Michael Gudinski Posthumously Honoured With Melbourne Achiever Award
Michael Gudinski is still No. 1, this time earning a posthumous plaudit for his immense contribution to Melbourne’s arts and culture scene.
The late Mushroom Group founder is the recipient of the Melbourne Achiever Award which, for almost 30 years, recognises the extraordinary efforts of proud Melburnians.
Gudinski was feted in the Committee for Melbourne’s annual night, which returned Wednesday (May 11) at Centrepiece at Melbourne Park for the first physical event since 2019.
MG had “a lifelong passion and made significant contribution to the Australian music and entertainment industries,” comments Committee interim CEO Matt Gaffney.
“Michael’s impact was felt far and wide, with the Australian music scene shaped by his influence. The Committee thanks Michael’s family for accepting his late father’s Melbourne Achiever Award.”
The Committee notes that Gudinski was both an “outstanding individual” and the “most powerful and influential figure in the Australian music industry.”
The latest accolade for Gudinski, who died March 2, 2021, at the age of 68, comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of Mushroom Group, which he built from the ground up and led until his passing.
“Michael lived and breathed all things Melbourne,” reads a statement from his family. “He was a global ambassador for our city and beamed with joy showing it off to many world famous artists and business leaders, hosting them in our great town over the years. He tirelessly fought tooth and nail to ensure Melbourne was seen as the live music capital of Australia and known as one of the great music cities of the world, which it indeed is.”
During the pandemic, MG “ensured our city maintained its music tradition and reserved its vibe. Creating many unique initiatives to ensure Australian artists, iconic Melbourne venues and of course music fans remained positive through the power of music.”
Gudinski’s vibe will live on in his beloved hometown. A life-size statue stands outside of Rod Laver Arena, presented in March, a year after he was remembered with a state memorial at the 15,000-capacity venue.
His “legacy and influence over Melbourne will continue to thrive for generations to come, as will that of Mushroom, a great Melbourne success story,” continues the family statement.
As the company celebrates its 50th year in 2023, Mushroom is “as strong as ever and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure Melbourne retains our position as one of the greatest live music cities of Melbourne.”
Gudinski was one of several recipients on the night who’ve made “significant and sustained contributions” to the city, with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and VCCC Alliance also honored. Guests included Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Committee for Melbourne patron.
Previous winners include the late Elizabeth Murdoch; Ron Walker; National Gallery of Victoria; VicHealth; Melbourne and Olympic Parks; and The Australian Ballet.
Gudinski collected many major awards during his lifetime, including the inaugural ARIA Icon, the Ted Albert Award, Live Performance Australia’s JC Williamson Award, induction into the Hall of Fame at the Music Victoria Awards and, in 2006, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006.
Following his passing, he was named Billboard’s International Power Player of 2021, and ARIA renamed its best breakthrough artist category the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award.
Gudinski’s life and career will be the subject of a documentary, one of a slate of music films made viable by a multi-million-dollar funding package recently announced by Screen Australia.