WAM Bids a Fond Farewell and Thank you to Members of the Team
Today we share some important WAM news, and in doing so recognise the powerful role WAM’s dedicated staff play in the organisation. The team at WAM have worked tirelessly to adapt to the shifting and uncertain environment of COVID-19. WAM – like many others throughout the music and arts sector – has continued to weather cancellations of flagship events and loss of crucial funding sources. This has brought new and weighty challenges in securing a sustainable future for the organisation, our programs, and the legacy of all who’ve engaged with WAM across our 35 years.
With a necessary period of change at hand, all staff members were given the option to take voluntary redundancy, and we are now reluctantly giving a heart-felt wave to the team members making the tough choice to move on – Nigel Bird (Regional Officer), Claire Hodgson (Industry Development Officer), Honor Gleadow (Admin Officer) and Izzy Bartlett (Regional Assistant).
The enormous contributions Nigel, Claire, Honor and Izzy have made in their many roles at WAM extend beyond the organisation to the countless people and communities they’ve connected with across WA. We’re incredibly proud and thankful to have called them part of the WAM team, and hope you can join us in looking back at just some of the contributions and achievements they’ve had in their time at WAM.
As WAM’s longest standing staff member, Nigel has spent almost two decades fiercely advocating for the needs of WA’s artists and the music sector. His continued dedication to supporting music communities across remote and regional WA have seen him play a pivotal role in the personal and professional journeys of countless artists. Nigel’s passion, knowledge and experience have been an enormous contributor to WAM’s growth as an organisation.
In his time as Regional Officer, Nigel delivered an extensive range of programs to support the development of artists and audiences in regional music communities. This included the multi-leg Wheatbelt Regional Touring Circuit, Regional WAMBassaddor program plus partnerships with Dowerin Field Days, Blues at Bridgetown and Nannup Music Festival. With an understanding of the unique landscape through-out WA, Nigel cultivated deep connections with the people and communities, running the annual Regional Round Table meeting and providing invaluable mentorship to artists and industry workers both within, and outside, the walls of WAM.
Nigel’s time at WAM has seen him lead the organisation’s renowned Regional Recording Program, which has recently released its fifteenth album featuring original songs recorded by WAM in regional communities. No stranger to the wide open road, Nigel has delivered projects in every town centre across every region of WA, and spent time engaging with some of WA’s most remote communities.
It is no easy feat to capture the enormous contributions Nigel has made in his 19 years at WAM. He will be missed and his deep commitment to the organisation felt for many years to come.
Having been a key part of the WAM’s small team for 12 years, Claire’s professional knowledge, creativity and dedication have seen her lead and grow some of WAM’s longest running programs and establish invaluable new initiatives for the local industry. A passionate music industry all-rounder (both on and behind the stage), Claire’s commitment to supporting every member of the WAM team and ensuring the best outcomes for the sector have made her an invaluable part of the organisation.
First joining WAM as an Administration & Membership Assistant in 2010, Claire’s move into the position of Industry Development Officer in 2013 saw her develop WAM’s diverse workshop program, including the Higher Note series, networking events and industry forums. Her dedication came to the forefront as the Director of WAM’s flag-ship industry development event – WAMCon (WA Music Conference). Claire curated and delivered seven unique and evolving instalments of WAMCon during her time at the organisation including the first ever hybrid event by an AMIN organisation in 2021, in addition coordinating WAM’s longest running program – WAM Song of the Year Competition and Awards.
Claire’s contributions extended beyond WAM’s flagship programs, with her establishing the Women’s Music Network, and leading the first of its kind Fair Play WA report and consultation and was a key facilitator for the Kiss My Camera Competition and Awards (2010-2013) and the Singapore West Australian Music Exchange (SWAM) as well as other national and international WAM initiatives. She has attended and spoken at music conferences both in Australia and overseas, and has been integral part of WAM’s international activities and has helped keep WAM a strong connection between national and international industry decision-makers and the WA music community.
Claire’s contributions have left a lasting impact on WAM (in addition to the above, she also coined the phrase “The WAMily”), and the many artists and practitioners she has supported and engaged with across the industry. Claire will be greatly missed, but we wish her well for the next chapter and look forward to seeing where her skills and extensive industry knowledge takes her to next.
Honor first came to WAM in 2019 to undertake an internship in Marketing and Communications. Her love for local music and ability to take on any task saw Honor quickly step into the Admin Officer role later that year. With strong connections to local artists and an avid gig-goer, Honor’s commitment to creating a supportive environment bolstered each member of the team and organisation.
In her time as the Admin Officer, Honor played a key role in delivering opportunities for the membership, including programming performance opportunities across City of Perth, the Royal Show and Caravan and Camping. Honor’s diverse skill saw her wear multiple hats across WAM’s flag-ship programs, including Artist Liason, Videography, Social Media Co-ordinator and more. Honor’s creative eye lead her to develop new and engaging content to showcase WA artists, including the multi-part Act Belong Commit video series, Our Sound Our Stories campaign and Scenestr’s ‘WAM’s World’.
Although finishing up her time at WAM, Honor will be no stranger to the WA music sector as she continues her work as an Artist Manager and radio presenter. We wish Honor all the best and have no doubt she’ll bring the same level of dedication to her next journey.
Izzy first joined the team at WAM as an intern in 2016, with her passion and drive making her a strong champion for the needs of artists and the broader music sector. With a wealth of experience across the music and arts events sector, Izzy’s work with WAM’s regional activities sparked a love for the people and music of regional WA that has filtered through all her contributions at WAM.
After relocating to Menjin/Brisbane to work with the renowned Woodford Folk Festivals, Izzy returned to WAM in 2021, taking up the role of Regional Assistant. Working closely with Nigel to develop and deliver activations and the regional recording program, Izzy played a key role in the recent Demos from Ngaanyatjarra Lands and Esperance double album, developing connections with the communities and elevating the artists. Always willing to provide support, Izzy also contributed to WAM’s Audience Development Program, New Noise, helping get local musicians and artists into schools across the state.
With a fierce passion for music and creative mind, Izzy will no doubt continue as a champion for the people and music of WA’s expansive state. We wish her all the best on each step of her professional and creative journey.
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