Committee News

Michael Shade, 2019-20 President

11th November, 2019

Dear Members,

I am very honoured to have been nominated, and to serve as President of the Australian Music Association.

After 30+ years in the industry both in retail and wholesale sectors, I feel I’m in a unique position to be able to serve the interests of both wholesale and retail AMA members.

I would like to thank past serving members of the executive committee, particularly Tony Burn serving as past-President and more recently as Treasurer, and Craig Johnston for his service as President for the last two years.

Also, I would like to thank both Anthony Ursino for stepping-up as Vice President and for long serving executive member Graham Hoskins, for jumping in as Treasurer for the next year.

There are many projects for the committee to tackle over the coming year, including the now famous annual Melbourne Guitar Show, continued development of AMA’s online presence including Australian Musician, YouTube Channel and Socials, plus various Government relations activities including engagement with the Department of Environment, on topics such-as CITES and Ivory & Mammoth Regulations, and saving our musical instrument making and maintenance qualification.

More recently the AMA was invited to participate in the APTTA (Australian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association) National Conference, striving to be fully representative of the membership. The AMA committee is aware the association is viewed by its membership and the industry with a bias toward ‘rock n roll’ promotion and less about ‘traditional’ instruments. This we would like to change, starting with joining over 800 locations around the world making music on June 21, the third annual Make Music Australia Day event.

The AMA has a long tradition of serving the industry – it has made concerted efforts to develop the market and advocate for music education. It has run trade shows and represented the industry in the halls of government as well as internationally. It has seeded and developed many activities and initiatives that individual members cannot do in isolation.

Whilst the primary purpose of the AMA is to support and encourage music making, the AMA is here for its members to help address industry issues, therefore, the AMA committee would like to hear from its members regarding any burning issues (other than price!).

You will see a ‘re-shaping’ of the AMA over the next three years, sharpening its focus on some key industry issues, addressing its purpose and managing future management transition.  We need and appreciate your membership as it enables for much work that benefits the whole industry.

Happy Music Making,

Michael Shade

AMA President


Craig Johnston
AMA President


President’s Report | 2018-19

July 2019


The AMA’s mission is;

To be the voice of the music products industry and grow music making in Australia.It is my honour to report on our activities that support this mission;

In my term as president our committee has had a focus on providing value to our members and to provide events and activities that are greater than what could be achieved individually by our members.

Thank you to all members of the association for supporting the efforts of my colleagues on the executive committee and the AMA staff. Your sharing of our vision has seen us achieve impressive results and benefits to our members.

The AMA’s Report Card for the 2018-19 Year is accessible via this link 2018_19 Report Card


During the 2017-18 year the AMA has celebrated 40 years of service to the music products industry.

We have continued to pursue an agenda that has required the association to invest for the future. The deficit posted this year in the accounts was much reduced on last year and as the Treasurer has reported we are budgeting for a surplus in 2018-19. Our deficit was largely due to the lack of commitment to our AMP Conference in September 2017 – an event which yielded great benefit to those who attended. The conference focused on the highly relevant issues to our industry, including keeping in touch with current online trends and financial management. We also added to our Honour Roll, recognising Margaret O’Loughlin and Ross Cole.

In partnership with NAMM’s Oral History Library we completed more than 50 videos to document Australia’s music industry history. This project was undertaken in the first half of the year and during our AMP Conference, we continue to add people who have contributed to our industry over the past 40 years

We invested a lot of resources into planning and running events. Attendance and exhibitors at the Melbourne Guitar Show grew for the fourth year running and the surplus achieved has allowed us to invest in two more consumer events; the Melbourne Synth Festival in November and the Sydney Guitar & Drum Show May 2019.

We have focused on end-user activities and events. Our online footprint has increased markedly, with the AMA You Tube channel increasing to over 1.2million views this year, with most of these videos highlighting our member’s products. Our social media channels have also played a key role in promoting Australian Musician online and our consumer events.

Our activity with government  this past year has included preparing submissions and appearing before the federal Inquiry into Ivory and Rhino horn, while supporting member’s concerns to the Department of the Environment with regards to the trade in rosewood and CITES. We have just completed an industry submission to the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the Music Industry.

The AMA has been the grateful recipient of funding from the NAMM Foundation in the 17-18 year. The funding has allowed us to progress our Young Warriors pilot programs to local government with four programs rolled out. It enabled us to run our first Make Music Day Australia – an event joining with over 800 cities and 125 countries around the world in celebrating music making. The committee is very appreciative of the partnerships we have developed with NAMM and its Foundation.

We are pleased to announce that this funding will continue and I encourage our industry to engage with Make Music Day 2019 and beyond. It is a great way to showcase what we do. Its unlike any other festival – it is DIY – and anyone can participate. It’s a great way to engage with your customers and music making.

Like any membership body, the AMA strives to connect with our members and provide services that benefit their businesses. Our member numbers are lower than they were a decade ago, and this reflects an industry that has had to reorganise and recalibrate facing diminishing number of bricks and mortar stores and a consolidation of the wholesale sector over the last five or six years. We are striving to have a bigger proportion of our stores as members by creating opportunities for them.

The association has developed a solid online footprint in an age where it is essential to harness this medium, it has supported our local music industry and our artists in generating activity that otherwise would not be present. We have provided training and professional development opportunities, been a voice to government, increased sales and acted in a central marketing role for our industry.

In our 41st year the association continues to work as hard as ever in serving our members, and I thank you all for your support.

Craig Johnston, President

October 2018

I hope you’ve all had a happy and successful end to 2017, I’ve heard many positive results over the silly season with several at wholesale and retail reporting record sales levels. Our market report briefs are showing an industry on the rise.

I’m honoured to serve the AMA as President and as a retail member, a strong members association gives strength to the success of its industry. Our motives are to create the best environment within the music products industry and the programs and initiatives we run help do this.

The AMA can do so much more than any individual business it is representing. Read more.

Our online publication Australian Musician connects with your customers, a gateway to letting them know what’s going on in live and recorded music performance and products.

The AMA administers Weekend Warriors, a program my store has participated in for the last few years, this program that gets strangers playing music together while being mentored by rock royalty has created a new base for the store of loyal and in many cases affluent customers. Warriors is available exclusively to our retail members.

We’re currently working on Australia’s first Make Music Day for 2018, cities all over the country will get together to celebrate making music with free community based live performances. We’ve been promoting this to city councils with many eager to participate. We work with the NAMM Foundation which contributes to this and other programs including our youth music program “Young Warriors”

The Melbourne Guitar Show will return to Caulfield race course, 3 days of ridiculously hectic work, 5000+ through the doors to experience the best our industry can offer, a consumer facing promotion that gets the till ringing not just for the weekend but for the weeks and months following.

The AMA has recently connected with Special Claims Services, a business that makes our members preferred suppliers to the insurance replacement industry, diverting money away from cash settlements on insurance claims to a direct supply model fulfilled by our retail members.

Next time you’re asked “But what does the AMA do?” you can answer, they put customers in my store and money in my till. We run a multitude of events and programs that benefit not just our members, but the whole industry,  this is why myself and the rest of the executive committee contribute our time to the AMA, we all believe that working together we make the industry better.

If you haven’t participated in the programs and events mentioned you are missing out, talk to us, we can help you grow your business.

Craig Johnston, AMA President

January 2018