The spotlight was turned on Australia’s culturally diverse female artists and music practitioners earlier this month at the Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA).
SSI staff and delegates at the AWMA awards night
In a ground breaking initiative to promote diversity and equality in the Australian music industry, SSI and AWMA joined forces for the second year running to turn the spotlight on culturally diverse female artists and music practitioners.
As part of the partnership, SSI Arts and Culture supported six female artists and music practitioners from diverse backgrounds to attend the 2019 Australian Women in Music Awards in Brisbane. The two-day event included a series of forums, a keynote address, networking opportunities in addition to the awards ceremony, which featured performances by prominent musicians Kween G, Dizzy Doolan and Kathy Noonan.
One of the female artists selected to attend the AWMA awards was Behiye Suren, a passionate singer and songwriter from Turkish/Arap Alevi background. She said she was thrilled to be selected to attend the event.
“As an artist from western Sydney who performs bilingual music with Middle Eastern influences this was a brilliant opportunity to boost my presence as a diverse voice in Australian music,” she said.
The AWMAs coincided with the completion of Behiye’s ‘To Home Seas’ album project, which provided her with the ideal platform to network and promote her upcoming release.
One of the artists to take centre stage and perform for attendees was Armenian-Lebanese jazz composer and artist Zela Margossian, one of six female artists who had the opportunity to attend AWMA with SSI in 2018.
Ms Margossian said she was honoured to perform at this year’s Australian Women in Music Awards.
“I’m so grateful to have been part of such an important women’s music movement and share the stage with so many of Australia’s finest female artists and musicians.”
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis was given the honour of presenting the SSI Diversity in Music Award to talented indigenous pop singer and actress Christine Anu.
Violet described SSI’s involvement with the event as a unique partnership that has created a platform for culturally diverse female artists to receive recognition for the talent and creative perspective they bring to the Australian music industry.