BMG Launches Scholarship Program For Indigenous Students In Australia
BMG has launched an Indigenous scholarship program in Australia. In partnership with the University of Newcastle, the music company seeks to support Indigenous students to improve their career opportunities in the creative industries. The partnership complements BMG’s ongoing and announced global commitments to promote diversity and inclusion and combat racial inequality.
As part of its efforts to boost the career and advancement opportunities of Indigenous peoples in the Australian creative industries, BMG has launched a scholarship program that focuses on this population group, which is underserved in many respects. In partnership with the School of Creative Industries of the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle, starting next year two students a year will receive financial and practical support, initially for a three-year period. Applications are now open. BMG has already collaborated with the School of Creative Industries on several creative projects. Its partnership with the university in the port city located about 160 kilometers north of Sydney complements BMG’s ongoing global commitments to promote diversity and inclusion and combat racial inequality, as well as the upcoming efforts announced by BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. These include Black History Month celebrations in the U.K., the commemoration of Juneteenth in the U.S., the release of the EP “Choose Love,” which was produced with Holocaust survivor Ben Lesser during a BMG Soundlab songwriting camp, the youth fellowship program in Nashville with Southern Word, the Global Classroom in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), and BMG’s partnership with Eric Garcetti’s newly launched project L.A. College Promise Works.
Scholarship recipients will have all accommodation expenses covered and also receive a lump sum scholarship payment once they begin their practical internship at the newly opened BMG headquarters in Sydney. The HQ is located in the Surry Hills neighborhood, which, historically speaking, is on the lands of the Gadigal clan of the Aboriginal Eora nation. The BMG offices are equipped with a full-service recording studio and self-contained production facilities where scholarship holders can also meet with well-known music industry artists and experts.
‘Tremendous outcomes for Indigenous students’
Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG in Australia and New Zealand and alumnus of the University of Newcastle, says there is an urgent need for more diversity and inclusion in the music industry. Nor is the continent’s Indigenous population – Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders – adequately represented in leadership positions, he says. “BMG wants to help drive that change and close the gap in the music industry, and that begins by BMG taking an active lead in inspiring a new generation of First Nations music executives,” says Johns. “We are excited to offer these scholarships and actively mentor young Indigenous students through every stage of the modern music business.” The support will continue after their internship, as a kind of “life-long mentoring,” he adds. “We will open doors with other industry partners and work with these students to build future employment opportunities either at BMG or elsewhere in the industry.”
Professor Paul Egglestone, Head of the School of Creative Industries, emphasizes that the partnership with BMG offers a great opportunity to directly support Indigenous students. “By expanding our partnership with BMG, together we can play a meaningful role in providing opportunity for Indigenous students who have a passion for the creative industries, and ultimately improve employment outcomes for Indigenous peoples,” says Egglestone.