Support Act’s new ‘Crisis Relief’ grants receive more than 600 applications


Australia’s struggling legion of backstage crew and industry professionals reached out in a big way for help from Support Act’s MusicKeeper and CrewKeeper cash grants.

According to the music industry charity, more than 600 applications have been received for the “Crisis Relief” grants in the month since they were launched, by way of funding from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts.

The one-off supplement payment of $2,000 – or $2,700 for families with dependent children – were made available from March 29 and are meant to help “cushion the blow” for artists, crew and music workers who are remain underemployed due to the health crisis and were receiving the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments, which came to an end in late March.

Payments in support of these applications will top $1.2 million, Support Act reports today (May 4), though many more hard-up workers might be suffering in silence.

“We are pleased with the response to date and delighted that we’ve been able to help many struggling music workers to stay afloat in these uncertain times,” comments Clive Miller, CEO of Support Act, “but we continue to hear feedback that some people feel embarrassed or not worthy enough to apply.”

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Miller put out the call “to remind all music workers that the pandemic has impacted almost everyone working in live music, and there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help.”

He continues, “We have worked hard to make the application process as easy as possible and our social workers are available to provide support to anyone who needs it.”

One of those industry professionals who needed a helping hand is Bachelor Girl frontwoman and solo artist-songwriter, Tania Doko.

“I felt that I was undeserving or that perhaps I wasn’t ‘as vulnerable’ as others may be,” Doko comments in a statement.

“It was fantastic to talk to Support Act’s social workers and to feel heard as a family, particularly challenged by our untimely move from Stockholm to Melbourne during an already turbulent 2020, for the sake of my Swedish husband’s Partner Visa.”

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Support Act can make “that tangible difference so that you can get on with being your best, creative self,” Doko adds.

With support from founding members ARIA PPCA and APRA AMCOS, Support Act was established in 1997 to provide financial relief for artists, crew and music workers in crisis.

Its raft of services include mental health counselling (via the Wellbeing Helpline), assistance with funeral expenses, and fundraising through its online Help a Mate Service.

The health crisis has had a profound impact on the creative industry.

In the past 12 months, Support Act’s team has assessed close to 2,000 applications for crisis relief, a 3,000% increase.

For more on MusicKeeper and CrewKeeper grants, visit

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