The Beacon Foundation and Coca-Cola Australia Foundation have found an unlikely ambassador in Australian Idol alum and singer Shannon Noll. Since forming in 2011, Beacon has worked with over 130 secondary schools across Australia, helping students to stay in school, or choose the right pathways to help successfully transition into employment, further education or training.
This week, 400 students from South Australian Beacon affiliated schools were treated to a performance from Noll as part of his and Beacons joint charter signing ceremony. While not the most obvious of pairings, working with Beacon has been just the lift Noll needed after a not-so-easy year.
“After injuring my back on Dancing with the Stars and having to get surgery, I couldn’t perform live for quite a while… it was a bit bleak” says Noll.
On Beacon, Noll says “Kids really do need all the help they can get. We want to encourage the younger generation to stay in school and get the skills they need to go far in life, or if school’s not for them, then get them into trades or workshops where they can find the right path they want to go down.”
“Where I grew up, being a musician or an artist wasn’t really a realistic dream. I’m so thankful that I had Idol to give me the chance to do what I love, because I really do love it! The arts are so important to our community and if we can encourage kids to do something that they maybe thought wasn’t possible, it’s nothing short of amazing.”
Performing in Adelaide this Saturday at The Gov in support of his latest album A Million Suns (the album Noll touted as being “the most me-sounding album I’ve done in a long time), the former Condobolin native said that nearly 10 years later, ‘What About Me’ is still the track that brings the whole room together.
“It’s a testament to how great a song it is; that I could cover it decades later, introduce it to a group of people who may never have heard it, and still have everyone sing along” says Noll.