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News February 20, 2024

Kirsty Rivers Joins Sound Story

Senior Journalist, B2B
Kirsty Rivers Joins Sound Story

Kirsty Rivers resurfaces at Sound Story, the strategic communications agency led by Jake Challenor.

Announced today (Feb. 20), Rivers, formerly head of music at Creative Australia, takes on the newly-created position of industry relations director at Sound Story, a specialist firm working with brands in the music, media, advertising and technology industries.

Rivers is the latest recruit to a growing team at Sound Story, which now includes experienced journalist Vivienne Kelly, formerly with The Brag Media, as senior communications specialist; and ex-Spotify senior operations and events manager Maddie Koczanowski as communications, culture and events specialist.

Kirsty Rivers

With over 35 years’ experience in government and the music industry, Rivers is well-equipped for the job.

“Kirsty’s reputation as a fierce advocate and champion for the Australian music ecosystem within industry and government is of enormous value to Sound Story’s incredible partners,” comments Challenor.

“As our clients grow, so too does Sound Story. Our mission is to help ambitious brands to launch, grow, and manage their reputations on the world stage — we do this through strategic storytelling, and Kirsty is one of the best in the business.”

For three-and-a-half years, Rivers served as head of music in Creative Australia’s sector development and advocacy team, departing in the final months of 2023 following the announcement of Millie Millgate to the coveted role as inaugural director of Music Australia.

Prior to joining Creative Australia in April 2020, Rivers was senior manager for contemporary music at Creative Victoria, overseeing the Victorian state government’s Music Works program.

There, she was responsible for ground-breaking policy development of music programs that responded to sector need and new opportunities.

Rivers’ CV includes a 17-year run as national manager for writer services at APRA AMCOS, she was instrumental in the formation of the Australian Music Vault and the Music Market at Collingwood Yards, the establishment of the Victorian Music Development Office, and delivering the first southern hemisphere Music Cities convention in 2018.

All of those career achievements were acknowledged at the 2023 Music Victoria Awards in Melbourne, where Rivers was inducted into the trade body’s Hall of Fame.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining Sound Story and supporting the team’s vision to tell the stories of forward-thinking brands disrupting the music, media, advertising and tech industries,” comments Rivers in a statement.

“Inspired by Jake and the team’s unique outlook and global perspective, I’m thrilled to use my expertise in industry and government to realise actions and ideas, at this incredibly exciting and pivotal time for Australian creativity.”

Jake Challenor

Launched in January 2023 by Challenor, the former publisher of The Music Network and Radio Today, founding executive editor of Variety Australia, and print editor of Rolling Stone AU/NZ, along with general manager Brian Lawlor, Sound Story’s clients include Spotify, Cedar Mill Group, UNIFIED Music Group, and Vinyl Group.

With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, the Sound Story team includes first hire, senior communications specialist Zanda Wilson, and communications director Jane Elliott, the ex-Nova Entertainment and commercial TV veteran.


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