Sounds Australia expands team with Leah Flanagan & Larry Heath
Sounds Australia enters its second decade of setting up Australian music’s presence around the world by introducing two new hires.
Alyawarre woman Flanagan, who in December 2019 started as national manager of APRA AMCOS’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Music Office, will with Sounds Australia ensure its export strategy practises cultural protocols and processes in promoting Indigenous.
She will attend key international showcase conference events such as SXSW, The Great Escape Festival, Folk Alliance International, WOMEX and Mundial, and work with the team to establish a First Nations international bursary program.
She said, “I am thrilled to join the Sounds Australia team in a role where I am able to focus my energy towards assisting our First Nations artists feel artistically and culturally in control of the way they present themselves when showcasing to international music markets.”
Millie Millgate, Sounds Australia’s executive producer pointed out, “Already the insights and knowledge Leah has contributed is making a difference.
“With her leadership, we look forward to seeing a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcasing and industry practitioners attending international showcase events.”
Heath also founded arts and music websites The AU Review in 2008 and acts as A&R manager at publisher Music Sales.
He’s worked closely with the Sounds Australia team over the years.
From 2011 to 2013, they co-presented the Jet Lag Sessions at the CMJ conference in New York, putting on late night showcases at Lower East Side for domestic acts as Big Scary and Sheppard.
He set up media opportunities at trade events around the world, as well as being part of trade missions to India (2012) and the ECMAs on Prince Edward Island in Canada in 2019.
Heath commented, “To be joining a team who I – and the rest of the industry – hold in such high esteem… I can only say I’m truly humbled.
“I’m excited to be joining at a time when Australian music has never been more prominent on the world stage.
“There’s no coincidence that it comes at the end of years of hard work from Sounds Australia.
“I’m thrilled to help push that work forward, providing opportunities for the next generation of musicians and industry, just as they have done for my career over the last decade.”
Millgate added, “Larry’s passion and belief in Australian music is unwavering and his international networks are as diverse as they are extensive.
“After many years of working alongside and watching Larry in action we are tickled pink to be welcoming him to the Sounds Australia team.”
Flanagan and Heath have begun their new roles in New Orleans this week, at the Indigenous Music Summit (January 21—26) and Folk Alliance International (January 22—26) respectively.