INDIGENOUS University of Newcastle students will have the opportunity to serve music industry internships under a new scholarship aimed at creating greater diversity.
BMG will offer two scholarships to Aboriginal Newcastle uni students each year from 2021 to 2023. The Creative Industries scholarship is worth $15,000 and will provide the successful applicant with the opportunity to build contacts with streaming companies like Spotify and Apple, attend video and photo shoots and oversee collaborative songwriting and recording sessions.
The law scholarship is valued at $8000 and involves working in BMG's legal department learning about intellectual property and contracts.
Newcastle-bred BMG managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Heath Johns, is an alumni of the university and believes there's a lack of Indigenous voices at an executive level in the music industry.
Currently BMG have no Indigenous people on staff and Johns hopes this scholarship will create lasting change.
"There's an increasing representation [of Indigenous people] - while there could be more - on the artists' side," Johns said. "Our view was there was a distinct lack of Indigenous decision-makers on the industry side.
"Given what our path and our platform is, we felt we could play a key role in changing that. Our hope is this becomes a template that other companies in the industry, whether their partners or competitors, can adapt and start to use this to create some meaningful change in the industry."
Through Johns' leadership and connections with Newcastle University's head of Creative Industries, Paul Egglestone, BMG has developed strong links with the tertiary institution. BMG bands The Living End and Dune Rats have had animated music videos produced by Newcastle students and Hockey Dad recently recorded with Newcastle Conservatorium students in the uni's new studio.
Johns says Newcastle uni was the perfect partner for the new scholarship because it boasts the highest full-time Indigenous student population in Australia.