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News December 2, 2023

Jessica Ducrou, John Watson Named to Sound NSW Advisory Board (EXCLUSIVE)

Senior Journalist, B2B
Jessica Ducrou, John Watson Named to Sound NSW Advisory Board (EXCLUSIVE)

Jessica Ducrou, co-CEO of Secret Sounds, organisers of Splendour In The Grass, and legendary artist manager John Watson are among the captains of industry appointed to the advisory board of Sound NSW, The Music Network can exclusively reveal.

Ducrou is named chair, while Watson, founder and president of John Watson Management and Eleven: A Music Company, is deputy chair.

Among the music industry leaders taking a seat on the advisory board, announced today (Dec. 2) are Annabelle Herd and Dean Ormston, the CEO of ARIA PPCA and APRA AMCOS, respectively.

“Both Herd and Ormston bring with them a wealth of experience and have been instrumental in paving the way for music development across the country,” reads a statement issued from the office of John Graham, NSW special minister of state, minister for roads, minister for the arts, minister for music and the night-time economy, minister for jobs and tourism.

Additional members include Lucy Joseph (Live Music Office), Matthew Jeffrey (MEAA delegate), Tim Leha (CEO of Koori Radio and Gadigal Information Service), Tyla Dombroski, (director of Crow Bar Sydney) and Vyvienne Abla (director of 4E Hip Hop Festival).

Annabelle Herd

Annabelle Herd

 “I am absolutely delighted to join the Sound NSW Advisory Board and congratulate both my fellow members and the NSW Government for their continued commitment to promoting the value of music as a serious commercial force,” comments Herd in a statement, issued Saturday, Dec. 2. 
“NSW has always been an incredibly powerful state for Australian music, raising a seriously diverse pool of ARIA Award winners like DMA’s, Fanny Lumsden, and Parkway Drive from this year alone.”

The state has “the talent, the music is export-ready, and now with a renewed focus and strong support from Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, the Hon. John Graham, I am certain this advisory board can deliver the right infrastructure to ensure music in NSW exceeds its potential.”

Currently, Emily Collins is interim head of Sound NSW, formed this year with a commitment to the promotion of contemporary music in NSW.

Emily Collins

Emily Collins

The members of the advisory board will be expected to play a transformational role by shaping a 10-year contemporary music strategy, and by supporting Sound NSW to lead a new era for music across the state.

“I am honoured for opportunity to chair the Sound NSW advisory board,” comments Ducrou.

“I look forward to working alongside my esteemed fellow advisory board members, Emily Collins and the Sound NSW team to develop the State’s first ever 10-year contemporary music strategy.”

Following the best part of a decade, during which time regulations pushed Sydney’s live and nighttime scene into a state of decay, and music festivals were burdened with a licensing regime which forced some brands out of business, Sound NSW represents a new dawn.

New “Vibrancy” reforms should undo some of the tangled bureaucratic mess created by previous administrations.  

“The music industry has fought hard over many years to get us to this point, but without the conviction, commitment, and heart we would not have this incredible opportunity,” adds Ducrou.

“Thanks to Premier Minns, Minister Graham, and the NSW Government who support our industry as we look to reinvigorate the music scene and re-establish Sydney and larger NSW as a leading global destination to experience live music and festivals.”

Eleven Music's John Watson

John Watson

The office was established by the NSW Government in 2023, one of the planks of its successful election strategy.

Speaking on the new appointment, Graham reckons “today marks a turning point for the future of music in NSW with an immense amount of experience.”

Three spots on the advisory board positions are yet to be filled.

Artists and music professionals “passionate about the future of contemporary music in NSW” are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest. The closing date for EOIs is Tuesday, Dec. 19 2023.

For more information and to submit your EOI, visit the Sound NSW website at at

Sound NSW Advisory Board

  • Jess Ducrou, Secret Sounds – Chair
  • John Watson, John Watson Management – Deputy Chair
  • Annabelle Herd, ARIA and PPCA CEO
  • Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS CEO
  • Lucy Joseph, Live Music Office
  • Matt Jeffrey, Artist and MEAA Delegate
  • Tim Leha, Koori Radio/Gadigal Information Service
  • Tyla Dombroski, CrowBar Sydney
  • Vyvienne Abla, Vyva Entertainment


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