The Sisters and Brothers project is working with children aged 8-12yrs to build empathy towards those who experience discrimination; emphasize commonality and diversity; and promote dialogue around diversity, race-based discrimination and its harms, through an innovative music program. Stage 2 of the project commences this year funded through Medicare local and VicHealth focussing on participating  schools in the Melton area; Kurunjang PS, Melton South PS and Diggers Rest PS.

Stage 2 will see the re-engagement with the school communities in Melton to find out how successfully the children have been able to utilise the decision making processes taught to them in Stage 1. Stage 2 will deepen their understanding of bystander intervention techniques and further empower the children to embed the process in the school community as health educators. To mark and celebrate the collaboration with the school communities Stage 2 will see the production of a music video clip accompanying one song selected from the Sisters and Brothers musical repertoire.

At the heart of the Sisters and Brothers project is the age-old power of music and mass singing.  Stage 1 took place in four LGAs in the Western Region of Melbourne; Melton, Wyndham, Brimbank and Maribyrnong.  Schools from the across four municipalities took part in a series of workshops led by the following lead artists: South African musician, songwriter, singer and storyteller Valanga Khoza, Choir director, singer, songwriter Andrea Khoza, and Hip Hop artist Mary Quinsacara. Culturally and linguistically diverse emerging artists from MASSIVE hip hop choir are working alongside the artistic team in the participating schools. The Sisters and Brothers workshop process explores storytelling, collaborative song-writing, musical rhythms from diverse cultural traditions, and role-play.

Sisters and Brothers project Stage 1 was funded by VicHealth and the R.E. Ross Trust

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