Earlier in the month, Collarts Entertainment Journalism students Lauren Barrey and Kate Streader travelled to Brisbane as Social Media interns for the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA). An inspiring experience working hands-on in the industry, the duo worked closely with Collarts’ Head of Entertainment Journalism and AWMA Co-Producer, Tracee Hutchison, to produce professional content.
"It was an incredible, touching experience we won't forget," Lauren and Kate shared, recapping their experience over email. "Yuggera elder, Gaja Kerry Charlton, lead a powerful Welcome To Country which saw attendees joining together in song and dance. Over the following two days, the feeling of community strengthened across a series of panels, touching on topics such as cultural heritage, First Nations artists, the ways women are utilising digital spaces and the programs being put in place to foster female talent in the music industry."
"Amongst all the conversations, there was a keynote by Kate Cebrano, along with a screening of the incredible documentary Her Sound, Her Story; and, of course, the Australian Women In Music Awards ceremony." Reflecting on their time in Brisbane, the duo explained their role and its dexterity in full.
"Standing in solidarity with women from all walks of life and hearing their incredible stories reiterated the need for an initiative such as AWMA. Women thrive when we lift each other up, and with this strength, they become an unstoppable force."
"Lauren’s role across the two days was to run the AWMA Twitter account, keeping audiences engaged with what was happening at each forum and keynote, as well as live tweeting the AWMA award winners as they were announced. Kate's role was to manage the AWMA Facebook and Instagram accounts, which involved taking photographs of key moments across the two days and ensuring there was consistent coverage of each event. At the award ceremony, Kate conducted video interviews with guests and winners, in order to get to the heart of what AWMA means to those it represents."
"... The skills we learnt on the ground working at AWMA were invaluable. Journalism is a truly unique industry in that the stories a journalist tells can be profoundly life-changing, for both the audience and the journalist, and AWMA was a terrific example of this."
As Kate and Lauren continue, it's clear AMWA isn't just an award ceremony but an initiative to serve as a catalyst for cultural change. "Standing in solidarity with women from all walks of life and hearing their incredible stories reiterated the need for an initiative such as AWMA. Women thrive when we lift each other up, and with this strength, they become an unstoppable force. While it was disappointing to learn of the extent of sexism within the music industry, seeing women braving the oppression caused by their gender, age and skin colour and succeeding—no matter the size of their victories—was utterly uplifting."
"It was truly inspiring seeing women receive recognition for their work and witnessing the vision of Vicki Gordon and Tracee Hutchison come to life so beautifully," they noted. "Equally, the skills we learned on the ground working at AWMA were invaluable. Journalism is a truly unique industry in that the stories a journalist tells can be profoundly life-changing, for both the audience and the journalist, and AWMA was a terrific example of this."
Words by Lauren Barrey and Kate Streader. Edited for length and clarity.
Are you passionate about being learning first-hand from industry experts in your studies? Find out more about Entertainment Journalism and what it offers that sets it apart from non-specific journalism courses here. Intake for 2019 is happening now.