Sunday the 24th of July 2005 was the day. The event: Concert for Darfur - The Human Spirit United. It was a fundraising concert for Oxfam Australia’s Darfur, Sudan relief project, proudly organised by Kenja Melbourne in association with Federation Square and Oxfam.

We first approached Oxfam Australia; a charity with human values and ethics that complement Kenja's, to ask where we could help. It was suggested by Oxfam, that the humanitarian crisis facing the people of the Darfur region in Sudan, Africa, would most benefit from assistance right now. And so, as part of the Kenja in the Community programme for 2005, the concept of a fundraising concert was born and alongside the Oxfam Community Aid Abroad Group group from Chadstone Mt Waverley we got to work.

The theme for this concert was ‘together we can make a difference’. And judging by the happy faces of the audience who filled the seats at Federation Square’s BMW Edge, the day itself made a positive difference to many peoples’ lives. Opera singing, ballet, dancing footballers, poetry, humour, instrumental solos, orchestra, duets and more, tap dancing and ballroom filled the afternoon, as sounds of life, warmth and humanity spread throughout the Federation Square complex.

Huge thanks must go to our friends at Federation Square, who donated use of the spectacular BMW Edge theatre and it's wonderful facilities for the event. Thanks too to Baker McKenzie law firm for their generous support in helping fund equipment needed on the day. And to the the Australian Ballet for donating the use of the tarkett for performances. Thanks to the great many performers who enthusiastically contributed their time and unique expertise in music, comedy and dance, and inspired us all with the generous sharing of their talents. And of course, the wonderful people of Oxfam Australia Auxiliary – Glen Waverley branch, who organised, supplied and ran the afternoon tea. Our special thanks to the Sudanese community in Melbourne, and all those who attended the concert, generously spoke about their homeland on the day, and in a high-energy finale, performed music for everyone to enjoy.

The result was outstanding: One of Melbourne’s premier public spaces filled with happy people, enjoying a celebration of culture and some $4,500 raised to go directly to Oxfam Australia’s efforts in Darfur, Sudan. Thanks to the many hundreds of people who supported the people of Darfur by coming along. It was a great result for the efforts of Oxfam Australia and a fitting salute to a community-based organisation working to contribute in some way to the promotion of health, joy and happiness in our world.

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