Author Archives: junocreative

Lower Value Threshold – Advocacy Kit

The association has prepared an Advocacy Kit for members who are willing to write a letter and/or request a meeting with their local Federal MP to champion the cause of reducing the threshold on low value items that are imported into Australia. The kit includes standard letters for your store letterhead which can be amended to suit, to Federal MP’s, as well as State Treasurers, Fact Sheets, and we can advise you of you parliamentary contacts if you require assistance.

Should you wish to join the effort to create a more level playing field for our industry. Please indicate your interest here – we will contact you.

Dominant Music to distribute Washburn and Randall in Australia

Dominant Music has announced that it will be the official distributor of Washburn Guitars and Randall Amplification in Australia from February 15, 2014.

Michael Zaccaria, General Manager of Dominant Music said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to add Washburn and Randall to our family of brands. US Music has historic brands that are known all over the world. Their full line of Washburn acoustic and electric guitars, including the new Parallaxe electric guitar line, in addition to Randall’s new amplifier line aimed at the ‘Metal Market’ allows us to introduce exciting new products in our market. In addition, the US Music brands complement our current product lines and fill a void in our overall product offerings”.

This new arrangement adds to its catalogue which includes, Warwick, Rock Bass, Framus and NS Design.


In late 2012, Australian Musician finished its days as a colour, glossy, printed magazine. It was at the time, Australia’s longest running publication for the local musical instrument industry, with a devoted audience of musicians and enthusiasts at all levels. The Australian Music Association’s flagship title however was merely in hiatus and was always going to return. It was just a matter of when and in what format. The AMA is proud to announce that in early March 2014, Australian Musician will return as an online magazine ( continuing to service the local music industry and its talented musicians.
“This time around, we can focus our energies totally on Australian Musician’s web presence via quality interviews in both text and video form, keeping the public up to date with the gear that is actually available to them in stores locally (where they can see it) and most importantly concentrating on Australian artists,” said long-time editor Greg Phillips.

In fact, the original team which created the magazine, Rob Walker (Managing Editor and AMA CEO) and Greg Phillips will once again be steering the ship, totally independent and fiercely local. Australian Musician will still bring you coverage of the world’s finest musicians but as per its rich history, the Australian music community is what we are keen to service. Australian Musician also refuses to be a cooky-cutter, copycat site. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll bring you exclusive stories from soundcheck, backstage, in the studio and beyond. We’ll let Australian musicians tell their own stories, in their own words and we’ll give you honest opinions on the latest music gear.

For our local musician community, will be a valuable source of information and entertainment. For the local industry it will be a very affordable promotional option in a world where every dollar counts and every advertising campaign needs to hit its target audience.

“We’re excited about the next phase of Australian Musician,” said the AMA’s Rob Walker. “The Association looks forward to using new technologies and social media to grow our music making community. We’ve learned much about our industry and our readership and we look forward to being of service to the Australian music community once again.”

Music Education Forum Seeks Action on the Recommendations of the Victorian Government Music Education Inquiry

The school music education public forum held December 5, expressed much concern for the future of music of music education in Victoria. Organised by the School Music Action Group, the forum brought together academics, politicians and educators in a discussion about how the adoption of the 17 recommendations that came out of the Victorian Government Music Education Inquiry can be championed.

The audience heard that no improvements had been made to state school music education in 20 years. We are training less qualified music teachers. There were significant differences in the quality of music programs. Rural and regional Victoria significantly challenged with human and financial resources. Many primary schools do not employ a specialist music teacher.

Most secondary schools provide some optional instrumental program, but the schools with good programs already get the bulk of the funding. Under the current system it is difficult to start an instrumental program from scratch. The call was made to provide more funding for ‘start up’ programs – a music education guide to support schools to deliver a quality music education and increased education, training and support for teachers, particularly at the primary school level.

A strong music program is a valuable asset to state schools. There are few private schools without a comprehensive music program. The inequity in opportunity across our community to quality music education is something that should not be tolerated. “We’ve all heard about real estate values going up in zones with a strong music program” the forum heard.

The recommendations provide a sound framework for the future of music education said a number of speakers including Mrs Jan Kronberg MLC, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee. The forum called on Premier Napthine to act on his pre-election pledge – “When elected to government, the Liberal Party will require every primary student to be taught at least one lesson of music each week. The Liberal Party will also address the growing shortage of music teachers in Victoria.”

Prof Brian Caldwell was passionate in his belief that music and arts were diminishing in schools under the weight of a narrowing of the curriculum. Billions of dollars in investment in the national testing program has failed to stop Australia slipping in global education rankings according to the most recent PISA study. Putting music in all schools will cost less than these billions and have far greater impact. “There is an inequity of opportunity of access to the arts”, “State schools are leaving the standards model and moving to the accountability model” “An obsession with data has shoved aside the right goals for education” – these were powerful arguments delivered with passion.

The forum heard it was a political decision now – the Government needs to act. The report is excellent. It provides a solid framework, despite having no costing attached to the recommendations.

SMAG committed to coordinating a response. The need for sector, industry and community support has never been so crucial. “The real challenge, given that we already have a position for music within the Australian curriculum, is to democratise the delivery of music. That means taking action to ensure all students have access to music learning throughout their schooling, not just the privileged or the lucky few as is currently the case. To achieve this, the Government needs to make a clear statement of intent (accepting the Review findings would be a good start) and support that with improved resources including better support for teachers and schools and school leaders through professional development, funding and pre-service teacher education while encouraging innovative approaches to delivering the curriculum.

Note: Rob Walker, AMA and Ian Harvey, Music Futures Australia attended the Forum and contributed to this report.



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Taking control of your business finances has never been easier, with these essential business solutions from the Commonwealth Bank.

AMA can take advantage of the current ZERO offer until 30 June 2014 – download the flyer here for all the details – AMA Zero Campaign Flyer Jan-June14 FINAL


By combining a Commonwealth Bank Merchant Facility and a Business Transaction Account, you’ll enjoy the convenience of Everyday Settlement1 – same-day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – plus easy access to your money. Add CommBiz or NetBank, the Bank’s award-winning2 online banking platforms, and you can stay on top of cash flow around the clock. Then use a fee-free Business Online Saver to make the most of your cash on hand, and you’ll have a complete cash management solution.

To apply, email Rizwan Siddiqui on today.


Website online referral form wording April 2014 template

1 Available on transactions made before 10pm AEST for customers with a Commonwealth Bank business transaction account and a linked Commonwealth Bank merchant facility. Third party products not included.

2 CANSTAR Best Online Banking award 2010. Interactive Media Outstanding Achievement Awards 2010 (NetBank and CommBiz).

As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances, Terms and conditions are available on request.
aon_logo_red_MEDIUMAs the approved insurance broker of the AMA, Aon has designed a policy specifically for the Music Retail and Entertainment industry. With over 30 years of experience working in the Entertainment industry, Aon can help keep your business safe in the event of a claim.

As an AMA member Aon also offer additional policy benefits designed to provide flexibility at discounted premiums.

For further information about Aon, visit or call 1800 806 584.

Critical date passes on 1 January, 2014 regarding the sale of wireless devices.

From 1 January 2014, it is illegal for suppliers to import or manufacture wireless microphones that operate in the 694 – 820MHz frequency range. A fact sheet for suppliers (inc retailers) can be viewed here –

Any stock still held in the channel requires a label affixed to the box that says this devices is sold on the understanding that it cannot be used after December 31st 2014

Any one selling an uncompliant device must affix this label to the product – the wording of the label and regulations covering it can be found here.

AMA member’s and the industry’s attention is drawn to the above regulations.

Victorian Review of Music Education makes Key Recommendations to State Government

Music Education organisations have come together to welcome the findings of the Inquiry into the extent, benefits and potential of music education in Victorian schools . And, in particular, the recognition by the Victorian Parliament that, “music education should be an essential part of every young person’s education” and that “music plays and important role in learning, in personal and societal development and, as an economic contributor to this state”.

The Australian Music Association joins in requesting that the work of the Committee now be supported by the Napthine Government and that the recommendations that require some additional expenditure, including:
Supporting schools in establishing music programs (Rec 13),
Delivering professional learning teachers in both primary and secondary schools and across the state (Rec 9, 11 and 12) and;
Ensuring schools have adequate music facilities and equipment (Rec 3)
are supported with additional funding and that those funds become available as a result of the 2014 budget and be carried through for the forward estimates until at least 2018.

Collectively we call on the Victorian Education Minister, Martin Dixon and the Premier, Denis Napthine, on behalf of students, teachers and school communities to adopt these recommendations and begin to action them during the 2014 school year. Read more

Read the Full Report
Read the Media Reports [1 (Herald Sun): Online or Download PDF 28kB] [2 (Herald Sun): Online or Download PDF 98kB] [3 (The Age): Online or Download PDF 184kB]
Read the Full Joint Media Release

Music Count Us In

500,000 students joined together to sing the same song at the same time on 31 October. This celebration of school’s participation in music, drew attention to the importance of music education, and trained over 20,000 teachers to help their schools sing the song written by students and produced by John Foreman.

Check this link to see the media message this activity generated –

The Australian Music Association conceived this concept in Australia and lobbied for funding – the event is in its 7th year of receiving government funding.

Check out the Community Music hub while you’re online – this initiative was also largely funded by the AMA’s Music Makers program, something the members can be proud to have invested in the future of music making in Australia.

The Victorian Music Education Review

The Victorian Music Education Review is tabled in parliament next Wednesday, 13 November. The Association made formal submissions to the review through our government relations advisors and Vice-president and Executive Member, Richard Snape and Michael Jongebloed gave testimony on behalf of the members. We’ll update you on any debate and commentary.