Australian music industry to undergo #MeToo style review

Australian music industry to undergo #MeToo style review


A nation-wide music industry review will be conducted to look into the prevalence and nature of sexual harm, harassment and systemic discrimination in Australia’s music industry.

The review will involve listening to stories from music professionals, conducting a series of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and information collection via online surveys.

The review will cover all sectors and professions in the national contemporary music industry, including artists, artist managers, agents, crew members, producers, promoters, studio members and freelancers with the findings to be collated into a report due for release in July 2022. 

“It is time to hear the voices of our most vulnerable members of our music industry,” Temporary Working Group announced in a statement.

“It is only through this survivor-centric approach can we understand the problems that allow for systemic abuse and sexual harassment to occur in our industry. The journey to appoint independent consultants Alex and Sam has been immense, and is a big step in pushing for real change.”

“This requires an industry-wide commitment – financially and emotionally. It is not about blame but about how we can come together to grow into a safe industry we all deserve to work in.”

ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said she strongly supports the review and encourages all industry groups to support the review.

“This review is so important to create a safe, diverse, equitable and ultimately better industry for all who work and operate in Australian music,” she said in a statement. 

“I am confident we have the right team to move our industry forward in Ms Shehadie and Ms Turner, through a comprehensive independent review of what is happening across all levels of music and why.”

“The music industry is special, it is full of inspiring, creative and passionate people working hard and doing what they love, but it is still a workplace.”

“No one should be subjected to bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work. I strongly support this ambitious and ground-breaking industry-wide review, and call on industry businesses, organisations, and individuals to make any contribution they can to the review’s decentralised and independent funding approach.”

The review has received public support from key industry groups including Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), Phonographic Performance Company of Australia PPCA and Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS). 

Chief operating officer of ARIA and PPCA, Lynne Small said that anything less than a safe and equal workplace for everyone isn’t good enough.

“There are voices that need to be heard and changes that must be made in order to achieve the working environment the wonderful and passionate members of our music industry deserve,” she said in a statement.

“I look forward to welcoming that change.”

APRA AMCOS’s chief executive Dean Ormston said it was essential his organisation was supporting this review.

“Do we step up and meet this moment and live up to the full potential of our creative promise? For APRA AMCOS, the answer is a clear ‘yes’,” Ormston said.

“Yes, on behalf of our music creator and publisher members, our Boards and our staff, we want to be part of a better way forward and to doing the work that we must do to effect change. That’s why we’ve supported and enabled the effort to conduct this Review from the very beginning.”

Lead consultant Alexandra Shehadie has previously undertaken culture reviews into the Australian Defence Force and Australian Police Force, and has worked with universities and residential colleges to address sexual harassment, sexual assault, and bullying. 

According to her Linkedin profile, she has also advised Qantas on strategies to enhance gender equality and inclusion in the company.

She is currently on the Advisory Board of Victoria Police’s Corporate and a member of Guthrie House, a program that supports women exiting prison to reintegrate into the community.

Sam Turner is an inclusion consultant who has worked with companies including Westpac and Microsoft.

The two have been described as “leading experts in cultural change” and selected by a panel consisting of ARIA, PPCA, APRA AMCOS, The Australia Council and Support Act and members of the Temporary Working Group.

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