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Musical instruments for refugees in detention

Volunteer music teacher Philip Feinstein has established music classes for children and adults inside immigration detention centres and he needs your help.

Philip has been running the classes in Villawood for around two years ago and they have proved so popular that he is expanding the program to include Christmas Island and Nauru.

All of the instruments are provided by volunteers and in order for Philip to continue the program he needs more instruments.

Drop off points have been arranged all over Australia, so if you have a spare musical instrument or if you are a music teacher like Philip, who is prepared to volunteer some of your time, please continue reading and look for the contact point in your State.

From Philip:

“I am a volunteer music teacher at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney, having been involved with children and adult refugees there for some time. I am also privileged to have had the opportunity of obtaining various music instruments for these detainees, including pianos, guitars, violins, percussion instruments and more. 

Regardless of who we are or where we stand on the political scale, I am sure that we all recognise the stress and trauma that people go through being "locked up" in detention, despite most of them not having committed any crime. As a member of the community, I look at the small picture to see where I can offer assistance to the individual people. Will you join me?

Following on from the successes at Villawood, contact has been made with various organisations who have agreed to act as drop-off points to receive donated instruments and to then deliver them to their closest detention or refugee support centre. 

No matter where you live, please consider what a difference you can make to a lonely and perhaps frightened refugee or person in immigration detention, who has come to our shores to try and make a good and safe life after escaping unbearable cruelty in their country. It is a known fact that making and listening to music is an amazing tool to create peacefulness and harmony. We can all make a difference in helping less fortunate people, no matter who they are or where they have come from. So maybe you have an instrument gathering dust in a cupboard, or maybe your kid's school has a spare guitar to donate.

Drop-off points for all Australian detention centres are listed below

To music teachers/musicians: If you have the passion like me to share your knowledge and pleasure of creating music, please consider volunteering some of your time with the detained refugees. Even jamming together creates wonderful harmony. Or maybe you have another skill you can offer. 
Speak to a SERCO person at your closest centre to see if you can help  -  SERCO manages all the Australian immigration detention centres and facilities and their staff are very helpful. The contacts are listed at the very end of this email.     
To give you an idea of some of the great work many of the SERCO staff do at immigration detention centres, see this short video from Leonora Detention Centre in WA:     

NAURU : The off-shore facility of Nauru is not managed by SERCO. The conditions there are very difficult and the Salvation Army is doing what they can to facilitate and help the situation. They have kindly agreed to receive and ship donated instruments to Nauru. See below for details.

I also encourage you to pass this email/information on to everyone on your email and facebook lists. 
The instrument drop-off points are all listed below.

On behalf of all refugees I thank you!

Philip Feinstein
Sydney, Australia


Please note that only small instruments in working order (guitars, violins, percussion, recorders, etc) are required. 
Please do not deliver large instruments like pianos to drop-off points. If you want to donate a piano, organ or drum kit, please contact Philip Feinstein above who will try to arrange transportation direct to the appropriate detention centre if they require such an instrument. 

St John's Uniting Church
Corner Mt Alexander Road and Buckley Street
Essendon, Melbourne 
Office drop off hours: 8am – 1pm  Mon – Fri 

Glen Waverley Uniting Church
Corner Bogong Avenue and Kingsway
Glen Waverley, Melbourne
Office drop-off hours: 9am – 5pm  Mon – Fri
Contact person: Neil Skilton

Geelong : Although there are no immigration detention centres in Geelong, there is an instrument drop-off point for local refugees:
The Pulse (Diversitat) Centre (
68-70 Little Ryrie Street
Office drop-off hours: 9am – 4pm  Mon – Fri 

Albury: Although there are no immigration detention centres in Albury/Wodonga, there is an instrument drop-off point for local refugees:
Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau Inc  ( )
596 Hume Street 
Albury NSW 
Office drop-off hours: 9am – 5pm  Mon – Fri

Pilgrim Uniting Church  
12 Flinders Street (rear)
Adelaide City
Office open until 3.30pm daily

Mount Barker Uniting Church
13 Mann Street
Mount Barker, Adelaide
Monday mornings only. Other days by arrangement on 8391-2513

Catholic Church
51 Flinders Terrace
Port Augusta
TEL: (08) 8642-2847

Mount Pleasant Uniting Church
1 Coomoora Road
Mt Pleasant, Perth
Office hours: 9am – 12 noon   Mon – Fri

SERCO Offices
15 Kalgoorlie Street 
Ascot, Perth   WA  6104
Friday mornings only from 9am – 12 noon
NOTE: Only instruments donated to this location will be transported to Christmas Island

Uniting Church
c/o 74 Chidlow Street
6pm – 8pm only 
Call first: TEL: 0407-579-349

Uniting Church
Kimberley Patrol / Kununurra Congregation 
131 Coolibah Drive
TEL: (08) 9168-1208 and 0400-174-949

Bishops House
7 Maitland Street
TEL: (08) 9921-3221

St Mary’s Presbytery House
15 Porter Street
TEL: (08) 9021-2100

Chermside Kedron Community Uniting Church
Cnr. Gympie Road & Rode Road
Chermside, Brisbane
Office hours: 9am – 2pm  Mon – Fri
TEL: (07) 3350-4302 

Catholic Church 
c/o 9 Pinaroo Court 
TEL: (07) 4069-9346 (call first)  

Townsville: Although there are no immigration detention centres in Townsville, there is an instrument drop-off point for local refugees:
Townsville Multicural Support Group  ( )
63 Ross River Road
Mundingburra, Townsville
Office hours: 9am – 5pm   Tues – Fri
Call first: (07) 4775-1588

St Vincent de Paul
107 Dick Ward Drive  (northern entrance)
Coconut Grove, Darwin
Warehouse Manager: Ralf Wegner  TEL: (08) 8948-0887 
St Vincent de Paul
3 Rolyat Street
Palmerston, Darwin
Centre Manager: Nicole Coble  TEL: (08) 8932-3691

Although there are no immigration detention centres currently operating in Hobart, there is an instrument drop-off point for local refugees:
Migrant Resource Centre   (
49 Molle Street
Hobart City
9am – 5pm   Mon – Fri

Although there are no immigration detention centres in Canberra, there is an instrument drop-off point for local refugees:
Companion House   (
41 Templeton Street
Cook, Canberra
9am – 5pm   Mon – Fri 

Villawood Immigration Detention Centre is now full of instruments and only require a few more acoustic guitars (nylon strings only) and small percussion instruments. Guitars must be in cases if possible.

Drop-off points for these instruments are:

Emanuel Synagogue
7 Ocean Street
Woollahra, Sydney
9am – 5pm Mon or Wed, or 9am – 2pm Tues or Thur
TEL: (02) 9328-7833        
Acoustic guitars with nylon strings only

Balmain Uniting Church Café
344 Darling Street
Balmain, Sydney
9am – 2pm   Mon – Sat 
Acoustic guitars with nylon strings only

Maroubra Junction Uniting Church
829 Anzac Parade
Maroubra, Sydney
9am – 5pm   Wed – Fri  
Acoustic guitars with nylon strings only

Also in Sydney are two organisations caring for former detainees. They also require instruments. Contacts are:
  STARTTS  -  -  Jiva Parthipan/Richard Walker  TEL:  (02) 9794-1900 
  SydWest Multicultural  -  -  Susan Vogels   TEL:  (02) 9621-6633

Hunter: Although there are no immigration detention centres in the Newcastle area, Mr Biko Syong'oh is involved in helping former refugees obtain instruments. 
Contact details are:  
   Biko Syong'oh  -  Hunter African Communities Council
   Mobile: 0432-940-427  Email: [email protected]  

Also assisting is the Charlestown Uniting Church Centre
   Contact in advance: (02) 4943-4019  Jenny Cummings
   Tues, Wed and Fri:  9:30am – 1pm


The Salvation Army have agreed to accept and ship music instruments for the refugees at Nauru. 
Because of shipping and other constraints, the following are the only items required:
Sanzas, horns, tanboors, sarodes, sitars, harmoniums, tablas, small drums, dhols, gongs, shakers, rubabs, dairas (tambourine), violins, acoustic guitars with nylon strings only (in cases), plus sets of nylon guitar strings and compact keyboards.
The only drop-off point for instruments for Nauru is:
   The Salvation Army
   140 Elizabeth Street (near Liverpool Street)
   Sydney City
   Office hours only: 9am – 5pm  Mon – Fri
   Contacts: Ben Litchfield / Luke Richmond  (02) 9266-9573


For musicians (or people with other talents) who wish to assist at immigration detention centres, the contact details are below.  

    Darwin Airport Lodge        Natalie Mendez     [email protected]      
    Wickham Point                   Rebecca Bryen       [email protected]  
    Northern IDC Berrimah     Steven Eardley      [email protected]  

    Maribynong                 Sue Nevin                      [email protected]  
    Broadmeadows          Gabrielle Tortorella     [email protected]  
    Adelaide ITA          Narelle Maric               [email protected]  
    Inverbrackie          Veronica Boulton         [email protected]   

    Port Augusta         Brenton Hobart      [email protected]  
    Perth IRH               Adam Swan             [email protected]  

    Curtain                  Luke Denham          [email protected]  
                                    Scott McDonald     [email protected]  

    Leonora                 Clare Camilleri         [email protected]  

    Yongah Hill           Anne Craine            [email protected]  

    Christmas Island    Sofia Abubakar     [email protected]  

    Pinkenba               Chad Raines           [email protected]   


    Scherger               Sally Shore          [email protected] 
    Villawood             Muarina Konrote     [email protected]


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