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Regional Music Development Program

Funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership by Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria, the Regional Music Development Program supported employment of Regional Music Workers for 12 months in 2021 – 2022 in three regions across the state.

These local music workers developed projects and initiatives to support local music networks and activity, and worked to establish connections with music representatives in other parts of the state, local governments, arts bodies and other relevant stakeholders.

Castlemaine, Mount Alexander Shire

The Castlemaine/Mount Alexander Shire project delivered a range of workshops, networking events, live music and a multi day conference.

Gold Sounds Music Conference included a venues day, a youth mini conference, an industry day, and a songwriting workshop delivered in partnership with APRA AMCOS. An access workshop, presented by disability advocate and 2021 Music Victoria Award winner Eliza Hull, supported local venue owners to implement accessibility strategies.

Gold Sounds Music Conference was awarded Community Event of the Year at the 2022 Mount Alexander Shire Council’s January 26th Awards.

Two live music events were delivered as part of the project. As part of Melbourne Music Week, a showcase of Mount Alexander based acts performed at the John Curtin Hotel for Comin’ Down the Calder. On International Women’s Day, a community event was held in collaboration with Main FM.

Castlemaine’s Regional Music Coordinator, Fionna Allan, was a community champion for the project. Because of her, the project facilitated lasting community relationships and secured investment to reproduce Gold Sounds Conference in 2022.

Shepparton, Greater Shepparton

The Shepparton project brought together the region’s diverse music communities for the inaugural Shepp Music Week.

The week-long conference, held in March 2022, saw the delivery of eight events, workshops and panels. An ‘in conversation’ was presented in partnership with Still Here Arts & Culture, featuring Neil Morris (Music Victoria Awards 2021 Best Hip-Hop Act, DRMNGNOW) and Brady Jones (Yorta Yorta artist, Bricky B). As part of Shepp Music Week, a group of local emerging youth artists participated in a workshop, creating professional artist bios and headshots. Industry gathered for an engaging panel centred on regional festivals, while artists involved in MAV‘s NEWPRINT program presented a discussion on the importance of music community.

Live music was also presented as part of Shepp Music Week. The Push All Ages Tour brought artists such as Kaiit, KIAN, Aprilis and more to Victoria Park Lake. At Riverlinks Performing Arts Centre Stage, Baiyiya Yapaneyepuk/Song Together, presented in partnership with Still Here Arts & Culture and Songlines, featured electric live performances from Isaiah Firebrace, Bricky B, Shanikwa AJ, Lillie Walker and DJVM. The week concluded with MAV’s NEWPRINT Block 30 club show featuring performances from Yungkily, MLBRN and other artists.

Music Victoria’s Shepparton team consisted of Neil Morris (DRMNGNOW, Still Here Arts and Culture), Jaimie Lea (JL Productions and Hire) and Anita Larkin (MAV, Greater Shepparton City Council, Point of Difference Studio). The team did an excellent job of pulling together and delivering the program.

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Mallacoota, East Gippsland Shire

The Mallacoota project provided a community-driven and collaborative approach to social and economic recovery following the Black Summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project entailed engagement with local, regional and state-based artists and music workers to deliver a series of live music and live stream events, and to develop a funding strategy that would see the continuation of a similar program beyond the life of the Regional Music Development Program. The Mallacoota project also supported the hosting of fortnightly ‘Coota Gathers’ meetings to engage local community and support service networks focussed on social and economic recovery through live music and events. Through a partnership with Sanctuary Mallacoota Youth Group, Regional Coordinators were able to work with local young people to deliver mentoring, training and employment opportunities.

Six live music events were delivered as part of the program, including Sixpence Streamed, Sixpence Live, Coota Gathers Youth Arts Fest, 3MGB Wilderness Radio Fundraiser, Bastion Beats, and Far Fiesta & Latin Muses.

The Mallacoota Regional Music Development team, consisting of Katie Symes and Jesse Nation, have exceeded expectations through obtaining further funding that will support social and economic recovery through music in East Gippsland.

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The Regional Music Development Program was funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership by Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria.