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News August 22, 2023

Michael Chugg and Nathan McLay Tapped For Music Australia Council

Michael Chugg and Nathan McLay Tapped For Music Australia Council

Chugg Entertainment founder Michael Chugg and Future Classic founder and CEO Nathan McLay are among the captains of industry appointed to the Council of Music Australia, a key element of Australia’s new national cultural policy, Revive.

Announced today, Chugg, the legendary concert promoter and indie music entrepreneur, and McLay, whose music company has nurtured some of the brightest and best artists from these parts, from Flume to Sycco and G Flip, whose Drummer album leads the ARIA Chart this week, take their places on the Council, effectively the Music Australia board.

The Council will provide strategic direction for Music Australia in its work to support and grow the nation’s contemporary music sector, through strategic initiatives and industry partnerships, research, skills development and export promotion, and more.

The eight-strong music-expert appointments will run for four years, and were made by Minister for the Arts Tony Burke in consultation with Adrian Collette, the CEO of the Australia Council of the Arts/ Creative Australia.

Also joining the Council are artists Dr Sophie Payten (aka Gordi), Danielle Caruana (aka Mama Kin, founder and director of The Seed Fund) and Fred Leone, along with Lisa Baker (manager of creative cultural development, City of Playford), Fred Alale (co-founder and chair of African Music and Cultural Festival Inc.) and Petrina Convey (owner and director of UNITY Mgmt. Group).

Those representatives all boast “relevant and appropriate experience in music,” Burke has said.

Michael Chugg

Music Australia sits under Creative Australia – formerly the Australia Council for the Arts – and was established under the Creative Australia Act 2023, which was enshrined into law in June.

The Council will officially be up and running with effect from Thursday, Aug. 24, upon commencement of the Act, say reps.

And with today’s announcement, the final details for Music Australia are now out in the open.



“Australian musicians have been crying out for greater support and strategic investment,” comments Burke in a statement welcoming the complete Council.

Music Australia, he adds, “will deliver what the industry needs to grow and realise its potential, at home and internationally.”

Nathan McLay

Nathan McLay

The makeup of the Council reflects the industry and its needs, he continues.

“It’s essential that Australian musicians and industry experts themselves have a seat at the table – and that’s what these appointments will achieve.

“With their dedication, passion and expertise in Australian music, the appointees will make sure that Australian music is the soundtrack to life in Australia.”

Tony Burke

As previously reported, Collette, a guest speaker at Indie-Con earlier in the month, is chairman of the Music Australia Council, whose ultimate mission is to power Australia’s commercial music sector to new heights at home and abroad.

Under Revive, presented in January of this year, and warmly received by the music industry, the Albanese Labor Government is keen to deliver a new chapter for Australian arts and culture, and put “the arts back where they’re meant to be – at the heart of our national life,” the prime minister said at a launch function in Melbourne.

To achieve this, Music Australia alone is backed by more than $69 million in funding over four years.

“This is Creative Australia moving firmly into the commercial world,” reps say.

Read the full National Cultural Policy here, and access an in-depth discussion about Creative Australia and Music Australia with TMN here.

Music Australia Council:

Fred Alale, co-founder and chair of African Music and Cultural Festivals Inc.
Lisa Baker, manager of creative cultural development, City of Playford
Danielle Caruana (Mama Kin), artist and founder/director of The Seed Fund
Michael Chugg, founder of Chugg Entertainment
Petrina Convey, owner and director of UNITY. Mgmt
Fred Leone, artist
Nathan McLay, CEO of Future Classic
Dr Sophie Payten (Gordi), artist

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