Update from Australia and New Zealand April

World Music Therapy Day

MThNZ and AMTA congratulate the World Federation on a very successful World Music Therapy Day. Activities in our regions included public and social media releases, and AMTA Victoria Branch's social event, which welcomed all RMTs, new grads and current MT students to come together in person for the first time since lockdown!


The Role of the Regional Liaison

In January, in her role as WFMT Regional Liaison, Daphne reached out to regional groups (via the national bodies) to introduce herself, explain her role as RL, and gauge their interest in developing an Australasian information sharing group. The idea was to be able to increase connections between the WFMT and those working at the grass roots level. To date, there have been no expressions of interest. Daphne will continue to liaise with AMTA and MThNZ to determine what members need from and/or can contribute to WFMT.


MThNZ Activities

New Zealand music therapists were extremely grateful to receive messages of concern and best wishes from WFMT executive and crisis intervention group, during the recent earthquakes and tsunami threat in Northland. We were fortunate that this potentially significant threat resolved without serious consequences.

Music Therapy New Zealand and the Aotearoa Crisis Intervention group have submitted a funding application to the Te Tahua Whakakaha, Cultural Sector Capability Fund. If successful we plan to set up a fund which will enable registered music therapists to develop projects which will have direct and positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people experiencing a crisis in New Zealand.

Music Therapy New Zealand have provided feedback on the draft paper entitled Music Therapy for Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum, commissioned by the by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Every year the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline is updated on a topic where significant new research has arisen, and it was exciting to learn that music therapy was the chosen topic for 2020-2021. It was even more exciting to learn that the recommendation in the draft document is for music therapy to be upgraded. We look forward to learning about the outcome!


AMTA Activities

Congratulations to the AMTA for their success in having music therapy included in the Royal Commission’s review into aged care. Recommendation 38 now states: To ensure residential aged care includes a level of allied health care appropriate to each person’s needs, approved providers will be required to employ, or otherwise retain, at least one of the following allied health professionals: an oral health practitioner, a mental health practitioner, a podiatrist, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a pharmacist, a speech pathologist, a dietician, an exercise physiologist, and or music or art therapist.


The AMTA have also submitted responses to:

  • the consultation into Private Health Insurance (PHI) reform advocating for music therapy’s inclusion in the proposed PHI reform to ensure a more equitable and person-centred approach to community-based mental health and rehabilitation services.
  • the Mental Health Productivity Commissions report on mental health advocating for music therapy’s inclusion in government funded mental health services to ensure equitable access for vulnerable members of the community.

A special edition of the Australian Journal of Music Therapy, entitled this is Australia: Music Therapy Down Under During and Beyond Covid-19 will be published in 2021 alongside volume 32.


Upcoming Events

Australasian NMT online Training - April 29 - May 2, 2021

Guided Imagery and Music Training - Friday May 14 to Wednesday May 19, 2021

Music Therapy New Zealand’s first research webinar series kicked off on 14th April with a presentation by Dr Daphne Rickson sharing research into Music Therapy with Children on the Autism Spectrum. Three upcoming webinars include presentations by Calvin Baker (Understanding vocal changes for a lifetime of singing) May 12th; Claire Molyneux (Music therapy with people living with dementia and their companions), June 16th; and Ajay Castelino (Making music at home: supporting families of children with special needs), July 7th.

Contact Information:

Monica Logan (AMTA's Communications Officer) and Dimity Kirkwood (AMTA’s Digital Communications Support Officer) have both completed their work for AMTA. AMTA’s communications will now be overseen by the new Advocacy Officer, Hannah Halloran.

Devin Brooks, chair of MThNZ Aotearoa Crisis Intervention Group will be moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in May this year. He is stepping down as chair of the ACI group, and Penny Warren has accepted the role of interim chair. Devin will continue his work with the WFMT Global Crises Intervention Commission.