By Justin Flynn
Kim Cooper decided to put her musical talent to use during the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown by performing impromptu mini-concerts from her backyard in Ocean Grove.
The sweet sounds of the former Australian Idol finalist’s voice echoed into her neighbour’s yards and brought a temporary respite from the harsh reality of lockdown.
However, after one performance from her home and another from a neighbour’s driveway, she received a noise complaint and the police told her to stop.
A few months on and Kim has restarted her pop-up concerts, all while adhering to social distancing rules and turning the sound down.
“I did one from my house and another from another person’s driveway and we received a noise complaint and the police said we had to stop,” Kim says.
“The whole concept at the beginning was to provide some live entertainment.
“People weren’t leaving their homes unless to go to the supermarket.
“We have toned it down now so that just the street and the immediate neighbours can hear it.”
Kim doesn’t tell anyone where she will perform, except that it is on Friday afternoons for an hour.
Her first concert back after the break was in Aldebaran Road, although she does let residents know with a courtesy letter beforehand.
“I don’t want, say, a nurse who might be sleeping at that time, to be disrupted, so if they don’t want the concert at that time, all they have to do is contact us and we won’t do it,” Kim says.
Kim said her first concert back was a success.
“It’s still a good chance for people to come out and meet each other and enjoy a little bit of music,” she says.
Kim has spent the coronavirus restrictions by caring full-time for her father and homeschooling her seven-year-old niece.
“The gigs pretty much disappeared overnight, but that’s okay,” she says.
“I’ve been really happy with the slower pace of life being able to spend quality time with my dad and my niece.
“I’m a singing teacher by trade so I don’t know whether my teaching history helped a bit there (with homeschooling), but she’s my little best mate so I really enjoyed it.”
Kim has also kept busy by being a spokesperson for Angel Next Door, a program where people can offer or seek help from their neighbours in a safe and discreet way.
“It’s an incredible initiative and a great way to flex your generosity muscles in a safe and secure way,” she says.
“I’m so proud to be a part of the project.”
Since moving to Ocean Grove from her beloved Townsville five years ago, Kim sees a lot of similarities between the Far North Queensland city and Geelong.
“A lot of the things I loved about Townsville are some of the reasons I have fallen in love with Geelong,” she says.
“They are both around the same size, one-team towns and close to the beach.”