Gordi, Fred Leone, Mama Kin & More Appointed To Music Australia Board

23 August 2023 | 11:12 am | Ellie Robinson

The board will work together to “develop new strategic partnerships within and beyond the music sector”.

Gordi / Fred Leone / Mama Kin

Gordi / Fred Leone / Mama Kin (Facebook)

More Gordi More Gordi

The federal government’s Australia Council For The Arts (ACFTA) has announced the nine board members for its bespoke council body Music Australia, which aims to “grow the market for contemporary Australian music” and bolster the industry here and abroad.

As detailed on its website, the Music Australia board will work together to “develop new strategic partnerships within and beyond the music sector, including to undertake research and data collection around key issues, including festivals and venues”, via which they will “increase development of original music through investment in artistic creation”, as well as “develop new co-investment agreements with states, territories and industry to deliver national sector-wide priorities”.

In order to achieve this, Music Australia will launch dedicated Community Music Hubs in “high-density living areas”, work to increase accessibility to live music venues for bands and solo artists (as well as punters, naturally), and deliver tangible support to the industry that will allow it to grow and thrive. Schools will be emboldened to encourage creativity with tailored songwriting and recording initiatives, while existing industry professionals will be supported “to learn business and management skills”.

The council’s nine-person body was announced today (August 23) with work officially beginning as of tomorrow (August 24). ACFTA CEO Adrian Collette leads the board, with other key members including Michael Chugg, the UNITY Management Group’s Petrina Convey, Labor parliamentarian Lisa Baker, the Victorian Department of Education’s Fred Alale, Future Classic CEO Nathan McLay, and artists Sophie Payten (aka Gordi), Danielle Caruana (aka Mama Kin) and Fred Leone.

Music Australia will be accountable to the governing board for Creative Australia, which will still be known formally as the Australia Council Board. Its first meeting is planned to be held before the end of September.

Music Australia will receive $70 million in funding over its first four years of activity, coming as part of the Labor government’s $283 million Revive program for the arts and culture industries.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

In a press statement, Dean Ormston (a chief executive at APRA AMCOS) said: “The establishment of Music Australia is a landmark moment for Australia’s music industry. It represents for the first time in the nation’s history that we have had a long-term commitment from government to work in partnership with industry to make Australia a music powerhouse. We look forward to working with Music Australia … to fully realise the cultural, economic and social benefits of a vibrant, healthy and sustainable music industry accessible to all Australians, and the world.

“APRA AMCOS was one of the key representative bodies of the Australian contemporary music industry that came together as part of last year’s National Cultural Policy consultation to propose the establishment of a new national music development agency. The next ten years will be critical if Australia is to realise future job creation and build skills in music. A national music development function will allow us as an industry to collectively think big, imagine and plan the local and global opportunity for Australia’s most vibrant and exciting cultural and creative industry.”

“Australian music is digital, published and recorded from studios and bedrooms to global audiences. Australian songwriters and composers are creating the soundtrack to digital games, films and the small screen. They are living around the nation and around the world, part of a US$90 billion industry that will double by 2030. The inaugural council represents an exciting cross-section of industry that includes songwriters, artists, managers, and sector representatives from across the country. The council is a snapshot of the diversity of our industry that is at once local, global, live, and digital.

“The work of the council working in partnership with industry has the potential to create the vision, build the strategy, and secure the investment that supercharges Australian music, leaving a legacy for generations. Whether its investment in artists, industry skills and mentorship, touring, export or music education, the opportunity is enormous. The council also has the opportunity to support First Nations-led music development and to drive vital policy around local content as well as live music incentives and offsets.   

“With the right vision, together we can ensure music creators, artists and industry workers have sustainable careers, contributing to Australia’s cultural, social and economic wealth. Together we can cement Australian music as the flagship of the nation’s great cultural exports.”

In a statement of his own, arts minister Tony Burke said: “It’s essential that Australian musicians and industry experts themselves have a seat at the table — and that’s what these appointments will achieve. With their dedication, passion and expertise in Australian music, the appointees will make sure that Australian music is the soundtrack to life in Australia.”

ARIA and PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd said: “The arrival of the Council for Music Australia is very welcome news, particularly given the great deal of knowledge, experience and proven ability between those appointed. ARIA and PPCA will support the Council in achieving its important agenda any way we can, and we look forward to urgently commencing work with the appointees to tackle the significant issues faced by local music.

“Now it all comes down to execution. Now is the time to think big, consult wide, and deliver the solutions that Australian recording artists and industry professionals deserve; restoring the infrastructure to help them achieve sustainable careers at home and providing a greater platform for them to reach new audiences by cutting through an increasingly saturated market.

“Australia’s contemporary music industry is an incredible incubator for world-class talent. But for the world to discover that talent, we need the right strategic support and investment. There’s no time to waste.”