Servants Christmas Concert 2023

This November, we launched Servants’ first ever Christmas Concert. Weaving resident stories alongside stunning performances from local ensembles, it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

Thanks to Rotary and City of Boroondara, we celebrated Christmas in community.

For so many reasons, Christmas can be hard.

Surrounded by lights, presents, and an endless stream of up-beat carols, you either get caught up in the joy – or feel more alone than ever.

For vulnerable members of our community, the approach to December 25 can be a sharp reminder of the family they no longer see, the friends they don’t have, or of relationships lost.

In response, we draw close.

The pain of loss and separation reminds us that when times are tough, we dive in deeper. We grieve, celebrate, and do all the things that good community does together.

But it’s not just our residents. More people in our wider community are feeling lonelier than ever. And as experts in overcoming loneliness and forging community, our residents have something to teach about what it means to find belonging and create community when life doesn’t feel that great.

So this year, we celebrated different.

With thanks to our generous partners, City of Boroondara and Rotary, Servants celebrated our first ever Christmas Concert. With over 200 people packed into Hawthorn Arts Centre, we gathered to hear stories of hope, home and belonging. Woven together with stunning performances from local schools and community groups, it was a beautiful way to ease into the holiday period.

And with social housing residents mixing with school students, politicians, and wider members of the community, it was a great way to live out the values of inclusivity, respect and relationship that we hold so dear.

We extend our particular thanks to the following people and groups for making the event possible:
• City of Boroondara and Rotary, who supported the event with a Boroondara Community Strengthening Grant
• Boroondara Councilors Wes Gault, Di Gillies, Nick Stavrou, and Susan Biggar
• Mr John Pesutto, Member for Hawthorn
• Volunteers Mikaela Turner, Karina Battey, Belinda Battey, Lukas Battey, Kat Grosser, Hannah Hobbs, and Susan Laird
• Michael and the team at Fine Music Hawthorn
• Surrey Hills and Eltham Orchestras, conducted by Mary Wright
• The Majellan Singers
• Home of Chinese Kew Choir
• Camberwell High School’s Wind Ensemble, led by Kathryn Cooper and David Hirst
• Low Brass Society of Victoria
• Hawthorn Arts Centre and Essential Catering
• Fletchers Real Estate
• Our community engagement officer, Jonas Lim