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News October 18, 2021

APRA revokes Denis Handlin’s Ted Albert Award

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APRA revokes Denis Handlin’s Ted Albert Award

The APRA Board has unanimously voted to revoke former Sony Music CEO Denis Handlin’s Ted Albert Award.

Handlin won the award in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding service to Australian music.

In the wake of ongoing revelations about the culture at the major record label under his leadership, however, and a scathing investigation by Four Corners, various organisations have been backtracking on their celebration of his career.

QMusic was the first to move, revoking his honorary award from the 2020 Queensland Music Awards the morning after the Four Corners episode aired.

ARIA then released a short statement on Friday afternoon revealing its Board had also resolved to rescind Handlin’s ARIA Icon Award from 2014.

APRA has now followed suit saying APRA AMCOS is committed to fostering a music industry that upholds a high level of professional respect and conduct. It also noted it does not condone any form of bullying.

“Every single participant in our music industry has a responsibility to act safely and respect others. We recognise and accept there’s still much work to do in this space. We are committed to making the decisions that need to be made and to working with the broader industry so that we can collectively bring about this shift in culture,” it said.

Handlin still retains his Order of Australia honours, and at this stage, it appears unlikely they will be revoked.

Handlin was appointed to the national order in 2005 when he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) which recognises “service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group”.

In 2017, he was elevated to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), which rewards “distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large”.

The Council provided a statement to TMN on Tuesday which noted “unanimous approval is not a criteria” for the award. It also appears that as Handlin has not been convicted by a court or found guilty of any law breaches, his Officer of the Order of Australia will continue to stand.

The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, which provides support to the Governor-General in the administration of the Australian honours system, told TMN the issue has been brought to the attention of the Council and it “investigates matters brought to its attention and considers each case individually”.

How did we get here? A timeline of  Australia’s upheaval 

12 April: Tony Glover sacked by Sony Music Australia over allegations of inappropriate behaviour
15 June: 
Sony Music Australia under investigation by head office for harassment & bullying
21 June: Sony Music Australia and New Zealand CEO Denis Handlin to depart
22 June: 5 questions that need answering after Denis Handlin’s exit
23 June: 
Sony Music’s Pat Handlin & Mark Stebnicki stood down as work culture investigation continues
24 June: ‘It is time for change’: Denis Handlin sends note to Sony Music Australia staff
24 June: Lawyers who previously represented Titus Day in battle against Guy Sebastian could bring class action against Sony Music Australia
28 June: Inside the Australian music industry’s toxic underbelly
12 July: Law firm considering class action against Sony Music Australia inundated with responses
26 August: Everybody Knows: A five-part investigation into Australia’s toxic music industry launches
31 August: Inside the investigation that will expose Australia’s music industry
1 September: Denis Handlin speaks: ‘I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate manner’
24 September: Wayne Ringrow departs Sony Music Australia
11 October: ‘Systemic bullying, discrimination & misconduct’: Over 100 people break their silence on Sony Music Australia
12 October: Sacked Sony executive Tony Glover denies sexual harassment allegations & says he was a ‘scapegoat’
12 October: Four Corners episode investigating Sony Music watched by 602,000 metro viewers
12 October: ARIA releases statement in the wake of Four Corners’ Sony Music report as artists stay quiet
12 October: QMusic revokes Denis Handlin’s honorary award
12 October: ‘Distressing and disheartening’: APRA AMCOS issues statement on Sony Music
12 October: Council of the Order of Australia not cancelling Denis Handlin’s AO honour
15 October: Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat issues statement on Denis Handlin’s Order of Australia


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