Creativity Australia has just awarded a $10,000 seed funding to start up new With One Voice choir programs to five organisations with a Mildura group one of the successful applicants.

Ms Jane McCracken, in partnership with Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Community’s Council (SMECC) and other individuals with a shared passion for social inclusion and music, applied for the grant.

The funding is to help set up their own With One Voice community choir with the aim of promoting social cohesion and help to address some of the complex social issues the community faces.

Their combined expertise in community development, community arts facilitation, music and leadership and our strong links to local community groups and organisations place them in an excellent position to develop this project.

Ms McCracken has worked in various health promotion initiatives in the Mildura Local Government Area  over the last 10 years.

Being born and raised in the area and strongly believing  in the potential of the local community.

A Mum to two children who are both involved in making music and she is also a member of a local drum circle.

SMECC provides humanitarian and settlement program support to refugee and asylum seeker communities in addition to assisting established and emerging migrant communities to build capacity to pursue their goals.

Through linking with SMECC they hope to engage the many culturall diverse groups who make up the Mildua and surrounding areas in participating in the With One Voice Community Choir, and hope that in the future, they will be part of the organising committe.

The choir will be led by Catherine Threlfall who has a lifelong passion for making music accessible to everyone.

Ms Thredfall is a joyful and inspirational music leader who has an easy rapport with people from all backgrounds and has worked extensively at the nexus of music and wellbeing in education, health, special education, early childhood, disability, community arts, aged care, indigenous services, brain injury, research and other community settings in urban, regional and remote communities in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Since relocating to the Sunraysia region with her family in 2014 the musical lady has established herself as a community leader in the arts, leading and creating a range of accessible music making opportunities.

 She is excited by the opportunity to facilitate a multigenerational choir in a diverse rural community, building on her 20 years of experience leading youth choirs in schools, the community and special schools.

SMEC’s extremely well supported and thought out application gave them the edge over many other groups competing for the grants nationwide.