Jaguar Jonze named part of working group formed after #MeToo music industry meeting

The Brisbane musician is one of seven volunteers driving a nationwide consultation strategy in response to sexual assault in Australia's music industry

Jaguar Jonze is one of seven volunteers in a temporary working group formed after a meeting yesterday in Sydney about sexual assault in the Australian music industry.

In a statement shared on social media, Jonze – real name Deena Lynch – revealed that she was part of the temporary working group formed to drive “drive wider research and meaningful industry discussions, alongside expert guidance”.

The consultation process spearheaded by the group will “inform any further actions and underpin any future governance”.

The other volunteers in the group are MusicNSW’s Emily Collins, Australian Festival Association’s Julia Robinson, Hutch Collective’s Larissa Ryan, BMG Rights Management Australia’s Sarah Woolcott, Sony Music Australia’s Sophie Paterson and The Annex’s Mardi Caught.

The statement – which was also later disseminated by ARIA, which co-organised the meeting with APRA AMCOS and PPCA – lists four short-term goals for the working group. They are:

  • Engage independent expert(s) and facilitators,
  • Establish a national consultation strategy,
  • Share the recommendations and rollout process, and
  • Undertake these initial steps within a six-week timeframe.

After sharing the statement, Lynch added a message of her own. “I’d like to reiterate that all solutions and steps forward contain flaws,” she wrote.

“The important thing to hold onto is to be proactive together in ensuring action & change. This has been a difficult process for me personally & I’ve really put everything on the line to try my absolute best in not letting this be a moment of awareness.

“We NEED commitments at every level & aspect of the industry and I need the strength and courage of survivors to take one small step forward and to continue the hard work of so many before us.”

In the caption for the post, Lynch wrote, “I promise I gave it my absolute everything yesterday and represented all the voices that have come to me to the best of my ability. This is a hard process for everyone and I appreciate everyone’s bravery and fortitude.”

Lynch also addressed concerns about the level of “industry involvement” that she says were brought to her attention via direct messages.

“Truth is, with the amount of abuse that goes on in the industry, it’s very likely that will happen across the board,” she wrote in a comment on her initial post.

“Change also needs to come from within and if I can just bring in commitment from every aspect of the industry then we can implement safer workplaces and cultures in Australian music.”

“I am aware and will NOT let any agendas and egos push the bigger picture aside,” she concluded.

A mailing list has been set up for anyone interested in updates from the temporary group. Sign up here.

When news of the meeting first broke last week, it came under some criticism for its decision to restrict attendance to select music industry executives.

After musicians like Azure and Kira Puru questioned why artists who’d risked their careers to publicly air allegations weren’t invited, Lynch revealed that an invite had been extended to her.

Lynch said that she felt her role there was “to represent those at the bottom, the voices of the victims that haven’t been heard and where the power is limited.

“I’m scared that we will time and time again reach a point of momentum to then only have it fall away and pushed aside as the industry feels overwhelmed as it tries to implement the next steps.”

A total of 35 people were in attendance at the meeting, the statement said, including ARIA and PPCA CEO Annabelle Herd and APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston. Reps from labels like Universal, Warner and Sony were also in attendance, as well as reps from Mushroom, Chugg Entertainment, Support Act, The Australian Independent Record Labels Association and more. The artist Gladys Namokoyi – who performs under the moniker Kween G – was also present for the meeting.

Last week, Lynch appeared on The Project detailing her alleged sexual assault, which she initially shared last year. “You start thinking about survival in a very small music industry, and it silences you,” she said on the Channel 10 panel show. “It makes you extremely scared to fight back.”

Earlier this month, an investigation was published by The Industry Observer into an alleged rape at BIGSOUND, alongside a recent study about sexual harassment in the music industries of Australia and New Zealand by Dr. Jeff Crabtree from the University of Technology Sydney.

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