Cultivate is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria.

Cultivate is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria for mid-level to established women leaders in the Victorian contemporary music sector.

The program’s aim is to support the leadership development of its participants and this is done through:

  • Matching participants with a mentor from outside the music industry
  • Engaging participants and mentors in a full-day womens leadership conference
  • Involving participants in group mentoring workshops/masterclasses
  • Arranging indivdual leadership coaching
  • Working with each participant to identify individual training opportunities to further their leadership development
  • Concluding with a graduation event.

Video by Josh Brnjac |



Who Can Apply?

Cultivate is a leadership program for women who are already in or on their path to leadership and decision making roles in the Victorian contemporary music sector and would like to upskill by having the opportunity to be mentored by someone with an established and/or recognised career in a similar field. Cultivate is for women who want to:

  • Strengthen their overall leadership skills and impact
  • Expand their knowledge in various fields relating to their leadership in the Victorian contemporary music sector
  • Build stronger professional networks
  • Become an influential leader in their profession, industry or community
  • Have a positive impact on the contemporary Victorian music sector with the work they do.

Eligibility Criteria

You are eligible for Cultivate if you:

  • Identify as a woman
  • Reside in Victoria
  • Currently work in the Victorian contemporary music industry in at least one of the following ways:
    • You are the owner of a business that operates within the Victorian contemporary music sector
    • You are employed in a leadership or management position by a business or organisation that’s primary focus is engaging with the Victorian contemporary music sector
    • You are managing/leading people in their current role (be it paid staff, volunteers or interns) in the Victorian contemporary music sector.

Participant spots are limited and a competitive selection process will operate. In addition to the eligibility criteria, successful participants must:

  • Commit to attending the program launch/mentoring induction (full day event in Melbourne on March 20th)
  • Create an individual mentoring plan with your mentor at the program launch 
  • Attend a minimum of three of the four scheduled masterclasses (these will occur on weeknights outside of office hours)
  • Attend a number of one-on-one personalised leadership training sessions throughout the program period
  • Attend the final Cultivate gathering
  • Be willing to adhere to all relevant Music Victoria policies and procedures.

Selection Process

Applicants must complete the online application found here and submit by C.O.B. 14 January 2019.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the Cultivate Project Manager to arrange a short phone interview. The Cultivate reference group will decide on the successful applicants.

Program enquiries can be directed to Music Victoria on (03) 9686 3411 or by emailing the Project Manager:

Alumni - Mentors 2019

Amanda Walker

Co-founder & Owner, Lord of the Fries (LOTF)Weirdoughs




Jackie Antas

Vice-President Communications, Ticketmaster / Live Nation Australia



Leonie Morgan AM

Board Director, Film Victoria & Holmesglen; Consultant, International Women’s Development Agency; Founding Member, Emily’s List Australia


Mia Klitsas

Co-founder & Director, Moxie ProductsThe Brand Maketh




Sarah Davies

Alumni - Mentors 2020

Bec Scott OAM

Co-founder & CEO, STREAT



Kath Blackham

Founder & CEO, VERSA



Lucy Thomas OAM

Co-founder and CEO, PROJECT ROCKIT



Mary Crooks AO

Executive Director, Victorian Women’s Trust



Michelle Battersby

CMO, Keep it Cleaner


Shamini Rajarethnam

CEO, Rationale

Alumni - Participants

2020 Participants

Ashleigh Hills

General Manager, UNIFIED Artist Management | Artist Manager




Danielle Rzik

Broadcaster, DJ & Event Curator




Moira Mckenzie

Senior Associate, Sanicki Lawyers




Paige X. Cho

Senior Music Strategist, Bolster




Shannon Driscoll

Executive Director, Girls Rock! Melbourne




Victoria Sweetie Zamora

Head of Labels & Promotions, Remote Control Records




2019 Participants

Coco Eke

Label Manager, Bad Apples Music




Dallas Frasca

Director, A Hitch to the Sticks Festival / Industry Mentor, Collarts




Kate Duncan

CEO, The Push Inc.




Katie Besgrove

Co-Owner, Look Out Kid / General Manager, Barely Dressed Records




Sally Mather

Music & Marketing Manager, Corner Group

Reference Group

Jackie Antas – General Manager Communications, Ticketmaster/Live Nation Australia & New Zealand

Jackie Antas, General Manager, Communications for Ticketmaster/Live Nation Australia and New Zealand is an esteemed PR and Communications professional with 20 years experience in the UK, Europe and Australia specialising in entertainment, technology and consumer brands.
Jackie recently returned home to Melbourne, Australia after spending the last 13 years living and working in the UK with seven of those years spent at Live Nation Entertainment in London.
Her roles at Live Nation have included Vice President, Communications for Ticketmaster/Live Nation, managing the corporate communications for 21 countries across UK, Europe and Australasia, as well as Marketing Partnerships Manager for the Academy Music Group venues – delivering some of the biggest marketing partnerships in the UK with brands such as O2 and Carlsberg.
Jackie’s background prior to this was in PR agency land. In London, she worked for five years at Borkowski PR delivering integrated public relations campaigns and media relations programs for a range of high profile brand such as Virgin Media, Virgin Megastores, V Festival, Sony and Harrods. In Australia, her first job in PR was with Clemenger Harvie Edge’s The PR Edge working with Sensis White Pages and Nando’s.


Maria Amato – General Manager & CFO, Australian Independent Record Labels Association

Maria Amato is the General Manager and CFO of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association has worked in the Arts and not-for-profit sector for over 25 years specialising in finance and business management through her own consultancy firm, Results Management. She is currently a director of the Australian Institute of Music, and Chair of its Creative Industry Advisory Board. Maria is also an Anchor board member for Reeperbahn and has held former positions as CEO/CFO of the Melbourne International Film Festival and board member/treasurer of Music Victoria.


Bonnie Dalton – General Manager, Victorian Music Development Office

Bonnie Dalton is the General Manager of the brand new Victorian Music Development Office, where she will be responsible for working with artists and the businesses that support them, to foster sustainable music industry careers and partnering with music organisations and businesses. Prior to the VMDO, Bonnie worked predominantly as an artist manager but also across events, production, and programming. A recipient of the Lighthouse Award for management, she has previously worked with Little Red, The Vasco Era and more recently Ali Barter and Oscar Dawson. She was the producer of the Melbourne St Jerome’s Laneway Festival for ten years, worked in senior management at Falls Festival and has programmed line-ups at a range of festivals and events from Low Light, Queenscliff to Melbourne’s House of Vans.


Fiona Duncan – Arts Events Officer, City of Greater Geelong

Fiona Duncan has 28 years’ experience at the forefront of music primarily as an artist manager, also having worked as a tour manager, publicist, musician mentor, tour coordinator, event coordinator Big Day Out, radio announcer 3RRR and announcer and sponsorship for 3PBS, as well as a current member of the Assessment Panel team for Creative Victoria’s Music Works program and a member of Music Victoria’s Women’s Advisory Panel. She has worked with artists such as Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Nick Cave, Beck, Cosmic Psychos and Henry Rollins.  For 25 years Fiona has managed a number of different bands the primary one being Spiderbait, throughout a career that has seen them voted the first ever Australian band to win Triple J’s Hottest 100, multiple ARIA Awards, a number 1 single, multiple Multi-Platinum top 10 albums, International tours, songs licensed in Hollywood films, TV shows and advertising campaigns.  Career highlight is managing a band that are still together after 27 years with their original line-up and are still playing sold out shows, can live off their music and are loving it.  Fiona is currently the Arts Events Officer for the City of Greater Geelong and is a member of the Live Music Roundtable.


Dr Catherine Strong – Senior Lecturer, RMIT University

Dr Catherine Strong is a Senior Lecturer in the Music Industry program at RMIT University. She has done extensive work on gender in the music industry, with a particular focus on the Australian context. As part of this work, she produced a report on gender issues for screen composers in Australia for APRA AMCOS in 2017. She is also a member of the Music Victoria Women’s Advisory Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dates will I need to be available to participate in Cultivate?

The program launch will happen on March 20th 2019 and all participants must be availble for this full day of mentoring activities.  The program will run until late May and throughout the program period, a series of four masterclasses will be organised for participants. Participants must attend at least three of the four masterclasses which will be scheduled for weeknights after hours. Participants will also be involved in a personal leadership-based assessment and one-on-one coaching.

How will the mentoring relationship work?

Participants will meet their mentor at the program launch event in mid to late March. During this event, the participant and mentor will be involved in a mentoring induction workshop and during the workshop the participant and mentor will determine the nature of their mentoring relationship. Each participant/mentor match will be different and the nature of the relationship is flexible so as to work best for the two individuals involved.

What kind of mentor will I have?

Participants will be matched to a mentor by the Cultivate Project Manager with direction from the reference group. Mentors will not necessarily be music industry based. Mentors will have accrued considerable experience in their field, which will be matched to the needs of the participant.

Can I apply if I live outside of Melbourne?

Participants must live in the state of Victoria. Regional applicants are welcomed, however, participants must be available for the program dates and be willing to travel to Melbourne for program activities.

What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?

Please email the project manager at

Cultivate is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by Music Victoria.