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Victorian SongMakers team grows

Media Published Wednesday 10 July 2024
New to SongMakers Victoria: Al Parkinson and Kat Taylor

SongMakers’ Victorian program expands with Al Parkinson appointed the new SongMakers Victorian Manager and Kat Taylor the new SongMakers Victorian Coordinator.

Comes after February announcement of $2m into SongMakers from Victorian Government

“Al and Kat make an incredible team, bringing a wealth of experience to their roles,” said Chris O’Neill, Director, Creative Programs and Stakeholder Management

APRA AMCOS' SongMakers program has expanded in Victoria with the hire of two new staff - Al Parkinson as the new SongMakers Victorian Manager and Kat Taylor as the new SongMakers Victorian Coordinator. Together they bring over 30 years’ experience in the local music industry.

SongMakers is an initiative that brings contemporary music industry mentors into high school classrooms to work with students and teachers on songwriting and production.

Since the first SongMakers workshops in 2013, the program has connected with close to 4,000 young people and their teachers at more than 300 high schools nationally and created more than 1,200 original songs at workshops.

Al Parkinson has been a music community advocate for over 15 years. Entering the music industry as a songwriter and self-managed artist, she went on to curate and manage Sofar Sounds Melbourne, alongside hosting and producing an Australian-only music show on community radio.

Her experience includes music education at Collarts and Box Hill Institute, and she served as Memberships Manager at Music Victoria before her role in artist management at Applejack Music, collaborating with artists such Liz Stringer and The Teskey Brothers.

“I am overjoyed to be joining the SongMakers team and to be offering such incredible opportunities to young people in Victoria,” says Al Parkinson.

“The range of projects we will deliver over the next two years as a result of the Victorian Government's $2m funding will have a profound impact on the participants, teachers, industry mentors, contemporary music education and the wider music industry. I am thrilled to be a part of this program and to be working on these exciting projects.”

Working alongside Al will be Kat Taylor in the position of SongMakers Victorian Coordinator. Kat started at APRA AMCOS in September 2023 as Executive Assistant to the Head of Membership and Melbourne Office Support. Kat brings to the position over 15 years in the music industry at Warner Music and Festival Mushroom Records in publicity and marketing.

Chris O’Neill, Director, Creative Programs and Stakeholder Management, explains: "We are so pleased to have Al Parkinson and Kat Taylor as part of the SongMakers team in Victoria. The Victorian government’s commitment of $2 million over two years to the suite of SongMakers programs is incredibly exciting, and I can't wait to see what will be achieved through these initiatives. Al and Kat make an incredible team, bringing a wealth of experience to their roles. SongMakers is in safe hands with Al and Kat delivering the program in Victoria."

The future is bright for SongMakers after the Victorian Government announced an investment of $2 million in February’s budget to “teach songwriting in high schools across the state.”

Across 2023 and 2024 in Victoria alone, SongMakers has delivered 25 workshops to over 400 young people.