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News May 20, 2022

Coles Partners With Mushroom Creative House for First Nations Pathway Program

Senior Journalist, B2B
Coles Partners With Mushroom Creative House for First Nations Pathway Program

Coles is creating new pathways for the brightest young Indigenous music talent through an alliance with the Mushroom Group.

The supermarket giant extends its First Nations Pathway Program into music, by striking a partnership with Mushroom Creative House, the creative agency of Melbourne-based Mushroom Group.

The multi-year arrangement will build on Coles’ existing programs, which currently focus on sport.

Mushroom designed and facilitated the program, crafted to help young Indigenous aspiring musicians gain experience and mentorship, unlock opportunities and provide an “immersive educational experience” of the music industry.

Through the partnership, the Mushroom team will “draw on our wealth of knowledge from the music industry and create a program that will nurture and develop the next wave of many talented First Nations artists,” comments Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski.

Mushroom, he continues, “has been a long-time champion of First Nations artists,” and through this partnership, both parties establish “a platform that’s invaluable for evolving up and coming creatives.”

The Pathway Program is led by mentors Emily Wurramara and Nooky, covers a range of genres and will feature participants from all around country, including Jay Gonsalves (VIC), Angus (Aya J) (QLD), HARTCOLE (WA), Bumpy (VIC), dameeeela (QLD), Hylander (NSW), Tyler (The Terrifying Lows) (VIC) and GLVES (QLD).

“We will support by sharing the stories and music of these talented musicians through our own network like Coles Radio and our instore magazines so we can raise more awareness of the talents of young artists,” adds Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson.

“We have absolutely loved to see how the First Nations Pathway Program has developed the confidence, talent and life skills of young Indigenous athletes involved in AFL, AFLW and NRL and we’re thrilled that we can now expand this experience to include young musicians who have dreams of performing on stage and sharing their wonderful talents with the world.”

The extended program continues the legacy built by late Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski.

MG and the company he established has supported a slew of Indigenous artists over time, from Yothu Yindi to Archie Roach, Troy Cassar-Daley, Christine Anu, Dan Sultan and others.

And in mid-2020, as the pandemic forced borders and venues to close around the world, Gudinski launched the boutique label Reclusive Records, unveiling Yorta Yorta singer and songwriter Scott Darlow as its first artist signing.

The new program with Coles will feature an intensive four-day music masterclass with industry experts including Darlow, who’s named as masterclass facilitator and cultural advisor.

Mushroom Creative House opened for business in 2017, with a model that connects brands, content and artists with audiences in “meaningful ways,” a statement read at the time, by creating, negotiating, activating and reporting on all campaigns and partnerships.

Five years on, the business now delivers output from music videos (The Avalanches) to live events (concepting and creative directing the entertainment for the AFL Grand Final), to broadcast TV (The Sound), festivals (Sugar Mountain), strategic partnerships (AAMI, Telstra, Qantas), documentaries (in development), and to experiential and branded content (Bonds, Bacardi, Spotify, lululemon, Menulog).

Visit firstnationspathwayprogram.com for more.

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