A Week In The Life Of… Sarah DeBorre

Sarah Deborre WITLO

In the latest instalment of our ‘Week in the Life‘ series we get a taste of what it’s like to be Music Victoria’s Project Manager. Sarah DeBorre is currently flying in the role where she is responsible for managing, overseeing and organising leadership and business coaching programs for the Victorian music sector.

She’s been heavily involved in the Melbourne music community, most notably working and presenting with local community radio station PBS FM for almost 10 years! Since her time at PBS, Deborre has kept up her love for the industry by working in a variety of roles such as Digital Distributor for The Orchard and Project Manager for The Push where she’s run hugely successful industry workshops and mentoring projects.

She’s this week’s ‘Week in the Life Of…’ and we’re so excited to share her story!

A job description in your own words:

At Music Victoria I manage both the Cultivate and Live Music Professionals programs – I’ve conceptualised the program elements, built the programs and then run them from start to finish. That includes recruiting participants, mentors and coaches while organising everything from contractors to arranging masterclasses and multi-day conferences. Cultivate is in its first year and being run as a pilot program in partnership with the Victorian State Government, specifically working with the Office for Women. It’s a leadership mentoring program, while Live Music Professionals is a business coaching program for band bookers, venue owners, venue managers and independent promoters and is another Victorian Government initiative that comes through Creative Victoria via Music Works.

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Depending on the weekend (and how big it was) I’ll usually head to an early morning yoga class, then spend the day working from home. At this time of year I’m building up to my busy time so I try to take as much time out as possible! The doggos also appreciate having mum working from home 🙂


I’ll be in the Music Victoria office, obsessively checking the number of applications that have come in overnight for Live Music Professionals (applications close May 13). This can become quite the daily obsession for me! I’ll then spend the rest of my day getting on top of emails and checking in with my Cultivate participants and mentors.

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Wednesdays I’m religiously at yoga by 7.30am to do a class followed immediately by an hour of assisting the teacher in the next class. I’ve spent the last seven months studying to be a teacher and have two months left! I’m very excited at the prospect of teaching metal yoga classes somewhere soon!

After yoga I’m straight into the Music Vic office and responding to things like this interview while uploading videos about my programs to social media! Any extra time and I’ll be organising events. Right now I’m organising speakers for the launch day of Live Music Professionals while also pulling together a two-day regional conference for Live Music Professionals. You can check out some footage from last year’s conference here.


Once again I’ll get the day started with yoga (yes it’s a massive part of my life) and then I’ll be pulling together event run sheets and content for print programs; I’ll be directing my designer on artwork and continuing to work on my events.


Ummm, you guessed it… yoga gets me started and then I’ll be assessing the applications that are coming in for Live Music Professionals. I like to start reviewing applications early because it gives me a feel for who’s applying and what their needs are. This in turn gets the cogs turning for ideas regarding the sorts of coaches we’ll need in the program. Each year I select the coaches based on the needs of our participants so they generally differ. You can check out last year’s Live Music Professionals coaches here.

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Challenges and accomplishments in your week:

Definitely getting amazing coaches, masterclass hosts and mentors on board to participate in our two programs. I never, in a million years thought I’d get someone as inspiring as Chloe Shorten to talk at an event but she came to the launch of Cultivate last month and blew everyone’s minds! Not to mention some of the amazing coaches in this year’s Cultivate program including Amanda Walker (the co-founder of Lord of Fries) and Sarah Davies (CEO of Philanthropy Australia) along with a bunch of other radical ladies.

Highlights of the week:

Positive feedback from participants in the program. Nothing is more special than hearing that you’ve helped someone or been able to put them in touch with a coach or mentor who is able to assist that person, whether it be with their business skills or their professional development.

Lowlights of the week:

Getting to listen to music all day at work (note the sarcasm). Seriously though, is there such a thing as a lowlight when you work in music with amazing people, getting to help equally amazing people with their businesses and careers? I think not. The only bummer would be if our programs didn’t get refunded.

Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field:

I think what I do is pretty niche… I would say my greatest skill is being able to work with and do my best to understand and empathise with people while being able to listen to them and understand their needs (often when they themselves don’t know what their needs are). If you can figure that out then you’ve got it nailed!

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