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Far East Music Recovery Project – FAQS

1. What is the scope of the project?

Through music, the project aims to support the social and economic recovery and resilience of communities in Far East Gippsland.

The scope of the project includes:

  • the establishment of a social enterprise
  • an annual homegrown music festival
  • a mentoring and livestream program, and
  • the acquisition of a mobile stage and livestream equipment.

The original funding submission was titled ‘Community-led recovery and resilience through music in Far East Gippsland’ and the working title is ‘Far East Music Recovery Project’.

The centrepiece of the project is the Far East Music Festival which is being held from 7-9 April 2023. Further FAQs relating to the festival itself can be read here.

2. How did the project come about?

Early in 2021, in response to the Black Summer Fires and the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the Victorian music industry, Music Victoria in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria, launched the Regional Music Development Program.

The Regional Music Development Program (RMDP) was a 12-month pilot project, developed and based on similar models delivered by Music NSW and Music NT.

The overarching theme being that local people are more equipped at recognising the needs of their communities than a metro-based peak body. The original scope of the RMDP in Victoria invited expressions of interest from Local Government areas, and ended up supporting three, with the successful applicants being Mallacoota and District, Shepparton and Mount Alexander Shire, and included a funded Regional Coordinator role for two days per week in each area.

In Mallacoota, the role was shared at one day per week between two RMDP Co-Coordinators. The Coordinators were tasked with developing music based projects to provide:

  • opportunities for social connection
  • local employment
  • meaningful collaborations and opportunities between artists, arts workers and audiences during this critical time of recovery.

This encompassed:

  • supporting the delivery of live music and live stream events,
  • building local music networks,
  • acting as brokers to establish connections with presenters and performers in other parts of the state and across the border,
  • engaging with local governments, regional businesses, arts bodies and other stakeholders, and
  • developing a funding strategy to ensure the program could grow and continue beyond April 2022.

RMDP was a short pilot program with a limited budget and resourcing, delivered through a period of continual COVID lockdowns which impacted on opportunities to engage widely and deliver live music events. Sentiment in the community included ongoing concern for the wellbeing of local young people.

To address this, a partnership with Sanctuary Mallacoota Youth Group was formed and a livestream program developed. In August 2021, a grants writer was engaged to work with the regional coordinators and in August 2021 an application was submitted to the Commonwealth Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program for the ‘Community-led social and economic recovery and resilience through music in Far East Gippsland’ project.

The proposal was conceived by the coordinators, grants writer and project partners representative of a diversity of expertise, interests and networks within the local Mallacoota community. Music Victoria supported this locally based initiative by being an auspice for the funding and taking on legal responsibility for the project.

In February 2022, the Commonwealth Government announced that the funding application was successful and $456,480 was awarded to deliver the project over two years.

3. Who is involved?

Project partners involved in the submission include: Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation Pty Ltd, Mallacoota Hall & Recreation Committee, Tacqueria Costa Salvage & the Trailer Park, Harmonic Whale, Reclink, Genoa Town Committee, Sanctuary MYG, Mallacoota Medical Centre (the trustee of Mallamed Unit Trust), and Mallacoota & Genoa Broadcasting Association Inc. (3MGB).

In principal support for the submission was provided by East Gippsland Shire Council, Mallacoota and District Recovery Association (MADRA), Destination Gippsland, Mallacoota Events Inc (now operating as Coota Gathers), Wilderness Workspace, Mallacoota and District Business & Tourism Association (MaDBTA), Mallacoota Historical Society and Pambula Rotary Club.

4. Is this a Government project?

This project is funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program. However, it is directed by a locally based steering group comprised of the project partners and administered by Music Victoria, which is an independent, not for profit and non-government organisation.

Music Victoria’s role is to support the local community to deliver outcomes and assist in building local capacity for a self-sustaining, community-centred social enterprise.

5. What are the stages and when will it finish?

The project will run from June 2022 until March 2024. The project plan will be reviewed by the steering group and the project manager but will include:

  1. Steering Group appointed – completed.
  2. Project Manager employed – completed.
  3. Live stream equipment purchased.
  4. Sustainable social enterprise and business model established.
  5. Mobile stage built and fitted out.
  6. Live stream program delivered.
  7. Annual homegrown music festival delivered – underway.

6. What are the expected outcomes for Far East Gippsland communities?

  • Individuals, families and communities recover through opportunities for social connection.
  • Young people and their families are able to live in Mallacoota and have meaningful work opportunities that support whole of community.
  • The local economy recovers through training and job creation opportunities and in partnering to strengthen local businesses and nature-based and cultural tourism opportunities.
  • Acknowledgement of the connections between communities and care for the unique natural environments of Far East Gippsland and South East NSW.
  • Deeper understanding of and connections with First Nations Peoples by placing Aboriginal culture and healing at the centre of the project.
  • A Far East Music Recovery Network in collaboration with local community interest groups that empowers and supports the coordination and communication of events and gatherings happening in Far East Gippsland.
  • Far East Gippsland communities will have access to a mobile stage and livestream toolkit to support opportunities for local and global connectivity and the delivery of music, cultural and community events.
  • Embedding a sustainable community model for recovery, wellbeing and healing aligned with a trauma-informed care approach, that works in partnership with wellbeing support services.
  • A community-centred social enterprise, homegrown annual music festival and livestream program that grows local capability and connectivity.

7. What support services are on offer?

  • Different support workers and training will be provided as best suited and needed for the variety of activities that will be delivered as part of the overall program.

  • For locally-provided bushfire recovery counselling & support services, contact theRoyal Flying Doctor Service Victoria on 1800 001 068.

  • For a free, confidential phone counselling service, available to anyone who works in Australian music or the arts, contactSupport Act Wellbeing Helpline, on 1800 959 500.

  • Also checkoutPhoenix Australia recommendations for recovery support and information resources.

  • For urgent support, callLifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24/7 counselling and referrals.

8. How will the funds be administered?

  • The money sits in Music Victoria’s bank account. As the Auspice body, Music Victoria are financially and legally responsible and accountable to the Federal Government who granted this funding.
  • The funding that was awarded can only be used for very specific purposes (see above outcomes in Q6), and will be spent in line with the draft budget that was submitted as part of the successful funding application.
  • The Steering Group will approve any revisions to the budget in line with the original budget which provides a framework for approving all financial transactions.
  • The distribution of money will be facilitated operationally by Music Victoria, as recommended by the Steering Group in line with the project aims, objectives and funding obligations.
  • One of the priorities of the funding was to support local job creation and as such, local people can be employed and paid by the project.
  • The established governance arrangements for this project includes the continued declaration of any perceived or actual conflicts of interest, and does not allow for any one individual to have sole financial authority.

9. How will decisions be made?

  • All decisions associated with the project must align to the aims and priorities of the funding and adhere to the funding proposal that was successful.
  • The established processes and procedures for this project requires that all decisions must be approved by the Program Manager, the Steering Committee, and Music Victoria (in addition to aligning with the funding aims, priorities and the successful proposal).
  • The established governance arrangements for this project includes the continued declaration of any perceived or actual conflicts of interest, and does not allow for any one individual to have sole decision making authority.

10. How can I get involved?

  • We are keen to hear from you about ways you may wish to engage with the Far East Music Festival – eg. would you like to share your stories, facilitate a workshop, present your artwork, have a market stall or gain skills as a volunteer. If so, register your interest here:
  • We also welcome ideas within the broader project’s scope (point 1 above). These can be sent to
  • Various forums for community consultation will be held across the June 2022 – March 2024 period to seek insight and engagement from Far East Gippsland communities (within the projects scope as in point 1 above), please email to express your interest in participating in one of these forums.
  • We are so grateful to all of the people who have come forward to date to be considered for the various project roles, positions and/or to perform, and note that these are limited.
  • A steering group has been assembled, comprising of representatives from the project partners. They are bound by the terms of reference and Music Victoria’s Code of Conduct. Any questions or suggestions can be raised with them by emailing
  • Music Victoria appointed a Project Manager in August 2022. Other roles will be required throughout the development of the project, and these will be predominantly allocated to local people. Email to express your interest.
  • Expressions of interest for performances as part of the 2023 Far East Music Festival are now closed. We received an overwhelming number and the small team is busy getting back to everyone, and appreciate your patience.

11. How can I provide feedback?

  • Feedback that can support us in achieving the best possible project outcomes, and questions not already covered above in these FAQs or the Far East Music Festival’s FAQs, can be emailed to These will be considered by Music Victoria and the Steering Committee.
  • We continue to receive predominantly positive feedback from the community about the project and its far-reaching positive impacts.
  • Urgent concerns regarding disruptions during the Festival weekend 7-9 April 2023 can be raised by contacting Simone Schinkel on 0421 967 349.

12. What if I have a different project idea that I’d like to see funded?

  • Music Victoria can help you connect with grant opportunities.
  • Music Victoria has a list of opportunities that are regularly updated. Check the list out here.

*Accurate at 6 March 2023, please check the Grants and Opportunities list for an up-to-date list of funding available.


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