Sing Australia Pty Ltd was established in 1985 by Colin Slater OAM to encourage more Australians to sing.
It is welcoming of all voices. There are no auditions. There is no need to be able to read music. There is no need to be able to sing in parts. No previous experience needed.
- Lots of singing - lots of different styles
- Lots of fun
- Personal fulfilment
- New friendships all around Australia and overseas
- Tours around Australia and overseas
Why You Should Sing
There seems to be a prevailing school of thought among Australians that they are not cut out for singing. We want to change this thinking and show that it is possible for everyone to sing. We are not just saying that you can sing. We're also saying you should! There are a lot of benefits that come with singing, especially with participation in group singing. It might surprise you to know that singing brings you a lot of health benefits, both physically and mentally. We are happy to list a few benefits
A growing body of research demonstrates singing brings health benefits, such as:
- improved lung function
- improved posture
- increased alertness and focus
- enhanced immune systems
- reduced stress levels
Probably the most overlooked physical benefit is an improvement in listening. Emotional benefits of singing are:
- improved mood
- feeling more positive and spiritually uplifted
- building self confidence
- attaining an increased sense of well-being
- releasing our feelings
The best thing: everyone can sing! Sing Australia specifically is based on the idea that everyone should be given the opportunity to sing in a welcoming and supportive environment. It doesn't matter if you wish to sing professionally or socially, the above benefits can be achieved. All people have a right to sing.
Why Singing is Natural
Singing tunefully comes easier to some than to others, but generally everyone can 'tune up' given careful guidance, patience and encouragement. Being immersed in a friendly and accepting environment where you can feel free to be yourself is the pathway to an improved voice - even for the most 'off-key' person. It is very helpful to ask someone, who you trust, to listen to you and affirm when your pitch is right and when your voice is sounding better. This process should not be hurried or undertaken with the expectation that it will produce the desired outcome in a short space of time. On the contrary in some cases it may take quite some time. Persistence and encouragement is the way. It is not necessary to cultivate your voice into a highly produced sound unless you want to sing professionally. The natural voice is very acceptable as it is. You should never compare your voice to that of someone else. Your voice is unique and special. The good thing about the human vocal instrument is that it is a part of us and we are using our voices all the time in lots of interesting ways. We vary the pitch and the volume when we speak and when we call out. Singing is the same. Never despair. It is perfectly natural to sing.
We can all sing in some form or another.
Singing is a very personal and emotional expression. It is a universal language that has the capacity to bring people together in friendship. Just think about it, people sing just about all over the world! Most countries have their own songs. Although different cultures create different types of music, the fact that they all sing makes them equal to us in their desire to express themselves through singing. Singing is therefore a natural and magnificent way of connecting with people all over the world.
Sing Australia Pty Ltd was established by Colin Slater OAM, with a primary goal of encouraging people to sing.
Colin Slater envisioned Australia as a country where everyone sings.
Colin Slater formed a group called Austral Skies with Australian trumpeter Paul Plunkett, which performed Australian music and songs throughout the Eastern States of Australia from 1986 to 1990. He produced and directed a great many concerts, events and celebrations featuring prominent Australian artists, such as the inaugural National Opera Festival (1997), a major concert in the Melbourne Park Tennis centre celebrating the 75th anniversary of the RAAF (1996), a series of outdoor concerts for the Cassegrain Winery in Port Macquarie, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Masters Games in Canberra, a national concert of Australian stars for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and many more.
Established a group of rugby players and rugby supporters to sing for the Brumbies at Bruce Stadium. This group became known as the Australian Rugby Choir.(ARC) Over a period of 5 years the ARC became a household name in Canberra not only through performances at Rugby games but at a huge range of community events. In this period the choir was incorporated as an Association. In 2000 Sing Australia discontinued its involvement with the ARC to concentrate on building a national network of singing groups.
Established a ladies group in Canberra called 'Colours'. This started out as a very large group reaching at its peak 150 members.
Established the first group out of Canberra in the NSW city of Griffith - another Walter Burley Griffin designed city. Shortly after this, groups were started in Hawthorn and Albury-Wodonga and the network was on the way.
Colin Slater was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly the promotion of Australian music and artists, and to singing in the Canberra community.
A mens group called Blokes was established in Canberra.
The first Sing Australia National Gathering was held in Canberra. 350 members of Sing Australia from 17 Sing Australia groups in NSW and Victoria came together and had a fantastic time singing in some of the National Institutions
Sing Australia led its first overseas tour to Italy. It was in Asolo, Italy in 1983 where Colin Slater thought of the idea behind Sing Australia. Colin Slater was studying on a Churchill Fellowship with the famous baritone Tito Gobbi. There have since been further trips to Italy in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. On each occasion the tour group visits Asolo and is welcomed by the Mayor of Asolo in a Civic Reception.
The National Gathering was held in Broken Hill
The National Gathering was held in Echuca Moama with 500 participants
Sing Australia had grown into a nationwide network of 60 groups with 2500 members in ACT, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia. The combined efforts of all groups produced in excess of 750 performances for the year. These covered a huge range of community events and celebrations.
There were State Gatherings held in Horsham (Vic); Port Augusta (Sth Aust); Hobart (Tas) and Port Macquarie (NSW)
Sing Australia conducted a tour of 127 members and some partners to sing at Lone Pine, Gallipoli on Anzac Day. This had the endorsement of General Peter Cosgrove, Chief of the Defence Force and the approval of the Prime Minister, The Hon John Howard MP. 27 Sing Australia groups were represented in this tour group. There were subsequent tours to Gallipoli in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The National Gathering was held in Hobart.
100 members of Sing Australia representing 18 groups toured to the outback town of Wilcannia to support our group in Wilcannia in a cultural day called Yuku Parlu (Sun baby) festival. A special fund raising campaign around the network to purchase a piano for Wilcannia.
The National Gathering was held in Adelaide.
Overseas tour to Canada to sing for the World Peace Forum in Vancouver.
National Gathering was held in Dubbo
Conducted overseas tours to Vietnam and Turkey
The Australian Government provided a grant to Sing Australia to assist with the establsihment of groups in drought affected Australia. The funding was provided through the Hon Jenny Macklin's Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous affairs. This enabled the establishment of 60 groups right across Australia. This support has been ongoing and it has enabled the strengthening of the network and the achievement of considerable and positive community outcomes affecting the lives of hundreds if not thousands of lives.
The National Gathering was held at the Sunshine Coast and Canberra
The National Gatherings were held in Perth.
Conducted overseas tours to Spain/Portugal, Turkey, Vietnam
Groups were started in the Northern Territory.
The National Gathering was held in Melbourne with 1200 participants
Ita Buttrose was appointed as a Sing Australia Patron
Conducted overseas tours to Canada and UK/Ireland,
The National Gathering was held in Sydney with 1000 participants. General Peter Cosgrove was appointed as a Sing Australia Patron
Conducted overseas tours to Uk/Ireland, Turkey/Spain, Vietnam and New Zealand.
Sing Australia moved its Head Office to Melbourne. Conducted a 'Sound of Music' Tour to Italy, Austria, Germany.
The National Gathering was held in Alice Springs (520 participants) followed by a Post Gathering tour to Uluru and Darwin (174) participants
More groups were started throughout Australia. Now 152 groups in every State and Territory.
Athol Guy of the The Seekers was appointed as a Sing Australia Patron
For Australia to be a country where everyone sings
Connecting Australians in singing
To establish a network of singing groups throughout Australia
To demonstrate the social and health benefits of singing
To express national identity through singing
To use the singing groups in building stronger communities through performances
To make the singing groups accessible to everyone by being inclusive and welcoming
Establish a Head Office
Run workshops to start groups
Singing groups to be self funding
Appoint Leaders to run each group according to the requirements of a Leader Manual
Appoint Regional Coordinators to liaise with Leaders on behalf of Head Office
Each leader to appoint a conductor and accompanist
Produce a consistent repertoire for all groups through the production of songbooks that have copyright approval
Provide public liability insurance cover for each group
Establish a web site for communication with each group and for online services for members for membership and merchandise
Produce a special Sing Australia uniform
Create opportunities for group gatherings
Organise domestic and overseas tours for members
We welcome everyone to belong to Sing Australia
We make no judgement of singing quality
We promote friendship and tolerance
We listen and we encourage
We support the Leaders
Sing Australia has a very extensive repertoire and there are songs for every occasion in our songbooks.
Please see below for a full listing of songs available in our songbooks.
Songbook 1 Amazing Grace, Annie's Song, As Time Goes By, Australia for Me, Ave Verum, Barcarolle (Tales of Hoffman), Battle Hymn of the Republic, Bless this House, Blue Skies, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Bright Eyes, Bush Night Song, Bushrangers (The) Calon Ian, Caravan, Carnival is Over (The), Cathedral of the Stars, Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Coro di Schiavi Ebrei, Nabucco) [Va Pensiero], Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Cootamundra Wattle, Cracker Night Danny Boy, Days of Wine and Roses, Don't Fence Me In, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes Fernando, Flight, Follow Me, For the Good Times, From the Outback to the Ocean Galleries of Pink Galahs, Georgia on My Mind, Getting to Know You, Gift of Song (The), Girl from Ipanema (The), Gloria (Mozart's Twelfth Mass) Hallelujah Chorus (The Messiah), Happy Talk, Happy Wanderer (The), Home Among the Gumtrees, Homeward Bound I am Australian, I'll Catch the Sun, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, I Still Call Australia Home, It's a Grand Night for Singing Jean, Jubilee Hymn to the Holy Spirit, Kerry Dance (The), Last Farewell (The), Last Rose of Summer (The), Lazy River, Love Changes Everything, Love Me Tender, Ma Belle Marguerite, Mamma Mia, March of the Men of Harlech, Misty, Money Money Money, Moon River, My Country, Night Train, Oh,What a Beautiful Morning, Oklahoma, O Sole Mio, On the Road to Mandalay, Over the Rainbow, Raining on the Rock, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, Rhythm of Life, Rose of Tralee (The), Santa Lucia, Shelter, Singing in the Rain, Six Ribbons, Skye Boat Song, Someday One Day, Soldiers' chorus (Faust), Spanish Eyes, Stockriders Song, Stormy Weather, Streets of London, Summertime, Sunrise Sunset, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, That's What Friends Are For, There is Nothing Like a Dame, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, Three Coins in the Fountain, Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra, Two Little Boys, Walk a Country Mile, Waltzing Matilda, Waratah and Wattle, Waterloo, What a Wonderful World, We'll Meet Again, When We Were Kids, Ye Banks and Braes, You'll Never Walk Alone
Songbook 2 Anzac Day, Australian Medley - Consider Yourself - Embraceable You - I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right out of my Hair, If I Can Help Somebody - Let There Be Peace on Earth - Oh Happy Day - River Don't Burn, River Run Wild – Shackleton - You Raise Me Up.
Songbook 3 All My Loving, And I Love Her, All You Need is Love, Any Dream Will Do - Beyond the Sea, Blue Moon (Partner Songs) - Dare to Dream, Do You Hear the People Sing, Dream a Little Dream of Me - For Once in My Life - G'day G'day - Hello Dolly, How Great Thou Art - I Dreamed a Dream, I Wish You Could be Here, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing - Leaving on a Jet Plane, Lookin' Forward Lookin' Back, Love Me With All Your Heart - Morning Has Broken, My Heart Will Go On (Theme from 'Titanic') - Never Let Go of your Dream – Olive Tree (The), Open Up Them Pearly Gates - Panis Angelicus, Peace Train - Red Rubber Ball, Ride Away - Save the Last Dance for Me, Sealed With a Kiss, Sinner Man, Stand By Your Man, Sweet Caroline - Time For Us (A) - Unchained Melody, Under the Boardwalk - Walk Right In, We've Done Us Proud, What the World Needs Now, What Would I Do Without My Music, Words, World of our Own (A) - You Can Tell the World
Songbook 4 As Long as I have Music, Ave Maria (Charles Gounod) - Begin the Beguine, Besame Mucho, Best of My Love - Chariot's Comin’, Cracklin' Rosie, Crocodile Rock - Daddy Cool, Dancing Queen, Day Trip to Bangor, Don't Cry Out Loud - End of the Line, Every Time I Feel the Spirit - Fields of Gold - Ghost Riders in the Sky, Glory Train (The), Green Door (The) – Hallelujah, Heartbreak Hotel - I Am I Said, If I Had Words, I'm a Believer, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Imagine, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), It's All Right With Me – Journey - Let Go the Long White Sails, Living Doll, Lollipop - Make Believe, Mister Sandman - Night and Day - Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Old Irish Blessing - Penny Lane - Rivers of Babylon - Shake Rattle and Roll, Sing, Song Sung Blue - Tenterfield Saddler, Thank You for the Music, That Old Black Magic, Top of the World - Walking in the Air, We've Only Just Begun, When the Stars Begin to Fall, Why We Sing, Wings
ANZAC Songbook Abide With Me, ANZAC, Advance Australia Fair (Australian National Anthem), Amazing Grace, Anthem (from Chess), Anzac Day, Australia for Me - Brown Slouch Hat –Chattanooga Choo Choo - Eternal Father Strong to Save (Navy Hymn), Evening Hymn and Last Post - Gilgandra Begins It, God Defend New Zealand (New Zealand National Anthem), God is our Strength and Refuge (Air Force Hymn) - If You Were the Only Girl in the World, Imagine, Istiklal Marsi (Turkish National Anthem), It's a Long Way to Tipperary - Keep the Home Fires Burning - The Last Farewell, Let There Be Peace on Earth, The Lord's My Shepherd - Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, McNamara's Band - Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (A), No Man's Land - O God Our Help in Ages Past, Old Irish Blessing, The Olive Tree, O Valiant Hearts, Over the Rainbow - Pack Up Your Troubles (Partner Song) - Recessional Hymn (The) - Sing As We Go, Soldiers of Australia (Army Hymn), Songs from the Trenches (Medley Soldiers of the Queen/Goodbye Dolly Gray/ It’s a Long Way to Tipperary/Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major/Brown Slouch Hat/Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag/ Long Long Trail Awinding/White Cliffs of Dover/ Bless ‘em All/We’ll Meet Again/Keep the Home Fires Burning), Swingin' Along the Road to Victory - Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty, Till the Lights of London Shine Again, Two Little Boys - We'rve Done Us Proud, White Cliffs of Dover, Wings - You'll Never Walk Alone, You Made Me Love You
Christmas Songbook Away in a Manger - Carol of the Birds (Australian), Christmas Day (Australian), Christmas Song (The) (Chestnuts Roasting), Christmas Waltz (The), Coventry Carol - Go Tell It on the Mountain, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good Christians All Rejoice, Good King Wenceslas - Happy Xmas (War is Over), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Holy City (The) - It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Jingle Bell Rock, Joy to the World - O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, On a Starlit Night/Silent Night (Partner song), Once in Royal David's City - Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer - Silent Night, Silver Stars are in the Sky (The) (Australian), Sleep Holy Babe - Three drovers (The) (Australian), Twelve Days of Christmas (Australian and Traditional) - What Child is this
Songs Around the Piano Book 1 (Compilation from SB 2001, SB2 SB3 and ANZAC SB) Advance Australia Fair (Australian National Anthem), All My Loving, Any Dream Will Do - Beer Barrel Polka, Beyond the Sea, Bless this House - Carnival is Over (The), Chattanooga Choo Choo, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Consider Yourself - Don't Fence Me In – Fernando, For the Good Times - G'day G'day, Georgia on My Mind - Hello Dolly - I Am Australian, I Dreamed a Dream, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, If You Were the Only Girl in the World - Let There Be Peace on Earth, Lookin' Forward Lookin' Back, Love Me Tender, Love Me With All Your Heart - McNamara's Band - Oh What a Beautiful Morning – Shelter, Someday One Day, Spanish Eyes, Stand By Your Man, Sweet Caroline - Three Coins in the Fountain - Walk a Country Mile, Walk Right In, We've Done Us Proud, What a Wonderful World, World of our Own (A)
Songs Around the Piano Book 2 (Compilation from SB 2001, SB2 SB3 and ANZAC SB) Amazing Grace, Ave Verum, As Time Goes By, Beautiful Dreamer, Besame Mucho, Dream a Little Dream, Drink To Me Only, Edelweiss, Follow Me, From The Outback To The Ocean, Getting To Know You, Happy Talk, Hey Goodlookin', Home Among The Gumtrees, How Great Thou Art, I Still Call Australia Home, I'll Catch The Sun, I'm A Believer, I'm Beginning To See The Light, It's A Grand Night For Singing, Living Doll, Lollipop, Misty, Moon River, Morningtown Ride, My Country, Night & Day, Oklahoma, Rhythm Of Life, Rivers Of Babylon, Save The Last Dance For Me, Sealed With A Kiss, Shake Rattle & Roll, Sing, Sunrise Sunset, The Green Door, The Lord's My Shepherd, Those Magnificent Men, Top Of The World, Under The Boardwalk, Waterloo.
Songs Around the Piano Book 3 (Compilation from SB 2001, SB2 SB3 and ANZAC SB) Anthem, as long as I have music, Begin the Beguine, Bush night song, Cootamundra Wattle, Cwm Rhondda, Gum Trees and wattle, Homeward Bound, The last farewell, Let go the long white sails, Morning has broken, Olive Tree, O sole mio, Raindrops keep falling on my head, River run wild, Santa Lucia, Skye boat song, Shackleton, Two little boys, Unchained melody, Words, You raise me up.
Colin Slater OAM
Founder, CEO and National Director of Sing Australia
From 1966 to 1983 Colin Slater was employed in the Commonwealth Public Service in various Departments - Department of Supply, Department of National Development, Department of Minerals and Energy, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Department of Tourism and Recreation, Department of Industry and Commerce. His duties in these Departments ranged from administrative to policy areas. During the early years in the Public Service Colin completed a Certificate of Public Administration at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Vic). A highlight of Colin's working experience in the Public Service was in his position as Personal Assistant to Neil Currie, the Secretary of the Department of Industry and Commerce. Neil was later knighted and appointed Australian Ambassador to Japan. Sadly, Neil passed away a number of years ago and to Colin's great joy, Neil's wife, Lady Geraldine Currie joined Sing Australia Bateman's Bay and she has had a most memorable time on one of the Tours to Gallipoli and she loves attending the National Gatherings.
While working in full time employment Colin began his career in music as an opera singer in 1972. He has performed around 40 major roles including many of the great baritone roles in the operatic repertoire as well as leading roles in many musicals. He received national critical acclaim for performing the role of ‘Pilgrim’ in the Australian premiere of the Vaughan Williams opera ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ for Canberra Opera in the presence of Ursula Vaughan Williams in 1980.
In 1983 Colin was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study opera singing with leading teachers in Europe including the great Italian baritone Tito Gobbi.
From 1984 to 1992 he was employed as Office Manager of the architectural firm, Bryan R Dowling and Associates. Some of the projects completed by the firm in that period included many major commercial projects such as hotels, offices and school buildings.
In 1985, Sing Australia Pty Ltd was established by Colin Slater to promote Australian artists, Australian music and to encourage Australians to sing. Colin Slater remains the sole Director.
In 1986 he formed a group called Austral Skies with distinguished Australian trumpeter, Paul Plunkett to promote the performance of Australian songs. Over the ensuing three years performed throughout the eastern part of Australia - on some occasions with Musica Viva.
From 1992 to 1993 Colin was employed as Private Secretary to Mr Lou Westende, MLA, a newly elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory.
From 1994 to the present time Colin Slater has been running Sing Australia Pty Ltd, which was established in 1985 to promote Australian artists, Australian music and to encourage Australians to sing.
Through Sing Australia Colin has produced a wide range of events from concerts to festivals, corporate functions, and entertainment at major sporting events. Highlights included producing the RAAF 75th Anniversary Concert in Melbourne Park in 1996, the Inter-Parliamentary Union concert in 1995, several annual Discovery Concerts at the Cassegrain Winery, Port Macquarie and the inaugural National Opera Festival in 1997 which he devised and produced. This event contained a program of events over a period of nine weeks. Colin has also been the event manager and ACT Executive Director for the Australia Day celebrations in Canberra from 1989 to 2005.
In 1996 Colin began to focus the Company’s attention on fulfilling his vision to encourage Australians to sing. He established the Australian Rugby Choir based on his earlier experience working with The Royals Rugby Choir in Canberra for many years. While the Australian Rugby Choir was established by Sing Australia, a group of members had the group incorporated as an Association in order to supposedly facilitate a fund raising exercise to attend a World Cup. This action took the ownership of the group from Sing Australia and while Colin and Sing Australia were retained as the Managers of the group he eventually lost the group. It was a most unfortunate circumstance and it presented a very difficult time for Sing Australia and for Colin. His huge investment of time in developing the group over many years through hundreds of performances in the Canberra community and in building a very big public awareness of the group was blatantly exploited by those wishing to take advantage of its success. However, Colin decided to establish a further choir for men called ‘Blokes’ to make it possible for more men to become involved in singing. The Blokes group has always been a strong group. It provides an important inspiration for men around Australia to join other Sing Australia groups.
In 1998 the second Sing Australia choir was formed in Canberra. This time, a ladies choir was established and an annual membership of Sing Australia formed the basis of belonging to Sing Australia and avoiding the need to form an Association. The group became known as Colours and this group determined the Colour of the Ladies uniform shirt as being plain colours of their choice. The Blokes group that came along in 2001 had a uniform of plain chambray shirt and a specially designed tie that incorporated the coloured musical notes of the same colours as the ladies shirts. Colours and Blokes undertook many combined performances in the Canberra community and this saw Sing Australia moving forward with a new and positive image.
The first Sing Australia Choir outside of Canberra was established in Griffith in 1998.
Shortly after that groups were started in Hawthorn and Albury Wodonga and the network was on its way. Since then more than 150 choirs were established throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Sing Australia choirs, which we prefer to now call 'singing groups' are meeting the needs of people who have not had the chance to sing in more formal choirs and they are providing a great avenue for friendship and support. Each of these singing groups are also performing in their communities and from time to time many of them combine for special occasions. This has had the effect of bringing Australians together in a very positive way. Many members now plan their travels to coincide with group rehearsals. As the network has a common repertoire it is very easy for members to visit other groups.
Sing Australia holds an Annual National Gathering. The first was held in Canberra in 2001, then 2002, Broken Hill; 2003 Echuca; in 2004 we held a series of State Gatherings (Horsham, Port Macquarie, Hobart, Port Augusta); 2005, Hobart; 2006, Adelaide; 2007 Sunshine Coast; 2008, Dubbo and Canberra; 2009, Canberra and Perth; 2010, Melbourne with an attendance of 1200 members; 2011, Sydney with 1000 members; 2012, Alice Springs; 2013 Canberra. Sing Australia National Gatherings have now been held in every State and Territory.
In 2002 Colin led a group of 45 members on a tour of Italy, which included a visit to Asolo, where he studied with Tito Gobbi, and where he thought of the concept of Sing Australia. This was the beginning of annual Sing Australia tours overseas. In May 2012 Sing Australia completed its sixth tour to Italy and this tour marked the 22nd overseas tour for Sing Australia. Colin has also led tours to Turkey that have included participation in the commemorative services at Gallipoli on Anzac day for 7 consecutive years. Other tours have been to Canada, USA, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Austria, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand.
The tour to France in 2008 included singing for the 90th commemorations at Fromelle in France.
In June 2006 he led a Sing Australia tour to Canada that included singing at the Opening Ceremony of the World Peace Forum in Vancouver.
Colin Slater ran a singing teaching studio for many years for the benefit of Sing Australia members in Canberra. The singing abilities of the students varied from beginners to advanced.
Colin also encourages young people to get involved in singing and he has taken every opportunity, when establishing singing groups around Australia, to give singing workshops at both primary and secondary schools. A proposal to start family singing groups throughout Australia is about to be launched with several pilot studies.
Since the establishment of Sing Australia Colin has extended his singing teaching skills to incorporate motivational work for Human Resource Development programs for the corporate sector. His clients have included the Royal Australian Navy, Telstra Senior Managers, the Telstra Board, ANZ Bank Senior Managers, HOTONDO, and the Australian Livestock and Transport Association. These presentations have been very effective as ice breakers to a conference or as part of a corporate training package. They have produced surprising results in terms of encouraging executives to relax, to think creatively, to appreciate the value of teamwork, to unlock emotional inhibitions and to be sensitive to the emotions of others. To build self esteem in self expression.
Colin has been involved in community work for most of his working life, performing for fund-raising activities and community occasions mainly in Canberra. In particular he was involved with Canberras traditional Carols by Candlelight for almost 30 years as a soloist and compere; the annual Canberra Rotary Club Senior’s Concert for 22 years as producer, the annual Canberra Legacy ANZAC Concert for 14 years as producer, the Lanyon Carols by Candlelight for 23 years as Musical Director. Colin was the Conductor for the annual Y Gymanfa Ganu (Welsh Singing Festival) Canberra for around 8 years and he was the Conductor for the Bible Society Hymnfest for some 11 years. As the primary conductor of two Sing Australia groups, Colours and Blokes in Canberra for many years he conducted around 100 different gigs in the community each year.
Colin was a member of the ACT Regional Selection Committee for the Churchill Memorial Trust for 20 years. He is also a member of the ACT Churchill Fellows Association.
Colin was a member of the Rotary Club of Canberra for 15 years. In that time he received two International Rotary Awards - The Paul Harris Fellowship and the Vocational Excellence Award. Eight years ago the Rotary Club of Canberra made Colin an honorary life member.
On Australia Day 2000 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community particularly in promoting Australian music and artists and singing in the Canberra Region.
Margaret brings a strong background in business management to Sing Australia.
She joined Sing Australia in April 2009 following a long and successful career as Area Manager ACT/Southern NSW for NNT Corporate Uniform.
This was an executive role within the company and in April 2006 Margaret was responsible for the re-establishment of the New Zealand operation, employment and management of support staff required to successfully re-build the business in New Zealand. Margaret has successfully built strong business links with both the private and public sectors and has won and managed a number of major national accounts.
Apart from assisting the National Director, Margaret manages the Head Office in the absence of the National Director.
She has been the Event Manager for the special gathering in Canberra in 2009 and the National Gatherings in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Alice Springs.
She has organised all the Sing Australia overseas tours since 2009. Margaret has organised many domestic tours including major post National Gathering tours.
She was responsible for the successful implementation of the new uniform and in establishing and managing the ongoing relationship with the manufacturer in Melbourne.
She assists with the administration of the Australian Government assistance program.
She oversees the accounts department and the merchandise program.
Chantelle Davies B.Bus
Manager, Marketing and Administration
Born in Melbourne, Chantelle is the eldest of three siblings, has an English mother and Australian father. She enjoys her dual citizenship and has travelled to Europe throughout her life.
Chantelle attended Kilvington Girls Grammar School where she was Choir Captain of the school choir, Music Captain of her school House and an Alto singer in the Madrigals specialist choir. School Musicals were Chantelle’s main interest at school, combining acting and singing together. Her favourite acting roles were playing The King in The King and I and Dolly in Hello Dolly. She dreamed of career in acting and even featured in a few TV commercials and Australian TV shows such as Neighbours, Fast Forward and Lift Off.
After Year 12, Chantelle completed a Bachelor of Business (Event Management/Tourism Management) at Victoria University. She travelled to London in 2005 where she gained event coordination experience in several London Hotels. After returning to Australia, she was employed by the Hyatt Hotels Group coordinating events at Perth Hyatt, Grand Hyatt Melbourne and Hyatt Hotels Canberra at Parliament House.
It was in Canberra in 2008 that she met her husband Timothy Davies. Tim and Chantelle spent a short time together in Canberra, then moved to Melbourne and settled in to the Melbourne lifestyle. They married in October 2011 and now has a job which perfectly combines her event management experience, business skills and her love of music.
Manager, Tours and Events
Tim brings to his position in Sing Australia extensive experience in managing a diverse range of people in the demanding delivery of services in the hospitality and retail industry. He has great skill in working with and motivating people in areas of work that experiences constant pressures in meeting deadlines.
Tim has gained this experience in the Hospitality Industry mainly in the areas of food and beverage management and venue management in major hotels in Australia. This work involved the supervision of bars and restaurants, managing functions and events and the office work entailed in managing the Front Office. He supervised a staff of 30.
For 5 years he worked in Traditional English pubs in London starting in the position of Assistant Manager and working through to Relief Manager and finally Venue Manager, managing a staff of 15. This work required great attention to detail and untiring attention to client relations.
In more recent times he has worked as an Assistant Manager of several Aldi Supermarkets in Melbourne. This involved the management of stock control, warehouse management, quality control and office management. This also involved the supervison of a staff of 20.
This experience provides a perfect foundation for Tim to make an important contribution to Sing Australia in the area of Tours and Events management.
Colleen Penny and Bernie Morgan
Colleen and Bernie bring to Sing Australia a love of singing (founded on our pianola), a history of working with people and a lifestyle involving connecting with people in Australia and overseas. Colleen’s working life involved social work, food retail and financial planning and Bernie’s career was policing. Although their music skills are limited, their association with Sing Australia has developed (and is developing) those skills.
Colleen and Bernie have been involved in Sing Australia (Glenelg, South Australia) since 2003, and are honoured to be both Life Members and the Regional Coordinator managers. They do a lot of travelling (both within Australia and overseas), enjoy visiting other groups and love the great friendships that have developed from their involvement in Sing Australia. They love hosting friends when they are home and visiting friends when travelling. They also enjoy being part of the great team of volunteers that helps make Sing Australia the wonderful network that it is.
Over my life I have had various occupations including 19 years in an Insurance office and was Chief Clerk when I resigned to purchase by own Newsagency, which I ran successfully for 11 years. I then went into sales including Real Estate and Life Assurance. I was also on the Board of DOME (Don’t Overlook Mature Employees) for 4 years. When I retired in 2010 I had been working for Constable Care Child Safety Foundation for 10 years, finishing up as their Sales Manager.
I have been in Sing Australia for 5 years and after touring with Colin on the 2008 Gallipoli Tour, was appointed as WA Central Coordinator in 2009.
This year I have been appointed as Joint WA Coordinator responsible for 7 groups.
Jamestown, Northern South Australian Region
A Grocery Retailer for nearly 40 years, Managing Supermarkets for over 25 years Sung in Church choirs for 30 years and led worship teams for 25 years Involved in the Scouting movement as a Cub, Scout, Venturer, Rover and Leader for 25 years and as part of that involvement 10 years on and off stage with the Adelaide Gang Show.
14 years involvement in singing in the Tenor section with an a Cappella group Classically trained with William Harrison OAM for 6 years and sang with the Hills Choral Society for 3 years
Currently Leader/Conductor of the Jamestown Sing Australia Group
Michael and Margaret Keys
Canberra Region, ACT
Michael and Margaret joined Sing Australia, Queanbeyan, in 2008 and have attended National Gatherings in Perth and Sydney and have joined 2 overseas tours to Italy and Canada/USA. They have also attended several local ‘excursions’ in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
Michael loves to sing but prior singing experience was limited to the church choir. He has now also joined Sing Australia’s ‘Blokes’ group in Canberra, enjoys the challenge of two and four part harmonies and the camaraderie of the many gigs and performances with both Blokes and Queanbeyan.
Margaret has a lifetime background of dance training and teaching, music and amateur theatre involving performance, choreography, production and costume design and construction.
Michael’s previous career in agriculture and Margaret’s in plant science contribute nothing to Sing Australia except, possibly, topics of conversation to woo shy farmers.
Alison Duff has been a member of Sing Australia Sutherland since its inception in 2002.
She brought her experience of working in education both at a teaching and administrative level to assist her when she became the Leader of Sutherland for 6 years as well as Sydney Regional Coordinator.
Alison currently works part time for Hurstville City Council at their Museum and Gallery and Sutherland Shire Council at Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery and Centre, writing and presenting public programs for children and adults.
She is also a practicing artist working mainly in watercolours and exhibits annually at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
At the end of 2011 Alison became a Registered Marriage Celebrant and is enjoying relating with couples to help create their "perfect day".
Alison was thrilled to be made a Life Member of Sing Australia at the Sydney Gathering in 2011.
Carolyn has been a member of Sing Australia for 11 years. Carolyn has been leader of Ballarat Sing Australia for 5 years and is also leader of the Ballarat North group which has been active for 2 years.
Carolyn has just recently retired after 30 years of working with local health services and the City of Ballarat. Her work has involved the provision of care and stimulating activities, for people suffering dementia and clients with varying degrees of physical and intellectual disability.
Carolyn was involved with Life Line for 10 years in the capacity of an on line counsellor, face to face counsellor and held various other positions with this organization.
Carolyn loves the interaction with the many members of Sing Australia's Ballarat groups, and has loved meeting other Sing Australia members throughout Australia by attending Gatherings and tours.
Chris and Peter Ellerton
Chris and Peter joined Sing Australia in May 2007 after successful careers in education and personal homecare.
Our other role is as volunteers for Puffing Billy running the Lakeside and Gembrook Refreshment Rooms.
We enjoy supporting leaders to the best of our ability We bring to our Regional Coordinators’ role a willingness to listen to leaders’ personal issues( which remain confidential ).
We feel that we bring to Sing Australia the love of meeting new people and singing together.
We actively promote Sing Australia wherever we go In our region we have met and become friends with many people.
Joining Sing Australia is the best thing we’ve ever done for ourselves (apart from getting married in 1980).
Ruth was born in Griffith, NSW and has recently re-located to Wagga Wagga, NSW. Ruth is the CFO of the family’s Farming Enterprises, previously rice and grain production, now livestock production, as well as teaching severely Vision Impaired students in the age range of three to eighteen years. She has had many experiences at being involved in starting new Groups such as a Rotaract Club in Griffith, a Playgroup, an Aerobic Fitness Group, a Rural Youth Group, a Rotary Club and, of course, the first Sing Australia Group outside of Canberra, in May 1999! Ruth’s organisational skills are well documented and she has been recognised by her peers because of this. The role of Regional Co-ordinator for Sing Australia Groups, which are now more than ten years old, has challenges but as these challenges arise they have been successfully dealt with.
Jill has been involved with Sing Australia since March 2003, firstly as a ‘temporary’ Joint Leader of Sing Australia Hobart - a position she still holds - then as Regional Coordinator for Tasmania since 2008.
Being a practicing Librarian for 38 years Jill brings strong organisational, research, communication and management skills to the role of Regional Coordinator. She also has a great sense of curiosity aided by a belief in life-long learning and personal development.
Jill’s 12 months as an AFS exchange student to the USA 1967-68 gave her a sense that community building and world peace were achievable through tolerance, understanding, open-mindedness and acceptance of others. This life-forming experience also fostered an abiding interest in social connection, meeting new people and conversation.
She loves singing for the joy and personal fulfillment it brings, and through Sing Australia sees it as the ideal medium for community building and peaceful co-existence. Besides her family, cycling, gardening, music, photography and TV crime shows are her other great interests.
Jill is married with two children and for the past 26 years has lived on 5 acres in an idyllic country location 35 kms south of Hobart.
Christine brings a diverse background to her roles in Sing Australia.
She has worked in Public Relations, Advertising, Sales & Marketing and has extensive administration/finance experience. Currently, Christine is Office Manager in her own family business.
She has always been involved in the community and was a counselor for 12 years with the Nursing Mother’s Association of Australia (now the Australian Breast feeding Association) during this time Christine held many positions including, Counselor, Group Leader, Regional Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Publicity Officer (WA), Vice-President (WA). Her experience in an Australia wide network has been invaluable in helping her run and motivate Fremantle group and also to take on her new role as a Regional Coordinator.
Christine has always loved the concept of “Sing Australia” and the benefits it brings to the community. She brings her passion and enthusiasm to her new role as Regional Coordinator and looks forward to supporting current groups and helping Sing Australia in WA to grow and develop.
My name is Sue McMillan and I am the Leader of Deniliquin Sing Australia. I joined Sing Australia in 2000, when our group started and became leader the following April and then conductor in 2002. I lived in the small country town of Wakool for 46 years after I married David.We have 5 children and 12 grandchildren...which keep us busy from time to time.
I travelled the 60 kms into Deni each week with 3 other members,but since selling the farm in 2010 we have retired into town here and find life much easier! Our group consists of around 70 members and we are involved in many activities in the town. I am also a Regional co-ordinator for Nthn Victoria/Sth West NSW which I enjoy - especially the contact with these Sing Australia groups.
What a privilege to be part of this wonderful network.
Port Macquarie, NSW
Leader of Sing Australia, Port Macquarie since day 1 ten years ago (2002). Grew up in Gunnedah, moved to Sydney after leaving school and was a Librarian, Registered General and Psychiatric Nurse. Moved to Port Macquarie in 1983 and worked as a nurse, established and ran the first Group Home for adolescents with schizophrenia and ended up working in Health Promotion. Love to keep fit, enjoy reading, movies, good food and wine. A big joy in my life is my involvement with our local singing group and with the SA Network across Australia. Looking forward to the next ten years!
I have been a member of Sing Australia for six years finally joining after first hearing about S/A when living in Canberra in the Eighties, when S/A was in its infancy and I was surrounded by infants. Strangely enough, I never forgot about the choirs’ existence. Many years later and living in Toowoomba, a friend mentioned going so I jumped at the chance.
During the past six years I have been a leader for two of those years. This role required a certain amount of dedication and communication with a large variety of people, enthusiasm and belief in the benefits of being a member of Sing Australia. It created a confidence to take on the role of Regional Co- ordinator for SE Queensland in late 2010. I enjoy this role and value each leaders/members contribution to ensure Sing Australia’s ongoing growth and success.