The Musicians’ Union of Australia is a membership based, not for profit association, formed by working musicians to represent and advance the interests of working musicians. The Union is run entirely on the funds paid by its members and receives no funding from Governments, or any other entity. Office bearers of the Musicians’ Union must be members of the Union and are elected by the membership. Hence, members can be assured that the Union will only ever act in the interests of its members.
Members can contact their Branch Secretaries for advice on all matters to do with working as a musician including: income tax and ABN’s; contracts; copyright; insurance; dispute resolution; and legal matters.
The Union can help members to understand, negotiate and create contracts, help resolve legal issues and can represent musicians in industrial law matters in the Federal Courts. In the event that a member requires legal assistance, the Committee of the member’s branch has the discretion to fund all or part of the associated costs of taking legal action.
There are many representative bodies that do important advocacy work in the music industry. However, it is important to understand that the Musicians’ Union is the only association that solely represents the interests of musicians. Whilst most of the industry’s representative bodies share similar ideas and goals for improving the industry it is also true that the interests of venues, musicians, agents, managers, promoters, composers, publishers, production crew, recording labels, recording distributors, music downloading services, music streaming services are also often conflicting. The Musicians’ Union does not claim to represent the interests of managers, agents, venues, publishers and record companies. We are proud to specialise in representing exclusively, the interests of musicians.
The Union's aims are to ensure that all professional musicians are paid fairly for their work and treated with the respect that all workers are entitled and deserve.
Making a living from work as a musician is hard. Musicians are among the lowest paid workers in Australia. There are many more musicians looking for paid work than there are opportunities and, for some, the desirability of earning a living from music is so great that they are persuaded to work for little return based on a widely held industry fallacy that someday the hard work will pay off and the financial reward will come.
Successful musicians are the ones that have realised that they need to be fairly remunerated for every performance and that they need to work just as hard on their business and negotiating skills as they do on their musicianship.
The Union exists to assist with the business side of being a professional musician.
Your membership fees are used by us to assist members with advice and, where necessary, provide legal assistance. We hope you will never directly need our legal assistance but know that if you do, the help we provide has been paid by other musicians, just like yourself, who believe that we are all better off when we help each other.
Musicians that believe in the following principles should join the Union.