Recovery for communities devastated by bushfire.

Recovery for communities devastated by bushfire.

The Australian Children’s Music Foundation is excited to announce the commencement of its ‘Music for Hope’ project supporting the Kempsey community, whose 30,000 residents were among those worst affected by the 2019 – 2020 devastating bushfires. 

The announcement made by the Australian Government that the Australian Children’s Music Foundation will receive significant funding as part of the Black Summer Bushfire Grants Recovery program has been a welcome one.   

“The funding for the ‘Music for Hope’ program means we can focus on supporting the recovery and resilience of school children & communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, and through the magic of music give these children hope & joy and improve their emotional and mental well-being.” – Frances Georgeson, ACMF General Manager. 

The ACMF will employ local, experienced teaching musicians to work weekly with children within 7 schools across the Kempsey area who have suffered great trauma and loss as a direct result of the Black Summer Bushfires. 

The Australian Children’s Music Foundation music programs will involve a variety of approaches including singing, song writing workshops, choir groups, instrument tuition, ensembles, percussion, and djembe drumming workshops as well as a permanent donation of all instruments used throughout the program.  This will support the children, schools, and community heal through the magic of music and ensure the sustainability of the music program long-term. 

“It has been a very difficult few years for the Mid North Coast region. As well as the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the major 2019 bushfires which occurred over many months, and severe flooding. These national disasters have taken a toll on children and young people, with those being directly impacted experiencing trauma.” – Terry Rob, Blue Sky Community Services 

This musical activity provides a direct method of addressing and working through the emotional toll after the devastation and trauma caused by bushfires, as well as providing a raft of other mental health, socialization, and educational benefits, including increased emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, life skills, aspirations, interpersonal relationships, and musical competency. 

“At Kempsey South Public School, we face many challenges, including low attendance, students with varying disabilities in mainstream classes, as well as three Multi-Category Disability classes, and students who live difficult and traumatic lives. The ACMF’s long-term music program will increase child engagement and attendance will drastically improve.” – Paul Byrne, Executive Principal.