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Growing Community Music: Outer Western Melbourne

We are excited to introduce Carla Bruce-Lee as the Local Catalyst Outer Western Melbourne (OWM). 

The Local Catalyst (OWM) will help local community music leaders reactivate their groups and start new ones. This includes establishing a volunteer Local Action Team, who will assist identifying priorities and establishing the broader regional community music network. With guidance and support from CMVic’s GCM Implementation Group (consisting of the Program Manager, General Manager, and a CMVic Board member) and the Local Action Team, the Local Catalyst will administer and support the development of training that matches the needs of local leaders; for example, working with diverse ability groups, using technology effectively, and navigating COVID guidelines at rehearsals and events.

The GCM2 Outer Western Melbourne Project is the second iteration of Community Music Victoria’s (CMVic’s) Growing Community Music 2 (GCM2) Project. During 2018/19 CMVic undertook a major survey with local community groups across Victoria with a view to understanding better the actions that would lead to an increase in community music access and activity. This project was called Growing Community Music (GCM), and the GCM Outcomes – Summary Report July 2020 include the following recommendations:

  • Establish and support Regional Networks that invigorate community music activity in the regions.
  • Appoint paid Regional Catalysts to coordinate activities in each region.
  • Develop local partnerships in order to secure seed funding for new types of community music groups to be formed.
  • Establish a team of ‘facilitators’ who can support locally based leadership programs and tailored mentoring.
  • Appoint an artistic program coordinator who will support the newly formed regional networks.
  • Undertake a series of projects to meet the diverse music making needs of minorities within our community, including partnership building with representative organisations, inter-arts activities, and encouraging groups to develop their own music.
  • Develop leadership skills programs that embrace inter-arts approaches leading to increased inclusion within diverse communities.
  • Advocate more strongly for community music making within relevant local government bodies.

In line with recommendation E, CMVic has already appointed an artistic program coordinator, Nicki Johnson. Funding has also now been secured from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, with the stipulation that it will match funding acquired from other sources.

The second phase of GCM (GCM2) aims to implement projects that stimulate a big upswing in community music engagement by establishing Local Action Teams of community music advocates, networkers, leaders and participants in three regions of Victoria. Through these Local Action Teams CMVic aims to:

  • form new partnerships with other organisations, 
  • establish new leadership skills programs with tailored mentoring, 
  • seed new groups
  • create new events including cross arts events
  • form and strengthen networks across locations, genres and art forms, 
  • explore self-sustaining funding opportunities
  • include diverse sections of our community. 

The Local Action Teams will be guided by the ‘Growing Community Music’ research reports and each region will undertake at least one of the ‘Diversity’ projects listed in the GCM Final Report.

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