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Music Victoria, in partnership with the Victorian Government, is excited to announce the participants and mentors for the 2020 edition of its women’s leadership development program, Cultivate. Supported by the Minister for Women, the Cultivate program aims to foster the development of some of the state’s key decision-makers, business owners and industry leaders within the music sector.

The Cultivate program launched with in an intensive professional development conference where mentees and mentors heard inspiring keynotes from The Lord Mayor, Sally Capp and Aminata Conteh-Biger, Founder & CEO The Aminata Maternal Foundation.

Women leaders in the music industry are breaking down gender stereotypes and inspiring a new generation of leaders in Victoria’s contemporary music sector," says Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams. "It is fantastic to see this new generation of female leadership which is bound to inspire more – because you need to see it to be it.”

The successful participants for 2020 are:

  • Ashleigh Hills - Senior Artist Manager, UNIFIED MUSIC GROUP
  • Danielle Rizk - 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

The successful participants were matched with CEOs and experienced mentors who offer one-on-one leadership mentoring and a series of masterclasses, enabling the participants to expand their leadership skills and advance their career.

“I've been working in the music industry for over a decade and have reached a point in my career where managing and leading others has become a necessary part of my role. I'm excited to level up my communication, business, management and leadership skills from Cultivate to set me up for the next decade” says Paige X. Cho - Senior Music Strategist, Bolster.

Mentors were individually selected according to the specific needs of each participant and will come from non-music industry-related fields in order to give the Cultivate participants leadership insight from other industries.

The 2020 program Mentors include:

  • Kath Blackham - Founder & CEO, VERSA
  • Lucy Thomas OAM - Co-Founder/Co-CEO, Project Rockit
  • Mary Crooks AO - Executive Director, Victorian Women’s Trust
  • Michelle Battersby - Chief Marketing Officer, Keep it Cleaner
  • Rebecca Scott OAM - Co-founder & CEO of STREAT
  • Shamini Rajarethnam - CEO, Rationale

“Mentoring is something that has always been important to me and I know from personal experience the impact it can make on both mentors and mentees," says Kath Blackham, Founder & CEO, VERSA. "I always try to lead with confidence, compassion and conviction and I hope to share these traits and more during my involvement with the Cultivate Program – I couldn’t be happier to be involved.”
The program was open for Victorian residents who identify as a woman and currently hold leadership or management positions at their place of employment within the contemporary music sector.