On Thursday 3 December 2015 the work of the South Australian Music Development Office was recognised in the South Australian Parliament.

The following transcript of the recognition is from the Legislative Council Hansard

Visit the Music Development Office Website

The Hon. J.M. GAZZOLA ( 15:32 ): The Music Development Office (MDO) was designed to bring areas of government together to meet the state’s strategic priorities through music activities. They also developed links with education to build pathways into creative and industry development, with city vibrancy and economic benefit being the ultimate outcomes. As the MDO was launched in the second half of 2014, there is no previous year to use as a benchmark for comparative achievement.

However, the only support available to the South Australian music industry prior to the launch of the MDO was the contemporary music program, which now forms just a part of the suite of support available. Funding for contemporary music in South Australia supports artist and audience development, the creation of original South Australian music and local music businesses that develop the careers of professional musicians and contribute to a buoyant SA music sector.

In 2015, four organisations funded by the MDO were Music SA, Semaphore Music Festival, 54-Entertainment and Northern Sound System. Music SA delivered a program of activities that directly supported more than 100 artists. A music festival was delivered in Semaphore. Port Adelaide music activation saw 10 venues presenting live music. Two people undertook long-term paid internships, and Northern Sound System’s emerging artist program mentored four artists.

There have been four rounds of contemporary music grants between May and August 2015, with 46 small businesses and artists funded. Connected Music City is an umbrella title for a series of initiatives being developed by the Music Development Office which will be delivered by industry partners. The first two initiatives are: the Connected Music City Challenge, which saw IBM award two teams places on their global entrepreneurship program, worth $24,000 each, and the Adelaide Area Music and Trails, which via an app takes music fans on a walk of 25 CBD music venues. This will be launched during the Fringe 2016.

The annual Robert Stigwood Fellowships provide personalised professional development to local musicians and industry entrepreneurs and help them forge global connections. This program ran over a 12-month period in 2014-15 and benefited over 100 musicians and businesses. The 2015 Stigwood fellows include Tkay Maidza, now one of Australia’s most promising exports. Her achievements include being awarded best new artist at the 2015 Rolling Stone Australia Awards. Both Tkay and Bad//Dreems have successfully sold out national tours and continue to build sustainable markets in Australia and internationally.

The Producer’s Series is a mentoring program supporting the development of some of South Australia’s most promising music producers. Three series ran in 2015 which were the Sam Dixon Sessions, the Fresh FM and the Proof of Life Sessions.

St Paul’s Creative Centre is the flagship of the Music Development Office. This CBD-based co-workspace for the creative industries became fully operational in January 2015. St Paul’s hosts 10 small businesses and 10 co-workers, has hosted approximately 40 events and given 60 students the opportunity to receive training from Music SA. The MDO is working closely with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet to simplify regulation affecting the live music industry, and most recently the entertainment consent bill passed through parliament. This was in direct response to the Music Industry Council recommendations, which will remove development barriers for small arts and cultural venues.

The MDO supported three new pieces of research published this year, the most prominent of which is the UTAS Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music, which found that live music delivered a 3 to 1 investment and injects approximately $264 million to the South Australian economy and employs approximately 4,100 people.

The MDO has had a most successful first year. These achievements do not happen by accident. The MDO is staffed by Becc Bates and Karen Marsh, who have recently been joined by Michael Radzevicius. I wish to thank the Music Development Office for its achievements, resilience and expertise. I also congratulate the winners and nominees of the inaugural Music SA Awards this year. I encourage all South Australians and visitors to support our artists and visit a venue because, as Joni Mitchell sang, ‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.’