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2021 APRA Writer election candidates

Tushar Apte

BIOGRAPHY

Tushar Apte is an Australian writer/producer/composer based in Los Angeles. His catalogue covers successful US and international work across both pop production and film/TV. His credits include major releases for Chris Brown, Zayn, Nicki Minaj, Demi Lovato, BTS, Blackpink, Noah Cyrus, Cheat Codes, Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki, PJ Morton and more. He has also composed music on major film and TV projects for NBC, BET, IVT and many more.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I am passionate about creating a community and knowledge base for emerging and established APRA writers to understand and navigate the ever-changing modern music business.

Over the years I have benefited tremendously from APRA's support and guidance. I believe the natural next step to elevate this support system is to add an active international perspective on the governance side. For APRA members I think the key to this is having a member who is on the ground internationally and is a known and active member of the US (and global) writing community.

Sustaining a career in the music business requires resources much broader than those directly related to music and it’s creative process. This includes not just general mentorship, but practical knowledge on how to treat a career as a business, financial literacy for musicians, mental health and other challenges that come with a life in music.

APRA is already at the forefront of providing these resources and I hope to expand upon those to support the many diverse voices and talents of the Australian music community.

Contact Tushar at [email protected]

Clare Bowditch

BIOGRAPHY

Clare Bowditch, proud APRA Member since 1998, is an ARIA-Award-winning career musician, broadcaster, Board Director and life-long advocate for Australian songwriters.

Her first gig aged 16 in a Fitzroy pub has blossomed into a 20-year career, seven albums, and an eighth scheduled for 2022.

Clare joined her first board (Music Victoria) in 2010, same year ‘Rolling Stone’ named her “Woman of the Year” (Contribution to Culture).

In 2020 she was appointed by Inaugural Chair Michael Gudinski as non-executive Director on the board of Always Live LTD, an annual festival celebrating Victorian contemporary live music.

Clare’s record of using her voice to advocate for the rights, opportunities and dignity of fellow songwriters began in 2006 when, pregnant with twins and somewhat breathless, she used her ARIA “Best Artist” acceptance speech to argue against the recent cancellation of a music-funding program with the quip ‘Don’t make me get bumper stickers, Bracksie!’. Her subsequent meeting with then Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, resulted in the reinstatement of over $2m in music funding.

More recently, Clare used her invitation to address the ‘National Press Club’ in Canberra to request deeper Governmental support of ‘The Music Industry’ in the age of Covid-19 (“Music, Meaning, and Money”).

ELECTION STATEMENT

For twenty years I’ve made my living, raised my kids, and held together a family business and a marriage, as a proud Australian songwriter.

It hurts me deeply how rare this story is. It should not be this way. Songwriting is a dignified profession, and songwriters deserve more rights, respect, protection, and income.

In these disrupted times, with stunning technological changes and opportunities ahead, I would like to use that hurt as fuel to continue advocating for the current and future rights of Australian songwriters.

#truthbomb: perhaps the reason I’ve had a long career is less to do with my “fabbo” songs, and more to do with my acceptance early on that although talk of “rights and royalties” can seem boring and intimidating, it is also essential, useful, protective.

I’d love to put everything I’ve learnt to use.

In short, I would be deeply honoured, and actually quite excited, to attempt to serve my fellow APRA Members as a Writer Director on the APRA Board, where I could bring your thoughts, concerns and hopes into a room where they absolutely deserve to be heard, loud and clear.

Contact Clare at [email protected]

Amanda Brown

BIOGRAPHY

Amanda Brown is a versatile composer, musician and songwriter. She has been composing music for stage and screen since 2000 and before that enjoyed a career as a multi-instrumentalist in several bands (most notably The Go Betweens) playing violin, guitar, mandolin and oboe.

Amanda’s screen music credits include feature films Here Out West, Babyteeth and Son Of A Lion. She has scored drama series RFDS, The Secrets She Keeps and On The Ropes (with Endorphin). The recipient of numerous screen music awards, Amanda won two AACTA Awards in 2020 for her scores to Babyteeth and Brazen Hussies.

An ardent supporter of equitable remuneration and rights for composers and songwriters at all stages of their careers, Amanda has mentored a number of screen composers and is passionate about encouraging and promoting women in music.

Amanda has been an APRA member for 30 years and a Director since 2015. In 2021 she became a member (music branch) of The Academy Of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I have been a writer representative on the APRA board for six years and have learned much in that time. The world has changed inexorably in the last 18 months, exposing vulnerabilities and inequities in our community. It has always been challenging to sustain a career in music and right now I feel we are at the nexus of a critical junction. Our music and its integral role in a globalised, digital world must be valued and protected.

To that end I believe we could, and should be world leaders in supporting our writers and musicians. Equitable remuneration for streaming both audio and video on demand, safeguarding local content and advocating for copyright legislation that future proofs our creators across all platforms are issues I am committed to. We need to ensure live music transitions back to a healthy, sustainable level as our musicians take their place on the world stage again.

More broadly I am proud of my role within APRA as an effective body lobbying government for copyright protections and funding support for artists while addressing matters within the industry such as diversity and inclusion. I hope to keep working in these spaces and ensure APRA continues to champion writers across all generations, genders and genres.

Contact Amanda at [email protected]

Allan Caswell

BIOGRAPHY

Allan Caswell is Australia’s most recorded songwriter with well over 850 of his songs being released around the world by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, Patti Page, The Irish Rovers, The Living End, Slim Dusty, Barry Humphries, Ricki May, James Blundell, McAlister Kemp, Graeme Connors, The Wolfe Brothers, Anne Kirkpatrick, Chad Morgan, Lynne Hamilton, Beccy Cole, and Ella Hooper among dozens of others.

His song "On The Inside" the theme from Prisoner written in 1979 was a number 1 hit in Australia and New Zealand, number 3 in England and made the country charts in the USA.

He is a former Writer/Director of APRA, former President of the Tamworth Songwriters Association, former Vice Chairman of the Country Music Association of Australia, singer/songwriter, author, songwring teacher and mentor and freelance journalist.

ELECTION STATEMENT

My name is Allan Caswell. I have been a member of APRA since 1979.

At a time when our earnings from royalties have plummeted from the twin pandemics of COVID and streaming I am putting my hand up to try to help my fellow songwriters. I also believe that at a time when, numerically, the majority of songwriters are independent, independent songwriters deserve a stronger voice on the Board.

I believe that I have experience and creative energy to bring to the position.

I think that it is important that Board Members are accessible to the members ... my email address is [email protected]

Burkhard Dallwitz

BIOGRAPHY

Regarded as one of Australia’s leading screen composers, Burkhard Dallwitz has been an APRA member since 1987 and an APRA ambassador since 2010.

As a composer for feature films and television drama, Burkhard has also had extensive experience dealing with major record labels, publishing companies and independent aggregators through his soundtrack releases.

Throughout his career he has received multiple international and local screen music awards and nominations from APRA/AGSC, AACTA and ARIA Awards, including winning the Golden Globe and Chicago Film Critics’ Award for The Truman Show, the APRA award for Best Television Theme for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, many awards and nominations for the Underbelly franchise, the ABC mini-series The Secret River and Peter Weir’s feature film The Way Back.

Other recent scores include Wolf Creek and The Gloaming for STAN, the Netflix series Pine Gap and the AACTA award winning SBS series Sunshine.

In 2015 Burkhard co-founded a screen composers’ network in Melbourne bringing together both emerging and established screen composers to share their experiences in an increasingly complex work environment. This has evolved into well-attended quarterly gatherings where issues are raised, questions are answered and emerging composers are mentored.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I have always been passionate about the rights of musicians and composers and I appreciate the critical role that APRA plays in supporting music creators.

Our industry has entered a period of significant change via the rapidly evolving streaming platforms for both music and visual content. Music creators from all sectors of the industry face a very challenging time in not only retaining the rights to their compositions but also receiving fair remuneration for their works.

Having been involved in an ongoing consultation process with APRA on canvassing possible changes in how streaming revenue is distributed to members, it’s become clear to me that APRA management is dealing with complex issues that will have a lasting impact on current and future writer members. I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the board’s role in serving and supporting the diverse APRA writer membership and advocating on their behalf.

If elected as a writer/director on the APRA board I would be 100% committed to representing the best interests of my fellow music creators. I believe my extensive industry experience puts me in a good position to provide valuable insight and meaningful input to any board debate.

Contact Burkhard at [email protected]

Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze)

BIOGRAPHY

Jaguar Jonze is an award-winning songwriter, producer, multimedia creative and advocate.

The recipient of the 2021 AIR Outstanding Achievement Award - awarded in honour of her work in ensuring all music industry practitioners operate in a safe and respectful environment - Jaguar Jonze is a tireless mental health and safe work advocate which she continues as part of the Temporary Working Group supported by APRA AMCOS and ARIA, and recently as part of the TEDx Talk series on mental health.

She is passionate about encouraging women and people of colour to participate in music and being a voice for those who feel powerless within the industry’s structures.

Her realised work has earned celebrated partnerships with brands like Christian Louboutin, Reebok, BMW and Stüssy, plus international media coverage and awards in music, fashion, art and film.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I’ve been fighting on the frontlines of the #MeToo movement in the Australian music industry for over 18 months, and have seen first hand that it is through collaborating with others that tangible and positive change can be made.

Being elected onto the APRA board would allow me to utilise my experience and learnings in this role, and have power and leadership be distributed to someone who is determined to continue advocating for positive change in a system that has long been neglected by its leaders. There are many steps that need to be taken to make this industry safer for the people who work in it: implementing systems for safe reporting, mediation, accountability and consequences.

I want to use my position on the APRA board to implement change that will better protect survivors, women, gender non-conforming people and people of colour, that will protect the future generations of our industry. I am and I will continue to work hard so our basic rights to work without injustice, harassment or abuse are respected and upheld, so that we can safely and freely do what we entered this industry to do - create music and collaborate.

Contact Deena at [email protected]

Ross McLennan

BIOGRAPHY

Ross is a composer, performer and academic, and an APRA writer member since 1992. He studied composition at the Queensland Con before completing his MPhil at the University of Cambridge and his PhD at the University of Queensland. His career began as singer/songwriter/guitarist for progrock group, Hieronymus Bosch in the early '90s and sax player for acclaimed Brisband, Madame Bones Brothel. In 1998 he toured the US, playing the SXSW Festival and CBGBs in New York and on his return established himself as Lobe, composing film, theatre and television music for all the Australian networks and Sony Pictures, Japan. In 2001, Ross won the coveted AGSC/APRA award for Best Music in a Documentary and the Queensland Sunnie award for best soundtrack. In 2011, he joined production company, Whistlingwolf, composing music for GOMA among other prestigious clients. Ross is currently Senior Lecturer in songwriting and composition for the University of Canberra. He still performs and composes regularly for “punrock” band, The Dustbin.

ELECTION STATEMENT

For many years now, I have worked in film, television, theatre and gaming as a composer, and have performed with many incredibly talented musicians. The music royalty system sometimes seems like a last bastion of reliable income for composers and performers. And yet with the rise of streaming, the royalty system now needs more protection than ever. I am seeking election to the APRA Board based mainly on this concern. I suppose I am an individual who tends to think outside the box and I feel like the world right now needs these sorts of thinkers. The idea of being on a team of like-minded people seeking solutions and opportunities for composers and performers in Australia has great appeal right now in my career. I have benefited so much since becoming a full writer member back in 1992 and I feel it is time to give back what I can. I believe my own education and background as a music educator will also provide a vital perspective to my contribution as an APRA Board member.

Contact Ross at [email protected]

Kate Noonan

BIOGRAPHY

Over the past 20 years, five-time ARIA award-winning artist Katie Noonan has proven herself one of Australia’s most hardworking, versatile and prolific artists. Katie has produced 21 studio albums over her career with seven x platinum record sales under her belt and 27 ARIA award nominations that span diverse genres. Katie has performed for royalty, national and international leaders, and blazed a trail for young women artists. Music, for Katie, is a lifelong lesson, a generous act of giving, and a means to change the world.

Katie has also been recognised with the 2019 Australian Women in Music Awards Creative Leadership Award, being voted in the Herald Sun's Top 20 Best Australian singers of all time (2013), voted in the ABC's Top 50 Jazz artists of all time (2020) and she was recently awarded the 2020 APRA AMCOS QLD Luminary Award for her work with First Nations Artists. She was the youngest and first QLD based Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival, Music Director of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and is the current Artistic Director of the oldest national music festival - The National Folk Festival.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I have dedicated my life to championing and celebrating Australian stories and songs.

I believe we need to fight to protect the intellectual property of Australian musicians and work with our industry peers to establish enforced quotas in our Major Performing Arts Orgs and on our Radio, TV and DSP’s. I believe we simply can not continue to fund organisations that are not committed to telling Australian stories.

With my diverse musical career on and off the stage, I offer a unique perspective to the APRA board. I have been on and answered to multiple boards and also recently completely the AICD Company Directors Course.

I am a proud APRA Ambassador deeply committed to education and mentoring, and in 2016 established the first ever monetary award in history to honour a contemporary Australian female musician in the $15,000 Carol Lloyd Award.

The last QLD based APRA member was in 1975 (!), so I am keen to bring some fresh perspective to the board and join the 3 extraordinary women of the 12 member board and bring another female voice to the table.

Australian stories and sounds are world class and worth fighting for - now more than ever.

Contact Katie at [email protected]

Sophie Payten (Gordi)

BIOGRAPHY

Gordi is the moniker of ARIA nominated singer/songwriter/producer, Sophie Payten, from the rural NSW town of Canowindra. Named as the Australian Women in Music's Songwriter of the Year in 2019, Sophie is an active writer member with APRA, as well as a qualified medical doctor.

Collaborating and touring with the likes of Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, Bon Iver, Julien Baker and The Tallest Man On Earth, Gordi has garnered attention on the international stage. Her second album, 'Our Two Skins', released in June 2020 through Jagjaguwar and Liberation Records, received an ARIA nomination, won best pop album in the 2020 AIR Award, and was named triple j's feature album.

Embedding herself in the Australian music community, Sophie has been a passionate advocate for the arts, addressing the National Press Club on behalf of APRA Chair Jenny Morris in 2020. Sophie is an APRA ambassador, taking an active role in the Queer Discovery program and upcoming regional sessions, as well as a current member of the AWMA Advisory Council. Sophie has mentored emerging artists and songwriters through The Push, AIR and Arts Access, and is a passionate fundraiser for the Country Education Foundation.

ELECTION STATEMENT

I am seeking election to the APRA board to amplify the collective voice of songwriters, the value of our copyright, and to advocate for our interests in public policy. As an active songwriter and international touring artist, I can meaningfully contribute to conversations around quotas, grants, education and music as a global export. In addition to my current role as an APRA Ambassador, my contribution to the APRA board would also be in supporting communities whose voices are rarely the loudest in the room.

I am passionate about fostering opportunities for young people in rural and remote areas to enter the music industry. I am a proud member of the queer community and recognise how critical it is to create safe spaces that encourage connection and visibility. I am also a qualified medical doctor and working on the frontline during this health crisis has provided me with a unique perspective on the mental health of our industry.

Over the past 18 months, as we have navigated our way through a global pandemic, I have often been granted the privilege of being a voice for the music industry. I look forward to magnifying that voice if appointed to the APRA board.

Contact Sophie at [email protected]

Josh Pyke

BIOGRAPHY

Josh Pyke is a prolific songwriter, with a successful and critically acclaimed career both domestically and overseas. Josh’s 6 studio albums to date have all debuted in the ARIA Top 10. Amongst other honours, he has received 4 ARIA Awards, 10 ARIA nominations, and gold/ platinum accreditation. Josh is a member of the AGSC, and a respected composer for Film/TV– having received an APRA Award for film composition, Josh has also worked on a slew of recent TV / advertising projects. Through his work with the ILF, Josh has also run numerous song-writing workshops with Indigenous communities.

Josh is a committed member of the music community, and an influential advocate for creators. Josh has been an active APRA Ambassador for 15 years, and has also served as PPCA Board Director (Artist Representative) since 2016. He has represented musicians in national forums such as Parliament House roundtables, Q+A, and The Project, on key issues including copyright reform, Arts funding, and more recently, the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries. Josh also champions emerging musicians via the JP Partnership, a mentorship program he established with APRA/AMCOS in 2014.

Pyke will release his 7th album To Find Happiness in 2022.

ELECTION STATEMENT

Our industry is facing massive challenges – as the peak body for Australian songwriters, APRA’s role in advocating for our rights is more important than ever. If elected as Writer Director, I will bring huge passion and extensive industry experience in advocating for our vital community (see bio).

As a current performer/composer, I understand the economic, social, and legal issues facing creatives. Over the past decade I have prioritised advocating for our community and supporting emerging talent. I am excited to see our industry recalibrate with a long overdue focus on diversity and social responsibility, and to see APRA take a lead role in these changes. My focus is to see APRA build on its strengths, and grow to be even more representative, dynamic, and influential.

The pandemic has landed in an already complex time of digital disruption, copyright reform, and funding cuts. These are just some of the significant strategic challenges ahead for the APRA Board – if elected, my priority will be to ensure that the voice of the creators is heard AND respected, and that we are fairly remunerated for our work.

I ask that you place your trust in me to advocate on behalf of our community.

Contact Josh at [email protected]

Holly Rankin (Jack River)

BIOGRAPHY

My name is Holly. I am obsessed with writing, politics, and using every tool and moment I have to solve the problems my generation faces, whether that is in the music industry, or the impending apocalypse. I grew up on Worimi Country (Forster, NSW). I now live on Yuin Country in Mollymook.

I am a songwriter, musician and producer under the name Jack River. My songwriting is 2x APRA, 4x ARIA, 2x AIR Award nominated, I have multiple Platinum and Gold accreditations, toured internationally, and am signed to Mushroom/IOU here in Australia/New Zealand and Nettwerk for the rest of the world. Writing and producing music is sacred to me, as are the people in my team, and our industry.

On an industry level, I am a Promoter and Founder of Grow Your Own Music, Produce Festival and Electric Lady (in partnership with Secret Sounds) and Our Soundtrack Our Stories (in partnership with ARIA).

During COVID, I restarted my Bachelor of Laws thanks to the crash of the live music industry. Throughout the pandemic I have joined the APRA working group on policy and government relations, and created Our Soundtrack Our Stories which exists to increase commercial opportunities for local Artists.

ELECTION STATEMENT

We are living through one of the most transformative times in history. The music industry is no exception. Add in a pandemic, and it makes for a moment that requires unprecedented collaboration, innovation and leadership.

I am in the guts of my career as an Artist, I am a young person in a confused country that needs urgent cultural and political change, I am interested in listening, solutions and innovation. I very rarely take no for an answer, if I know the issue at hand requires persistence. I feel the pain, the excitement and the urgency of the situations we are facing as Songwriters and Artists and I feel ready to represent my peers as we face them.

If elected (and regardless of election) I will focus on:

  • Re-designing spaces in our industry to platform and support diverse voices through deep and persistent listening.
  • Increasing local content and local opportunity in commercial spaces through conversation and collaboration.
  • Radically improving our industry’s relationships with State and Federal Government, so when we face hardship, we are further up the priority list.
  • Disrupting archaic industry standards for Artists and Songwriters, and increasing inter-industry conversation about the business of being a Songwriter or Artist.

Contact Holly at [email protected]