Funding and employment conditions: Critical issues for Australian Music Therapy beyond 2009

Funding and employment conditions: Critical issues for Australian Music Therapy beyond 2009

Abstract

As the Australian Journal of Music Therapy celebrates its 20th year of publication, it is evident that the profession of music therapy in Australia, has made substantial progress over these last 20 years. Jobs are regularly advertised on the website, there is a greater public awareness of what music therapy is, there are government recognised salary awards applicable in several states of the country, working conditions have generally improved, and many Australian music therapists are recognised on the international stage as leaders in their field of expertise. You can even go to a party and tell someone you are a music therapist and there is a good chance they will say "oh yeah, I know someone who does that at the hospital / school / community centre / nursing home " instead of saying "oh, so like, a what? "
Despite the impressive leaps and bounds that have been made, and the success of many programs in Australia to date, there is still a great deal of room for improvement. What are the critical issues ahead for the development of music therapy in Australia? In particular, how do music therapists develop going forward and secure funding for clinical initiatives? In reflecting on this question, this article identifies two key areas, amongst the many, that can be addressed by music therapists over the next 20 years: funding and employment conditions. Examples from the national early intervention music therapy program "Sing & Grow" are used to illustrate the potential impact of addressing these two issues on the positive development of the profession into the future.

 

Keywords: music therapy, funding, employment, evaluation


Citation

Abad, V., & Williams, K. (2009). Funding and employment conditions: Critical issues for Australian Music Therapy beyond 2009. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20: 20th Anniversary Special Edition, 56-62


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Date published: September 2009