You are cordially invited by The Victorian Vernier Society for Dinner on Thursday the 14th of December @ 6:30 for 7:00pm at The Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong.

The meeting will close around 10:30pm.

Please remember to bring cash to our lunch for paying the almoners for any indiscretions for which you may be responsible.

For financial Friends of Vernier and general admission guests, please book using Humantix :

Please advise by 5:00pm on Friday 8th of December if you plan to attend and the names of guests you plan to invite.

Emmanuel K Edwin, Director of Yimba Uganda, also known as  pop megastar Coopy Bly.

Yimba Uganda is a non-government organization that equips Ugandan youth with sustainable income generating skills through vocational training and education!

Yimba Uganda was founded in 2013 by Emmanuel Kusasira Edwin, in partnership with Anne-Marie Reddan. The inspiration for Yimba Uganda developed from Emmanuel’s life experiences growing up. Emmanuel grew up in the slums of Katwe in Kampala and had a firsthand experience of the difficulties and hardships people living in such places face everyday.  Due to the hard work and determination shown by Emmanuel’s parents while he was at school, Emmanuel and his family were able to move out of this area. He went on the complete a university degree in Social Sciences at Uganda’s most renown University, whilst building his career as an established Gospel artist. As his music career grew and he became more known and respected in society, Emmanuel never forgot where he came from and has utilized his standing and voice in society to advocate and address the needs of these communities close to his heart, in particular the youth.

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with young people making up the highest percentage of the population, majority of which are unemployed. Yimba Uganda therefore works to break the cycle of poverty in Uganda by providing vocational training and education to Ugandan youth who have grown up in vulnerable communities like Emmanuel, in order to reduce unemployment rates and empower the next generation to be economically independent and self-reliant.

Our dream at Yimba Uganda is to establish a youth focused vocational training centre that trains Ugandan youth in a wide variety of diverse income generating skills and trades. Currently we have already commenced a highly successful Tailoring, Fashion and Design course, a Music mentorship program and an Agriculture and farming project. As Yimba Uganda grows, we will continue to develop and offer more courses to Ugandan youth, so they are able to utilize their talents, and passions to pursue a promising career in their desired fields.

Coopy Bly was born Emmanuel Edwin Kusaasira on December 5, 1988 to Patrick and Justine Buyinza. Together with his sister, the two of them were raised by their parents in a Christian family setting in Makindye, on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. Coopy Bly’s musical talent was first exposed when he led campfire songs at his first scouting camp in his primary school days. He was then inspired to join the school choir for the last two years of primary school.

In 2003, after joining secondary school, Coopy Bly took advantage of both his parents working in the UK at the time to pursue his music dream, knowing very well they would not fully support his music alongside his academics. Using his savings from his pocket money, Coopy Bly recorded his first song ‘Shiny money’ from Dream Studios and returned to school the following term excited and eager to have his friends listen to his song.

Mia Robinson soprano

Mia Robinson commenced classical training at the Victorian College of The Arts Secondary School under the tutelage of Dermot Tutty. Graduating from VCASS in 2021, she was awarded the Robert Salzer Voice Award, John Hopkins Music Award and was the joint winner for the Outstanding Soloist Competition. Mia was also awarded the Margaret Schofield Memorial Scholarship which saw her being selected for Top Class Music 2021 & 2022 as well as Top Class Sound 2022. Currently, Mia is undergoing her studies in classical voice at The University

of Melbourne and has been granted a full scholarship to reside at Trinity College, where she is an active soloist and chorister in The Choir of Trinity College. During her time with the choir, Mia has recorded and participated in the Australian premiere of Eric Whitacre’s The Sacred Veil and has just come back from touring Europe and the UK, performing at iconic venues such as Trinity College Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin and St Peter’s Basilica. As a member of their Young Membership Program, Mia has also spent time touring Sydney and Melbourne as a soloist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

Sidra Nissen – Mezzo-Soprano

I began singing lessons at the age of twelve at The King David School where I received a music tuition scholarship. During this time I sang primarily musical theatre repertoire and received lead roles such as ‘Annie’ (2015) and ‘Peter Pan’ (2016) in the school musicals. In 2015 I joined the Victorian Opera Youth Choir Ensemble (VOYCE) where I participated in youth operas and other concerts. This is where I began to develop an interest in classical repertoire. I was then accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in year nine. At VCASS I have performed on numerous occasions at the Melbourne Recital Centre with the school choir for our annual concert. I have also performed with the chamber choir at the Herald Sun Aria Competition as entertainment. I received second place at the VCASS Outstanding Soloist Competition (2019) and was a finalist in my ensemble (vocal duet) in the VCASS Chamber Music Festival. (2019)

2020 was a big year for me. I was invited to perform at the Melbourne Recital Centre as a part of the Top Class Seasons of excellence following my completion of the VCE subject ‘Music Performance’ in 2019. This year I was also elected School Captain which has turned out to be much more challenging than I originally anticipated but also highly rewarding. At the beginning of this year I was also offered the opportunity to travel to England on an exchange to the Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester through VCASS. At Chetham’s I was given lessons by Marcus Farnsworth and other world class opera singers. Moreover, I was invited by Deborah Cheetham to perform in a Monash University Masterclass and was also awarded with Melbourne University’s ‘Frances Quinn Encouragement Award’ which was granted to me by the music staff at VCASS on behalf of the international woman’s rights organisation ZONTA. Most recently from VCASS, I received the John Hopkin’s music award, the Robert Salzer voice award, the humanities excellence award and the Emma Yandell citizenship award. My musical composition also received a 2nd place prize and has been selected to be performed in 2021 at the VCE seasons of excellence top class sound concert (2021) I’ve also received a Bachelor of Music entrance grant scholarship (2021) for the beginning of my course at the Melbourne Conservatorium

Stewart Kelly – Associate Artist

He is the founder and artistic director of Music by the Springs, which since 2018 has quickly become regarded as one of Australia’s finest chamber music festivals. In the same year he opened House of Pianos which is a hub for piano sales, music lessons and concerts and masterclasses.

As a performer, he works as a soloist and collaborator with many of Australia’s leading instrumentalists and singers at leading concert venues and festivals around the country. He has performed in many leading Australian venues, at Festivals in Tasmania, Hepburn Springs, Mackay, Townsville, Brisbane and Coramba and internationally in New Zealand, China, Italy and the USA.

His 2022 season includes directing the first Renaissance Tours Festival of Chamber Music in April, the fifth Music by the Springs, recitals at Tempo Rubato, a seventh year of Stewart Kelly and Friends at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Mackay Chamber Music Festival.

As a teacher and associate artist, Stewart is a casual staff member at the Melbourne Conservatorium at Melbourne University and part-time faculty at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.

Our future program:

  • 8 February – Jas Johnston  Candour, prefabricated construction
  • 14 March – Ralph Griffiths EGM, Energy Markets. SEC Victoria