Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA) and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) today announced the inaugural Executive Leader Game Changer Award will be presented at the 2023 Australian Women in Music Awards on Wednesday, 27 September at the Tivoli in Brisbane.
The new award is designed to shine a light on music industry leaders who are creating significant and positive change to bring about equality for women and non-binary people in the Australian music industry, by celebrating the achievements of a CEO, CFO, COO, CMO, MD, GM or senior executive each year. Nominations for the award open at 9am Tuesday, 4 April and close 26 April.
The award will be judged by a specially-curated Juror Committee including gender equality, diversity and inclusion and co-author of the Raising Their Voices report Alex Shehadie; scientist, organisation culture specialist, communicator, gender equality advocate Dr Darren Saunders; CEO of Settlement Services International, social entrepreneur championing the strengths of diverse communities Violet
The panel will assess entrants based on their vision, integrity, ethics, trust of co-workers and employees, their demonstrated ability to drive positive industry change, the longevity of their commitment, and the prioritising of gender equality, respect, inclusion, safety, empowerment and quality of work.
AWMA Founding Executive Producer and Program Director, Vicki Gordon, said: “AWMA promotes women as vital, essential contributors to the future growth of the Australian music industry effectively raising the collective voice and demanding equitable access, safety and recognition. Our success is reflected in the 1200+ women who have been recognised for their extraordinary achievements since our inaugural event in 2018.
“This welcome partnership with ARIA celebrates the courage, dedication and advocacy of those who use their influence to acknowledge the importance of gender equality and their power, to create real change in their lifetime,” she said.
“AWMA has become a powerful industry leader, connecting people and communities to amplify positive role models to break down the systemic issues which have held women back for decades. AWMA acknowledges the vast contributions of women across all areas of industry from onstage to those working behind the scenes, technicians, leaders, elders, performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, film-makers and photographers, music journalists, stylists, managers and more.”
ARIA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said: “We are very proud to partner with AWMA to present this award that acknowledges the incredible cultural change being driven from within our industry and hopefully inspires a great deal more.
“The Raising Their Voices report shone a spotlight on gender and diversity inequality in Australian music, and the need for immediate change to create a safe and equal workplace for all. The positive news is that there is enormous appetite for change, and ARIA is committed to continue working closely with the industry to drive this,” she said.
“The Executive Leader Game Changer Award is an important recognition that strong leadership is a critical factor in driving cultural change. We want to applaud the people making change and tackling barriers and we want to incentivise others to follow so that we see more diverse women and non-binary people in leadership positions and more successful female and non-binary artists nominated and winning ARIAs.”
Nominations for the AWMAs opened on 8 March here, with the award ceremony, concert and conference to be held in Meanjin/Brisbane on 26 and 27 September.
Past AWMA recipients include Tina Arena, Deborah Cheetham OAM, Katie Noonan, Kate Ceberano, Elena Kats-Chernin AO and Tamara Georgopoulos as well as studio producer Anna Laverty, photographer Wendy McDougall and stylist Cindy Vogel. Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE, Helen Reddy and Judith Durham AO are Honour Roll recipients and Renée Geyer received an award for her Life Time Achievement in 2018, alongside Margret RoadKnight, Little ‘Pattie’ Amphlett and Joy McKean.
Nominations close 26 April, 2023
*AWMA encourages nominations from non-binary, GNC and anyone who identifies as a woman.