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Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan is ‘leaving the building’

After 10 years at the helm, Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan has made the decision to hand over the baton as CEO and leave the state peak body for contemporary music, Music Victoria.

Patrick, who was appointed as the peak body’s inaugural CEO in August 2010, said “A lot has changed since then and it’s been wonderful to have played a part in a dynamic body in this creative and passionate industry. Ten years seemed like a logical time to pass on the baton to a new CEO who can build on our work over the last decade.’’

Patrick will finish later this year to take up new opportunities after he takes long service leave over summer. Prior to MV, Patrick (Paddy to many) was the Age Newspaper’s Chief Music Writer, and is an adjunct professor of RMIT’s Bachelor of Arts (Music Business) Course.

Music Victoria Chair Sally Howland paid tribute to Mr Donovan’s service over the decade:

‘’Paddy's name is synonymous with Victorian Music and in many ways over the last 10 years he has become Music Victoria. His tenure as founding CEO is marked with an impressive list of achievements, including the Agent of Change legislation, establishment of the VMDO, the Music Victoria Awards and targeted skills development programs - Live Music Professionals and Cultivate, the women’s’ leadership program. More recently he has overseen a surge in our Membership, which now stands at 6,000.

Never one to take a backward step, he has been a true champion for our music business. Undoubtedly passionate, staunchly loyal, and ever tenacious. He is a good man to have on your team.

The Board is forever grateful not only for Paddy's tireless work but also for the legacy of leaving behind a robust organization ready for its next chapter. He takes with him the goodwill from all of us as he tackles his next venture."

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley thanked Patrick for his leadership:

“Paddy has been an incredible ambassador and champion for Victoria’s music scene. He leaves Music Victoria well positioned to come back strongly from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. I thank him for his leadership, commend him for his significant contribution and wish him all the best for the future.”

“Under Paddy’s stewardship, Music Victoria has grown into a significant voice for local music. Music Victoria is now the leading champion for live and local music not only for our state but on a national and international level."


Patrick thanked the volunteer board members, former and current staff, members, industry partners, pro bono contributors, Government partners and the music community for their support for Music Victoria and the sector.

‘’It’s been a privilege and a joy to work with so many talented and passionate people and help steer Music Victoria over the last ten years and help position the industry into a much more sophisticated and strategic position.

‘’The industry is currently undergoing major upheaval with artists, venues and industry businesses and workers struggling to sustain their businesses and careers because of the pandemic. But the Victorian music industry is resilient and fortunate to continue to receive the backing of Local, State and Federal Government through funding, development programs and legislative reform, and Music Victoria can leverage this support to confront the challenges. More than anything, I hope Music Victoria can help the industry to survive and recover from this pandemic, and I can’t wait to get back out to live shows.”

Before he finishes up, Patrick will assist the board in securing a new CEO to lead Music Victoria through the next decade.