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Victorian Oscar winner donates piano to St John of God Berwick Hospital

St John of God Berwick Hospital have received a fantastic donation of an upright piano from Adam Elliot, the renowned animator and Victorian Young Achiever of the Year recipient, donated via Musica Viva Australia.

Donated piano for SJOG Berwick

24 June 2019 

The $5,000 upright piano will be used as part of St John of God Berwick Hospital’s music therapy program, intended to soothe and raise the spirits of patients that may be encountering a difficult time in their lives.

The piano was unveiled with a musical performance between 6.00pm and 7.00pm on 11 July 2019 at the hospital.

The piano has come to the hospital via a generous donation through Musica Viva Australia, an organization dedicated to bringing the joy of music to all Australians, regardless of income or status.

According to Director of Mission Integration at St John of God Berwick Hospital Rhonda O’Connor music can play an important part in a patient’s treatment and recovery.

“Music is something we find to be universally calming and soothing," she says.

"Playing music for our patients helps to reduce anxieties around their treatment and the overall hospital experience.

“We also find music to be very beneficial for our caregivers, thanks to the relaxing atmosphere that it helps us to create. We’re fortunate to have both music and art therapists in our hospital that assist our patients, encouraging them to take their mind off their treatment.”

For Adam Elliot, music has always been therapeutic.

“Classical music, especially the piano, has always given me comfort, solace and enormous pleasure,” he says.

“I bought the piano over a decade ago so I could learn to play and find another outlet for my creativity. I had a few lessons, but sadly it became apparent I was a much better animator than I was musician.”

Elliot is best known for his celebrated animations including the Oscar winning Harvey Krumpet (2003) and critically acclaimed Mary and Max (2009), each of which featured the voices of notable actors including Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette. 

Together with his Oscar, Adam has 11 nominations and five awards from the Australian Film Institute and was Young Achiever of the Year for Victoria in 1999.

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