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Oz music bodies apologise after survey findings

Australian music bodies have apologised in response to the damning findings of an independent review into the nature and extent of the key issues facing the sector.

The Raising their Voices report, commissioned by the Australian contemporary music business, surveyed more than 1,600 people to examine the prevalence of sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the industry.

It found high rates of sexual harassment, sexual harm and bullying, and calls for an industry-wide approach to prevent and respond to the findings. It concluded that women do not thrive to the same extent as men, and that young people and people of diverse backgrounds can be at particular risk of harm and poor employment practices.

“Leaders in the music industry have a collective responsibility to use their influence to drive widespread change”

“We want to acknowledge the courage of those victim survivors and everyone who shared their stories as part of this review,” Emily Collins, MD MusicNSW and a member of the temporary working group set up to oversee the review.

“Bringing this information to light is a critical first step in understanding not only the extent of harm that has occurred but also setting out a clear path for the music industry to improve and strengthen its workplace culture for everyone.”

Australian Festivals Association MD and temporary working group member Julia Robinson says industry leaders have an important role to play.

“Leaders in the music industry have a collective responsibility to use their influence to drive widespread change and create a safe and inclusive workplace built on respect,” she says.

“As disturbing and confronting as the findings are, the Australian music industry is committed to change and to rebuilding trust”

In a joint letter of acknowledgement signed by dozens of organisations including Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Frontier Touring, TEG, Chugg Entertainment, Secret Sounds Group, Moshtix, the Country Music Association of Australia and the Australian Festival Association, the industry vows it “can and will continue to do better”.

“As leaders in the Australian contemporary music industry, we accept the distressing findings of the Review,” reads the letter. “We acknowledge the harm documented by the Review, and we are sorry. This Review has been a vital process of listening and truth telling. We thank all the participants for their courage in speaking out, in bravely re-living their experiences, and engaging in this critical report. We acknowledge the impact of these behaviours on the lives of victim survivors from our industry.

“Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination. As disturbing and confronting as the findings are, the Australian music industry is committed to change and to rebuilding trust. The music industry should – and will – foster safe, welcoming, respectful, creative, and fun environments.

“We have been listening and have heard your calls for change. We can and will continue to do better. We all can.”

“Our work has already started, and it will not stop until we have a culture that is safe for all”

It continues: “As leaders and members of the music community, we all have a responsibility to model courageous leadership and do our best to bring an end to poor and destructive behaviour. We urge all in the music industry to continue working with us to implement long-term, sustainable change for the better. We all have a personal and professional responsibility to make our culture the best it can be.

“We are committed to working through the recommendations of the report, doing the necessary work and being accountable, to ensure our industry workplaces are safe, inclusive, and respectful. Our work has already started, and it will not stop until we have a culture that is safe for all.”

Of those surveyed, 55% had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment and sexual harm in their career, including 72% of women surveyed and 39% of men, while bullying was experienced by 76% of survey participants at some point in their career in the industry.

“I commend the music industry for commissioning this independent review as a positive step towards identifying the areas of the music industry that need to change,” adds Alexandra Shehadie from MAPN Consulting, which led the review. “The task now is to follow through with implementing the recommendations right across the industry.

“Australia has a vibrant, dynamic and creative music industry. It is important to ensure that it is also inclusive, respectful and safe so that all who work in it are free from harm and discrimination, and can thrive.”

 


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