Regional Music Development Program
Funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership by Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria, the Regional Music Development (RMD) program will support the employment of three Regional Music Workers for 12 months in three regions across the state. These local music workers will work to develop projects and initiatives to support local music networks and activity as well as act as brokers to establish connections with music representatives in other parts of the state, local governments, arts bodies and other relevant stakeholders.
Music Victoria is very excited to announce the 3 successful regions as part of the Regional Music Development Program (RMD); Shepparton, Mallacoota and Castlemaine. Funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership by Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria, this program will support the employment of three Regional Music Coordinators for 12 months in one of three regions across the state. These local music workers will work to develop projects and initiatives to support local music networks and activity as well as act as brokers to establish connections with music representatives in other parts of the state, local governments, arts bodies and other relevant stakeholders.
Regional Music Program Manager
Sarah brings over 20 years of involvement in the Victorian music community, combined with close to nine years of project management experience, to her new role as Regional Music Program Manager.
After four years of running Music Victoria’s Live Music Professionals program which placed a heavy emphasis on regional participation, coupled with Sarah’s move to the Heathcote area in early 2020 and a new part-time role programming music at regional live music venue, The Shiraz Republic, Sarah is excited to lead the new Regional Music Devcelopment Program on behalf of Music Victoria and Regional Arts Vic.
Regional Music Coordinator – Mt Alexander Shire
Fionna Allan is a Creative Project Manager with a background in tour management, venue booking, television production, festival operations, community radio and kitchen discos, amongst many other things.
Prior to moving to Castlemaine in 2018, Fionna was based in Wales for 12 years, and spent many years touring the world as a tour manager and production coordinator for a variety of international artists, as well as working for the BBC, various music festivals and venues, and government arts organisations.
More recently, Fionna has worked managing community radio station 94.9 MAINfm, and in bookings and production at the Theatre Royal Castlemaine. She is also on the board of Castlemaine Circus. A terrible musician herself, Fionna is passionate about supporting musicians and the creative industries, living in Central Victoria, road trips and playing records at her friends.
Regional Music Coordinator - Shepparton
Ree is a 19-year-old artist with roots deep within Fiji, Croatia and Uganda.
An artist living and working on the traditional lands of the Yorta Yorta people.
Born in Australia, she grew up in Uganda before moving back to Shepparton in late 2014.
Ree works across various mediums including visual art, performance, song-writing and music production.
She is passionate about working with her community and forming creative expressions through all types of music and art.
Regional Music Coordinator – Mallacoota & District
Jesse Nation is Regional Music Victoria Co-Coordinator for Mallacoota and District, a position he shares with Katie Symes.
Jesse has a passion for all things musical and is highly motivated to energise people in music performance and production. He is proud of his Aboriginal heritage and is keen to support inclusion and healing through story and song.
He has been a long-time volunteer in regional communities providing musical entertainment to audiences across the state. Jesse is a self-confessed gear nerd with a home studio that has hosted many a jam session. He loves fixing all kinds of musical equipment and specialises in guitar repair.
Jesse also brings with him over fifteen years of experience working with community as a Parks Victoria Ranger in Melbourne, Apollo Bay and Mallacoota.
Drawn to Far East Gippsland through its unique spirit of place, he has made Mallacoota his home with his family. Jesse is committed to giving back to his community by supporting and empowering people through music.
Regional Music Coordinator - Mallacoota & District
Katie Symes is Regional Music Victoria Co-Coordinator for Mallacoota and District, a position she shares with Jesse Nation.
Katie is also Mallacoota and District Bushfire Recovery Hub Co-Coordinator with Bushfire Recovery Victoria. Katie sees her role as walking alongside her community to help navigate the systems of support in their bushfire recovery journeys.
Katie is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Sound Design) and has over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit, higher education, health, music and cultural sectors as a producer, facilitator, communicator and manager delivering projects, large scale social change campaigns and events both in remote, regional and national locations and internationally.
Katie’s years of experience in the music industry as a producer, artist and tour manager has seen her travel extensively to regional and remote locations, nationally and internationally working with numerous inspirational songwriters, musicians and music professionals. Katie is co-producer (a role she shares with Maurial Spearim) of international touring music project the Homelands Collective bringing young and established First Nations singer-songwriters to connect songs across oceans through music mentoring workshops and live performance opportunities at festivals and gatherings around the world.
Born and raised on the wilderness coast in Mallacoota, southeast Australia, Katie is fuelled by the ocean and wide-open spaces and has made a lifetime commitment to working in values-based and community-focused roles that support people (particularly young people) to live their best lives.