Rob Walker

No name has been more closely associated with the AMA for the past few decades than Rob Walker. Rob has been, in March 2023 inducted to the AMA Honour Roll, the highest award and accolade given by the industry association.

Rob was first appointed Executive Officer of the AMA in 1991, a position he held for a decade. He led, among other things, the development of the Australian International Music Show, Australian Musician magazine and the AMAC trade show.

At the start of the new millennium he left for the United States and for three years worked as Director of Market Development at NAMM, and as Executive Director of the American Music Conference. He was responsible for the organisation of two Global Economic Summits of the music products industry, the development of market building programs and advocating for music education. In 2020 he was awarded the NAMM Believe in Music Award for services to the Industry.

Upon his return he worked in senior management at Allans Music & Allans Billy Hyde which led Rob back to the AMA board. He spent seven years on the Executive Committee retiring in 2012. He served as President of the AMA in 2005-06.

Rob Walker receiving the AMA Honour Roll from Alex Masso

He returned to the role of Executive Officer in 2013, leading the return of the AMAC Convention in 2013/14. Since then, Rob has been instrumental in developing the Weekend Warriors program and Make Music Day in Australia, advocating for the industry on issues such as CITES (endangered wood species regulation), wireless audio spectrum, instrument making and piano tuning qualifications, and with the Fair Imports Alliance.

He has been a member of the board of the industry charity, Soundhouse Music Alliance since 2008 and is currently deputy chair. He was also instrumental in the development of Music for All Australia, a grants-based charity assisting communities and individuals in need.

Rob is well known as the founder of the Melbourne Guitar Show, which he first ran in 1992 and which he resurrected for the AMA in 2015 and produced through 2023. Over his career, as well as organising AMAC conventions and the Australian International Music Shows, he organised numerous others including the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show, Melbourne Music Expo, AES Conventions, Melbourne Synth Festival and others.

Somehow, he has fitted in a reasonable resume of music making himself over the years. He has played with some of the nation’s best and is still playing bass professionally regularly.

Rob is a passionate music person and an effective advocate for the music products industry.