Last December, award-winning aged care provider Royal Freemasons Benevolent Institute and aged care peak bodies, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), joined forces to create a livestreamed Christmas Sing-A-Long to lift the spirits of older people and those that care for them.
The show was the first of its kind and by all accounts was a great success. The show was watched live by up to 500,000 older people on Thursday, 17 December, across Australia and around the world, along with their families and care staff, and was watched on demand over 2,000 more times in the days that followed. During the show, we had fantastic engagement from our audience with over 1,100 messages being shared between aged care residents and their loved ones.
The superbly produced two-hour show – hosted by Studio 10 and Ten News presenter Narelda Jacobs – secured almost 700 tickets and today, the money raised from those ticket sales, close to $6,000, was presented to Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act.
“The Big Christmas Sing-A-Long could not have happened without the generosity of our performers and host, who all gave their time and talent for our enjoyment.” stated Frank Price, RFBI CEO.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the interaction we saw between residents and their families, as well as aged care staff, showed that everyone in our villages – and across Australia – did too.”
“I am very grateful for all of our performers – and our very special host, Narelda – for giving us their time and allowing us to put on this show for our residents, clients, families and staff.”
“Donating the money we raised from ticket sales is our way of expressing our thanks and giving back to another industry that has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.”
Performer Normie Rowe AM said the Big Christmas Sing-A-Long gave great Christmas cheer to so many older people who had had a tough time with COVID-19 in 2020.
“I was overjoyed to be in the event and to bring some happiness across the nation,” he said.
“It was also wonderful to see some videos from seniors featured in the show – we all contributed and celebrated the festive season.”
Support Act is the Music Industry’s charity. It provides crisis relief and mental health support to musicians, crew and music workers across all genres who are unable to work due to illness, injury or some other crisis, including the impact of COVID-19 on live music.
“We are extremely grateful to be the beneficiary of the funds raised from this concert,” said Clive Miller, CEO Support Act. “They will enable us to continue providing much needed support to people working in music who are struggling financially or emotionally.”
Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said the Big Christmas Sing-A-Long was a cheerful end to a challenging time.
“The show was such an excellent experience – with so many professional entertainers donating their time – and it made a real difference to the huge audience across Australia,” Mr Rooney said.
“We are committed to extending and making the show even better as we look forward to producing the second Big Christmas Sing-A-Long next December.”
Aged and Community Services Association CEO Patricia Sparrow said the show was a great way for everyone to come together and celebrate.
“We are so grateful to the performers and other volunteers who made this possible. Music and celebration bring much more than smiles and the Christmas Sing-a-Long was a bright end to what was for many in aged care, a dark year.” said ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow.
“Just as we worked together to get through the pandemic it was wonderful to see people come together to share a celebration like this. ACSA is proud of its involvement, wherever people are willing to support this kind of positive contribution we’ll be there to back you in.”
Contact: Nicholas Way (LASA) 0419 835 449
Alana Parker (RFBI) 0406 151 929
Peter Stahel (ACSA) 0408 584 439
About the Big Christmas Sing A Long
The Big Christmas Sing-A-Long was coordinated by the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI), Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA).
The star studded show included performances from Normie Rowe AM, Johnny Young, Ernie Dingo, Beven Addinsall, Paris Irwin, Angus Gill, Phil Walleystack, Narelle Belle, Marjory Wood, the Starfish Vocal Studio, the Brent Street Performing Arts centre, the Salvation Army Band, the Viva La Musica Community Choir and Coro Innominata.
The livestream show was watched by over 500,000 older people across Australia and the world, along with their families and carers. The website had 27,000 visits while the show was playing, including 1,100 people sharing messages. In the days following the livestream, the show was watched on demand over 2,000 times and it remains available for people to watch on demand when ever they like.
The show was produced by Ben Alcott from Damn Good Productions, along with music director Robert Clark from Legend House, who are applauded for producing a spectacular event.
We also had a number of partners without whom the show could not have been produced. Our sponsors were Health Services Union NSW (HSU), Epicor, Telstra Health, Leef, EWH, Reward Hospitality, CareVision, Gilmore Interior Design, Orchard Recruitment, Coles Refrigeration, PDF Food Services, Simple Food Safety Software and Aware Super.
The Big Christmas Sing-A-Long is available on the website www.bigchristmassingalong.com.au