ARIA announces Sophie Paterson as 2021 Board Observership Program participant

aria board observership program

• ARIA also announced that two board members have been re-elected for new terms

ARIA today announced that Sophie Paterson, senior director, audience development & digital communications at Sony Music Entertainment Australia has been selected as the 2021 participant in the Australian Recording Industry Association Board Observership Program, following a highly competitive selection process.

In partnership with The Observership Program, the ARIA Observership position provides professional development for employees within ARIA member companies by exposing them to the workings of the ARIA Board, including decision-making processes and corporate governance. The objective of the program is to build the capability of emerging industry talent and promote equality, diversity, and inclusion on boards across the Australian music industry. The 2021 Observership was again focused on providing opportunities to under-represented groups in the music industry.

Paterson joined Sony Music in 2020 following an eight year career as head of PR & communications for Spotify ANZ. She was named the PR winner at the B&T Women in Media Awards in 2018 and has held a position on the ARIA Emerging Leaders Committee for 2018 and 2019. On her appointment, Paterson said: 

“I am immensely honoured to be joining ARIA this year in the Observership role. I cannot think of a better, more challenging, and more rewarding time to contribute during what is such an important period of recovery for our amazing industry.”

ARIA also announced that two board members have been re-elected for new terms on the ARIA Board:

Sebastian Chase, CEO of MGM Distribution has been championing Australian music in labels and distribution since the 80s and was honoured with the ARIA Industry Icon Award in 2016. 

David Vodicka, the Principal of entertainment law firm Media Arts Lawyers and owner of Rubber Group Of Companies, has many decades of experience in the music industry and also serves on the board of PPCA. 

On the new and returning appointments, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said:

“I am very happy to welcome Sophie Paterson to the ARIA Observership Program. Sophie’s experience, enthusiasm and commitment to our industry will be highly valuable to the Board and I am sure she will make an amazing contribution over the next year. I also congratulate Sebastian Chase and David Vodicka on their re-election to the Board and look forward to working closely with them both.”

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