Australian Music Vault pays tribute to Michael Gudinski AM

MG Michael Solomon Gudinski AMThe Australian Music Vault is devastated to hear of the passing of leading music figure and Founding Patron of the Australian Music Vault, Michael Gudinski AM.

Gudinski’s tireless lobbying and support of the Australian Music Vault led to its funding by the Victorian Government and eventual launch in 2017; a permanent space that charts the story of contemporary Australian music from the 1950s until today showcasing the iconic people, events and places that define Australian music.

This project was one of Gudinski’s lifelong dreams and his passion for it was a constant source of inspiration for the Australian Music Vault and Arts Centre Melbourne teams. As well as being the visionary behind the Vault, Gudinksi was also Founding Patron alongside other icons of the Australian music industry including Tina Arena AM, Kylie Minogue AO, Archie Roach AM and Ian “Molly” Meldrum AM.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of industry giant and champion of Australian music, Michael Gudinski,” said Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer AM. “He was a friend to many of us at Arts Centre Melbourne but it was his advocacy and commitment to realising the Australian Music Vault where we are truly indebted to him.

“Just as he shaped the Australian music industry in this country, Michael’s legacy will live on at the home of Australian music stories, the Australian Music Vault. My sympathy to Michael’s wife Sue, his two children Matthew and Kate, and to all those who loved him. I will miss him terribly.”

Since opening its doors in December 2017, the Australian Music Vault has proven to be a major cultural and tourism drawcard for Melbourne, attracting more than 1.6million visitors.

“The Australian Music Vault, which incorporates the ARIA Hall of Fame, has been established to care, protect and store the historical artefacts of our rich and diverse Australian music heritage. Our great Australian music artists finally have a true home. In the words of one of my dearest friends and co-patron Molly Meldrum: ‘Do yourself a favour’ and visit the Australian Music Vault soon,” said Gudinski.

As part of the Australian Music Vault’s commitment to capturing and sharing great Australian music stories, we responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by creating a series of video stories that capture, in real time, the impact that this pandemic has had on the music community.

Banding Together featured an interview with Gudinski where he talks with pride and passion of the challenges the music community has faced during the pandemic, the ways in which they have responded, the spirit inherent in such behaviour and the creativity on show.

The Australian Music Vault has also captured the stories of some of the most formidable pioneers and innovators from the Australian music scene including Gudinski in the Long Play Series.

In this interview with Bruce Butler, Gudinski discusses the local Melbourne dance scene where he started his career, his experiences at the Sunbury Music Festival, the foundation of Mushroom Records, and his time working with artists like Kylie Minogue, Hunters & Collectors and The Temper Trap.

Gudinski was the chairman of the Mushroom Group and Australian music’s most influential cheerleader and provocateur. His drive to unearth and promote great Australian talent across five decades extended to all aspects of the industry through recording, publishing, concert promotion and touring.

His most recent work on projects such as Music From The Homefront, The State of Music and The Sound ensured that artists and fans alike were kept connected to the music they loved during difficult times.

Our condolences to his family, friends and the extended Mushroom family. Vale Michael Solomon Gudinski AM.

The Australian Music Vault is a key initiative of the Victorian Government’s Music Works strategy, in support and collaboration with the music industry. It has been developed by Arts Centre Melbourne in consultation with the music industry and is a celebration of the Australian contemporary music story – past, present and future. It’s a place to explore your love of music, revisit some of the big music moments of your life and discover the exciting new stories of today’s Australian music scene.

An expanded and permanent Australian Music Vault is planned for a new Arts Centre Melbourne campus and creative hub at 1 City Road, a key new cultural, industry and tourism offer featured as part of the Victorian Government’s vision for the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

Image: Michael Gudinski AM – photo by Brian Purnell