New Musicare role a perfect fit

Published 10:30am 22 August 2022

New Musicare role a perfect fit
Words by Kylie Knight

When Renee Russell heard about Team Musicare, she knew she wanted to work there. So, she embarked on a charm offensive to make it happen.

The 23-year-old is proof persistence, enthusiasm and talent are a winning combination.

Team Musicare is an industry-based community of musical professionals devoted to unleashing the healing power of music. It is based at Clontarf with four locations on the Redcliffe peninsula and one at Caboolture.

It offers mentor programs, which aim to give “every human being the chance to experience the magic of making music in a studio atmosphere”.

Programs are offered to people of all ages and abilities, including NDIS clients.

Renee was in the process of applying for an administration job elsewhere, when her mother called to say she had read a story about Musicare and Renee should try to get a job there.

Renee called founder Dan Nebe and asked if he was hiring.

At that stage, he wasn’t but encouraged her to send a resume in. She did.

Meanwhile her father, who drives a ride-share vehicle had taken one of Musicare’s mentors to a studio and also thought it would be the perfect fit for Renee.

The Musicare team were having a working bee and Renee decided to go along, helping with cleaning on the day. At the end of it, Dan said he could take her on.

Renee now works three hours a week, bringing experience in music production using Braille and infectious enthusiasm to the studio.

|“I encourage people to let loose and express themselves through music,” she says.|

She is involved in mentoring, jamming and helping musicians record their work.

The singer can also play the piano and drums, and says music has always been a big part of her life.

“I was singing before I was talking,” she says laughing.

“Music has brought life to my life. I would not be me without music. I’d be a fish out of water.”

New Musicare role a perfect fit

Seeing more than blindness

Renee was born with Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) and was diagnosed with Coats Disease when she was nine years old.

She can’t see much out of her left eye and can only see contrasting light and red occasionally using her right eye, but she does not live life thinking she’s worse off.

“I want people to be blind to my blindness. It’s just a small part of me. Think of me as a whole person, whose so much more than that,” she says.

Renee loves her new role at Team Musicare.

“I could work 25 hours a day, eight days a week for free,” she says smiling.

|“The money is a bonus, the mental growth that this job has brought. It’s made me have purpose. It doesn’t feel like a job.”|

Team Musicare founder, owner and director Dan Nebe says she was persistent and ‘would not take no for an answer”, turning up numerous times a week to chat or offer to help out.

“Her energy is the main thing we like about Renee,” Dan says.

“Her whole thing is you have to be better than that to rattle me. The clients love Renee. She gets in there and plays with them.”

He is keen to increase her hours when he’s able to.

“There’s a lot more Renees out there. We want her to become a mentor for vision impaired people,” he explains.

“That’s our goal and I’m sure that’s her goal as well.”

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