The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) is pleased to announce the NATSIMO Observership, a new leadership opportunity for two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander APRA AMCOS members to participate in a 12-month Observership program with the APRA Board (Australasian Performing Right Association).
The initiative is being conducted with support and training from The Observership Program.
This NATSIMO-led program aims to build members' experience and confidence in serving on a Board and to learn how the APRA Board works on behalf of its music creator and music publisher members and how it makes decisions.
Expressions of interest open today and will close on Thursday 17 November at 11:59PM AEDT.
The participants will join the APRA Board as an Observer for each of the five Board meetings it holds in 2023 and work with an experienced APRA Director over the12 month period. The NATSIMO Observership program will also run in the 2024 year with two new participants.
APRA Board Chair Jenny Morris welcomed the opportunity to add two Observers to the 13 person Board comprised of music publisher and writer/composer members.
“The APRA Board is really thrilled to partner with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office to enable two Observerships on the APRA Board in 2023 and, again, in 2024. The NATSIMO has a clear vision to enable self-determination for First Nations’ music creators. APRA recognises that building pathways to leadership and governance are central to that journey of self-determination. The fact that The Observership Program has generously offered the NATSIMO Observers access to its respected and robust training and networking program underscores the compelling credibility and strength of NATSIMO’s vision on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creators," said Morris.
"With my colleagues on the APRA Board, I look forward to welcoming the NATSIMO Observers to the APRA boardroom table. I know our shared respect and regard for music and music creators means that we will learn a lot from each other about leadership and the value of careful custodianship on behalf of the communities that we represent."
"The NATSIMO Observership is part of a broader strategy to address the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in executive levels of the music industry. At the heart of this program is the intention that the Observerships will help elevate our members' voices and presence so they can inform and guide organisations in the music industry to engage meaningfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creators, while providing a supported framework for a hands-on learning experience, said Leah Flanagan, NATSIMO Director."
"Both the APRA Board and The Observership Program have welcomed this initiative with enthusiasm, commitment and support, which will no doubt enrich this professional two-way learning experience."
APRA Board Director Bic Runga is one of two Board 'buddies' who will meet with an Observer outside of Board meetings and share insight into the role and responsibilities of serving on a Board, while also gaining insight from the Observers.
"I’m honoured to be involved with the NATSIMO Observership program and to work alongside the participants and advise, discuss and mutually learn from each other. I'm so proud to be part of a board that values diversity of perspective, lived experience and values based decision-making," said Runga.
"I hope that by sharing my Board experience, it helps in a meaningful way to prepare an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music industry professional for a future Board position or leadership role, and ultimately, supports the NATSIMO’s own mission of fostering a self-determined future for First Nations music creators.”
Following the selection process, Observers will participate in The Observership Program training and attend their first APRA Board meeting in February 2023.