WELA x Green Music Australia – Sound Country Artists’ Leadership Retreat

Music is a universal language that can influence and inspire. That’s why in March 2023, WELA joined forces with Green Music Australia to host an exclusive retreat for 20 of Australia’s brightest women and gender diverse musicians. 

Called ‘Sound Country’,the retreat was held at the iconic former timber pulp mill, Spring Bay Mill, on palawa land in lutruwita / Tasmania.

Musician & Green Music boardmember Nidala Barker walking to a workshop with her guitar.

Watch our video about the transformative retreat

The program co-designed by WELA & Green Music Australia  explored modules focused on building capacity for artists to effect change.

Participants joined together to share stories, gain critical skills, and build community at the intersection of environment, climate, system change, and music. These artists gained insights and learnings from Green Music Australia’s Sound Country Green Artist Guide, aimed at educating musicians on how to green their practice and undertake practical climate action in their artistry.

Expert guests and leaders including Asmaa Guedira (WELA), Victoria McKenzie-McHarg (WELA), Tracee Hutchison (GMA chair and veteran broadcaster), Nidala Barker (GMA board member, Djugun singer-songwriter), Rhoda Roberts AO (Bundjalung Elder and revered arts producer), Lara Goodridge (musician) and Alex Kelly (filmmaker, strategist and artist) shared their experiences and provided guidance for artists to explore how they can accelerate their impact as leaders.

“We came together on beautiful palawa land to learn and share about how we as musical artists can lead when it comes to the environment.

I learnt so much through listening. Was such a beautiful week. Forever grateful to connect with these incredible people.”

Eliza Hullmusician, writer, speaker and disability advocate

Sound Country Artists' Leadership Retreat: In Pictures

“I feel like I have a lot of tools, drive and inspiration to use my music as activism and a platform to build community. [The retreat] has been really revitalising”
Kee'ahnyalanji, jirrbal, badu islander musician
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Musicians in attendance at out 2023 Sound Country Women Artists’ Leadership Retreat include:

Áine Tyrrell, Alice Skye, Little Green, Angie McMahon, Alice Ivy, Beatrice Lewis of Haiku Hands, Eliza Hull, Georgia James Potter of Moreton, Jess Rebeiro, Kee’ahn, Kira Puru, Milan Ring, Monnie, Monica Jasmine Karo of MpathSoul, Nidala Barker, Nix Janjari, Simone Slattery of Bowerbird Collective & Thea Rossen

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Sound Country is an artist-led movement to galvanise the music industry for strong climate action. By supporting and raising the voices of women and gender diverse artists for our environment, the Sound Country Artists’ Leadership Retreat was designed to inspire musicians and music lovers across the nation to action.