As part of her participation in the Duke of Edinburgh award, a youth development program for high school students, Mia approached Mercy Place Warrnambool and offered to sing to residents.
“For my school’s Duke of Edinburgh award I chose to focus on doing something for the community, so I started singing at Mercy Place,” Mia says.
“I have really loved getting to know the residents. They tell me stories about what particular songs mean to them and how singing brings back memories.”
“I keep coming back to the home because I’m passionate about trying to make a difference in their lives and to put a smile on their faces.”
There were weekly calls for an encore and Mia kept returning – long after the award finished. She was asked back for a Christmas special and will perform her concert for residents on Friday 23 December featuring all the classics.
A favourite among residents
Mercy Place Warrnambool Lifestyle Assistant Lisbeth Cheah says Mia’s anticipated performances are a highlight of the week for residents.
“The residents love her and it is a real joy for them to sing along with her. Singing makes them happy,” Lisbeth says.
“They really look forward to her songs. When I pull out the speakers to get ready for Mia, the residents know she is coming and they get excited.”
Mercy Place Warrnambool resident Irene Ryans describes Mia’s voice as angelic.
“She has a beautiful voice — she is just outstanding,” Irene says.
A young talent with limitless drive
Mia’s efforts are not only related to singing. She has set up a charity, Antoinette’s Angels, named in honour of her late, great-grandmother.
The charity started as her passion project for school, but spending time in the home triggered an idea that she could do more for residents.
Local businesses have also chimed in on the Christmas cheer idea, donating large amount of gifts to Antoinette’s Angels.
As part of her Antoinette’s Angels initiative, she also delivered gifts and hampers to residents — she might be putting Santa out of a job.