Hush Foundation's Dr. Catherine Crock Honoured At 2023 AIR Awards

7 August 2023 | 11:42 am | Ellie Robinson

Dr. Crock revolutionised the role music plays in healthcare.

Dr. Catherine Crock

Dr. Catherine Crock (Credit: Lucy Spartalis)

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At this year’s AIR Awards ceremony, Dr. Catherine Crock – the chairperson and founder of the revolutionary Hush Foundation – was honoured as the latest recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award.

She becomes the sixth person bestowed with the trophy, following Skinnyfish in 2018, Gerry Mckenna in 2019, Emily Ulman in 2020, Deena Lynch (aka Jaguar Jonze) in 2021 and Warren Costello in 2022.

A renowned physician by trade, Dr. Crock founded Hush in 2000 after she started working in The Royal Children’s Hospital in Naarm/Melbourne. As it’s said on the charity’s website, she “sought to reduce the stress and anxiety felt by patients, families and staff” as her young patients underwent painful medical procedures. The charity goes on to explain: “Additional research was undertaken to transform the environment of the operating theatre and recovery rooms through the use of especially composed music from some of Australia’s foremost musicians and composers. The music helps evoke a sense of calm and optimism.”

Hush has since grown to encompass a diverse range of operations, including an independent record label (Hush Music) and bespoke live music events. The label, for example, has released more than 20 studio albums spanning some 170 compositions, many of which include the contributions of world-renowned musicians. Among those who have worked with Hush Music include Paul Grabowsky, Meg Washington, Missy Higgins and Kate Miller-Heidke.

Dr. Crock was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2023 AIR Awards last Thursday (August 3) in Kaurna/Adelaide. King Stingray were the biggest winners of the night, taking home three awards – Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year, Best Independent Rock Album Or EP and Independent Album Of The Year – while other big winners included Confidence Man and Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers (who each scored two awards).

Speaking to The Music, Dr. Crock said receiving the award was “an incredible honour and a thrill”. She continued: “To know that the music industry recognises the worth of what Hush has been doing for over 20 years gave me a real buzz. One of the exciting things for me over the years has been to witness the two-way benefit – when healthcare and the arts collaborate, magic happens for everyone.

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“Every time I have stood with composers and musicians in hospital spaces, I have been reminded of the challenging environment for patients, families and health workers. Musicians bringing their very special expertise into these spaces is transformative. And when I ask the musicians what the experience is like for them, they say, ‘Life changing’ and ‘it gives the composing a real purpose’.

“I am hoping this AIR Award might help raise the profile of Hush Foundation and help us get the message out further – of the benefit of music in healthcare to reduce stress and anxiety for all involved.”

Dr. Crock went on to note that Hush Music is currently working on an album called Seeking Solace, for which it will collaborate with Nat Bartsch and “eight other neo-classical pianists who have spent time workshopping with clients and staff at Cabrini Women's Mental Health Unit in Melbourne”.