Date: 26 April 2023

Sony Foundation and Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) recently celebrated 10 years of transforming young lives through music together.

The Catch A Falling STAR (Special, Traumatised & At Risk) program, funded by Sony Foundation, evolved to deliver both in-person and online mentoring and crisis intervention, including young people Sony Foundation’s Bushfire affected regional communities in NSW and Victoria.

This initiative has been closing the gap for disadvantaged young people by providing unforgettable mentoring experiences that support them to make positive choices and amplify their voices.

The proof is in the outcomes with the most recent graduates from the STAR program increasing their group’s overall wellbeing score from 44/100 to 75/100.

"Through the STAR program, I was able to take a greater look on life and to find the kind of people I surrounded myself with. Thank you MMAD & Sony Foundation, for creating educational & truly eye-opening workshops which definitely made and impact on my life." - MMAD Graduate

Sony Music Artist and winner of Seven Network’s ‘Australian Idol’, Royston Noell made a special guest appearance at the MMAD ‘Catch a Falling STAR’ graduation day at Sony Music.

Royston shared his journey and passion for music, family and community with the group of 10 young STARs highlighting the importance of believing in oneself when pursuing dreams. Royston surprised the STARs with a special acoustic performance of his Australian Idol winner’s single ‘Invincible’ before celebrating the STARs as they officially graduated at a ceremony attended by employee volunteer ‘Masters’ and the Sony Music Entertainment Australia team.

“It was amazing to witness the strength of these incredible young people. We watched them grow into confident young STARs by the end of the program” - Saskia Wass, Sony Music Entertainment

“MMAD is such a rewarding program for everyone involved, filled with so much music and love! I can’t give enough praise to the team at MMAD and Sony Foundation for all of the hard work and effort they put into this incredible project!” - Phoebe Ponder, Sony Music Publishing

Lyrics written by a MMAD STAR Graduate

I opened my eyes
And I begin to see
Shifting my identity
To who I wanted to be
And advocate
For those stuck in the
Shadows of grief
Diminishing your strength
Using substance for relief

Nothing is ever definite but definitely
Everybody’s potential is great
The only limit you ever have
Is the restriction you put on yourself
I believe in everyone of you
The power to create whatever it is you want to bring to the world

When is it time for you to rise above
Stop reminiscing on problem from the past
Failures make character
Encouragement has became so scarce
Even though my insight is kind of advanced
I’m no perfect soldier
I just take accountability for whatever it is that
I commenced

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