in 2023, National Choral School is on for 2024! This will be an even bigger and better year with more opportunities, more singing, and more fun! Over 10 days, you’ll get to experience what it’s like to live and breathe choral music, all while working with leading choir conductors and exciting guest artists, discovering new repertoire, and making lifelong friends.  

If singing is your thing, National Choral School is for you, so apply now and get ready for an unforgettable experience! 

Conductors: Lyn Williams, Christie Anderson, AJ America, Natalie Gooneratne, Paul Holley, Rowan Johnston, Hugh Lydon, Lachlan Massey  

Eligibility: 10 – 25 years, all voice types  

Cost: $1350  

National Choral School is a residential program 

Cairns Songfest: Gondwana Singers

8 –14 April 2024 

Gondwana Singers is back on tour – and this time we’re off to sunny Cairns to perform in Songfest! Songfest brings young singers from around Cairns and across Australia together for a week of workshops and rehearsals culminating in a unique performance in the tropics. Slip, Slop, Slap, and SING! 

Eligibility: 13-18 years, all voice types 

UK Tour: Gondwana Voices

July/August 2024 

Gondwana Voices returns to the international stage with a tour of the United Kingdom! Over two weeks choristers will be given the opportunity to sing in historic venues and be immersed in the sights and sounds the UK has to offer. Join us for a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed! 

This season will feature choristers selected from National Choral School. 

Eligibility: 12 – 17 years, treble voices 

Voices of Angels: All Choirs

4 – 9 December 2024, Sydney  

Voices of Angels is the highlight of the festive season. Each year, Gondwana National Choirs joins the Sydney Children’s Choir in a program spanning cultures and countries, from traditional favourites to beautiful new works. Ring in the end of the year under the most iconic sails in the world! 

Eligibility 10 – 25 years, all voice types 

Voices of Angels is a non-residential program 

International Tour: Gondwana Chorale

20 January – 2 February 2025 

Gondwana Chorale has a proud tradition of sharing its music with audiences around the world. The choir returns to its cycle of touring with thrilling new adventures and performances. Previous tours have included the USA, Europe, and New Zealand. We can’t wait to share more information on this exciting opportunity – stay tuned!  

Eligibility: 18 – 25 years, all voice types

Choristers must attend NCS in 2025 to be eligible for this season. Preference may be given to choristers who have attended NCS in both 2024 and 2025.  

Gondwana National Choirs is the place for Australia’s young singers. If you can’t stop humming a tune, this is the place for you. You might sing in lots of choirs already or perhaps this is something you’ve always wanted to do. You might be from a large city or a small town. If singing is your thing, Gondwana is the place for you.  

Gondwana Novus is where the National Choral School journey begins. 

2024 Conductors: Natalie Goonerante and Lachlan Massey
Ages: 10 – 13
Voice type: treble 

Gondwana Voices works at the pinnacle of the treble choir artform, tackling dazzling repertoire from around the world.  

2024 Conductors: Lyn Williams AM and AJ America
Ages: 10 – 17
Voice type: treble
Strong aural and sight singing skills  

Gondwana Singers is an SATB choir of boundless energy which explores the thrills of the mixed choir repertoire.  

2024 Conductors: Rowan Johnston and Hugh Lydon
Ages: 13 – 18
Voice type: soprano, alto, tenor, bass 

Gondwana Chorale, our national youth choir, brings together fine young adult singers from across Australia to create a rich and exciting sound.  

2024 conductors: Paul Holley OAM and Christie Anderson
Ages: 18 – 25
Voice type: soprano, alto, tenor, bass
Strong aural and sight singing skills 

Download GNC 2024 Brochure
Download GNC 2024 Brochure

Applications for 2024 are now closed


Monday 10 July  Applications open 
Thursday 10 August  Applications close 
Monday 14 August  Videos due 
Monday 28 August – Wednesday 6 September  Auditions (online) 
Mid-October  Results (and bursaries) announced 

For more information, please contact: 
Giulian Favrin, Gondwana National Projects Manager  
0409 999 301  

  • Lyn Williams AM

    Artistic Director & Founder

  • Lachlan Massey

    Artistic Associate

  • AJ America

    Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2024

  • Paul Holley OAM

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

  • Rowan Johnston

    Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2024

  • Hugh Lydon

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

  • Natalie Goonerante

    Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2024

Lyn Williams AM

Artistic Director & Founder

Lyn Williams is widely regarded as one of the finest conductors of choirs around the world. For over 30 years, Lyn has harnessed the incredible power of young voices through her world-renowned ensembles: the Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices, the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and Marliya. Her choirs have appeared with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors and at festivals including the BBC Proms and Polyfollia.  

Lyn has commissioned over 200 works from composers across Australia and around the world and her ability to forge innovative and meaningful collaborations is widely recognised. She continues to foster strong relationships with First Nations artists across Australia, bringing together cultural custodians and composers to create new works which preserve and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages and cultures. Lyn enjoys a long-standing collaboration with singer-songwriter Felix Riebl of the Cat Empire and the singers of Marliya, presenting the critically-acclaimed show Spinifex Gum, which has featured at almost every Australian arts festival since its premiere at the Adelaide Festival in 2018.  

In 2017, Lyn received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Don Banks Music Award for outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia, in recognition of her lifework as founder and director of Gondwana Choirs. 

Lachlan Massey

Artistic Associate

Lachlan Massey is a young Australian conductor and composer.

Lachlan is Artistic Associate at Gondwana Choirs, working under Lyn Williams AM. In his time with the choirs he has assisted in preparing them for performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company and for six Prime Ministers of Australia. He is privileged to conduct the Sydney Children’s Choir’s Junior Performing Choir, a selective extension group for young people ages 9-14 who show especially strong musical aptitude.

As Artistic Director of Musgrove Opera, Lachlan has directed several productions for children and families, described by Time Out as “ingenious…petite productions for hungry young minds.” Lachlan presents an annual season with the company which has included four petite productions at the Sydney Opera House in recent years, as well performances at The Concourse and in schools.

​Lachlan has presented workshops for ACO Foundations and was a guest conductor for the RSCM Junior Schools Choral Festival in 2022 and 2023. Lachlan is a former Young Ambassador for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

AJ America

Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2024

AJ America is a performer, conductor and creative producer. She is the Artistic Director of Luminescence Chamber Singers and Children’s Choir, Canberra’s premiere vocal ensembles, and currently serves as the Chair of the ACT Art’s Minister’s Creative Council. AJ performs regularly as a soloist and a consort singer in Sydney and Canberra, appearing with the Luminescence Chamber Singers, Cantillation, the Choir of St James’ King St, Pinchgut Opera and Vox Plexus (Melbourne). She is a regular collaborator with conductor Roland Peelman, and Ella Luhtasaari (piano). In recent years, AJ has also served as a tutor for the ANU School of Music H-Course Vocal Ensemble, Director of Choirs at Radford College, and as a guest conductor for the Sydney Children’s Choir. 

Paul Holley OAM

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

Paul Holley is a choral conductor and music educator. His personal warmth and passion for choral music have inspired many singers to discover and develop their skills as choral musicians. With over 25 years of teaching experience in schools and many years of working with instrumentalists and singers Paul knows how to connect with people of all ages and enjoys collaborating with them in the music making process. 

Presently, Paul is the Artistic Director of Voices of Birralee a community youth and children’s choir organisation based in Brisbane. He conducts two of the signature choirs the Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee. Both of these ensembles have toured nationally and internationally, won several competitions, made numerous recordings and supported community events. He is also the co-conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale. In addition to these roles, Paul is a workshop presenter, choral clinician, guest conductor and mentor to younger conductors. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2016 for his services to choral music. 

Rowan Johnston

Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2024

Rowan is a freelance conductor, adjudicator and clinician based in New Zealand. He holds undergraduate degrees in Voice and Composition and has completed a Masters degree in Choral Conducting with First Class Honours studying with Dr Karen Grylls at Auckland University. Rowan founded the Taranaki Youth Choir and the internationally-acclaimed Choralation Choir from Westlake Girls & Boys High Schools. Under his direction, Choralation is the most successful choir in the history of the NZ Secondary School choral festival The Big Sing. In 2014, Choralation was awarded 1st Place in the Summa Cum Laude Music Festival in Vienna where they performed in the Musik Vehrein. Rowan currently holds the positions of Director of Choirs at Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland, the Music Directorship of the Auckland Youth Choir and was made an Associate Conductor for New Zealand’s professional chamber choir, an ensemble he also sings in, Voices New Zealand. He is a Choral Advisor for the NZ Choral Federation. 

Hugh Lydon

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

Hugh Lydon is a teacher, singer and conductor who is passionate about choral music. This love was developed as a chorister in Westminster Cathedral from 1992-1997. In his final year at the Cathedral, the choir received the Gramophone Classical Music Awards for both ‘Best Choral Recording of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’, the only time a cathedral choir has won either of these categories.

Hugh studied Music Education at Trinity College Dublin, before moving to Perth in September 2010. He commenced work at John Septimus Roe ACS, where he was an active member of the Music Department until the end of 2018.

In 2017, Hugh founded the Perth Choral Institute; an organisation that delivers choral education to singers of all genres. PCI operated residential Summer Schools from 2017-2019 and multiple Boot Camps throughout each year, where singers could experience styles from Gospel to Christmas Carols.

In February 2019, Hugh began employment at Aquinas College, directing the inaugural Schola Cantorum. The choristers of the choir receive nine hours of music education weekly and perform throughout Perth. They have sung alongside many ensembles, including WASO for performances of Britten’s ‘War Requiem’, Mahler’s ‘Third Symphony’, and Lachlan Skipworth’s ‘The Tides of Longing.’

Hugh continues his own involvement in choral music, both as a singer and as conductor. He has performed in or alongside The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini, St George’s Cathedral Consort and The Giovanni Consort, and has conducted The Giovanni Consort, WASO Chorus and St George’s Cathedral Consort.

Since mid-2021, Hugh has been the Children’s Chorus Master for West Australian Opera, preparing children for performances of Pagliacci, Carmen and Tosca. He also held the position of Chorus Master for Tosca and Carmen.

Hugh was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2022 to create tertiary pathways for choral musicians in Western Australia.

Natalie Goonerante

Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2024

Natalie Gooneratne

Choral Director, Music Teacher, Singer


Born to an interesting mix of a doctor and a singer in Sri Lanka, Natalie took to music (not medicine!) from a very early age. She is passionate about choirs and has close to 10 years’ of experience in performance and choral directing. Career highlights include: Founder and former Artistic Director of Evolution, University of the Visual and Performing Arts Choir, Sri Lanka. In 2010, Evolution won first runner up in the Sri Lanka National Choir Competition along with National television appearances and SAARC Summit performances. In 2014 under her direction Evolution was the featured choir on the Commonwealth Song Competition held in Glasgow which won first place. She was also the Choral director of the  Asian International High School Choir and the Elizebeth Moir International School Choir.

As a solo performer, Natalie has sung with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (Young Soloist of the Year 2008). She holds a Licentiate (Hon) from the Trinity College of Music London (voice performance) and undertook further masterclass voice training in Austria and Germany.


Upon migrating to Australia in 2013 Natalie completed her Bachelor of Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2018) where she studied singing under Dr Narelle Yeo. She also studied conducting under Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Artistic and Music Director Brett Weymark OAM and is a regular chorister in Philharmonia.


In Australia, Natalie founded and is the Artistic Director of Phoenix Voices of Youth – a multicultural choir based in South-West Sydney. The choir gave regular performances including for the then Governor of NSW His Excellency Hon David Hurley (2018),  special television appearances on SBS and ABC TV (2018 & 2019) and at the Sydney Town Hall (2019) for the Mayor of Sydney and Secretary General of Amnesty International. Last year Phoenix Voices of youth was invited to perform for the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House “On the steps performance series” and was also invited  to participate in Australia’s Got Talent at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre which received a standing ovation.

In 2021, Natalie made her debut as the choral director for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Playing Beatie Bow, a critically acclaimed new stage adaptation by Kate Mulvany, directed by Kip Williams.

Natalie is also a school Music teacher and the choral director of Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School choir and is undertaking a Master’s degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Dr James Humberstone and Dr Narelle Yeo.

During her spare time Natalie enjoys making a good cup of masala chai with milo in it !


For more, visit our YouTube channel.

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