Starting Ground music workshop returns to Northern Rivers region

Byron Bay

2 Sep 2019




Starting Ground music workshop returns to Northern Rivers region

2 Sep 2019

A free two-day program with mentors including artists Sue Ray, Ziggy Ramo and Kaylah Truth


(L-R) Sue Ray, Ziggy Ramo, Kaylah Truth will mentor musicians at Starting Ground.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriters and music makers of all skill levels and career stages are invited to attend Starting Ground, a free-two day music workshop taking place 19-20 September at the SAE Creative Media Institute Byron Bay campus. 

APRA AMCOS and SAE Byron Bay, in partnership with Create NSW, are presenting the workshop together for the third time since 2016. Starting Ground is for anyone looking to gain knowledge about the creative and business aspects of being a songwriter and/or musician.

Sessions run 9am-5pm each day, with participants having access to the state-of-the-art recording studios, equipment and facilities at SAE Byron Bay.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sue Ray returns as a mentor to Starting Ground and will be joined by rising songwriter/hip-hop artists Kaylah Truth and Ziggy Ramo to guide participants on song craft and career paths.

Ramo said, "It's a privilege to be a mentor at Starting Ground. Our voices need to be heard so an initiative that helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians develop their artistry and career plan is so important.

"Knowledge should be available to us all. Supporting each other in the studio is supporting our community."

In music industry mentoring roles will be BIGSOUND's First Nations Producer and Artistic Director for Digi Youth Arts Alethea Beetson, SGC Music Group publicist Nick Price, and producer/engineer Yanto Browning of Brisbane's Airlock Studios.

Ray said, "The Starting Ground workshops are a fantastic way to bring music and culture together in an immersive and joyful way. All participants are able to bring something special and learn and share in a safe and supportive space, ending with the creation of music that everybody was able to contribute to and be proud of.

"I had an incredible time working with and learning from the participants and can’t wait to do it again."

General Manager of SAE Australasia Lee Aitken says events such as the Starting Ground workshop are important to the creative ecosystem of the Northern Rivers region.

"SAE is proud to support such a respected program as Starting Ground here in Byron Bay and we are looking forward to hosting the very accomplished mentors and talented participants on campus," said Aitken.

APRA AMCOS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Representative Donna Woods will facilitate the sessions, which will include sessions on on publicity, marketing, management, copyright and more.

Established in 2015 with support from the New South Wales Government, the Starting Ground project was created to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians build their skills, promote their work, develop career pathways and access mainstream music markets.

Following the success of the NSW-based program, the first Starting Ground to take place outside of of the state was held in Kalgoorlie, WA, in April this year, with potential for further expansion to different regions.

To register, please contact:

Donna Woods (07) 3250 1611 or Michael Hutchings (02) 9935 7874