Indigenous Songwriters Office Opens

The Australian Performing Right Association and the Australian Government have set up a music office for indigenous songwriters.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Music Office will help develop their talents and build long-term careers, said APRA’s Sydney-based CEO Brett Cottle.

The office is run by APRA’s national indigenous representative Michael Hutchings, a former concert promoter who was also label and studio manager at Sydney indigenous company Gadigal Music.

Hutchings will also run the Song Cycles project, set up by APRA in response to a May 2010 report that showed attitudes, physical distance, training and education are among the barriers keeping ATSI artists from wider audiences.

Song Cycles initiatives include placing indigenous acts on mainstream festivals and as interns in touring and festival companies, and encouraging mainstream music executives to attend indigenous festivals.