Plans to scrap ANAM (Australian National Academy of Music)
October 26, 2008 § 6 Comments
This is my open letter to Minister Garrett and a reply from Lindsay Tanner regarding this issue. I will publish any correspondence I may receive from him.
October 26, 2008
Dear Minister Garrett,
It is with shock and dismay that I hear of your plans to scrap the Australian National Academy of Music’s funding from 2009. This institution provides the cream of Australia’s young musicians with access to the best mentoring and “on the job training”.
Until the creation of this Academy, this type of post-graduate training could only be achieved by travel overseas, removing young musicians from all-important networks in Australia, not to mention creating extreme financial hardship for them.
Removing them from networks here causes them to “miss the boat” with important early professional engagements and other contacts within the slender opportunities that Australia has for people in this industry.
The publicly funded costs to train an Olympic athlete are astronomical. A conservative estimate is that each gold medal at the Olympics over the past 20 years has cost the taxpayer around 40 million dollars. Apparently, it costs around 2.5 million to fund the entire Australian National Academy of Music for one year! Surely Australia’s young elite music talent deserves the best possible training in order to flourish in what is a fiercely competitive field.
I have been a supporter of ALP policies and philosophy for all of my adult life, and was thrilled at the ALP victory in last year’s Federal election. In this case I fear you are making a grave error of judgment and urge you to reconsider your position on this vital contributor to Australia’s cultural wealth.
I look forward to your considered response to this important question about the future of classical music in Australia.
Principal Bass Clarinet
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Cc Stephen Smith Federal Member for Perth
Reply from Lindsay Tanner, Federal member for Melbourne and Minister for Finance and Deregulation.
Thank you for your correspondence regarding the Australian National Academy
of Music (ANAM).
The Australian Government remains committed to the provision of elite-level
classical music training in Australia
It is the view of the Government however that ANAM can no longer be
considered the most effective or efficient means of delivering classical
music training which bridges the gap between tertiary studies and
Over a period of six months, the Government sought from ANAM an assurance
they would implement a number of critical reforms to improve governance and
Unfortunately ANAM were unable to satisfactorily address these concerns.
Therefore, the Government believes that the funding previously provided to
ANAM could be spent more effectively to deliver support for emerging
On Friday 31 October, Arts Minister Peter Garrett met with a number of
representatives from the sector, including a delegation of ANAM students,
and reiterated the Government’s determination to provide ongoing funding for
our talented musicians.
The Government is now investigating possible models for the most effective
delivery of elite-level classical music training in Australia and expects to
announce an alternative shortly which will ensure continuity for students
and provide a stable, long-term program for music training.
Thank you for writing on this important matter.
Federal Member for Melbourne | Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Canberra: (02) 6277 7400 | (02) 6267 4110 | | Parliament House CANBERRA ACT
Melbourne: (03) 9347 5000 | (03) 9347 1351 | 102 Victoria St CARLTON VIC
From: Alex Millier [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, 27 October 2008 5:21 PM
To: Tanner, Lindsay (MP)
Subject: ANAM cuts
I sincerely hope these funding cuts to ANAM can be reversed.
As an ALP supporter I feel quite shocked to see an important organisation
like this go under.
Please reconsider the situation.
I have enclosed my letter to Minister Garrett for your consideration.
Principal Bass Clarinet
WA Symphony Orchestra.