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Artists join domestic violence survivors to raise awareness through song

Jul 29, 2017
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Updated July 29, 2017 10:17:57

Artists from across Australia will participate tonight in a special performance of John Farnham’s 1986 hit You’re the Voice to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Kate Ceberano, Isaiah, and Queensland Music Festival artistic director Katie Noonan will lead the chorus of more than 2,500 people at Brisbane’s South Bank Piazza.

The project has united domestic violence survivors with high-profile leaders such as former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce in efforts to reduce the scourge of family violence through song.

Trish, a survivor of domestic violence, will sing the lead vocal with the Freedom Train community choir.

She was left homeless with her six children a year ago after an attack from her then partner, and is hoping to get the message out on stage about domestic violence.

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“I’m a little bit overwhelmed. It’s extremely exciting. Through this I’ve started to heal and face everything. I feel like it’s the culmination of everything,” Trish said.

“Absolutely [getting the message out through song works].

“I sing to get out my pain and frustration.

“It’s a really good way to reach out to people. A lot of people don’t know that domestic violence isn’t just about the act itself but afterwards too.”

Family and domestic violence support services:

Choir conductor Catherine Mundy said Trish’s courage has encouraged others in the group to come forward with their survival stories.

“[Trish] came to rehearsal a couple of weeks ago and she shared her story, and everyone was really very moved at her bravery,” Ms Mundy said.

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“She’s done a lot of work and we are just so amazed by her. Then to stand out the front and sing the lead vocal, a lot of people get pretty choked up.

“It’s giving permission to a lot of people to share their story and not be ashamed or afraid to share.”

More work to be done: Quentin Bryce

Noonan put out the call for singers for the event in April, culminating in tonight’s festival finale performance.

Dame Quentin, who wrote the pivotal Not Now, Not Ever report in 2015, is one of the high-profile participants.

The report recommended a complete overhaul of Queensland’s legal and justice system, and said while the state had come a long way, there was still work to be done.

“I think perhaps the most important thing that’s happened is that we have this issue firmly on our national agenda, and people are talking about it,” Dame Quentin said.

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“I’ve noticed a very big difference from three years ago when people would move away if you started talking about it.”

The former governor-general said the scourge of domestic violence also had a devastating impact on children.

“The whole idea of living in fear, of being physically attacked, of the insidious emotional psychological, emotional violence against women,” she said.

“I think also we’ve become much more conscious of how deeply violence is affecting children.

“I’m very pleased to see initiatives being taken by our government to have much better collaboration bringing all the services together to respond in a much more effective, professional way.”

Topics: domestic-violence, music, brisbane-4000

First posted July 29, 2017 10:07:50

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