Minister for Youth Affairs Ryan Smith today announced a new mentoring and skill development program will be established for young people looking to pursue a career in the music industry through the FReeZA Support Service managed by The Push.
Visiting The Push today Mr Smith announced $1.48 million in funding for up to 30 young people each year for four years would provide the opportunity to participate in one-on-one mentoring with a music industry professional, advanced industry training, opportunities to stage music events and participate in a recording project.
"The new FReeZA mentoring program will give young people a unique behind-the-scenes opportunity to work with industry experts and develop a range of practical skills towards their chosen career in music, arts and entertainment," Mr Smith said.
"Participants will also develop industry-standard press kits, folios and CVs as well as receive internships at high profile industry events and festivals," Mr Smith said.
The FReeZA Support Service delivers a range of services for young people participating in the popular FReeZA program from practical event management training and expert industry advice, to support for young bands participating in the FReeZA Battle of the Bands competition.
Executive Officer of The Push Peter Chellew said the hundreds of diverse events run by young people in their own communities across Victoria each year were what made FReeZA a unique and exciting program.
"Young people participating in the broader FReeZA Support Service activities will develop industry knowledge and skills that will enable them to explore career pathways within the music industry," Mr Chellew said.
"The FReeZA mentoring program will provide a new pathway into the music industry for young people. Participants will be personally mentored by talented Victorian artists and creative professionals and hone their skills through a range of practical, creative projects and master-classes."
The funding for FReeZA Support Service supports the Victorian Coalition Government's vision for young people as outlined in its youth Statement, 'Engage, Involve, Create'.
"Young people are the drivers of Victoria's music scene. It is important through programs such as FReeZA, the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge, SYN and the Be Heard! community radio program, we support young people to develop skills, build confidence and showcase their talents," Mr Smith said.
The grants announcement follows the recent establishment of the Victorian Coalition Government's live music industry roundtable, a dedicated forum that brings together music industry representatives, venue licensees, government representatives and Victoria Police to ensure that issues affecting the live music sector can be addressed quickly.