Music Australia News

Music Australia to Welcome More Music Voices with Refreshed Constitution

Chris Bowen
| October 10, 2016

After over two decades we thought it was high time to dust off and refresh the Music Australia Constitution. The AGM on 3 November 2016 will vote on recommendations to modernise our constitution so it is up-to-date with current law, and provides more flexibility in our membership structure.

We explain the proposed changes below and the accompanying diagram illustrates how these will work once adopted.

Proposed Changes

  • The constitution has been updated in keeping with current law
  • The directors will jointly own the shares of the company on trust for the company itself
  • The Council concept is retained, with nominally 50 Councillors but this can be varied
  • Limits on number of Councillors, individual and organisational members have been removed
  • Two categories of membership have been created: Representative and non Representative
  • Each of these can have Organisational and Individual members
  • Representative members will represent a national music constitiuency and have voting rights
  • Non representative members who support Music Australia’s work will reveive full member benefits without voting rights
  • Councillors will be drawn from the ranks of Representative members, appointed by the Board
  • The Board will be charged with ensuring voting members provide a balanced and full representation of the musical life of Australia
  • Representative members will elect the Board, vote on resolutions, and ratify annual reports
  • The Objects of the company have been updated to make them more inclusive.

Why Change?

The effect of these changes is to modernise the constitution, now over twenty years old, to bring it in line with current law, and provide more flexibility in the membership structure. We want to be able to expand the number of organisational members so Music Australia can become more representative.  We also want to acccommodate the many who support our work, and wish to be involved, but may not be formally representative or require voting rights.


Revised Objects

Only a few changes are proposed to the Objects, as they are largely still current and cover most areas of activity, a tribute to the original drafters over two decades ago. They have been edited for clarity and to modernise the language, and a few items added to make them more inclusive.  These additions are highlighted.

The objects of the Council are:                                                                                 

  1. To foster Australian musical life and support all forms of music in Australia
  2. To bring together key organisations and individuals, and foster communication and cooperation between the various elements of the music sector across the country
  3. To promote and raise public awareness of the value and contribution of music and musicians to individuals, to education, and to the cultural and economic life of the nation
  4. To provide information and resources on music activity in Australia
  5. To provide selected services to the Australian public and to the music sector
  6. To foster effective development of musical activity by developing policies and contributing to and supporting policy development and implementation
  7. To advocate to government, funding bodies and other decision makers policies and actions which will benefit Australian musical life


A revised constitution will be circulated with 2016 AGM papers. The Board will propose the revised constitution be adopted at the AGM on 3 November 2016. Once approved the documentation will be registered with the appropriate authorities by December and adopted from early 2017.



  1. Richard Letts

    This all looks good.
    Just one comment. Not every field of music has a nationally representative organisation. Fields that do are not necessarily more important than those that don’t. How will such fields be included in the Council? There is, or used to be, a Clarinet Society, but there isn’t and probably never will be a Rock Musicians’ Association.

    1. Chris Bowen

      These fields will continue to be represented by Individual Councillors selected for this purpose as is the current case, for example in areas such as Indigenous music and Research. Representative Individual Councillors will have the same voting rights as Representative Organisational Councillors.

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