Sharing Tulli’s Smile celebrating the power of music therapy. | Ashbury Estate

Sharing Tulli’s Smile celebrating the power of music therapy.

Sharing Tulli’s Smile celebrating the power of music therapy.

December 2023 | Events & Local Area

It’s time to celebrate another one of this year’s successful Ashbury Community Fund grant applicants.

Sharing Tullis Smile is a non-for-profit organisation founded in memory of Tulli Rose Seabert, established to raise much needed funds to support and maintain a permanent music therapy program for the children’s ward at Barwon Health’s University Hospital.

We spoke with Sharing Tullis Smile’s indefatigable co-founder, Bek Seabert, to learn a little more about the organisation, about how she became involved, how it benefits the community and how it plans to utilise the grant.

Tell us about STSF?

“Sharing Tullis Smile is inspired by one brave, strong and happy little soul – our precious daughter, Tulli Rose, who was born with a number of medical conditions which affected her body and the way it worked. Tulli lived with a rare heart condition as well as epilepsy. Parts of her brain were also missing and underdeveloped and because of this, she was unable to walk, talk or eat. She was fed through a Peg that went straight into her stomach and was on multiple daily medications to keep her as healthy as she could be. For most of her life, Barwon Health, University Hospital Geelong became her second home – and ours.

“Tragically, Tulli passed away aged just 8 years old in November 2019. Throughout her short life, she communicated in her own special way, displaying a cheeky personality, her smile and eyes speaking a thousand words. One thing she loved more than anything was music. Often, during her all-too-frequent stays in hospital for medical tests and procedures – and occasional respite, we would play music to help calm and distract her, and within seconds her smile would beam from ear to ear.

“Having witnessed first-hand the power and impact music had on her, we recognised the need for music therapy to be available to all children experiencing hospitalisation. So we were inspired to start the fund in memory of our darling girl, and specifically to provide music therapy sessions (delivered by a registered music therapist) on the children’s ward at Barwon Health Geelong, to help bring joy to kids doing it tough in hospital.”

Tells us a little bit about your role with Sharing Tulli’s Smile Fund and what this entails etc.

“I am Tulli’s mum and the co-founder of Sharing Tulli’s Smile, along with my partner Trav. My role is very versatile and 100% of my time is voluntary. I oversee and organise all our fundraising events (with help from our dedicated team of committee members); book and schedule all the music therapy sessions delivered throughout different paediatric departments at Barwon Health; and support and assist our registered music therapist to ensure that sessions run as smoothly as they can be. And the best bit is that I get to join in the fun interactive sessions!”

What are the most rewarding things about being involved with Sharing Tulli’s Smile Fund?  

“Definitely watching the joy appear on a child’s face when we walk onto their hospital ward. It’s amazing the extent to which the sight of a guitar or another musical instrument can totally alleviate their concerns and fears about what they’re going through at the time. For example, when a doctor and/or nurses are trying to get bloods or maybe trying to get a child out of bed to undertake physio sessions, they’re encouraged to focus on the music and not the treatment, allowing medical staff to carry out their work a little more seamlessly.

“Of course, anyone can play music, but registered music therapists are university qualified, and are specifically trained use music safely and ethnically to address human needs within social, emotional, cognitive, communication and physical domains. In a hospital setting, we use fun interactive music sessions to brighten the lives of sick children, in what is often very scary and stressful time for families. We try and replace pain and fear with fun, joy and laughter.“

What are the biggest challenges facing the organisation? 

“As Sharing Tulli’s Smile is run completely by member volunteers and funded solely by fundraising, raising much needed money to support our music therapy programs, is always a challenge – as is keeping up to date with new fundraising ideas!

“However, we’re so lucky and grateful to receive support from some wonderful people and organisations within the wider Geelong community like Dennis Family Corporation that will help ensure we can continue to provide invaluable support to families who need it.”

How are you planning to use the Ashbury Community Fund grant?  

“Receiving this grant will allow Sharing Tullis smile to deliver roughly four 4-hour music sessions with a qualified music therapist”.

If you were granted one wish for Sharing Tulli’s Smile Fund, what would it be? 

“To secure sufficient ongoing financial backing and support so our music therapy sessions can evolve into a full-time permeant program at Barwon Health.”

How can people become involved with Sharing Tulli’s Smile?

“There are so many ways that people can become involved with Sharing Tulli’s Smile. To volunteer, support the organisation or donate, head to our website Plus you can also keep up to date with all our events, hospital visits and what we’re up to generally on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

“Or, if you’re looking to access music therapy on the children’s ward or the paediatric emergency department at Barwon Health, just speak with the nursing staff for more info.”

For more details about the Ashbury Community Fund, visit the Ashbury website at