Jonathon Welch

Jonathon Welch is a renowned Australian humanitarian who has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List on 8th June 2009.

Jonathon is the inspiration and conductor behind the wildly successful ABC TV series, 'Choir of Hard Knocks' (now known as the Choir of Hope and Inspiration'.) The choir is made up of homeless and disadvantaged people and has performed to sold-out houses at Melbourne Town Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Jonathon believes he was placed on this earth to share his gift for music. 

Jonathon has created a wonderful new Sudanese children's choir (The Brotherhood's Breakfast Club Choir) in his role as Ambassador for the Brotherhood of St Laurence, along with the second successful year of Social Inclusion Week around the nation, inspiring millions of Australians to care and support each other.

With a highly successful career spanning three decades as a singer, teacher, conductor, recording artist and song writer, Jonathon has some 60 stage roles to his credit and has performed with many of the world's great artists including Dame Joan Sutherland, KD Lang, Jimmy Somerville, Jimmy Barnes, Kate Cebrano, Baz Luhrman, Kasey Chambers and Graeme Murphy to name a few. Jonathon has also performed with most of Australia's State Symphony Orchestras, and his many television appearances have included his role as a judge on Channel 7's Battle of the Choirs in 2008 have won the hearts of Australians as he has brought his unique skills and talents along with his huge compassion for the underdog. His debut album, With a Song in My Heart was released through ABC Classics.

He is most  known for his work on ABC TV in June 2007 as the Founding Music Director of the ARIA, Logie and Helpmann award winning Choir of Hard Knocks (now known as the Choir of Hope and Inspiration) and popular Judge on Battle of the Choir's for Channel 7. Jonathon has continued to appear extensively in live performance and on national television most recently on Carols in the Domain, Carols By Candelight, 2008 Australian of the Year Awards, Good Morning Australia, The Today Show and has featured on Our House, ABC's Compass, Entertainment Tonight, Australian Story, Kerrie-Ann's Morning Show, Talking Heads, ABC Arts Program, Spicks and Specks and 60 Minutes.

Jonathan has brought pleasure and a sense of belonging and self esteem to participants from marginalised and financially difficult backgrounds, giving them a voice in more ways than one. With a deep commitment to the community and youth music education, Jonathon is also the Founding Director of the Sydney Street Choir for the homeless and disadvantaged and Australian Pop Choir and Pop Kidz appearing with them on the Today Show, Australian Story and Compass, receiving a Community Services Award from South Sydney Council and has taught for the NSW Education Department's Training Development Program and Southern Stars, David Aitken's Studios and Brent Street and ED5 Studios, with many of his students going on to study and work in professional theatre and television around the world including members of High Five and Ajaqa, at NIDA, WAPA, Opera Australia and Canberra School of Music, Victorian College of the Arts, Australian Catholic University, and the Moulin, Paris.

In 2008 Jonathon was  awarded RMIT Communicator of the Year, ANZAC of the Year and Victorian and Australian of the Year - Local Hero and an Honorary Doctor of Griffith University in Queensland.

Jonathon has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his tireless work in bringing hope and inspiration to homeless and disadvantaged Australians, and also honoured for his contribution to the music industry as a highly regarded opera singer and vocal coach.


Move your staff right out of their comfort zone and build self esteem, confidence and teamwork like never before!

Jonathon Welch has built his reputation on the fact that he believes everyone can sing.
He's even created one of the most successful music acts in Australian history with a group of homeless and disadvantaged people in the Choir of Hard Knocks (now known as the Choir of Hope and Inspiration)  and they said it couldn't be done!

In a fun series of workshops, Jonathon will not only show you and your staff/clients how hard the Choir has worked to not only achieve, but maintain their success and help turn many of their lives around, but can also create your very own Corporate Choir within your organisation, through fun, non-threatening & innovative movement and singing workshops, where teamwork is developed in a way you would never think possible developing confidence, staff collaboration, and communication. 

Choirs can be developed between departments or companies with a sing off to display their accomplishments (this is really a fun way to entertain at your Corporate or staff dinner too), as well as show that each member of the choir team, if you are the CEO or the tea lady, everyone has to pull their weight  to build their individual confidence and get them to work together as a team, not only giving their voice, but listening to each other to be the best choir that they can be and sound as one voice.


Building Resilience & Embracing Change as a Positive Challenge

Most people know Jonathon through his amazing work as the creator of the Logie, Helpmann and ARIA award winning Choir of Hard Knocks.

What most people don't know is when I turned 23, my mother died, my father had disappeared, my sister was on the streets with 3 children and the only thing that saved my life was my passion for music and the offer of joining a touring Broadway show.
Would you have seen this as a crisis or a turning point?

As a call to action to create a more caring & inclusive society, Jonathon's creation of  Social Inclusion Week and the National Street Party concept in November 2009 seems simple, but it has taken a lifetime of soul searching and personal difficulty to help formulate the creation of these projects that are world firsts.  Jonathon will share his own personal journey of crisis that he saw as a turning point each time, that has led him to be considered one of the most innovative social entrepreneurs today (including the journey of Choir of  Hard Knocks and Jail Birds, his latest ABC documentary set in Tarrengower women's prison), to take you through the inspiration behind his project and provide the impetus for clients to re evaluate change and crisis, connect with staff and all those around them & foster a sense of community and return to the values of caring, collaboration and cohesion.

Corporate Entertainment and/or Social Responsibility Programme

For the first time, the original members of the Choir of Hard Knocks (now known as the Choir of Hope and Inspiration) is not only available to sing at your Corporate function as the perfect opener or finale to your event or conference, they will also share their personal stories (S.O.S. Share Our Stories) individually and collectively, of their personal trials and tribulations to become part of the most celebrated and unique music acts in Australian history.

After the Choir has sung some of their hits from their ARIA award winning CDs, the choir members come forward in a candid Q and A to tell some of their stories of homelessness, disadvantage, mental illness, drug & alcohol addiction, and move down from the stage, to sit with you at the table and talk personally with your staff or clients.

The Choir members & Jonathon will engage Corporate Australia to help understand the issues everyone faces around hardship & resilience, as they help you to understand that the situations they have faced in their lives, could happen to anyone of us is the blink of an eye.

S.O.S (Share Our Stories) is the most unique experience you will ever witness and the perfect ice breaker to make your event the most memorable ever.

Singer, MC and inspirational Speaker

When was the last time you saw one of Australia's most celebrated TV personalities and singers, who has also won an Australian of the Year Local Hero award and has won an ARIA, Logie and Helpmann Award, MC an event as well as sing and be an inspirational key note speaker all on the same night!

Jonathon Welch is truly a brilliant and extraordinarily versatile talent as well as being an inspiration to all Australian?s for his work with the homeless and his passion for Social Justice, for which he has been awarded with Australian of the Year, Local hero 2008 and an Order of Australia in the June 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours

One of Australia's finest Tenors, Jonathon released his current album, "With a Song in My Heart" in 2008.  Produced and distributed by ABC Classics, the album contains many of the most popular songs ever recorded, from Musical Theatre to Stevie Wonder and a Jonathon Welch original thrown in for good measure.  Jonathon's versatility can deliver a rapturous performance from the pop, music theatre or operatic genre to Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up, or all of the above so as to tailor each function to suit your individual needs.

Jonathon has worked and sung with the best of the world's great artists, Directors & Conductors including Dame Joan Sutherland, k.d. Lang, Jimmy Somerville, Anne Murray, Slim Dusty, Jimmy Barnes, Kate Ceberano, Richard Bonynge, Baz Luhrmann, Graeme Murphy, Jimmy Barnes and Kasey Chambers to name a few.

As an all in one package, Jonathon is also available to act as MC as well as sing and/or speak at your event so if you want the man that can do it all you will be delighted with his amazing singing talent as well as Jonathon's warm, funny and engaging sense of style that will bring a level of class bar none to help bring all elements of your event together to make it a truly memorable occasion.


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your amazing performance/speech at the AMP conference, we have received fantastic feedback and are very honored you were one of our main speakers. You blew the audience away and that was shown in the standing ovation. We all hope to work with you again in the near future.
- Australian Business Theatre (ABT)

Thanks Jonathon, your work was magnificent. The spirit and enjoyment you brought to the conference was first class. We look forward to working with you again.
- Channel Financial Communication

Jonathon was absolutely sensational yesterday. He was very emotional, but the delegates loved this about him and it was such a pleasure to have him there. Everyone, including myself, walked out of the lunch feeling so inspired... thanks to Jonathon for such a wonderful event!
- Tim Drinkall, Origin Energy

Jonathon spoke at our medical conference. He was inspiring and moved the rest of the audience as much as he moved myself. Great speaker - highly recommended
- I-Med

want to thank you for a wonderfully executed and delivered set of sessions last week, in both Melbourne and Sydney. It was, as David (CEO) said, inspirational and I had so many great comments from staff at the end of the Kick Off.
- HR Director EMC Australia/New Zealand

Jonathon Welch was fantastic. Everyone remarked it was a great change from the usual sportsperson,and I agree Well done !
- Commonwealth Bank

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