Meet the mentees: Mentorships for Women in Music announces participants

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019

In the second year of the Mentorships for Women in Music program, there was once again an incredible response from songwriters and composers from a range of genres, disciplines, and career stages who applied for the opportunity. It was a considerable – and inspiring – task to review an applicant pool comprised of so many women creating music in myriad ways and on their own terms.

The APRA AMCOS members making up this year’s class of mentees all have a different musical story to tell but each impressed with their accomplishments, professional objectives, and reasons for seeking a mentor. Without further ado, please meet the mentees who will be working with industry professionals across a range of genres and areas of focus.

Mentorship Mentee Genre/Focus Mentor
Pop/Contemporary Annie Hamilton Indie Rock Rach Comerford
Pop/Contemporary Asha Jeffries Singer-Songwriter Hannah Crofts
Pop/Contemporary Lauren Coutts (Azura) Pop Sam Sakr
Pop/Contemporary Eliza Hull Folk Tania Doko
Pop/Contemporary LÂLKA Electro Pop/Hip-Hop Sally Coleman (Elefant Traks)
Pop/Contemporary Mel Tickle (Holiday Party) Electronic KLP
Pop/Contemporary Tullara Blues & Roots Buzz Bidstrup
Unified Cassandra George (Aetherial) Heavy music Sarah McMillan (Unified)
Australian Guild of Screen Composers Fiona Hill Film Composition Elliott Wheeler
Australian Guild of Screen Composers Kristin Rule Film Composition Elliott Wheeler
Jay Stewart Luna Pan TV Composition Jay Stewart

The nation-wide genre-based mentorships take place over a three-month period, with the goal of helping and encouraging the mentees with a current project. Mentees do receive some financial support over that time. 

Producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Sam Sakr spoke about mentoring Lauren Coutts, who performs as dreamy pop project Azura and is currently working on her second EP. 

Annie Hamilton - The music industry can be very difficult to navigate - in an industry built around something as subjective as music there is very rarely a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do things - so having the guidance of someone as experienced as Rach Comerford is incredibly important to me.

"My role as a mentor is to encourage expression, to help a creative grow their relationship with inspiration and to always be authentic and honest. This industry can quickly overwhelm you and push into corners. So I think it’s important to always have someone, or a community, to push you back in and keep you at the beautiful pursuit of art and quiet the noise."

Sam added, "I can’t wait to work with Lauren, she has a keen ambition for production and storytelling with both lyrics and the sonic soundscape and I am looking forward to helping her push her boundaries and build her skills so she can effortlessly bring her listeners into the world Lauren wishes to paint with her music." 

Cassandra George - Aetherial - As a self-managed artist, I have learnt so much independently from many years of involvement in the music industry, however there is only so much you can achieve without some professional guidance and help.

The Mentorships for Women in WA Musiccoordinated by Senior Writer Services Rep Tenille Elkins, are run over a slightly longer period and are designed to support mentees as they embark on their first major project. The program expanded to Broome this year, with Tanya Ransom as mentor.

Women in WA Music Mentees Region Mentor
Cecilia Brandolini Perth Tenille Elkins
Johanna Grace (Good Grace) Perth Tenille Elkins
Ashleigh Eades (Ornella) Perth Tenille Elkins
Jasmine Campbell (SOL.Jaz) Perth Tenille Elkins
Adele Oliver Broome Tanya Ransom
Monique Le Lievre Broome Tanya Ransom

Milly Petriella, APRA AMCOS Director Member Relations,
 said, "The aim of the mentoring program is to provide meaningful assistance at a pivotal time in a career, when  a songwriter or composer needs a sounding board both in terms of creative direction and business decisions. APRA AMCOS congratulates the members who have been selected, and we're grateful to the mentors for their enthusiasm to be involved. And, thank you to all the members who applied and gave us incredible insight into your creativity and the hard work that you do."

Adele Oliver - Having this opportunity will give me the little push that I need to get things moving whilst also having someone there who I can ask on for help and guidance.

Tenille said, “The aim of the mentorships to women in both the Perth and Broome is to provide advice, networks, feedback, support and encouragement to songwriters about to launch their first major project to an audience.”

The impetus to the mentoring program came from the 2017 research that identified the pathways and barriers for women working in music. This has led to our commitment to provide support to members through the development of programs to effect immediate and sustainable gender participation and equitable financial success for women songwriter and composers. The mentorship program is a key component of our commitment, which has also included the EQUALIZE music production workshops and the Professional Development Series for Women, featuring Viv Fantin.

Monique Le Lievre - Having a mentor at this stage in my career as I move the focus from covers to original music is so important because there’s so much to learn about various’s going to be great to have a guiding light to keep me moving forward and for accountability check-ins.

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