The Sacred Heart Mission in St. Kilda, Melbourne, has been lending a helping hand and providing support to the area’s homeless and those living in poverty since 1982. The Mission provides an invaluable service to those in need. Now in its ninth year, The Heart of St. Kilda Concert is an annual event that aims to raise much needed funds to enable this service to continue.
I recently spoke with Brian Nankervis, a St. Kilda local and well known performer who has been involved with the concert from its very beginning. “There are four of us who have been there right from the start,” he explains, while walking his dog. “Wally Bishop, Neil Croker who runs the Palais – although not for much longer unfortunately but that’s a whole other story. Larry Ponting who is a sound guy and myself. We were invited to be a part of it nine years ago and we just keep doing it every year. It’s been really good. I didn’t know those guys and they are lovely and they’ve all got interesting connections in the showbiz world. We’ve become really good friends and it’s just this incredible concert every year. I suppose I’m a big believer in community and society helping out.”
Every year, the concert features a great line-up of artists and, of course, this year is no different. “It’s an incredible line-up,” Brian tells me. “We’ve been doing it now for nine years. The line-ups are pretty strong every year but there is something incredibly varied about this one. I work on the Rockwiz show, as you know, and we’ve spent a fair bit of time lately with Ella Hooper and Olympia and Paul Dempsey and it’s incredibly exciting for me that I’ve been able to lure them to The Palais. The younger members of the audience will know them and then you’ve got people like Ross Wilson, Russell Morris, Red Symons and Shane Howard… people who have been kicking around for years and years so it’s a good combination. No one gets paid. It’s a real labour of love for everyone. None of the performers are paid and we’re asking them to do some strange things in a way. They’re performing with a house band that they don’t necessarily know. It’s a big commitment but it will be good.”
Brian is very excited about one performance in particular. “It’s a very special performance,” he hints cryptically, “that I don’t think will ever happen again, involving Red and a very tall man; a younger artist but nonetheless an artist of good stature. They are doing a very theatrical version of a very famous Brit pop song with a choir so it’s going to be really fantastic. Red doesn’t do many live performances, you know.” Hmmm…. that sounds interesting…
The money raised from this event goes to the Sacred Heart Mission to assist with their meals program. The Mission has a kitchen in Grey Street, St. Kilda and that kitchen provides free breakfast and lunch to those in need every day of the year. “They serve around 160,000 meals a year,” says Brian. “No one is turned away.”
There will be other opportunities at the concert to donate to the Sacred Heart Mission. Raffle tickets will be sold on the night and you can make donations on the night but, as Brian points out, “Really, it’s all about selling tickets and filling The Palais. That’s what we want. Obviously the raffles and all that stuff are great but we’ve found that a big full house in The Palais Theatre is wonderful. It sort of galvanises the community. It’s a great event.”
The Heart of St. Kilda Concert is at The Palais Theatre, St. Kilda on Tuesday 6th September. Click here for more details and to book tickets
Learn more about the Sacred Heart of St. Kilda.
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2016. All rights reserved