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APRA AMCOS announces Equity Action Plan

Story Published Thursday 29 July 2021


Our Equity Action Plan was developed under the mentorship of Diversity Arts Australia over the first half of 2021.

The plan focuses on how we can embed diversity and deliberate inclusion in our work practices and in how we engage with our members and other stakeholders.

The Equity Action Plan follows on from APRA AMCOS' firm belief that broad representation is the key to a safer and more inclusive and respectful music industry.


The APRA and AMCOS Boards have endorsed APRA AMCOS’ Equity Action Plan which was developed under the mentorship of Diversity Arts Australia over the first half of 2021. The plan focuses on how the organisation can embed diversity and deliberate inclusion in our work practices and in how we engage with our members and other stakeholders. It includes short-term and long-term goals across six key sections: community engagement, programming, marketing, policy, leadership, employment and recruitment.

The APRA and AMCOS Boards are also now considering how they will adopt, action and apply the Equity Action Plan principles within their governance frameworks. Since late 2020, the APRA Board has expanded the remit of its Risk & Audit sub-committee to include Culture; the AMCOS Risk & Audit sub-committee has done the same from July 2021.

APRA AMCOS has appointed Gillian Dunn, previously Senior Manager Publisher Relations, APRA AMCOS, to the role of Senior Manager Culture & Engagement within APRA AMCOS’ People & Culture team. Gillian, along with Leah Flanagan, Director of our National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) and Kirti Jacobs, Head of People & Culture, will partner with the business to support the implementation of the plan.

The plan is the conclusion of a six-month project that commenced with a Diversity Audit assessed by Diversity Arts Australia. The project included extensive training for APRA AMCOS staff and for Board members, provided by specialists sourced by Diversity Arts Australia. The APRA AMCOS program was modelled on the highly successful Fair Play program that Diversity Arts Australia developed in partnership with the Victorian Music Development Office.

The APRA AMCOS program focused on building the business’ skills and capacity in working with First Nations people, people from under-represented cultural and linguistic backgrounds and people with disabilities. The aim of the program and of the APRA AMCOS Equity Action Plan is to achieve lasting change by addressing obstacles to accessibility, respect and inclusion in our organisation and sector.

The Equity Action Plan follows on from APRA AMCOS’ firm belief that broad representation is the key to a safer and more inclusive and respectful music industry.

Announcing the Equity Action Plan, APRA AMCOS CEO, Dean Ormston said: “This work has never been more urgent or necessary in our industry. The stories of bullying, sexual harassment and toxic workplace cultures in our industry are disheartening and an indictment on all of us, regardless of where we work in music. Australian music and music creators deserve better. Bullying and sexual harassment in the music industry is not inevitable, it is not acceptable. It is preventable and APRA AMCOS is committed to working with our industry so that we can collectively bring about this shift in culture.”

To that end, APRA AMCOS has signed the Diversity Council of Australia’s #IStandForRespect pledge. We await with great interest the outcomes of the Request for Proposal that is being managed by the voluntary interim working group set up in May 2021 to identify a suitably qualified consultant who can partner with the industry in a broad-ranging, intersectional and inclusive consultation to identify a strategy for a safer and more inclusive Australian music industry.

While that work progresses, we are reviewing our policy framework and crafting a Statement of Expectations for participants in all APRA AMCOS initiatives and Awards. We are also partnering with Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia to build the capability of our frontline staff in responding to disclosures of sexual harassment and in constructive bystander intervention.

Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia will also be reviewing our policy framework and procedures to ensure that they are survivor-centric and trauma informed.

“There is still so much work to do. Of critical importance is that we consider how, as an industry, we can extend a decent safety net to the many songwriters and others who work outside a traditional workplace in our industry and do not have access to HR support. It’s not possible for APRA AMCOS to single-handedly change our entire industry. That is going to take all of us, working collectively. That’s why I’m calling on everyone in the Australian music community to step up and be part of this change. And if I’ve learned anything from the stories I’ve heard and the people who have shared their experiences, it’s this: men need to step up alongside the brave voices that have already called for meaningful positive change in our industry.”

View the APRA AMCOS Equity Action Plan summary (PDF 444KB)

We encourage anyone affected or anyone who has experienced harm in the music community to make use of the range of support services available:

Support Act Helpline: 1800 959 500

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Lifeline Hotline: 13 11 14 or text their helpline on 0477 13 11 14

SANE 1800 187 263

Sexual Assault Counselling Australia 1800 211 028