Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan resigns after ten instrumental years at the helm

Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan resigns after ten instrumental years at the helm

Words by Tom Parker

The leader of Victoria’s peak body for contemporary music is moving on.

Music Victoria will say goodbye to its leader, the ever-influential Patrick Donovan, who has just announced that he’s moving on after ten years at the helm.

Donovan’s reputation precedes him, having led Victoria’s music scene through some of its most trying and difficult times. An era that began following the pivotal SLAM Rally in February 2010, saw Donovan introduce a number of significant initiatives.

The establishment of the Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO), the Music Victoria Awards, the Agent of Change legislation that saw Melbourne’s beloved live music venues protected from residential vultures, as well as a host of skill development programs bettering the Victorian music industry on a grand scale. These are just a few of Donovan’s achievements while he was the CEO of Music Victoria.

Prior to that, Donovan was the influential chief music journalist of The Age, where he wrote the ever-popular Sticky Carpet column, spotlighting the happenings on the local scene and abroad.

It’s clear, Patrick Donovan is one of Victorian music’s most dexterous chameleons.

“A lot has changed since then [August 2010 when he was appointed CEO] and it’s been wonderful to have played a part in a dynamic body in this creative and passionate industry,” Donovan said in a statement. “Ten years seemed like a logical time to pass on the baton to a new CEO who can build on our work over the last decade.”

The legacy of Patrick Donovan will stand tall. He was determined, persistent and vociferous when he needed to be. His passion for the very music scene he oversaw was unmatched and when Victoria or more specifically, Melbourne’s music scenes were under duress, he fought for them.

“Paddy’s name is synonymous with Victorian music and in many ways over the last ten years he has become Music Victoria,” Music Victoria Chair Sally Howland said of Donovan’s influence.

“His tenure as founding CEO is marked with an impressive list of achievements, including the Agent of Change legislation, establishment of the VMDO, the Music Victoria Awards and targeted skills development programs – Live Music Professionals and Cultivate, the women’s leadership program. More recently he has overseen a surge in our membership, which now stands at 6,000.”

On top of his achievements over the years, in early July, Donovan proved instrumental in securing the recent $15 million package for Victorian live music venues in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

In his opening address to Music Victoria supporters on August 20, 2010, he inaugurated with the following: “Your CEO reported for duty at the Brunswick Town Hall office of Music Victoria for his first day of work on Monday, 33 years to the day that Elvis ‘The King’ Presley left the building for the last time.”

Well it’s now exactly ten years since one Patrick Donovan stepped through Music Victoria’s doors, a fledgling leader set to make an immeasurable mark on both music lovers and music industry professionals alike.

The Victorian music industry is in a stronger, more robust place because of your work, Paddy, and we are ever-thankful for it.

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