Raising Their Voices: National Music Industry Review Released


The National Music Industry Review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the Australian contemporary music industry has been released.

Raising Their Voices‘ highlights the positive aspects of the contemporary music industry, and details the systemic risks and challenges that allow harm and unacceptable behaviour to continue. The report outlines 17 recommendations for change to ensure that the Australian contemporary music industry is one where all those engaged within it can be safe, respected and included, and ultimately thrive. Actioning the review’s recommendations is also part of Music Victoria’s white paperPriorities for the Victorian Music Industry‘ released this week.

More than 1,600 people from across the contemporary music industry contributed to the review, giving those in the industry and victim survivors an opportunity to have a voice, share their experiences and provide suggestions for change.

The Review, commissioned by the Australian contemporary music industry, found high rates of sexual harassment, sexual harm and bullying and calls for an industry-wide approach to prevent and respond to the findings.

It found that women do not thrive to the same extent as men, and young people and people of diverse backgrounds can be at particular risk of harm and poor employment practices.

The Review revealed a strong appetite for widespread and sustainable cultural change across the industry and a strong desire for leaders and those with influence to drive this change.

It also showed that people working in the industry have an overwhelming passion for music and a deep commitment to working in the industry as well as a strong belief in the creativity, uniqueness and profitability of the Australian music industry.

Some findings of the review:

  • Of those surveyed, 55% have experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment and sexual harm in their career. This includes 72% of women surveyed and 39% of men surveyed.
  • In the past five years, 33% of those surveyed said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.
  • 74% of perpetrators of sexual harassment were men, and 25% were women.
  • Sexual harassment occurred mostly at music venues (45%) followed by the office (21%) or a work-related event (17%).
  • Bullying was experienced by 76% of survey participants at some point in their career in the industry.
  • Women were more likely to be bullied than men. In the past 5 years, 81% of women surveyed were bullied, compared with 67% of men surveyed.
  • The perpetrator of bullying was more likely to be a man (67%) than a woman (28%).

The impacts of these harmful behaviours for victim survivors can be severe and long-term with many in the industry who experienced or witnessed harm fearing for their careers and future opportunities, as well as the impact on their mental and physical wellbeing should they speak up.

Formal reporting is low with only 3% of survey participants making a formal report for sexual harassment and 6% for bullying in the past five years. The perceived lack of accountability for perpetrators was cited as a major barrier to reporting misconduct.

The findings of the Review and a full list of recommendations can be found in the report at musicindustryreview.com.au

We encourage you to consider what support and care might be needed for you and those around you after reading the report. It is good practice to seek consent before discussing the report with your peers.

If the report causes you distress, we encourage you to contact one of the following services:

Support Act Helpline / 1800 959 500 (Sexual Health and Safety Support Line – Option 5 on the Helpline)
Partners in Wellbeing Helpline / 1300 375 330
1800RESPECT / 1800 737 732
Lifeline Hotline / 13 11 14 or text their helpline on 0477 13 11 14
SANE / 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service / 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue (First Nations specific supports available) / 1300 224 636
Q Life – LGBTIQ+ support / 1800 184 527
Blueknot / 1300 657 380