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WAM Launches Fair Play WA Report

6 Mar

West Australian Music (WAM) is proud to announce the release of the Fair Play WA report ahead of International Women’s Day 2020. The first of its kind in WA, Fair Play WA presents a comprehensive examination of the gendered experience of women working in and engaging with the WA music sector, with eleven recommendations to encourage greater gender equality for female, trans and non-binary music practitioners. Release of the report signifies an opportunity to further inform, engage and actively progress gender equality within WA’s dynamic and flourishing music sector.

Spearheaded by WAM’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Harris and Industry Development Officer Claire Hodgson, Fair Play WA stemmed from a series of forums and working groups held in mid 2017 and early 2018 with the aim of progressing gender equity within the WA music sector. The report emerged to provide additional awareness and research into gender discrimination and experiences of Industry practitioners, musicians and music consumers engaged with the community across the state.

WAM regional board member and Music Lecturer (North Regional TAFE), Bel Skinner, who provided support and feedback for Fair Play WA notes the significance of its release, saying ‘The WAM Fair Play WA Report is an integral and ground-breaking document to bring about change in the Australian Music Industry. The Music Industry must be a safe place for all, regardless of gender identification, culture, social status or ability. WAM actively seeks to provide this into the future, with all of its underlying all activities’.

The Fair Play WA report, authored by music research consultant Dr Christina Ballico (Head of Department, Master of Creative Industries, JMC Academy) and edited by Dr Julia Hobson (former Senior Lecturer, Centre for University Teaching & Learning, Murdoch University), draws on data collected from industry and community surveys, interviews initiated by WA-based music writer Jessica Willoughby, and feedback from members of the WA music community, WAM staff and the WAM Board’s Diversity Committee.

Fair Play WA features eleven recommendations informed by the research findings, to support and encourage sector-wide engagement and progress in gender equality. The recommendations outline proactive initiatives and activities that can be undertaken in various areas of the industry, including formation of an advisory body, gender parity in programming, and purposeful female presence at industry events.

The release of Fair Play WA aligns with WAM’s vision for a unified and thriving WA music community, and is part of its ongoing work in the area of gender equality in music. WAM CEO, Mike Harris, says of the report: ‘Everyone involved in music in WA has a responsibility to do whatever they can to raise the bar to ensure everyone is treated fairly and equitably, and supported in their endeavours, whether and artist, fan, sound engineer or any other role. I am proud that WAM has undertaken this report and am confident the WA music industry will respond to be a national leader in the pursuit of a fully inclusive scene’.

Since initial Fair Play WA consultations in 2017, WAM has established and implemented multiple activities now echoed in the report recommendations. These include the Girls Rock! WA program, Women’s Music Network meetings, WAM Diversity Committee, Keychange Initiative Pledge for WAMFest and WAMCon, and gender equality in programming across all events and opportunities. More information on these programs and initiatives can be found here.

Alongside release of the Fair Play WA report, WAM will be re-surveying the WA music community to gauge shifts in attitudes and experiences since establishment of Fair Play WA and associated activities in 2017. The Fair Play WA 2020 Survey is part of WAM’s ongoing work conducted as part of Fair Play WA, which includes supporting the sector in enacting the report’s recommendations.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.