Category Archives: News

Vale Noel Harriman

Noel Harriman


“ In Life , what we believe defines us …. What we experience shapes us ..”

It is with sadness we would like to inform you of the passing of Noel Harriman on November 17, 2020 at the age of 89. Noel would have turned 90 on 25th December, and always said that’s why his name was Noel because he was born on Christmas Day.
Noel was well known in the industry for his jovial nature and was famous for his often questionable jokes .Noel was certainly one of the more charismatic characters in the industry and will be fondly remembered by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him and dealing with him.
Noel, “Uncle Noel” as he was affectionately known to all his customers , retired from the industry in December 2007 , after working for Rose Music / Yamaha for 11 years , and the final 24 years of his career at Musical Merchandisers.
In retirement Noel settled into a lovely life on the Central Coast of NSW where he was always surrounded by his adoring family, and friends.
Noel is survived by his beautiful wife Chris and 6 loving and wonderful children. On behalf of the Australian Music Association and Noel’s many friends and colleagues in the industry we extend our condolences.

COVID19 Restrictions Lifted in Victoria

Victoria’s music retailers will celebrate some good news with the retail reopening date for metropolitan Melbourne, officially announced by the Victorian Premier from Wednesday 28 October 2020.

Staff are now permitted back into any Melbourne metropolitan stores to begin Covid safe and Christmas preparations.

There are no new restrictions imposed on retailers at this time. Victorian retailers need to keep stores, staff and customers safe and have a COVIDSafe Plan in place before re-opening. If you need help creating a COVIDSafe Plan, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

The Australian Retailers Association has provided some facts sheets to assist with reopening:

Brass & Woodwind, Singing Classes Not Permitted in Schools in Victoria in Term 4

The AMA is Supporting efforts to persuade the Minister & the CMO that group tuition in singing and brass & woodwind can proceed with COVID safe processes. The AMA, has written to the Minister for Education on behalf of our members and the broader music education community to express our deep concern regarding the sudden and blanket prohibition of brass and woodwind instruments and singing in schools as outlined in the Schools Operation Guide communicated on 4 October 2020. A music education consultative group including the AMA seeks the opportunity to work with Health and Education Officials to implement COVID safe practices which protect our community in a return to holistic music making in our schools.

Members can read the AMA’s submission in support of Music in Schools AMA Letter of Support Covid Safe Schools

You can also listen to a teacher explaining their challenges on the ABC’s breakfast with Sammy J



Albert Music (through its philanthropic arm The Tony Foundation) has recently published a report entitled Music Education: A Sound Investment. It’s a great advocacy document for music in schools, and can be found here: Music Education: A Sound Investment (full report). One of the report’s co-authors, Dr Anita Collins, has also published a book entitled The Music Advantage which is discussed in the article. We encourage members to read these, and increase music education advocacy.

“Coming some 15 years after the AMA sponsored Review of Music Education, it is timely to see a broad and funded effort in campaigning for improved music education in public schools. The AMA will work with The Tony Foundation and contribute any way it can to contribute to this advocacy effort”, said president Michael Shade

Damon McMahon Departs Casio

Damon McMahon

After 9 ½ years Damon McMahon who has headed the Casio Electronic Musical Instruments division since 2011 has resigned and is going to Madison AV in the pro audio sector.

“I’m joining the Pro A/V industry in a senior sales role involved with all things digital audio & video related. Whilst I’m looking forward to this fresh challenge, it has truly been a difficult decision”. Damon said.

“The music products industry is, for most members, a way of life. It’s anything but just “a job” or “just a business”. I leave a great business and an iconic brand which, in many ways, leads the categories in which it competes. But much more difficult is leaving wonderful colleagues and customers, many of whom have become life-long friends”.

“I think it fair to say we share a common passion in making music, which makes such a positive difference in people’s lives. This alone makes it pretty difficult for most of us to contemplate “should I do something else?”.

Damon’s departure will provide a senior sales role opportunity open up. Shriro’s General Manager Piers Halleen, advised that the role will be based in Sydney, and will be responsible for managing one of Casio EMI’s leading sales territories. The successful applicant will have a strong background in piano and keyboard categories and demonstrate a clear understanding of the sales process.

If you have the skills and desire, drop Piers a note @

The Association wishes Damon all the best and extends its thanks and appreciation of his service on the executive committee in recent years.

Additional Assistance Announced for Victorian Small Business

The Premier, yesterday (Sunday 13th September) announced an additional financial support package for businesses affected by lockdown restrictions. In summary, this provides the following relief to qualifying retail businesses in Victoria:

  1. Around 75,000 eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size.
  2. The Government will now defer payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year.
  3. $20 million will be allocated for small businesses to access off-the-shelf digital programs such as Shopify or Squareonline, training and workshops designed to help businesses adapt to online operations.

Click for Vic, a new website and campaign aimed at encouraging Victorians to support local businesses will be boosted with $8.5 million for more marketing and advertising, and expanding the digital platform and its partnerships with third-party e-commerce providers to sell these strengths far and wide.

Source: Australian Retailers Association

Premier’s statement is available here 200913 – Supporting Victorian Businesses On Our Road To COVID Normal

Full details of the funding program can be found by CLICKING HERE


Victorian Stage 4 COVID Restrictions Extended

In what was disappointing news for music retailers in Melbourne metro, the Premier announcement an extension to the current Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions on September 6. A full summary is available at the DHHS website CLICK HERE

Music retail will continue to operate in most cases with their click and collect and home delivery services to serve the music making needs of the city. Most are likely to re-open their doors to customers after October 26 under the current restrictions announced.

NAMM Show 2021 Cancelled | Believe in Music Week Announced

As many had feared, it was with much sadness that overnight we received official news of the cancellation of the physical 2021 Winter NAMM Show.  However, in this morning’s video announcement NAMM CEO Joe Lamond asked the global music products industry to still come together in January for their virtual event Believe in Music Week.

“We’ve held off a long as we could but the reality is, there is no path forward at this time to bring our industry family together safely in Southern California at the NAMM Show,” said Joe Lamond.

“It’s hard to imagine isn’t it, it’s the first time not had a physical gathering in almost in 80 years and just like back then in times of trouble, the world has turned to music, the one thing everyone could believe in.”

“Today I would like to introduce Believe in Music Week, our global online gathering to unify and support the people that bring music to the world. This virtual event scheduled for our show dates in January will be fun, interactive and productive, using state of the art technology to connect us all… robust market place, to launch new products, share your brand story, ‘Believe in Music’ will also feature networking with AI facilitated match making for our buyers and our sellers… education for all our sectors of the industry and live music and concerts to raise awareness and financial support for our NAMM family, especially those in the live event and tour industry which has seen their world come to a halt with the global pandemic.”

“While in my opinion nothing can compare to the excitement of our global family reunion at the NAMM Show, this foray into the virtual world has been an exciting project and in some ways could bring new value to all involved .. pretty exciting and likely something we would not have jumped into had we not been forced to. We must all adapt and change I guess and why does that remind me of every NAMM U session from the past decade.”

“While we are not out of the pandemic woods yet and we will likely see more news before it is over, Believe in Music will be a critical step for our industry to help us prepare for the new year and new opportunities.”

“We’ll have much more to share in the coming days but in the meantime let’s ll do our best to take care of each other. Many have thought of the NAMM community as a global family and being there for each other is just what family do right? Especially in times like this. In a world filled with uncertainty there is one thing that we can believe in and that’s music and we believe in the future of music and we believe in the future of our industry and we look forward to seeing you in January.”

Our association with our media, Australian Musician online, looks forward to participating in, supporting and covering Believe in Music Week and bringing you the latest product releases, performances and other news that comes out of this exciting week. Standby for more Believe in Music Week news as it comes to hand.

New Worksafe Regulations Come Into Force in Victoria Regarding Reporting COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace

New regulations came into force in Victoria on Tuesday 28 July, 2020, that require employers to report immediately they become aware that an employee or contractor has contracted COVID19. The new regulations require that the employer notify Worksafe Victoria immediately if it is known that someone has been diagnosed infected and attended work in the previous 14-days or until cleared. Fines can be steep at nearly $40,000 for individuals and nearly $200,000 for businesses that do not properly report.

The measure is temporary for twelve months pending review by Worksafe and follows other states and territories that have introduced mandatory reporting. Further details CLICK HERE

For incident report templates CLICK HERE

For Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Resource Kits CLICK HERE

Stage IV COVID19 Restrictions to apply in Victoria

Sweeping new additions to the Stage IV Restrictions announced in Victoria on Sunday have been released today (Monday). All non-essential retail will close for in-person retailing from 11.59, Wednesday August 5 and this will include music retail. Online orders will continue to be able to be fulfilled onsite provided staff onsite do not exceed 2/3rds of the usual peak number required.

Also, retail stores (not in the exempt list) will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place. A COVID Safe plan must be in place.

Shopping centres in the metropolitan area will be allowed to open only to provide access to permitted retail.

The latest government guidelines for the Retail Trade (released 6 August) can be viewed by CLICKING HERE 

Warehousing and distribution are permitted and freight and logistics will be operate. Wholesale distribution may be below capacity in Victoria as distribution and warehousing will operate with less capacity (2/3rds of the usual workforce). More detail to come as these situations are clarified through official channels. From what we are aware of, major distributors will continue operations according to the current restrictions and government statements.

Victoria’s two major guitar manufacturers Cole Clark and Maton will cease manufacturing for six weeks we are advised.

The latest government guidelines for the Wholesale Trade (released 6 August) can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

And the guidelines for the Transport Postal and Warehouse trade by CLICKING HERE

For a detailed spreadsheet on the restrictions on Business in Victoria CLICK HERE Melbourne-coronavirus-restrictions-on-business

COVIDSafe Plan

The government’s official information, including developing a COVID Safe plan is available by CLICKING HERE.

A COVID Safe plan must be developed by 11.59pm, Friday August 7, 2020.

The Premier’s statement on business restrictions is available by CLICKING HERE

Permitted Worker Permits

Further as announced by the Premier, a Permitted Worker Permit may be required for employees required to go to your permitted work place – this form can be download by CLICKING HERE 

The website has been overloaded and presenting errors – if this is your experience you can download the template here – Permitted Worker Scheme Template

Access to Child Care Permits 

Access to Childcare Scheme Template 

Business Assistance Information

To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

For businesses currently under Stage 3 restrictions, a $5,000 Grant is available, provided you meet the conditions.

For businesses under Stage 4 restrictions who have been impacted by the shutdowns, a further $5,000 is available in addition to the $5,000 grant that was announced a few weeks ago (total of $10,000). For businesses who have already received the first $5,000, you will automatically receive the next $5,000. For businesses who haven’t yet applied, a $10,000 grant is now available.

The grant criteria currently remains unchanged and is as follows:

  • Operate a business with an address that’s located in one of the suburbs that are subject to the new Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions
  • Be receiving Jobkeeper payments
  • Employ people and be registered with Workcover on 30 June 2020
  • Have annual payroll of less than $3 million in the 2019-20 financial year
  • Be registered for GST on 30 June 2020
  • Hold an ABN and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator – ASIC, Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) or if you are a sole trader without a business name an ABN registration is ok)

More information as it comes to hand.