Off the back of celebrating our tenth year, Sounds Australia is delighted to announce two new additions to the team: Leah Flanagan as First Nations Export Producer and Larry Heath as Associate Producer. It heralds an exciting new period of development as we move into our second decade of fast-tracking Australian music success globally.
In December APRA AMCOS announced the appointment of Leah Flanagan as National Manager – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Music Office. Within this role Leah will also become an integral member of the Sounds Australia team as the inaugural First Nations Export Producer.
Leah, an Alyawarre woman and based in Darwin, will provide decision-making, advice, engagement and guidance to Sounds Australia’s export strategy, ensuring cultural protocols and processes in promoting Indigenous artists internationally is practiced. Leah will attend key international showcase conference events such as SXSW, The Great Escape Festival, Folk Alliance International, WOMEX and Mundial, and work with the team to establish a First Nations International Bursary Program.
“I am thrilled to join the Sounds Australia team in a role where I am able to focus my energy towards assisting our First Nations artists feel artistically and culturally in control of the way they present themselves when showcasing to international music markets.” (Leah Flanagan)
“Already the insights and knowledge Leah has contributed is making a difference and with her leadership we look forward to seeing a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcasing and industry practitioners attending international showcase events.” (Millie Millgate, Executive Producer, Sounds Australia)
Larry Heath has had an extensive career supporting Australian artists both at home and abroad, from founding The AU Review in 2008, one of Australia’s most highly regarded independent music and arts websites, to establishing the National Live Music Awards in 2016 and, more recently, acting as A&R Manager for international publisher Music Sales.
He’s also no stranger to working alongside Sounds Australia at international events:
- From 2011 to 2013, Sounds Australia co-presented the Jet Lag Sessions at CMJ in partnership with The AU Review. The Sessions provided a late night performance opportunity on New York’s Lower East Side for Australian artists, including Big Scary and Sheppard.
- He has regularly covered THE AUSSIE BBQ over the last decade, filming content and setting up press interviews for the Australian artists at numerous international showcase events including SXSW, Canadian Music Week, Music Matters, The Great Escape and Reeperbahn Festival.
- Larry has participated in a number of our international trade activities, including the first OZ Fest India Trade Mission in 2012 and the CIMA Australian delegation to the ECMAs on Prince Edward Island in 2019.
- At SXSW in 2019, The AU Review / Hello Asia presented an Official Showcase at Australia House featuring DYGL (Japan), Drinking Boys & Girls Choir (South Korea), Geowulf, I Know Leopard, San Mei and Stereogirl (Japan).
“To be joining a team who I – and the rest of the industry – hold in such high esteem… I can only say I’m truly humbled. I’m excited to be joining at a time when Australian music has never been more prominent on the world stage. And there’s no coincidence that it comes at the end of years of hard work from Sounds Australia. I’m thrilled to help push that work forward, providing opportunities for the next generation of musicians and industry, just as they have done for my career over the last decade.” (Larry Heath)
“Larry’s passion and belief in Australian music is unwavering and his international networks are as diverse as they are extensive. After many years of working alongside and watching Larry in action we are tickled pink to be welcoming him to the Sounds Australia team.” (Millie Millgate)
Leah and Larry will both commence their roles with Sounds Australia next week in New Orleans at the Indigenous Music Summit and Folk Alliance International respectively.
Sounds Australia continues to expand and build global opportunities for Australian artists and music businesses thanks to the financial commitment from founding partners the Australian Council of the Arts and APRA AMCOS, along with increased investment from the Australian Government, ARIA, the PPCA, Create NSW and the South Australian Department for Innovation and Skills.
Larry Heath Photo Credit: Bree Gaudette