About us

The first Carols by Candlelight
On December 24, 1938, Melbourne hosted its very first Carols by Candlelight when approximately 10,000 people came together at midnight at Alexandra Gardens to sing carols, backed by a small choir, two soloists and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. 
Carols by Candlelight began as the concept of Norman Banks MBE, a veteran of radio. On Christmas Eve in 1937, he noticed an elderly woman sitting by her window, her face lit only by a candle. Next to her was a radio and she was singing along to the Christmas carol, Away in a Manger. It was at this moment that Banks was inspired to create a gathering of people to sing Carols by Candlelight. 
Decades of Christmas joy
Now a beloved Australian tradition, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has a wonderful history of supporting children who are blind or have low vision. 
On December 24 each year, Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl lights up as families and friends gather to celebrate the festive season while raising funds for Vision Australia’s children’s services. 
From humble beginnings, Carols by Candlelight has grown into an institution of Christmas magic, with star performers over the years including Gladys Moncrieff, Madame Florence Austral, James Morrison, Little River Band, John Farnham, David Campbell and Marina Prior.
Brightest Carols yet
2022 marks the 85th year of the Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. And this year, together with our Carols family of performers, attendees and supporters, we plan to make it the brightest Carols yet! 
Join us this Christmas Eve as we celebrate family, music and the spirit of Christmas and help us light up the lives of children who are blind or have low vision.
Who is Vision Australia?
Carols by Candlelight is the largest annual fundraiser for Vision Australia's children's services, with all proceeds from the event supporting services for families and children who are blind or low vision.
Vision Australia is the largest national provider of services for people who are blind or have low vision. Our services are designed to support people to live the life they choose across education, employment, social inclusion and independence.
For children, this includes orientation and mobility services, school support, our Feelix children's library and so much more. You can find more detail on our services, and your nearest office, through the Vision Australia website.

Download the 2022 Carols Songbook