Annual Addresses

Every year, MCA commissions an address from a distinguished commentator on music.

MCA Annual Address 2012 PDF Print E-mail

The Music Council of Australia Annual Address for 2012 was given by Lyndon Terracini at the Nineteenth Annual Assembly at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, on Sunday September 23. Lyndon Terracini is the Artistic Director of Opera Australia, former director of the Queensland Music Festival and Brisbane Festival, who began his career as an operatic baritone.

Read The Relevance of Subsidy, Creativity, Ideas, and...Making Music

MCA Annual Address 2011 PDF Print E-mail

MCA’s Annual Address for 2011 was delivered by Andrew Sayers at the Eighteenth Annual Assembly at the Australian National University on 25 September. Andrew is Director of the National Museum of Australia.  Prior to the Address, Andrew told the MCA that ‘The etymologies of the words 'museum' and 'music' are similar. And there are a great many similarities in the present challenges faced by the world of museums and the world of music. I will talk about museums, their role in society and the importance of cultural literacy in Australian contemporary life.’

Read Music on Music and Museums

MCA Annual Address 2010 PDF Print E-mail

The Music Council of Australia Annual Address for 2010 was given by Dr Nicholas Gruen at the Seventeenth Annual Assembly at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane, on Sunday September 26. Dr Gruen is an economist with wide experience in the public sector, business groups and academia; he has also been a school teacher, university lecturer and cartoonist. He was policy advisor to two Federal Ministers – John Dawkins and John Button, a member of the Productivity Commission, is founder and CEO of Lateral Economics. Most pertinently to this Address, in 2009 he chaired the Federal Governmentœs 2.0 Taskforce.

The address is titled "The life you could be leading: the threats and extraordinary possibilities of Web 2.0". Dr Gruen argues that the internet is transforming the political economy of cultural production and that the temptation to defend the old paradigm around intellectual property can deny musicians and music businesses incredible opportunities offered by this new world.

Read The life you could be leading: the threats and extraordinary possibilities of Web 2.0

MCA Annual Address 2009 PDF Print E-mail

The Music Council of Australia Annual Address for 2009 was given by Professor Gary McPherson at the Sixteenth Annual Assembly at the Novotel Hotel, St Kilda, Melbourne, on Sunday September 27. The title of the address was "Musically Involved Young Peoplesœ Lives". Professor McPherson was at the time newly appointed Ormond Professor and Head, School of Music at the University of Melbourne. He had previously held appointments at the University of New South Wales, University of Hong Kong and as the Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman endowed chair at the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has served as the President of the Australian and the International Societies for Music Education. He is editor of a major new compendium on music education to be published by OUP.

The text of Professor McPherson's address is not available.

MCA Annual Address 2008 PDF Print E-mail

The Music Council of Australia Annual Address for 2008 was given by Sir David Price at the Fifteenth Annual Assembly at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Adelaide, on Sunday September 28. Sir David devised the innovative curriculum for Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. More recently, he has led innovations in school music education through the groundbreaking Musical Futures project and others in the UK. He has advised governments around the world on the national music strategies.

Titled "Paradigm Shift: Why the World’s Gone Soft", Price’s address argues that The Paradigm Shift that we’re living through may be technologically-fuelled, and economically driven, but it’s also societally transformative. It will change the way we work, interact, and even think. And there are four key social forces emerging which will shape the way we emerge out of the recent global upheaval. However hard the coming decade is going to be, I believe that we (in the music business, in music education and in the way we view our young people) need to be ’SOFT’ in our response. The four forces are Sharing, Open, Free, Trust.

Read Paradigm Shift: Why the World’s Gone Soft

MCA Annual Address 2007 PDF Print E-mail

Andy Arthurs' 2007 MCA Annual Address, titled This Big Thing Called Music, focuses on ways to encourage a vibrant and relevant creative musical culture by returning to the basics of play. This spans kids enjoying their music-making to professionals becoming more entrepreneurial throughout their musical life. This is the philosophy behind the "Creative Industries" concept which has swept through the world in the past decade. The address was presented at the State Library of NSW, on Sunday, September 23, 2007.

Read This Big Thing Called Music

MCA Annual Address 2006 PDF Print E-mail

The Fifth Annual Address of the Music Council of Australia was delivered by Neil Fernandes at the Hotel Emerald, Perth, on Sunday September 24, 2006. Neil Fernandes is the Managing Director of Perth's Central TAFE. The title of the address is Education and the Power of the Power-Chord. Fernandes reflects on his experiences as a young rocker in Perth and on the very wide range of skills he developed as both player and manager of his band, the Manikins. He concludes that music can be both a lure and a means to post-school education.

Neil Fernandes is upbeat about the success of contemporary music in Perth, thanks to WAM and his own Centre. He says "We’re actively building talent and an audience. That many young people aspire to success in what they perceive as a successful industry is not such a bad thing. That most of them won’t, is a reality and a pity; however, what we have now is a training framework whereby they can learn by doing what they like doing, while they aspire, and gain skills that are applicable in a wide range of workplace settings."

Read Education and the Power of the Power-Chord

MCA Annual Address 2005 PDF Print E-mail

The Fourth Annual MCA Address was given by Professor Malcolm Gillies at the Council's 2005 Assembly at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane on September 25. Prof. Gillies turns the spotlight on orchestral music-making. He surveys the orchestras we have, and the orchestras we might have had; he then speculates about the orchestras twenty-first-century Australia might need. Balancing perspectives of excellence, education, entertainment and economics, Gillies proposes a new positioning of orchestras in relation to the broader range of artistic production.

Malcolm Gillies is President of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and a deputy vice-chancellor at The Australian National University. He is Chair of the contemporary-music ensemble Elision, Chair of the Australian Youth Orchestra, and was a member of the recent Federal Review of Orchestras. For many years he was a music critic for The Australian.

Read The Orchestras We Need

MCA Annual Address 2004 PDF Print E-mail


The Third Annual MCA Address was given by Julian Burnside at the Council's 2004 Assembly in Melbourne. Barrister Julian Burnside is in commercial practice but is probably best know to the general public for his advocacy on behalf of asylum seekers. He has a strong interest in the arts and is Deputy Chair of Musica Viva, Chair of fortyfivedownstairs, the Melbourne arts venue, and has commissioned a number of works from Australian composers. The address is a passionate plea for social advocacy by artists who through their art, says Burnside, are able to offer public dissent which could be forbidden through more direct communication in, for instance, the language of the public media.

Read The Art of Dissent, OR, If you are crazy enough to be an artist, why not take on the establishment as well?

MCA Annual Address 2003 PDF Print E-mail

The second MCA Annual Address was given by Andrew Ford at the MCA’s Annual Assembly at the ABC studios in Sydney in 2003. Andrew Ford is a composer, author and commentator and is host of ABC Radio National’s Saturday morning Music Show. While on that show he presents music of many styles and in interviews with the performers displays the broadest knowledge of and affection for everything from country to experimental, here he asks, and answers in its spirited defence, Why Bother with Classical Music?

Read Why Bother with Classical Music?

MCA Annual Address 2002 PDF Print E-mail

The inaugural MCA Annual Address was given by Associate Professor Robin Stevens, Head of Music Education at Deakin University in Melbourne, at the MCA Annual Assembly in Adelaide in 2002. Also present were members of the Australian Association for Research into Music Education. Dr. Stevens was the Principal Investigator at that time for the MCA’s study, Trends in Music Education Provision in Australian Schools, the report from which can be found in the Research section of this website. His address has a connection to that study.

Read Why teach music in schools? Changing values since the 1850s