Popular musicians Gordi, Mama Kin and Fred Leone will help lead a government body tasked with revitalising Australia’s music industry.
Funded by the federal government with $69 million over the next four years, Music Australia is aimed at encouraging original music and growing the market for Australian songs.
“It’s essential that Australian musicians and industry experts themselves have a seat at the table – and that’s what these appointments will achieve,” Arts Minister Tony Burke said.
Music Australia should be up and running by the end of the week and is part of a $286 million national cultural policy announced in January.
Among its key challenges will be improving the visibility of local content in a market flooded with global hits from music streamers such as Spotify.
It will also tackle a lack of access to live music venues for local bands and solo artists up against big name performers and touring operations.
Music Australia has also been tasked with creating community music hubs, delivering songwriting initiatives in schools and supporting performers to improve their business skills.
The performers take up three of nine seats on the Music Australia council, which will be chaired by Creative Australia chief executive Adrian Collette and includes music promoter Michael Chugg.
Industry peak body APRA AMCOS has welcomed the appointments.
“The establishment of Music Australia is a landmark moment for Australia’s music industry,” said chief executive Dean Ormston.
“It represents 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.”
Export initiative Sounds Australia will also develop international markets for the nation’s talent, while an organisation for creative workers will aim to improve workplace conditions.
In 2022, a large-scale independent review concluded harassment, sexualised harm and bullying are rife in the Australian music industry.
More than half those working in the music trade have experienced sexual harassment or harm at work, according to the Raising Their Voices report.
(Australian Associated Press)