After 17 years at the station, Larrakia man Dan Rennie, Station Manager at Triple-A Murri Country, has taken up a new position at Qmusic, where he is on secondment for six months as Goolwal Goolwal Cultural Lead.

“While it’s a little bit daunting and scary to get out of your comfort zone, I also think it’s important to try new things, and it’s going to be a beneficial move for my own personal growth both for this organization and for QMusic as well,” Dan said of the move.

In March, the Premier and Minister for the Arts, The Honourable Leeanne Enoch, announced new funding to grow First Nations music. The funding will support the Goolwal Goolwal initiative, focusing on First Nations artists and arts workers and showcasing First Nations musicians and music business leaders to international audiences.

Minister Enoch also announced a new $15,000 Dennis ‘Mop’ Conlon Scholarship to be delivered by QMusic. The scholarship will honour the life of music icon Dennis’ Mop’ Conlon, originally from Cherbourg and champion a new generation of First Nations artists.

“The Goolwal Goolwal initiative and First Nations programming at BIGSOUND has the potential for Queensland to lead the national music industry by embedding best practices,” Minister Enoch said.

“This includes Yada Yutta-ba (House of First People), a hub for First Nations artists and conference participants.

“In partnership with Triple A Murri Country Radio, Goolwal Goolwal will deliver significant market development opportunities for First Nations artists and create a global centre for First Nations music in Brisbane.”

Kris Stewart, CEO at Qmusic, said they had worked with the State Government about consolidating and growing the Big Sounds event.  

“I think they’ve got a real vision that by 2032, Brisbane is seen internationally as one of the real centres for First Nations music. We share that vision with them and can see how Big Sound can be part of that,”

QMusic also talked with the State Government about increased investment in the Goolwal Goolwal First Nations events that platform Australian, Maori, Pacifica, and Cree Canadian First Nations artists, Kris said.

But most importantly, to platform Australian and especially Queensland, indigenous musicians.”

Triple A is an important part of the music sector in Australia, Chris said.

What they’ve done to elevate indigenous voices is phenomenal.”

“We have really strong relationships with Jyi Lawton, CEO at Triple-A and also with Dan Rennie, who worked with our First Nations advisory group and helped us with his advice and knowledge about country music and First Nations music.”

“What we found most exciting was that Jyi and Dan expressed their interest in an artistic exchange where Dan would come to QMusic for six months and be the cultural lead for all of our programming. We couldn’t be happier; he is sensational,” Kris said.

Kris wanted to ensure these projects were First Nations-led, so he approached Triple-A about employing a First Nations person at QMusic. Dan’s interest in the role emerged as he participated in developing the position statement.

“All the words were on the page. And when I sat down with Jyi to try and identify the right person for the job, he looked at me and said, “The only person I can think of would be you”. So, while that was quite flattering, there are people out there who could do the job. A big part of my six-month secondment will be identifying that full-time person for the role and helping to curate Big Sound in a culturally appropriate way with First Nations artists from Queensland, New Zealand and Canada as well,” Dan said.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity. And I’m confident I’ll find the right person to carry it on.”

“What we’ve always done here at Triple A is give a platform to elevate First Nations artists from across the country. So, it’s not new to me. It’s not foreign territory. It will just be in a different medium.” 

Dan’s role as station manager will be spread across the different divisions of Triple-A.

“There is confidence in the team to pick up the slack while I’m gone. I won’t be gone for good; I’ll still be doing Let’s Talk on a Friday and still have a foot in the door,” Dan said.

Qmusic now has an ongoing commitment from the Queensland Government for the next four years.

“We have from between now and the end of September to decide what’s going to work best and what’s really possible.”

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Cover image, Jan Bowman