Program to pump up volume in Indigenous music industry


Literacy Lecturer Richard Grose (left) and Contemporary Music Lecturer Cain Gilmour (wearing glasses) with music industry rangers (from left) Kieren Multa, Matthew Lewis, Donovan Mulladad, Russell O’Keefe, Jason Butcher, Kerry Bird and Barry Campbell in the music studio at Alice Springs campus.

Charles Darwin University will this week deliver training in Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) in Central Australia as part of a ground-breaking program to develop 16 music industry “rangers” across the Northern Territory.

Contemporary Music Lecturer Cain Gilmour said the community-based training was an integral part of a three-year program to build capacity for a more robust Indigenous music industry.

“The ranger training is designed to focus on individuals who are already musically adept and who have the passion and drive to carry the music industry forward in their communities,” Mr Gilmour said.

“Each of the trainee rangers is already active in a local band and in most cases support the running of workshops, music events or rehearsals in their local area.

“Our job is to deliver accredited training that will build confidence, competence and take each participant’s technical skills and knowledge to a higher level.”

“The training will encompass sound editing, song writing, event management, advertising and promotion, equipment maintenance, occupational health and language literacy,” he said.

Expectations were exceeded when the first bloc of community-based training was delivered at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) in April.

“It was exciting to be able to support a talented and motivated group of individuals and we hope to build on that momentum in Santa Teresa,” he said.

Mr Gilmour and fellow VET lecturer Phil Sawyers will travel to Santa Teresa today to begin the four-week training bloc.

“Santa Teresa is typical of so many of our Indigenous communities in that it houses a significant pool of musical talent.”

The remote delivery program will turn its focus on Papunya and Yirrkala later this year and on eight other communities over the next four years.

Mr Gilmour said the community training program was part of the broader Regional Music Development Program.

“It’s an ambitious program with the potential for some great returns. Not only will individuals develop their skill sets and increase their employment prospects, but we’re supporting the foundations for a culturally unique industry with the impetus to self-propel into the future,” he said.

“I’m grateful to the growing list of supportive stakeholders, each of whom are making a valuable contribution to the success of Indigenous music and culture.”

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