Moorambilla Voices

About Us

Moorambilla Voices

About Us

About Moorambilla Voices

More than a choir, Moorambilla Voices is a unique arts organisation that seeks to empower children and young people to think big, dream wide and connect to country through an exceptional annual multi-arts program of skills development workshops, cultural immersions, residencies, tours, recordings and concerts. Outstanding Australian composers, musicians, choreographers, and visual artists co-create with our children to deliver joyful performances that celebrate our shared connection to country.

Young people in remote and regional environments are encouraged to learn about themselves through choral singing, Japanese Taiko drumming, dance, and visual arts, through a process that empowers them to find their voice, their passion, and their path for the future.

Since 2006, Moorambilla Voices has brought together more than 42,500 students from over 140 schools, aged between 8 and 18 from 21 local government areas across regional New South Wales as part of our annual program unique to regional Australia. One third of our work is supported by government funding, the remainder – made up of grants and donations is crucial in supporting our extensive annual program of development workshops in schools, residency camps, skills development tours and cultural immersions.

Each year over 2,500 children are involved in the program as part of the regional skills development workshops. From these workshops around 330 candidates are chosen each year and offered subsidised places. Parents are charged $770 pa in fees for a child to participate, but the actual cost is approx. $2,900. In a normal year, the children selected participate in the two annual residency camps in the beautiful small country town of Baradine and perform in the annual gala performances in Dubbo.  Candidates are chosen on merit for additional special projects, including intensives, touring, and recording. 

Moorambilla Voices is a strong voice for cultural competency. Respect for, and commitment to working with Indigenous people and culture is in our DNA. Young people living in regional and remote areas experience unique structural, economic, and social factors that result in lower educational attainment, poorer mental health outcomes and an increased risk of suicide. Ongoing research strongly supports the benefits that singing and involvement in the arts has for mental health and wellbeing. Each participating child’s yearly journey includes development workshops in schools, cultural immersion, residency camps and concludes with participation in an annual gala showcase of new Australian work, performing to family and community. Our program allows for multiple connection points throughout the year to support participants artistic capacity , mental resilience, and positive peer connection.

After their experiences in the Moorambilla Voices program, many of the participants become part of a broader artistic family that allows them to recognise and celebrate their cultural identity, and their connection to community and place through the landscape , language, and worldviews of remote and rural Australia – further contributing to the conversation about Australia’s cultural identity ,inclusion and respect. Many subsequently take on leadership roles in their chosen fields.

Our nationally unique program of cross-art form activities inspires and challenges the participants, artists, and communities to engage with the cultural places and spirit of regional and remote Australia through:  

  • Moorambilla Voices (Girls and Boys ensembles – primary school age)
  • MAXed OUT (high school age)
  • Moorambilla Touring/Recording Ensemble

Ambitious programming is achieved with minimal core resources and limited operational support. The small and dedicated team, led by award-winning Artistic Director Michelle Leonard OAM is supported by an active Board and staff. All share the focus ,drive and commitment to “ Moorambilla magic” and the power of the arts as a catalyst for change. We do this by embedding high expectations supported by organisational resilience and robust planning to achieve the impressive program that has resulted in national and international recognition. 

‘Moorambilla’ means ‘the place where water naturally finds its most effective path to flow during a flood’

Moorambilla was originally one of the first sheep runs in Coonamble, and the original placement for the town centre. The first fresh water spear was placed in the Castlereagh river for the fledging township of Coonamble here so that the people knew where to dig for fresh water so they could thrive. It has always been a place of natural beauty and renewal. The Castlereagh river is known as an ‘upside down river’ because it flows beneath the sand for most of the year. Only when it is in flood does it become a conventional river – and its mighty power like our voices in song is revealed for all to see.


Covers one third of NSW in the north-west region – an area designated rural, regional and remote Involves around 3,500 children annually from years 3-12 in skills workshops inviting 126 schools across the region including Distance Education Schools

Has three regional ensembles – Regional Boys and Regional Girls from primary school and MAXed OUT Company for secondary students

Invites all children to participate with a strong core value of equity of access and equity of opportunity for all children, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike

Over one quarter of participants are Indigenous; have high artistic values in singing, dance and performance

Has been honoured by awards for community cultural development, art music development and contribution to tourism for the region

Has a development program for Youth Leaders and Regional Artists, who grow through the program as it has evolved

What to learn more

Learn more about what we have to offer.

Get Involved

Support Moorambilla Voices in bringing music and arts education to children in regional and remote Australia. Your donation will help us provide transformative programs and experiences to the next generation of artists and leaders. Join us in making a difference – donate today and help us expand Australia’s creative capacity!

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Resident Photographer Noni Carroll

Resident artist Frank Wright, Walgett

©Moorambilla Voices 2023