The Brag Media
News February 14, 2023

Support Act Expands First Nations Team, Unveils Promotions and Hires In ‘Busy Time’

Support Act Expands First Nations Team, Unveils Promotions and Hires In ‘Busy Time’

Support Act is building-out its First Nations community engagement team and rewarding several key staff with promotions.

Joining the music industry charity’s dedicated First Nations team is William Oui, a proud Meriam man from Zenadth Kes (the Torres Strait Islands) with strong connections to the Samsep peoples from Erub (Darnley Island).

William Oui

Oui, the charity’s new First Nations community engagement/case worker is based in Kombumerri/Gold Coast, and brings 14 years’ experience in support work for non-profit community organisations and government agencies.

Meanwhile, Cooper-Lily Nikora rises to the role of First Nations administrative assistant.

Described as a “loud and proud” Tūhoe woman from Aotearoa/New Zealand, living on Wurundjeri Country in Naarm/Melbourne, Nikora has worked as a music publicist and artist manager for the past nine years, specifically with First Nations people.

Nikora’s promotion is some two years after she joined Support Act as a volunteer, in 2021.

Cooper-Lily Nikora

Oui and Nikora join Cerisa Benjamin, a proud Warlpiri, Gurindji and Jawoyn woman, based in Naarm/Melbourne, who is elevated to First Nations programs lead.

In welcoming Oui and Nikora to the team, Benjamin says that Support Act’s expansive efforts will “better serve First Nations music workers through crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing support,” and thanks Hi-Fi through their Helping Hands workplace giving program, noting “it is their support that has made this possible.”

Cerisa Benjamin

The changes continue in the crisis relief team, as Anne Jacobs rises to national programs manager, overseeing the crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing, and First Nations teams.

Also, Angela Doolan is promoted to crisis relief team leader; Tim Coutts-Smith is confirmed to the role as crisis relief social worker; and Jim Lawrie is named crisis relief administrative support.

In fundraising, Bec Shand is elevated to partnerships manager – fundraising; Mel Morris switches to the post of community fundraising and engagement associate; and Katja Krstic is promoted to programs and communications coordinator. 

Bec Shand

“We have been very lucky to work with some wonderful people over the past few years of the pandemic, and are delighted that we have been able to largely promote from within to fill some current vacancies,” notes Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act.

It’s a “busy time” at Support Act as “we navigate the changing landscape and position ourselves to best help our industry to provide crisis relief where needed, and to create a more mentally healthy industry with a particular focus on cultural change, psychological safety, equity and inclusion.”

The latest round of promotions and hires follows a vote of confidence — and pledge for financial support — from the federal government.

In its recently published Revive document, a years-long roadmap for the music community, Canberra promises to provide funding for Support Act through the Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces, to provide mental health support to the music sector.

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