Mitch Revs painted Elton John piano to go under the hammer for women and children in need

19 Feb 2023

A unique upright piano hand painted by renowned Newcastle artist Mitch Revs to honour Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will be auctioned at the Newcastle 500 next month to benefit women and children escaping domestic violence. 

Donated by Venues NSW and Scentre Group, which commissioned the artwork for Elton John’s crowd-drawing McDonald Jones Stadium appearances in January, the colourful and eclectic working piano is the centrepiece of the fourth annual charity function at Fort Scratchley on Saturday 11 March. 

The fundraiser has garnered more than $61,000 to date for City of Newcastle’s charity partners, Got Your Back Sista and Nova for Women and Children, thanks to the support of community and business leaders.  

For the first time, bidding on this item will be open to the public online via AirAuctioneer to allow keen Elton John fans and collectors to get in on the action, with the piano on display at Westfield Kotara, Level 2 near Specsavers until the event.  

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle was thrilled to once again partner with both charities for the event’s highly anticipated return. 

“We’re proud to continue to support these local charities, which provide vital assistance to women and children in need,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Unfortunately, domestic and family violence continues to affect too many people. This inaugural event was on White Ribbon Day and provided a unique opportunity to raise awareness and much needed funds to help combat the issue. With drawcard prizes like this, we are hopeful to raise lots of funds to support our local charities, Nova for Women and Children and Got Your Back Sista.” 

Got Your Back Sista runs programs, fundraising events, campaigns, and the Village People Op Shop in Islington and provides referrals to external support services. Founder Melissa Histon said the organisation was grateful for City of Newcastle’s and Supercars’ continued support.

“Women often come to us with little more than the clothes on their backs. They reach out because they're in crisis and need individual support to navigate leaving an abusive situation, finding the right legal and financial support, and rebuilding their lives,” Ms Histon said.

“This would not be possible without the ongoing support of community and business leaders.” 

Nova for Women and Children supports women and children to access crisis, medium and long-term accommodation and provides specialised, ongoing casework. CEO Kelly Hansen said a competitive environment for government funding and donations, long housing waitlists and increasing everyday living costs added extra pressure. 

“A lack of safe, affordable, long-term housing has left women and children living in or at increasing risk of domestic and family violence, creating bottlenecks in crisis and transitional accommodation,” Ms Hansen said. 

“The extra support to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community is most appreciated.” 

Backed by board members and volunteers from each organisation, Histon and Hansen will address guests at the event before a raft of auction items go under the hammer, including accommodation at the five-star Crystalbrook Kingsley and QT Newcastle hotels. 

Bidding on the piano closes at 5pm, Saturday 11 March with the winner to be announced following the event.