Local Sounds with Chantal Waters – The Night of Abilities

Nathan Johnston

Hi all, welcome to Local Sounds. This week I had a chat with Elaine Johnston the organiser of a special event called the Night of Abilities, to be held this Saturday night.

What is the Night of Abilities about?
The Night of Abilities is about showcasing the raw talents of young adults with diversabilities on stage. Last year was the first time that the event had been held and was so successful that we have decided to continue the event annually.

What are you trying to achieve with the Night of Abilities?
Breaking down the barriers of inclusion and for the general public to have a greater understanding that the person comes first before the disability.

Do the proceeds of this event go to charity?
Yes all proceeds go to Kids in Need which is a local organisation that assists children with disabilities and chronic illness. We had 250 people attend the event last year and raised $3674 for US the Band which is a local not for profit organisation, and this year it’s for Kids in Need. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk which is why we are fundraising for them this year. It’s our plan to give our profits to a different charity every year.

How did the Night of Abilities begin?
It was my son Nathan’s dream to create an event along the lines of High School Musical where in that musical they had a night of nights. Nathan wanted to have a Night of Abilities; we put in for funding last year but didn’t get it. We went forward with the event anyway because it was such a big dream of Nathan’s that we had to make it happen.

How long has Nathan been be performing for?
He’s 25 now and has always been surrounded by music and loved to dance. The Eisteddfods helped shape him to perform comfortably live on stage. At first he had to wear costumes so that people wouldn’t recognise him but now he knows how to command a stage. He has regular singing lessons with Lissy Stanton at Tweed Creative Studios.

The Night of Abilities will be held this Saturday the 15th of October at the South Tweed Sports club at 6pm NSW time. The tickets are $25 at the door which will include a supper.

There will be raffles on the night and maybe an auction or two. National identity Greg Ritchie will be the host. The show will go for about four hours and will be wholly and solely entertaining. For more information phone Elaine on 0456 097 943.