Music Australia sounds like a big step for the industry

As an English-speaking nation, anchored in the extraordinary sounds of First Nations artists and framed by the beauty of music from our nation’s multicultural strengths, Australia is poised to benefit from this growth.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presents the federal government's new arts and culture policy at the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presents the federal government’s new arts and culture policy at the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda.Credit:Scott McNaughton

It used to take years and years for Australian artists who were successful locally to break through internationally. Now our global popularity multiplies every year with artists like 5 Seconds of Summer, Alison Wonderland, Courtney Barnett, Flume, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Sia, Tame Impala, Tash Sultana, The Kid Laroi, Tones And I, and Troye Sivan Vance Joy, all of whom are leading the charge. We had a big presence at the Grammys last year with Rufus Du Sol, Mitch Wong, Sampa The Great and Elizabeth Younan. That success looks set to continue at Monday’s Grammys with several nominees including (again) Rufus Du Sol, George Nicholas, Tim Nelson and jazz musician Linda May Han Oh.

First Nations artists Aodhan, Baker Boy, Budjerah, Electric Fields, Leah Flanagan and Sycco have enjoyed massive success on international tours since our borders reopened, and in the last 12 months an extraordinary 21 Australian acts have graced the stages of Coachella, Lollapalooza and Primavera up.

Then there are artists like Tkay Maidza, who Billie Eilish has endorsed. Gang of Youths have landed their first top 10 record in the UK, film composers such as Antonio Gambale have received Emmy nominations and Mark Benedicto co-produced and co-wrote the song hero – a collaboration with global artists Martin Garrix and JVKE – featured as the anthem track for the Marvel game SNAP, which won Mobile Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2022.

Jenny Morris is a singer/songwriter and Chair of the Australasian Performing Right Association

Jenny Morris is a singer/songwriter and Chair of the Australasian Performing Right AssociationCredit:Alex Ellinghausen

Tones And I and Gotye sit at #1 and #3, respectively, on the Top 100 Most Shazamed Songs of All Time monkey dancing And someone i knew Tones and The Kid Laroi both included songs in the top 10 most streamed songs of all time on Spotify monkey dancing in 3rd place with 2.726 billion streams and Remain in 10th place with 2.313 billion.

In 2020, I addressed the National Press Club in which I articulated a 10-year vision for Australian music around four key objectives: making Australia a net exporter of music; Providing equal access to music in schools nationally and songwriting as part of the national curriculum; Protect and promote live music venues; and ensuring local music is prominent across all media platforms.

The government’s decision to also establish an Arts and Entertainment Jobs Center as part of the policy addresses many of the fears and frustrations of music industry workers who face systematic discrimination, bullying, harassment or assault.

The very announcement of a national cultural policy is like a powerful mental health tonic and will be part of the positive recalibration of the music industry’s collective mindset. Recent events have been debilitating, with many artists not feeling seen or supported in decades. By rebuilding the industry for the better, we can all regain not only our mojo but our self-esteem and confidence, and that will lead to even greater creative output.


The creation of Music Australia provides an opportunity for government policy to reflect the cultural, social and economic potential of our industry – and to take a serious look at the music business and the skills needed to realize its potential.

The alternative is that this generation of children grow up ignorant of the sound of their own country. We are already the ninth largest music market in the world. The question is: what do we want to hear? The opportunities for our industry are enormous, but we really need to make an effort and invest in the creativity of the next generation.

You are born global and the world is ready to listen.

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Jaclyn Diaz

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