October 28, 2019
The founder of the nationwide Sing Australia network paid a flying visit to Kingaroy last week to help the South Burnett branch celebrate its 10th birthday.
And he didn’t come alone.
Colin Slater OAM also brought along 22 members from other Sing Australia groups who had taken part in Sing Australia’s National Convention, held in Brisbane.
The visitors joined local Sing Australia members for a night of community singing at the Uniting Church Hall that was capped off by a supper and a birthday cake decorated to look like a songbook.
Colin also presented 10-year membership pins to eight South Burnett members who have been with the region’s group since its inception.
He said an increasing number of studies showed loneliness was becoming a significant problem in modern society.
The uptake of technologies such as streaming TV, games and mobile phones kept many people at home these days.
This was gradually eroding their connection to other people in their communities, provoking feelings of isolation and leading to depression.
But groups like Sing Australia – which foster community singing, regardless of age or ability – were able to bridge this gap.
“Everybody can sing,” Colin said.
“It’s what makes us human, and it’s the most natural thing in the world.”
He believed the positive feelings singing creates in people was a big reason why Sing Australia had grown into a national network since it began in 1985.
South Burnett co-leader Sharron Coughlan – who was one of the 10-year pin recipients – agreed.
“Singing has so many health benefits,” she said.
“Everyone is able to sing, because if you can speak then you can sing. And if you do it regularly, you become good at it.”
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The South Burnett branch of Sing Australia meets on Monday nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Uniting Church Hall in Alford Street, Kingaroy (except public and school holidays) and always welcomes new members.
The group also gives performances at local nursing homes and supports community events.
Sharron said the branch has 25 members, and most meetings attract between six and 18 people for a two hour meeting, followed by a tea break.
“Attendance at meetings is not compulsory. Members come when they want to and if another engagement pulls them away, we all understand,” she said.
“It’s all about getting together, singing and having fun.”
If you’re interested in joining or finding out more, phone Sharron on 0431-816-071.