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Photo credit: Aaron Hawkins at Hawkeye Photography

Growing Community Music (GCM) aims to increase participation in community music across Victoria, so that diverse communities can experience the social and health benefits – inlcuding the creativity, joy and meaningful connection – that arise from making music together.

GCM Stage 1 – consultation and research

GCM Stage One, funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, explored how a large-scale program could be devised to increase the number of Victorian community music leaders and support existing leaders, in many different settings, including training programs, mentoring, and resourcing. To this end, Project Managers Jane Coker and Lyndal Chambers conducted community consultations in nine locations around the state, consulted a wide range of community music makers, and researched how community music leadership is taught in different countries.

Learn more about the findings of this intensive research and conusltation process here: GCM Outcomes - Summary Report July 2020 and GCM Outcomes - Full Report July 2020

Key findings from Stage 1 include:

  • Regional networking across different groups and models of community music making is valued and important (mutual support, human resources, new ideas/extensions). People valued getting together in their region and being recognised/ validated at a state level – being part of a movement.
  • Some sort of local paid co-ordinator(s) with links to state and local government and other agencies would help to grow community music - we can't just rely on volunteers.
  • Tailored mentoring and targeted leadership skill development (combined with networking) would be valuable in all areas consulted.
  • Local Inclusive Arts events grow local identity.

GCM Stage 2 – pilot in three regions

GCM Stage Two, delivered with matching funding provided by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, is implementing projects that stimulate a big upswing in community music engagement by establishing Local Action Teams of community music advocates, networkers, leaders and participants in Mildura, Sunraysia, Mallee (MSM), Outer Western Melbourne (OWM) and Far East Gippsland (FEG). 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 and create new events including cross arts events
  • form and strengthen networks across locations, genres and art forms
  • explore and advocate for self-sustaining funding opportunities
  • include diverse sections of our community

In mid-2021, matched funds of $25.5k were secured from the DSS (NDIS Social and Community Participation Stream Grant), enabling activity to start in the Mildura/Sunraysia/Mallee region in November 2021. A $30,000 donation secured via Perpetual and a number of smaller local grants has allowed us to commence in Outer Western Melbourne in November 2022. The Far East Gipplsland project will commence in 2023 and will be scaled according to grants secured.