Category Archives: News

How Can We Help After the Bushfire Tragedy?

The Australian Music Association is deeply saddened and concerned by the bushfires that have devastated our country.  The impact on the environment, the wildlife and community is overwhelming.

Based on my own personal experience living through Black Saturday and now with the current situation, we have all been affected by fires in various ways. Even if you have not been directly impacted by the current fire season, the constant news of the loss of wilderness, homes and lives can make you feel overwhelmed and powerless.

Many of us have want to do something to help in this time of crisis.  But it is also important we acknowledge the impact this traumatic event may have on our emotional and mental health. As such, here is a simple and useful resource created by ABC News that explores the impact the news of the catastrophic fires can have on us as adults, on our children, and provides some practical strategies for coping –

If your company has an EAP service agreement or contract with a provider, please remind your staff that they should access this service if they need further coping strategies.

No doubt we have all been moved by the terrible devastation of the bushfire crisis throughout Australia in recent weeks, and we know that it will be a struggle for many as towns and businesses rebuild their trades and services, let alone homes and property that have been lost.

There will be many aspects of support that will help rebuild local economies, not the least of which will be customers returning to buy goods and services they did before the fires came through their communities.

As we have seen in the media, fund raising has been rapid and broad with celebrities and others in the music industry raising millions for the NSW RFS and to a lesser degree other states’ CFA’s, The Salvos, Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies. Many individuals and businesses have already been part of the giant fundraising efforts and made generous contributions. The AMA knows of a couple of fundraising efforts currently underway in our industry and we will do our best to support those efforts.

The AMA Executive thinks the most appropriate way for the Australian Music Association to be involved is to make available our communication channels to support these fundraising efforts. As usual the entertainment industry is putting its hand up to run numerous fundraising gigs and events – we will support spreading the word through Australian Musician and our social media channels.

By way of example a group of local luthiers and electronic builders are running a fundraising ‘big raffle’ for Australian made MI gear on social media. And we are sure other ideas will be presented in the coming weeks and months.

Timely insurance settlements, restoration of power and stock replacement in stores will all be critical to getting towns impacted moving again. We hope any MI stores that may have been affected by current events get back on their feet as quickly as possible and that we do our best as an industry to minimise their current challenges.

In terms of actions, if you do not know what or who to give monetary donations too, can I suggest donating to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal –

It’s not hard to get involved in charity events … see following example:

My name is Adrian Tamburini (Pure Harmony Music & Events) and I am producing a Charity Gala Concert at the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne on February 7th to raise funds for victims of the bushfires through the Red Cross Disaster Fund. 100% of proceeds will go directly the Red Cross. 

This concert will feature over 50 singers and musicians from Melbourne’s opera community who are all donating their time and talent to this cause. The management and staff at the Athenaeum Theatre have also offered the venue and volunteered their time for this concert. 

Tickets went on sale yesterday through Ticketek. We have already sold nearly 800 tickets with the hope of selling all 1200 seats. 

Tickets and more information about this event can be found at

A well-known piano distributor is supplying the concert grand piano and 1200 people will be making sizable donations. It’s not that hard to get involved.

I trust this communication encourages you and your businesses by participating in efforts to help rebuild lives and communities, as many AMA members have already.


Be Safe,


Michael Shade

AMA President

Rosewood restrictions on finished instruments lifted on schedule

Members have been advised of the new regulations applying from November 29th regarding the trade in finished musical instruments containing rosewood. As announced earlier (full details here), after three years of industry lobbying the CITES meeting in Geneva in August voted in favour of allowing exemptions for trade and movement of finished musical instruments containing rosewood. Imports and exports of finished musical instruments, finished parts and finished accessories will no longer need a CITES permit. The exception applies to all species of dalbergia except Brazilian rosewood, which remains on CITES Appendix I.

Permits are not be required after 26 November, 2019. The Department of Energy and Environment have sent advice to stakeholders, and advised it has implemented the new processes.

AMEB Releases its 2019 Online Orchestra Featuring ‘I Am Australian’

In a mammoth production, the AMEB has for the second time broadcast its Online Orchestra project on October 19 – featuring the iconic I Am Australian performed by hundreds of Australians in numerous settings around the country. In an an inspirational performance led by conductor Jessica Gethin, the AMEB Online Orchestra is Australia’s largest virtual orchestra that provides an inclusive performance opportunity like no other to instrumentalists and singers from anywhere in the world. Indviduals and groups record their version of the set arrangement and submit online.

A truly wonderful example of the power of music making. Congratulations to all involved.

Check Out the Great Sessions For Retailers at 2020 NAMM Show

Wednesday January 15 is a must for retailers attending NAMM 2020 – there are two excellent, now traditional, NAMM U sessions.
NAMM retail members seeking the latest in future-focused retail and financial strategies are invited to attend one of two day-long, interactive Summits that will explore exciting ways to amplify your retail success and dramatically reshape your future:

The Retail Innovation Summit or the Retail Financial Summit  are held on the Wednesday before NAMM – reserve your place)…Read more

Plastic Bags Ban In VICTORIA come into effect November 1

The Victorian Government will implement a state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags from 1 November 2019.
The ban applies to ALL retailers – including supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothes stores, restaurants, cafes, markets, food outlets, and many more.
The ban will apply to all lightweight plastic shopping bags which have a thickness of 35 microns or less at any part of the bag, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags.
More Info Here

NEW Giftcard Laws Come into Effect November 1

From 1 November 2019, new national laws for gift cards sold to consumers will require:
• a minimum three-year expiry period; and
• expiry information displayed prominently on cards.
Most post-purchase fees will also be banned under the new laws.

Cards and vouchers sold before 1 November 2019 continue to have the same expiry period and terms and conditions that applied at the date they were sold.

If your business sells gift cards or vouchers, now is the time to do a stocktake and make sure your business complies with the new laws. To get ready, you should:
• update the terms and conditions on gift cards and vouchers, websites and other promotional materials;
• make note of the changes on any receipt issued when a gift card is purchased;
• update internal systems, training and compliance manuals; and
• place signage on gift card displays and at the point of sale.
When the new laws start, a penalty of up to $30,000 may be imposed if a non-compliant gift card is sold to a consumer.

The New Gift Card Laws page on the Australian Consumer Law website explains the changes and the requirements for selling gift cards.

New South Wales and South Australia already have local gift card laws in place. Visit the NSW Fair Trading website or the Consumer and Business Services (South Australia) website to find out more.


Vale Ted Middleton

Edward ‘Ted’ Middleton  (1944 – 2019)

Ted Middleton



The association was sad to learn of the passing of Ted Middleton on September 3rd. Ted was a very popular and well-respected member of the music products industry. Born in Scotland, raised in England, his parents were wartime entertainers who migrated to Australia. He formed the band, “The Boys”, who were moderately successful (supporting the Bee Gees and a few and other famous touring bands). He then owned and operated Bondi Music Headquarters for more than 15 years in the 80s and 90s before moving to Queensland in the late 90s. There, Ted worked representing many of the world’s leading brands and suppliers in that state. These Sydney Guitar Trader, Kurt Jacob and Co, Gibson Guitars – AMI, Casio, Syntec | Sennheiser , Intermusic IMD , HQ Agencies , Jet Music International and Maton for whom he worked for 20 years. He was most recently in business with his son Eddie where he was CFO of Jet Music. He loved playing guitar, cars, motorbikes and soccer, particularly Arsenal, and will always be remembered for his quick wit and sense of humour.

Ted was married to his wife Bronwyn for 43 years and had two kids; Katie and Eddie. We offer our condolences to the family and Ted’s close friends.

Ted Middleton and Tommy Emmanuel

Vale Steve Lincoln Smith

It is with great sadness that we announce that our friend and colleague, Steve Lincoln Smith passed away on September 8 with his wife Julie by his side. He was 60 years old.

While his industry friends and colleagues knew he was crook, his passing has come as a surprise to many, and we offer our heartfelt  condolences to Julie and the family as well as his large circle of friends and admirers.

It was only in May that Steve was added to the AMA’s Honour Roll for his outstanding and long service to the music products industry.

Steve commenced employment in the music products industry at aged 17, retiring at 60 years of age. Over those 43 years he worked for Rose Music, Yamaha Australia, Yamaha Japan, Innovative Music, in Retail, Wholesale, as Importer, Sub-contractor, performed as Product Demonstrator, Product Specialist, International, Domestic, NAMM presenter, Session Musician, Producer, Music Director, Performer, Touring Artist, Jingle Writer,.

Steve was considered an innovator, and a champion of music technology in Australia.

Steve was a classically trained pianist with an appreciation of the full orchestral landscape including a keen knowledge of string arranging. His first temptation away from the classical world was for the sounds and texture of the Hammond Organ in combination with the Leslie Speaker but it was synthesisers with their many varied sounds and unlimited possibilities that changed his musical direction.

Steve described himself as really a “classical musician with a decided bent toward Rock, Soul, Jazz and Funk”.  It was this passion for using new musical tools that has allowed Steve the freedom to create works in almost any style. His knowledge and deep understanding of the technology behind the music is also key to his ability to shine above other players.

At one point in his musical career Steve was a sought after session musician working in the studio on major releases, some of the more well-known artists included John Farnham, The Little River Band, David Hirschfelder, Kids in the Kitchen, Dear Enemy, Alias Smith and Jones and James Morrison.

For many years Steve has been the Musical Director of a well-known Melbourne Advertising and Jingle production house while also building up a large music technology company, Innovative Music. With his wife and partner Julie they forged new paths for the industry and encouraged new genres of music to flourish in Australia.

Our music industry will be the poorer without him. As colleague and friend Tony Burn said today “A great man, musician and corporate citizen. A huge loss to the industry, let alone family and friends”.

Steve Receives his AMA Honour Roll Award in May 2019

A Memorial will be held from 2pm-5pm, Friday, September 20, at Leonda, 2 Wallen Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122.




New AMA Office Bearers and Committee Elected at 2019 Annual General Meeting

The 2019 Annual General Meeting was held at Australis Music’s headquarters in Alexandria, NSW on Tuesday, 3 September. Michael Shade, General Manager, Music Products and Education Division at Yamaha Music was unanimously elected President on the day for the 2019-20 year.

Craig Johnston, out going president, Michael Shade, 2019-20 president, Anthony Ursino, new Vice-president at the 2019 AGM

The new Executive Committee was also elected – representing the Wholesale Sector are;

Michael Shade, (Yamaha Music), Tony Burn, (The Resource Corporation), Mark Amory, Fender Australia, Dave Clark, (Jacaranda Music), Richard Snape, (Hal Leonard), Warrick Baker, (Kawai) and Mat Walsham (Roland) were all elected unapposed this year.

Changes to the Constitution passed at the AGM ensured that the Retail sector is ably represented by at least four members. Elected this year were Anthony Ursino (Macron/GH Music) who was also elected VIce-president, Craig Johnston, (Keyboard Corner/KC’s Rock Shop), Graham Hoskins (Concept Music) and Jarred Finnigan (Sound Centre).

Re-appointed as ex-officio members to lead music education and advocacy activities were Gillian Erskine (Blackrock retail) and Mat Taylor (Yamaha).

Minutes of the AGM, together with the president’s and treasurer’s reports and Financials can be seen in the members only area on the website.