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News July 28, 2022

Julia Robinson Joins ARIA PPCA, Mitch Wilson to Lead AFA

Senior Journalist, B2B
Julia Robinson Joins ARIA PPCA, Mitch Wilson to Lead AFA

After four-plus years, Julia Robinson is leaving the live sector for the recorded music industry.

Announced late Wednesday (July 27), Robinson is departing from the Australian Festival Association, where she has served as managing director since its inception in 2018.

Her last day in the office is Sept. 2, after which time she joins ARIA and PPCA in the newly-created function as head of policy and advocacy.

“I am thrilled to welcome someone as experienced, talented and undeniably passionate about the Australian music industry as Julia,” comments ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd in a statement Thursday (July 28), announcing Robinson’s new post.

“Right now is a critical time to ensure the stories of Australian artists and industry professionals are heard loud and clear.”

Unveiled in December 2018, the AFA, with Robinson at the helm, has gone on to work with members battling the pandemic-powered shutdown, and paving the long road to recovery.

When she joined, festivals-land was confronted by bushfire season and, in NSW, a crisis with the-then Berejiklian government’s onerous licensing regime which causes several fests to fall over.

The challenges have mounted ever since.

“I look forward to working with Julia as we continue to advocate the true economic, cultural and social value of Australian music,” adds Herd, “and the positive impact that forward-thinking policy and support can have in creating more opportunities for it to be heard.”

Robinson slots into the ARIA/PPCA role with effect from Sept. 5, doing so after developing and launching the AFA’s strategic plan for 2022-25.

“I’m delighted at the opportunity to join the team at such a pivotal time for Australian music,” she comments in a statement issued by the labels association.

“The live sector has been my home for a long time, but it is time to get a new perspective and I look forward to working with courageous and inspiring leaders like Annabelle and Vanessa towards a better future for our industry.”

Mitch Wilson

At AFA, Robinson will hand over the reins to Mitch Wilson, who is promoted to managing director, effective Aug. 15.

Wilson, whose CV spans six years in music and live events, has worked on 12-month contract with the AFA as a project manager, working alongside members in Victoria.

“Mitch brings a wealth of experience from various state and federal government advisor positions as well as working at Live Nation, Sydney WorldPride 2023 and Mardi Gras,” notes AFA committee member Di Sneddon. “We are of course sad to see Julia leave, but excited to promote Mitch into this role.”

Adds Wilson, “I’m thrilled to be stepping into the managing director role. Over the past year I’ve met so many of the AFA’s members. I’m excited to be working with both the Board and all our members to advocate for the festival industry as we continue to face a number of challenges. To those I haven’t met, I’m keen to get to know you all.”

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