By Jessica Morris and Emily Norman

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Two Masterton children will sing their hearts out in Australia next month, after being selected to perform at the Gizzy Day festival in Brisbane.

Jerome Lopa, 14, and sister Lynnal, 8, have always had an interest in singing.

So it was a dream come true when they were invited to perform overseas.

“There’s a lot of great musicians who attend Gizzy Day in Australia,” their mother, Mereana Lopa, said.

“For us, our kids being a part of that is just an awesome opportunity.”

The festival, held in Brisbane on March 19, is a celebration of New Zealand music and culture, and draws in expatriates from Gisborne and beyond.

And to help the Lopa family get over to Aussie, the community has jumped on board to raise money, with a family friend setting up a Givealittle page for them.

The page, ‘Get the Lopas to Aussie’, has received more than $1000 in donations so far, and while Mrs Lopa said it wasn’t something they would have set up for themselves, the response from the community had been wonderful to see.

“We really are just so grateful to the community,” she said.

“We are thankful, grateful and blessed.”

She said the family was “usually on the other end of getting behind causes, and it’s just great to see how much support we have received back from the community”.

“It’s just been amazing.”

Jerome, a talented young musician, recently entered Year 10 at Makoura College, but is already starting NCEA Level 1 Music a year early.

When he found out the organisers of Gizzy Day in Brisbane had seen a clip of him performing and wanted him to come over and perform at the event, he seized the opportunity.

“I just love performing, and just showing people my talent.”

Lynnal is also an avid music lover and will be joining her brother in the performance.

Their dad Namu Lopa said the kids were thrilled at the prospect of their first trip to Australia.

“They’ve been buzzing out, they’re so excited about it.”



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