Centacare Brisbane wins Organisational Service Excellence accolade at Catholic Social Services Australia awards

Posted 23 October 2014 12:21pm

Media Release

23 October 2014

Centacare Community Services Brisbane’s Vintage Voices Choir is the winner of the 2014 Catholic Social Services Australia Award for Excellence in Service by an Organisation.

The choir, with 60 members, offers a chance for older people to participate in the arts and cultural events as active community members rather than being ‘passively entertained’. It provides an opportunity for public performance which generates positive acknowledgement for choir members. Choir members enjoy a positive and healthy activity that is cognitively challenging in a stimulating and socially-inclusive setting and the opportunity for social interaction with their peers.

The choir also provides opportunities for professional music teachers to develop and expand the delivery of singing programs in the community and further plans to include university placement opportunities for choral directors are currently being explored.

The choir under the skilful direction of conductor Dr Debra Shearer Dirié has grown in confidence and numbers and recently celebrated its fourth birthday.

Catholic Social Services Australia Award judges were impressed with how the choir enables the elderly to remain connected providing social networks which have significant benefits for the mental health and wellbeing of participants. “It is well established and reaches out to many isolated elderly people in the community,” said the judges. “The program has its own momentum and is grounded in the local community. After all we are an ageing population and this program recognises that and responds creatively to embrace ageing in a positive way, recognising the contribution that our elders make to the whole community.”

The 12th Annual Catholic Social Services Australia Awards were announced on Tuesday evening at Parliament House, Canberra in the presence of Senators and Members of Federal Parliament.

Catholic Social Services Australia is the Catholic Church’s peak national body for social service agencies across the country. For over 50 years it has assisted its member agencies to promote a fairer, more inclusive society that reflects and supports the dignity, equality and participation for all people.

The Catholic Social Services Australia Awards pay tribute to the outstanding programmes, organisations and people, who work tirelessly and often quietly for a better life for vulnerable people within our communities.

Media queries, including high resolution images, please contact Chris Norris on (02) 6285 1366

For more information on Vintage Voices, please contact Rosemary Poulgrain, Centacare Community Services Brisbane on ( 07) 3324 3100

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