Jen Cloher Joins PPCA Board, Kristin Churley & Rae Leigh Mount Observership Program

21 March 2024 | 10:47 am | Ellie Robinson

“One of my core responsibilities as a mid-career artist is to make sure the industry we work in is transparent and accountable.”

Jen Cloher

Jen Cloher (Credit: Marcelle Bradbeer)

More Jen Cloher More Jen Cloher

Jen Cloher has been announced as the latest appointment to the Board of the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), bolstering their advocacy of artist’s rights.

Cloher has long been outspoken about the importance of empowering independent musicians. Among their efforts are the masterclass I Manage My Music, where they teach self-managed artists how to set themselves up for success. They’re also well known as the co-founder of Milk! Records – which shut its doors last year, but ran for an impressive 11 years – where independence was a core tenet of the ethos.

With their appointment this week, Cloher joins the PPCA Board as an artist representative. They wrote in a statement, “One of my core responsibilities as a mid-career artist is to make sure the industry we work in is transparent and accountable to its most precious resource, the next generation of artists coming up. Without us there is no industry.”

They join a suite of industry heavyweights on the Board, including fellow artist representative Josh Pyke, licensor representatives Duncan Collins (who also works as the COO of the TMRW Music Group) and Kristy Gostelow (director of Kadence Group), and general Board members Bill Cullen (managing director of One Louder Entertainment, which reps the likes of Paul Kelly, Kate Miller-Heidke and Neil Finn), Vanessa Picken (CEO and Chair of Sony Music Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand), Dan Rosen (President of Warner Music Australasia) and Sean Warner (President of Universal Music Australia & New Zealand).

Also announced this week were two new participants for this year’s edition of the PPCA Board’s Observership Program, Kristin Churley and Rae Leigh. It marks the first time two Observers have mounted the program simultaneously, following its official launch last year. The effort comes in partnership with The Observership Program, which itself launched in 2014 and, according to a press release, aims to “facilitate practical experience and ongoing networking opportunities to create a passionate and motivated community of future leaders”.

Through the program, Churley and Leigh will be given opportunities to see how the PPCA Board operates and makes decisions, learning how the Board work to “contribute to the growth of the Australian music community and the enhancement of inclusivity within Australian music boards”.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Churley joins the program with a storied background in legal studies, having started her career at a respected corporate law firm before embarking on a journey into the music industry. Once a finalist for the Top 30 Under 30 list in Lawyers Weekly, she now works as a music lawyer for the UNIFIED Music Group.

It’s said in the press release that her passions include “improving legal literacy and access to legal representation in the Australian music industry”, as well as “mentoring law students seeking to pursue a career in the music industry or other creative industries”.

Leigh, on the other hand, is a renowned songwriter with a passion for collaboration. She’s worked with a suite of incredible artists both Down Under and in Nashville, Tennessee – the country music capital of the world, and a veritable paradise for up-and-coming artists – and she’s also launched a respectable music career of her own.

In 2021, Leigh was honoured with a grant by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), which helped her mint and launch her single Love Me. It was produced by Michael Flanders – another Aussie with key ties to Nashville – and mastered by Grammy winner Brad Blackwood.

Earlier this week, Cloher was announced as a presenter for this year’s APRA Music Awards. They also made it on the shortlist for the APRA’s 2024 Song Of The Year award, earning a nod for their recent single Mana Takatāpui.