Social Impact

Transform lives and communities through music

Music inspires change and galvanises social movements. Many of QMF’s projects are developed with communities and unite participants through raising awareness of important issues and celebrating local culture. These events play an increasingly recognised role in building social capital across regional and remote Queensland where isolation can create significant barriers; and in changing the narrative around subjects such as domestic violence, gender inequality and mental health.

You're the Voice

Landmark mass choir project You’re The Voice 2017 achieved national prominence through promoting awareness of domestic violence. Over 25,000 experienced the event, either as live audience, livestream viewers, or as one of the 9,000 participants in 153 choirs uniting in one voice across Australia. John Farnham’s surprise appearance was met with elation as he joined Kate Ceberano, Isaiah Firebrace and Katie Noonan on stage to sing ‘You’re The Voice’.

“One of our newer choir members reported feeling 'real joy' for the first time ever. Others were moved to tears and amazement to be involved in something like this.” – You’re The Voice participant

“As a domestic violence survivor, You’re the Voice has given me and many others hope that we are all in this fight together to end domestic and family the hurting can stop! Music has the power to do this.” – You’re The Voice participant

The Power Within

The Power Within 2017 featured a cast of 270 locals from six townships in the Isaac Region, a local government area the size of Tasmania. Over ten months, participants and QMF collaboratively developed a world premiere outdoor production focusing on resilience in towns heavily impacted by the resource industry. 

“It was a fantastic celebration of our community. It showcased the wealth of talent in our region. It was brilliant and we loved it both nights!” – The Power Within audience member

“I was overwhelmed to see so many talented people in our community. It was a fantastic opportunity for our community to be involved in.” — The Power Within audience member


Our Work in Communities


Future Music

Supporting Australian artists ensures our stories are told on the world stage

Original music connects us by evoking a shared sense of cultural identity. In the 2017 Festival, 83% of paid artists were based in Queensland. Queensland Music Festival has commissioned more than 120 world-first works across a wide range of genres for events in over 40 Queensland localities. These works express the Australian experience and form an important part of our national history. Alongside commissions by renowned music creators — including Elena Kats-Chernin, Iain Grandage, Deborah Conway and Kalkadoon man William Barton — we support emerging artists; the talented voices of our future. Professional development opportunities in 2017 focused on pathways for female singer-songwriters. Statistics from APRA-AMCOS, the peak body for original music, show that only 21.7% of its membership are women. To improve representation, Queensland Music Festival has pioneered programs to encourage emerging female songwriters, and in 2017 an exceptional 38% of paid Queensland Music Festival artists were woman.

Hang with QYO

Hang with QYO featured the world premiere of Thomas Green’s work honouring the legendary John Curro AM MBE who founded and has conducted the Queensland Youth Orchestra since 1966.

Songs That Made Me

Songs That Made Me brought together five of Australia’s finest musical women to discover and develop emerging talent in regional Queensland through intensive training and performances.


“I cannot express nearly enough how incredibly amazing, inspiring, educational, supportive, loving, hilarious and absolutely fantabulous the journey was for me.”  — Songs That Made Me participant

The Carol Lloyd Award

The Carol Lloyd Award, launched in 2016, enables emerging Queensland female singer-songwriters to record a full-length album or make and tour an EP. Inaugural winner, Georgia Potter (Moreton) described the opportunity as “very special… empowering and significant”.

Youth & Education

Support our goal to increase access to performing arts experiences for regional and remote schools in disadvantaged areas

Performing arts experiences in regional and remote areas are restricted due to distance, expensive travel and economic disadvantage. Arts education is recognised globally as integral to
developing life skills including flexibility, critical thinking, communication and teamwork. Further, research shows that the arts nurture creativity, empathy and compassion in young minds.

Queensland Music Festival delivered a range of activities in 2017 including Youth Touring, Cape York Music Program, On Song and Score IT! - a film competition for school students. 

Youth Touring

Created with leading arts educators and industry professionals, and aligning with the National Curriculum, Youth Touring ignited the imagination of 37,187 children in 240 schools.


“Wow, what a fabulous production. The students thoroughly enjoyed it and were very inspired by the fabulous display of acting. Thank you for bringing us such a quality production … Absolutely Fantastic resources, thank you. The best resource kit I've ever seen!”

“Was a wonderful show that everyone enjoyed. Great to see you guys coming to a remote town, very grateful.“

On Song
Jack Carty mentored five aspiring young singer-songwriters from regional Queensland and performed at schools in the On Song program.

Indigenous Champions

Help indigenous communities to develop and sustain initiatives which promote local culture and encourage future-oriented thinking.

Queensland Music Festival works year-round with Indigenous communities to deliver educational, economic and well-being benefits. Queensland Music Festival’s suite of Indigenous projects and programs develop and promote local artists and build capacity. Once an initiative is successfully established, we provide the support and resources required for transferring ownership into the hands of the community.

Cape York Music Program

The Cape York Music Program builds capacity in Indigenous schools. Researchers have shown a positive correlation between student participation and class attendance, behaviour and academic achievement, as well as heightened social and emotional well-being and future-oriented thinking. 

“Our music program sits alongside our instructional program as being the two greatest
achievements and having the greatest impact on our children. It is helping them thrive.”
— Dr Noel Pearson, CYA Chairman


“Music makes me so happy” — Lina, age 11, Band Camp participant

Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival

A key example of a capacity-building project, the sixth annual Yarrabah Band Festival (now the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival) featured Paul Kelly with Vika & Linda Bull, Black Image, Mau Power, Kira Piru, KLP, Yarrabah Brass Band and local bands. More than 80 local artists performed to an audience of over 5,000.

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Queensland Music Festival 2019