Melbourne Recital Centre and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre announce new cultural community partnership

Melbourne Recital Centre and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre announce new cultural community partnership dedicated to socially connecting women who have recently emigrated to Melbourne with live music.

Following its successful community and access partnerships facilitated through the Centre’s Share the Music initiative and Learning and Access programs, Melbourne Recital Centre is delighted to launch its new partnership with Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.

Together Melbourne Recital Centre and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre will connect recently arrived refugees and women seeking asylum with the social and emotional power of live music in the Centre’s award-winning venues.

These groups of women come from a range of different countries, including Iraq, Syria and Iran, and speak languages such as Arabic, Assyrian/Chaldean and Persian among many others. After coming to Melbourne, they have become increasingly isolated due to language and geographical barriers, further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this partnership, participants will be nurtured every step of the way from native language information-sharing and journey planning through to dedicated transport and the live concert experience.

“As a former refugee myself and through my work over the past 13 years specifically with refugees and asylum seeker communities, I recognise the power of music and art in healing and rebuilding lives. Music is universal language that you do not need an interpreter to understand it. It can be magical and transformational and can take into another world. When I thought about this partnership I thought about my own cultural background and the one thing that brought all of my community together was music and food. I hope this experience will help transform the lives of many who will be able to access this program and experience the benefits of music therapy even for one day.” – Sahar Ageed, Community Consultant at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

“I’m delighted and appreciative of Melbourne Recital Centre’s generosity that supports social connectedness and participation in the wonderful offerings at Melbourne Recital Centre.” – Jo Porter, CEO at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

“Live music is one of those amazing accessible art forms that transcends language and transforms how we can feel. We are consciously and creatively working to make Melbourne Recital Centre a safe space for all to connect with and experience live music in different ways. Background, musical knowledge and language should not be a barrier, and we are grateful to be working with Queen Victoria Women’s Centre to collectively remove barriers for women who have recently emigrated to Melbourne so that they too can immerse themselves in live music and enjoy the heart-warming social, cultural and community benefits.” – Latoyah Forsyth, Head of Marketing and Customer Relations at Melbourne Recital Centre

The Queen Victoria Women’s Centre is an iconic Melbourne landmark that supports women (cis, trans and non-binary inclusive) through creative experiences, community resources and the power of connection.

This exciting cultural community partnership commences with participants visiting Melbourne Recital Centre for Women of Soul on Tuesday 8 March – International Women’s Day – a very fitting event to celebrate connecting women and the power of live music.

Women of Soul sees the undeniable voice of Australian soul and one of the first artists to revive the genre for a new generation Kylie Auldist lead an amazing mix of female performers for International Women’s Day. Stella Angelico is known for her exotic, psych, lounge meets girl-group sound and bold Italiano stylings. Poet, lyricist and vocalist Candice Monique has an inimitable style that fuses neo-soul, hip-hop, spoken world and soul. Chelsea Wilson’s performances are brilliant and alluring, bringing a sense of sophisticated soul to the stage. Carla Troiano embodies the essence of soul music and oozes confidence and effervescence in the spotlight. Read more information on Women of Soul.

More information on the community partnership between Melbourne Recital Centre and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre can be found on the QVWC website.