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Sexual Harm, Harassment & Discrimination Focus Of New Aus Music Industry Review

9 December 2021 | 7:00 am | Staff Writer

"It is time to hear the voices of our most vulnerable members of our music industry."

A major review on sexual harm, sexual harassment, and systemic discrimination in the contemporary Australian music industry will commence in February.

The Music Industry Review, which will be supported by APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, Australia Council and Support Act, will span six months and is the first of its kind in Australian music.

Spearheaded by Temporary Working Group, the review will be undertaken by Alexandra Shehadie and Sam Turner, who will conduct a series of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and will also collect information via an online survey and more.

Shehadie and Turner have been described as “leading experts in cultural change” and their work spans cultural reviews of the Australian Defence Force, Qantas, the Australian Federal Police, the NSW Parliament and more.

The industry-wide review will cover all sectors and professions in the national contemporary music industry, including artists, artist management, agents, crew, venues, production, labels, publishing, promoters, studios, trade and peak organisations, and freelancers and creatives. 

It’s expected a report, containing findings and recommendations, will be delivered in June. 

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"It is time to hear the voices of our most vulnerable members of our music industry,” Temporary Working Group said.

“It is only through this survivor-centric approach can we understand the problems that allow for systemic abuse and sexual harassment to occur in our industry. The journey to appoint independent consultants Alex and Sam has been immense, and is a big step in pushing for real change. 

“This requires an industry-wide commitment - financially and emotionally. It is not about blame but about how we can come together to grow into a safe industry we all deserve to work in."

ARIA and PPCA Chief Executive Officer Annabelle Herd added: "This review is so important to create a better and brighter future for the music industry. I am confident we have the right team to move our industry forward in Ms Shehadie and Ms Turner, through a comprehensive independent review of what is happening in music and why. 

“Their wealth of experience in promoting safe and inclusive environments in industries from government and commercial aviation to education will give us the insight and solutions we need. Of course, I want to acknowledge that none of this would be happening without the survivors and thank those with lived experience who have so bravely spoken up, made their voices heard, and brought us to this point. 

"The music industry is special, it is full of inspiring, creative and passionate people working hard and doing what they love, but it is still a workplace. No one should be subjected to bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work. 

“I strongly support this ambitious and ground-breaking industry-wide review, and call on industry businesses, organisations, and individuals to make any contribution they can to the review's decentralised and independent funding approach.”

Temporary Working Group was established earlier this year and its members include Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze), Emily Collins (MusicNSW), Julia Robinson (Australian Festivals Association), Larissa Ryan (Hutch Collective), Mardi Caught (The Annex), Sarah Woolcott (BMG Rights Management, Australia) and Sophie Paterson (Sony Music Australia).

For more information on The Music Industry Review, click here.

If you are suffering from any of the issues that have been discussed or need assistance, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.