Over the last decade, Dale Packard has constructed a prodigious body of work having dedicated himself to various roles within the creative industries. He’s not afraid to take risks and has spent a fair share of his time travelling around the world supporting some of Australia’s most successful bands as a musician, sound engineer and even found himself as the leading tour manager for Penny Drop for a period of 8 years!
His long time role as Manager for Regional Arts Victoria also has him well poised for his current position as General Manager of Music Victoria, which he was appointed in February. As a current father Dale has also combined his love for kids and the music industry by solely directing his own development project the Club Kids Music Academy. It has become a platform for young children to experiment with electronic music and technology in an educational and creative space.
Packard is a genuinely inspiring industry leader and we’re very humbled to be able to introduce him as the latest edition in our ‘Week in the Life‘ series!
A Job Description In Your Own Words:
I am the General Manager at Music Victoria. I’m relatively new to the organisation and before this role I was in the programming department at Regional Arts Victoria.
Music Victoria is an independent voice of the Victorian music industry. They look after the interests and voices of musicians, music professionals, venues and music lovers. My role is basically to keep the operations of the organisation on track, look after the finances, oversee projects, ensure staff are well supported and to make sure Victorian music has a loud and strong voice politically.
Currently working in the music industry but feel like you need some help? Check out our dedicated course on Advice for Emerging Artists and Industry Workers
Everything changes week to week depending on the projects we have on but I’ll go through last week to give an idea of the tasks. Today we had a couple of interviews for the Memberships and Professional Development role. It’s great to meet people from the industry who are looking for work. Hopefully we’ll find a great candidate for the role, but if not it’s always good to connect with people and find out what they’re up to and if there’s any way we can help each other and work together. Monday is also finances day, woo! I get a report from our accountant with all the income and expenses from the week before and go through them to make sure everything is coded correctly and approved. Not the most exciting time but very important.
Today we had our team meeting. All the staff get together and give updates on the projects they’re working on. We strategise about the weeks ahead, share highlights and try to work together on problems. They’re super important to get everyone on the same page. I also had a meeting for the upcoming music industry conference CHANGES which Music Victoria are a partner on. It’s coming up in July 2019 and will be a great event with progressive thinking about the future of the contemporary music industry.
If your interested in checking out more upcoming events like CHANGES – click here to see our full events calendar.
We had a lot on but today I put my attention towards our membership program. We offer a range of benefits for our members but always looking for ways to further support and better represent the people and organisations we work with. For music professionals we offer training, support, professional development and then opportunity to grow careers within the music industry. For music lovers we make sure they have the best experience possible – we lobby for inclusiveness, diversity, access safety for all music fans. For venues we help them stay open and thrive. We work with their local community and councils to ensure they get a fair go and offer professional development, advice, support and representation. For Councils we offer advice and resources like the Live Music Toolkit and Live Music Action Plan and advise and support then on their strategies.
Today I had a meeting about the new Collingwood Arts Precinct which in 2020 will be the new offices for Music Victoria, the VMDO, PBS and a range of other arts organisations. Located on the site of the former Collingwood TAFE, the precinct will be a world-class destination for arts lovers, a meeting place for local community and a home for artists, arts organisations and creative industries. It’s very exciting to be part of it.
Music Victoria is only one of many organisations dedicated to promoting and cultivating Australian Music. Our course on Music Organisations and Events You Should Know About goes in depth on the scene.
After getting back to about half a million emails and helping various members with issues they’re facing we had a meeting about The Age Music Victoria Awards. It’s an incredibly exciting event we hold in partnership with The Age each year that celebrates the best of Victorian music. The awards are growing and growing and last year we held it at the Melbourne Recital Centre with some exciting winners in Baker Boy and Courtney Barnett. We’re working towards making it even better in 2019! The meeting was mainly around streamlining the voting process and looking at the budget.
Highlights of the Week:
A great accomplishment was probably submitting an acquittal for funding received from The Australia Council for the Arts. It might sound dull but going back over 3 years of advocacy, projects, workshops, events and festivals is a great feeling. It’s exciting to see everything the organisation has achieved!
In general, a highlight of the job is just being able to work in an exciting and dynamic industry where people genuinely support each other. Not to say it’s without it’s issues, but on the whole I think the music industry is a caring and supportive place.
Lowlights of the week:
The main challenges are really around communication. In addition to making sure all the staff know what’s going on we also need to communicate to our members and report to the Music Victoria board, Creative Victoria, APRA AMCO, The Push, The Office for Women, The Australia Council for the Arts and various other stakeholders. It’s great to be working with so many partners but it certainly comes with it’s challenges.
Mental health is such a hot topic at the moment, especially in the music industry – feel free to check out our latest discussion here.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field:
Jobs in the music industry are relatively rare. Most of the jobs I’ve got have been more or less self-generated. For instance, I started as a sound engineer and basically got work by going to gigs and standing next to the mixing desk and asking bands if I could do their sound. I had no idea what I was doing but I wasn’t afraid to take the risk. I think that applies to the music industry more generally too. Find something you’d like to do and surround yourself with people who are doing it and see how you can help and be involved. Before you know it you’ll probably have a job!
In regards to Music Victoria specifically, it’s good to get some experience working with another peak body or an organisation that works with local, state and federal government. I feel my experience at Regional Arts Victoria set me up well for a transition to Music Victoria.
If you enjoyed reading Dale’s amazing response you can check out our other ‘Week in the Life’ features here.