Music Victoria Staff
A professional arts leader, Simone brings with her a celebrated reputation for strategic sector development, and a commitment to equity and justice.
Simone comes to Music Victoria from Theatre Network Australia where, as General Manager, she drove the sectors’ COVID 19 response which centred on fundraising efforts and providing essential cash grants to those most impacted. One of her lasting legacies will be the formation of a national alliance of arts industry councils to provide a national advocacy platform. She holds a Master of Arts and Cultural Management, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in technical production, is an alumni of the Australia Council’s Emerging Leaders Development Program and Co-convenor of the Arts Industry Council of Victoria.
Dale was appointed General Manager of Music Victoria in March 2019. Prior to the role, Dale spent years touring the world with many successful bands as a tour manager, sound engineer, artist manager and musician. In more recent times, he managed the touring department at Regional Arts Victoria, coordinating events around Australia that connect artists with new audiences and opportunities. He also runs Club Kids Music Academy an electronic music project for kids, and he is a board member for Schoolhouse Studios, an organisation that provides affordable workspace for emerging artists and creative business.
Event and Program Producer
Previously most well-known as a musician (with 4 albums and countless tours under her belt), in recent years, Laura has been at the helm of the beloved variety webseries “Amateur Hour“. She’s appeared on panels and hosted workshops across Melbourne to offer advice on crowdfunding, release strategy, songwriting and grant writing, and is passionate about empowering, educating and galvanising musicians.
Laura has also been known to DJ and host music trivia around Melbourne, and hosts the occasional pop up radio show “Word Nerds” on 3RRR. She’s still making music too (naturally).
Danielle Siers is an accountant and consultant with extensive experience within the music, media and events/touring realm. Earning her accounting chops at a Big 4 firm and more recently with KillRockStar, Big Dog Entertainment and Broadsheet Media as well as her own business, she has been crunching numbers since pre-GST times.
No surprise but Danielle is a HUGE music fan and comes to Music Victoria with an obsession and specialisation in electronic music. Danielle produced and hosted a weekly prime time radio show on Australia’s premier independent electronic music station Kiss FM for over 10 years, showcasing Victorian electronic music producers and DJs.
With her old school raver pedigree and her passion for music known industry wide, Danielle readily advises on business matters for niche music events and concurrent to her role at Music Victoria, is a part of the executive team for CHI WOW WAH TOWN festival.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Francesca is a Marketing and Communications Manager specialising in digital marketing and social media. She has led marketing strategies in a diverse range of industries including education, hospitality, advertising, health and music.
Francesca initially entered the music industry as a drummer and has recently played for Bec Sandridge and Hayley Mary. In 2019, she launched Rockhopper Records, a creative house that supports and inspires musicians from minority backgrounds through events, content and artist management.
She holds a Master of Management (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Culture and Communication and Media.
Kiwat Kennell is a proud Eastern Torres Strait Islander descendant from the islands of Ugar and Erub.
Holding a Bachelor of Audio Production from the SAE Institute, Kiwat has spent the last 10 years on the ground in the entertainment industry in Naarm (Melbourne).
Breaking into the scene with his award-winning band Key Hoo, Kiwat has shared the stage with artists such as Uncle Archie Roach, Dan Sultan, Baker Boy, Alice Skye and Kee’ahn.
As a freelance Audio Engineer, Producer, and former Owner Operator of Kiwat Kennell Productions, he has worked for large venues and events including The Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Crown Casino Ltd. He also has extensive experience as a music booker and host of various local live music bars.
Kiwat enjoys assisting artists on their creative journey’s on-and-off stage and aim’s to help strengthen the integrity of performers through guidance and ongoing support. He is currently studying a Post-Graduate Certificate in Psychology of Business and Management at Curtin University and hopes to stay connected to his culture and music.
Georgia Madden is a highly-regarded events and music industry professional. She has extensive experience in management, event management, project management, and tour management. She has worked for the likes of Novel, Let Them Eat Cake Festival, and Pitch Music and Arts Festival.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry) from RMIT, Georgia started her career in music as the project manager for singer Clare Bowditch and her venture Big Hearted Business. In 2015, she went on to work for WAT Artists and started to build her roster to where it is today.
In 2020, Georgia launched Phenomena Records, a dance music label which was born out of a love for electronic music and the mission to see greater visibility and support for under-represented artists and people working behind the scenes.
Membership and Communications Coordinator
Alyson found her way to Melbourne after travelling the world and living in major music cities such as London, UK, and Toronto, Canada. She first joined Music Victoria as an intern and worked on the 2020 Music Victoria Awards.
While working at Music Victoria, she continues to study towards a Bachelor of Entertainment (Business Management) at JMC Academy Melbourne.
Lauren Dimech is a passionate, hardworking member of the music community who has spent the past 8 years gaining an impressive amount of experience in the industry. Working alongside some of the industry’s leading professionals in live sound, Dimech has had the opportunity to work with the likes of; Birds of Tokyo, Sheppard, Wolf Mother, Stonefield, Dune Rats & Pierce Brothers. She has also attained an advanced diploma in sound engineering from the highly esteemed Abbey Road Institute, where she clocked up countless studio hours before taking on her own projects.
More recently she co-founded SODA Music Group, a business specialising in artist management and development, and is currently completing a Music Business degree.
Regional Music Program Manager
Sarah brings over 20 years of involvement in the Victorian music community, combined with close to nine years of project management experience, to her new role as Regional Music Program Manager.
After four years of running Music Victoria’s Live Music Professionals program which placed a heavy emphasis on regional participation, coupled with Sarah’s move to the Heathcote area in early 2020 and a new part-time role programming music at regional live music venue, The Shiraz Republic, Sarah is excited to lead the new Regional Music Devcelopment Program on behalf of Music Victoria and Regional Arts Vic.
Regional Music Coordinator – Mt Alexander Shire
Fionna Allan is a Creative Project Manager with a background in tour management, venue booking, television production, festival operations, community radio and kitchen discos, amongst many other things.
Prior to moving to Castlemaine in 2018, Fionna was based in Wales for 12 years, and spent many years touring the world as a tour manager and production coordinator for a variety of international artists, as well as working for the BBC, various music festivals and venues, and government arts organisations.
More recently, Fionna has worked managing community radio station 94.9 MAINfm, and in bookings and production at the Theatre Royal Castlemaine. She is also on the board of Castlemaine Circus. A terrible musician herself, Fionna is passionate about supporting musicians and the creative industries, living in Central Victoria, road trips and playing records at her friends.
Regional Music Coordinator - Shepparton
Ree is a 19-year-old artist with roots deep within Fiji, Croatia and Uganda.
An artist living and working on the traditional lands of the Yorta Yorta people.
Born in Australia, she grew up in Uganda before moving back to Shepparton in late 2014.
Ree works across various mediums including visual art, performance, song-writing and music production.
She is passionate about working with her community and forming creative expressions through all types of music and art.
Regional Music Coordinator – Mallacoota & District
Jesse Nation is Regional Music Victoria Co-Coordinator for Mallacoota and District, a position he shares with Katie Symes.
Jesse has a passion for all things musical and is highly motivated to energise people in music performance and production. He is proud of his Aboriginal heritage and is keen to support inclusion and healing through story and song.
He has been a long-time volunteer in regional communities providing musical entertainment to audiences across the state. Jesse is a self-confessed gear nerd with a home studio that has hosted many a jam session. He loves fixing all kinds of musical equipment and specialises in guitar repair.
Jesse also brings with him over fifteen years of experience working with community as a Parks Victoria Ranger in Melbourne, Apollo Bay and Mallacoota.
Drawn to Far East Gippsland through its unique spirit of place, he has made Mallacoota his home with his family. Jesse is committed to giving back to his community by supporting and empowering people through music.
Regional Music Coordinator - Mallacoota & District
Katie Symes is Regional Music Victoria Co-Coordinator for Mallacoota and District, a position she shares with Jesse Nation.
Katie is also Mallacoota and District Bushfire Recovery Hub Co-Coordinator with Bushfire Recovery Victoria. Katie sees her role as walking alongside her community to help navigate the systems of support in their bushfire recovery journeys.
Katie is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Sound Design) and has over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit, higher education, health, music and cultural sectors as a producer, facilitator, communicator and manager delivering projects, large scale social change campaigns and events both in remote, regional and national locations and internationally.
Katie’s years of experience in the music industry as a producer, artist and tour manager has seen her travel extensively to regional and remote locations, nationally and internationally working with numerous inspirational songwriters, musicians and music professionals. Katie is co-producer (a role she shares with Maurial Spearim) of international touring music project the Homelands Collective bringing young and established First Nations singer-songwriters to connect songs across oceans through music mentoring workshops and live performance opportunities at festivals and gatherings around the world.
Born and raised on the wilderness coast in Mallacoota, southeast Australia, Katie is fuelled by the ocean and wide-open spaces and has made a lifetime commitment to working in values-based and community-focused roles that support people (particularly young people) to live their best lives.
The Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO) was established as part of the Victorian Government’s $22.2 million Music Works strategy, is managed by Music Victoria and guided by a steering committee of music industry experts. The VMDO is focused on supporting the Victorian contemporary music industry now and into the future.
Find out more at vmdo.com.au or phone (03) 9686 3411.
Katie Stewart is the Music Business Manager at the Victorian Music Development Office. Previously, she was the General Manager of Lunatic Entertainment and St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.
Katie’s experience in event management has been quite diverse over the years, evolving from managing local event volunteers through to overseeing all festival departments. She also has international experience in live music and touring, having advanced many international tours for the likes of The Temper Trap, Gotye and CHVRCHES and joining them on the road in as Tour Manager/Assistant Tour Manager. She was named as one of the New Bosses for 2016 in the IQ Magazine Awards.
Katie’s favourite festival experiences globally include Coachella, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Roskilde, Sonar Barcelona and Fuji Rock. On the bucket list includes Primavera, Form Arcosanti and Austin City Limits.
Melanie Pose is a senior arts manager with more than ten years’ experience in the arts festival sector. Melanie has worked at a senior leadership level in general management, curation and programming across a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful events. These include Melbourne Festival, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) and the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
Since 2019, Melanie has worked as an independent consultant on a number of major music and arts projects across Australia. Melanie is a current Board Member of Speak Percussion.
Music Market Manager
Emma Devereux has more than 12 years of experience in arts management and facilitation, encompassing touring exhibitions, cultural festivals, venue hire and arts venue management. She is driven by a desire to build Victoria’s arts industry, and brings a lifelong interest in the arts to all her roles. She is passionate about helping artists, musicians and performers showcase their work, and assisting them to reach a wide audience.
Emma comes to VMDO from Meat Market, where she began in 2011 as Bookings Coordinator, before being promoted to Venue Manager. Her experience at Meat Market has given her a comprehensive understanding of heritage venue management and operational delivery. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to use these skills to help establish VMDO as a vibrant player in Melbourne’s music scene.
Communications & Office Coordinator
With a background in digital marketing, Hannah has spent the last 6 years as an Account Manager at various agencies, managing social campaigns for a whole range of music industry clients including national festivals Isol-Aid Festival, Good Things Festival & Origin Fields and has worked with a huge number of venues, events and touring artists over the years.
She also has a plenty of experience in event management & operations, has worked at hundreds of festivals and events across WA (before recently relocating to Victoria), as well as produced many of her own.
Hannah is very passionate about inclusivity, diversity & mental health, and looks forward to a future in the music sector that prioritises all of the above.
Music Victoria Board
Sally has worked for APRA AMCOS for 40 years, most recently as an Advisor to both companies. Prior to that she held the executive position as the Head of Member Services. Sally is the author of Song Cycles – An audit of support infrastructure for Indigenous Music in Australia. Commissioned by the Australia Council and published in 2010. She researched and authored Starting Ground – A Scoping Study into NSW Aboriginal Artists (2015) and was the Project Manager for the NSW Skills Development program – Starting Ground which started in 2015 and is now in its fifth year. Sally is a Non-Executive Director of the Archie Roach Foundation and Support Act Ltd (SAL), having been appointed Chair of the SAL Board in 2013.
Artist, advocate and industry stalwart Chris O’Neill has been committed to music for more than a decade. While he graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Music, it’s been his work on and off the stage that had built his profile and reputation.
Chris makes a daily contribution to supporting songwriters through his role at APRA AMCOS as National Manager – Writer Services, where he regularly engages with industry organisations around the country, whilst rolling out the APRA AMCOS national events program and managing the APRA AMCOS grants program.
An acclaimed drummer, Chris has written and performed with artists from just about every genre, made numerous records, and performed on stages around the country including major festivals such as Prima Vera, Splendour in the Grass, Big Day Out.
Kerry Kennell, a proud Torres Strait islander woman from the eastern islands Ugar and Erub, launched into the Victorian music scene in late 2018 managing the band Key Hoo. Kerry went from zero to one hundred in the industry, and quickly became known as an influencer and mentor to new and emerging artists.
Originally from Queensland, Kerry brings over 15 years of experience as a business owner and lawyer, having worked in private practice, legal aid, and all levels of government. Kerry’s entrepreneurial spirit saw her branch out on her own in early 2019, and she is now consulting to small business and not-for-profit organisations, where she mentors and empowers First Nations business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives.
Holding Bachelor of Laws from Griffith University, Kerry brings experience from government, law, construction, and music. Kerry specialises in the areas of business management, strategic planning, and working with First Nations creatives, which will enable her to make a positive and meaningful impact with Music Victoria.
Dean has been part of creative industries over the past decade, working behind the scenes on productions such as Offspring before moving to music. Dean currently holds a senior management position at Australia’s premier music business and accounting firm, White Sky Music, being involved with several of Australia’s most prominent music businesses.
Dean has also contributed to the industry by being an Artist Manager and is currently in the final stages of completing an MBA with Deakin University.
Catherine Haridy has been managing musical Artists and Producers, Mixers, Writers, Engineers and even a Music Philosopher for the last 12 years. Coming from a record label background, Cath cut her teeth at both Warner Music and Festival Mushroom Records in A&R before crossing the floor to Management in 2006. Her stable includes a roster of talented and enduring Artists including Eskimo Joe, Jebediah, Adalita, Bob Evans and ABC TV family artist dirtgirl along with some of the brightest in Music Production and Writing: Anna Laverty, Tony Buchen Steven Schram, Joel Quartermain, JP Fung, Jimi Maroudas as well as Mick Glossop (ANZ only) and Ian Caple (ANZ only). The management company has expanded into managing non-musical artists forging a wonderful partnership with Berlin-based Australian, Craig Schuftan, who has had three works published, won an ARIA for his work with The Chaser and broadcast the successful “Culture Club” on national youth network Triple J.
Catherine is a former board member of Support Act Limited (SAL): a charity supporting musicians and music professionals who experience crisis or hardship. She was Chairperson of the Association of Artist Managers (AAM) for 4 consecutive years, and remains a current board member, is an APRA Ambassador, an AMP Award Patron and formerly involved for 7 years with the board and several sub-committees of the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF). Cath continues to be involved in various advocacy issues that affect artists and their managers, and is a proud Patron of the AAM!
Matthew Kennedy has worked within not-for-profit business management and development, across all of local, state, national and international levels, for nearly 25 years. Since 2011, Matthew has been the Chief Executive Officer of Tennis Victoria, a $5-6million umbrella body which has over 40 staff and about 900 member clubs, centres and associations. TV’s registered participants have grown from 90,390 to over 270,000 in this period. Matthew previously worked for the International Cricket Council for a decade and was its Global Development Manager, first based out of London and then later Dubai, responsible for overseeing an annual budget of $30million to best support the ICC’s 94 non-Test cricket nations. In doing so, he worked with – and learnt from – a very diverse range of governments/departments and sporting bodies.
Matthew began his career in 1993 at the Victorian Cricket Association, finishing seven years there as its Community Cricket Manager. He has been a Co-opted Director on the Music Victoria Board for the past two years, hoping that his acquired skills and experiences in governance, strategic planning, organisational leadership and growth, and stakeholder relations, have contributed positively in that time. Under its new structure, Matthew presently sits on the MV Operations sub-committee. He previously served on MV’s Business and Strategic Planning sub-committee, Finance sub-committee, Women’s Affairs sub-committee, and HR/Employee sub-committee. Matthew has a Bachelor of Business in Sports Management (Deakin University 1992) and a Graduate Diploma in Sports Law (Melbourne University 2008). He recently sat the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and is due to complete the assessment tasks shortly.
Chelsea Wilson is a Melbourne based vocalist, broadcaster, DJ and producer with over 12 years of music industry experience. Her debut soul-inspired album ‘I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me’ was lauded #2 Album of the Year on ABC Radio National and nominated for Best Soul album at the Age Music Victoria Awards 2014, leading to performances including Glastonbury Festival UK and the headline spot on the Arts Centre stage at the Australasian World Music Expo. Her behind the scenes roles have included Concert and Events Licensing Representative at APRA|AMCOS and Music Manager at PBS 106.7FM. Currently, Chelsea is the Artistic Director of Stonnington Jazz Festival and Music Programmer of Brunswick Music Festival. Passionate about independent media she produces and presents radio programs ‘Jazz Got Soul’ (PBS) and ‘The Australian Soul Sessions’ (Mi-Soul London). She also curates the ‘Women of Soul’ performance series. A member of the Women in Music Panel she is also chair of the Musicians Advisory panel for Music Victoria. She holds a Masters Degree of Arts and Entertainment Management, a Bachelor of Popular Music and a Diploma in Entertainment Business Management.
After previously working for an independent record label and as a band manager, Heidi founded her own publicity company, Riot House Publicity, in 2006. The agency has since expanded to include two other staff members and continues to work with a varied roster of artists and festivals including Alex Lahey, Marlon Williams, The Jezabels, C.W. Stoneking, Beyond The Valley and Grapevine festivals. Heidi has completed a short course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Governance For Non-Profits) and is a member of the AICD. Through her years working in publicity, she has developed skills in media relations, crisis management, and image development/management. After 15 years in the music industry working in record labels, management companies and as the director of her own publicity consultancy, she brings a breadth of knowledge and experience from a marketing and PR background.
Sally has worked in music venues for over 15 years across all facets of the business. In her current role at Marriner Group, she manages programming and commercial partnerships for Forum Melbourne. During her previous 10 years with the Corner Group, Sally oversaw the music & marketing operations of the group, including booking, marketing, ticketing and logistics for Corner Hotel, Northcote Social Club and The National Richmond. Sally is passionate about making live music accessible to all and has been involved in driving a number of initiatives & projects focused on improving safer spaces, accessibility and diversity in live music venues, as well as creating networking and mentoring opportunities for women in music.
With over 30 years’ experience across artist management, event and tour management, publicity and industry advisory roles, Fiona has a deep understanding of the musician’s perspective, alongside proven abilities in strategic management, financial management, advocacy, governance and policy.
From her very first roles in radio and publicity, she knew the Australian music industry would be a lifelong passion. As one of the longest-serving female music managers in this country, working with some of Australia’s biggest and most influential performers paved the way for a diverse and challenging career; the highlight being management of Spiderbait from emerging artists to one of Australia’s most successful and enduring rock bands with a number one record, hottest 100 no 1 spot, multiple ARIAs, multi-platinum albums and sold-out tours.
Now living and working regionally, Fiona has a new understanding of the needs of the regional music industry and contributes to several working groups and initiatives such as a member of Music Victoria’s Women’s Advisory Panel, member of the Music Victoria Regional Working Group, the State Government Live Music Roundtable, a member of the Festivals Sub-Committee, and a member of the reference group for the Cultivate Program.