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News July 13, 2021

Natalie Waller elected ARIA chair to replace Denis Handlin

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Natalie Waller elected ARIA chair to replace Denis Handlin

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has a new board leader, with the industry body announcing Natalie Waller as its chair.

The two-year term is effective immediately.

Waller currently heads up ABC Music & Events and has been with the national broadcaster for over 20 years.

She has been on the ARIA board since February 2019.

She replaces former Sony Music Australia CEO Denis Handlin as chair of the organisation.

Handlin was ousted from Sony last month amid a global investigation into the local outfit’s culture. While there were no specific allegations against Handlin made public at the time, ARIA said his ousting from Sony meant it was no longer appropriate for him to lead the association’s board.

“Denis Handlin is on the ARIA board as a representative of Sony Music. As he no longer works at Sony Music, he can no longer be on the ARIA board,” an ARIA spokesperson told TMN on the day of his exit from Sony.

ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said today that she was thrilled to welcome Waller to the position.

“During her time on the board, [Waller] has demonstrated an incredible knowledge of the scope and diversity of the Australian music landscape. We are thoroughly looking forward to the next two years and continuing our mission to communicate the true economic and cultural value of our amazing recording industry,” Herd said.

Waller said it was an absolute honour to be elected as ARIA’s new chair.

“At this time of change and challenge for the Australian music industry, I’m determined to give my all to continuing ARIA’s mission of championing our fantastic artists and industry. I’m thoroughly excited to get to work with the board, Annabelle and the ARIA team,” she said.

The members of the ARIA Board are:

  • Dan Rosen, president, Warner Music Australia
  • David Vodicka, managing director, Rubber Group of Companies
  • George Ash, managing director, Universal Music Australia
  • Gordon Pitt, vice president, legal and business affairs, Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand
  • Karen Don, senior vice president, legal and business affairs, Universal Music Australia
  • Libby Blakey, business affairs director, Warner Music Australia
  • Natalie Waller (chair), head of ABC Music & Events
  • Sebastian Chase, founder, MGM Distribution
  • Sophie McArthur, vice president, partner development and streaming strategy, Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand

Sony Music Entertainment Australia’s senior director of audience development and digital communications, Sophie Paterson, acts as the ARIA board’s observer.


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