Arts Centre Melbourne’s new partnership with The Push hits the right note for aspiring musicians

Arts Centre Melbourne’s new partnership with The Push hits the right note for aspiring musicians
Brendan Rees

The Arts Centre has announced a new partnership with Australian youth music organisation, The Push, providing a bright future for musicians and artists.

“After years of working together this partnership represents an important next step in ensuring the next generation of musicians and arts workers will thrive as we emerge from a period of great uncertainty. We have a lot to learn from each other,’’ the Arts Centre Melbourne’s interim CEO Leanne Lawrence said.

The partnership will see a focus on mentoring, mental health workshops, opportunities to work with the Australian Music Vault team and a collaboration on youth outreach and engagement.

With The Push having provided young people with access to contemporary music programs and events for more than 30 years – engaging some four million youths – the organisation’s CEO Kate Duncan said the partnership would be a win-win for all.

“This partnership demonstrates the impact a leading cultural institution and a community organisation can have when working together for a common purpose; to build Victoria’s future creative workforce and promote contemporary music,’’ Ms Duncan said.


“By sharing our ways of working, we will be able to build organisational sustainability and growth, strengthen our creative communities and develop all-ages audiences for many years to come.”


The two organisations have a long history together with the partnership now formalising their relationship - with successful collaborations including The Push’s All-Ages Events Team program since 2017.

Each year the program has helped 15 young people aged 14 to 18 engage in extending learning as they navigate career pathways in the music industry. The program matches the All-Ages Event Team with industry professionals across all aspects of live music to provide an understanding of the sector.

From 2017-2019, the team produced events in The Channel, the Arts Centre’s dedicated learning venue, located in Hamer Hall, featuring artists such as Georgia Mac (Camp Cope), The Chats, Slowly Slowly and Will Wagner (The Smith Street Band).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program went online with the group designing a dream festival in partnership with Parliament of Victoria in 2020, while the next two years saw the All-Ages Events Teams deliver large-scale all-ages events at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl as part of the Live at the Bowl seasons.

Stand-out participants have been employed in the past to lead youth teams in delivering the program.

The partnership comes at a time when the Arts Centre Melbourne’s renewal project, Reimagining Arts Centre Melbourne, will be central to the Arts Precinct’s $1.7 billion transformation, which is currently under way.

It will see the historic State Theatre fully refurbished, including the venue’s much-loved heritage-listed interiors as well as upgrades to lighting, staging technology, better accessibility, new seats, aisles, studios, and back-of-house amenities. •


Caption: Arts Centre Melbourne is joining forces with the Australian youth music organisation, The Push.

Photo: Ian Laidlaw.

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