School of Hard Knocks Choir program to launch on Mid North Coast

Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Founding Artistic Director of the School of Hard Knocks and its growing national network of associated programs.
Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Founding Artistic Director of the School of Hard Knocks and its growing national network of associated programs.

PEOPLE from all over the Mid North Coast will soon be able to share in the joy of song and celebration with the official launch of the School of Hard Knocks.

Jointly announced by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Founding Artistic Director of the School of Hard Knocks and its growing national network of associated programs, and Ms Val Evans, General Manager of Port Macquarie Community College, the new local 'Absolutely Everybody' choir will begin in early 2016.

"We are all thrilled to have completed the formal agreement between our two organisations, so we can now begin in earnest recruiting our singers and raising funds for the whole project," Ms Evans said.

"It has taken long negotiations to get to this point because we wanted to make sure we're establishing something for the long run. Local people who have suffered setbacks in life, perhaps live with mental health challenges or other disadvantaged circumstances, will be welcome to join the choir.

"We are particularly proud to be the first regional branch of the School of Hard Knocks, outside their capital city branches in Melbourne and Brisbane."

Dr Welch, well known for his award winning Choir of Hard Knocks, has always held a soft spot for Port Macquarie, where he has often performed in the past. So it is a double pleasure for him to now have more reasons to keep coming back regularly.

"I believe there will be many benefits for the whole region, as the School's creative arts for recovery approach encourages everyone to feel socially included and play in the wider world, " Dr Welch said.

"Often there are fears and hesitations for those who live with challenges, but singing together makes it so much easier to create a sense of belonging and shared celebration."

Port Macquarie Community College, also known as SkillsLink Training, has over thirty years of history in working with community members in creative arts and already has an enthusiastic group of volunteers ready to support the School of Hard Knocks in a wide range of activities.

Corporate and individual sponsorship of choir members is welcomed. If your business or you as an individual would like to participate in our sponsorship program you are encouraged to contact the college on 02-65837288 or by emailingadmin@skillslinktraining.com.au.

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