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(L to R) Miles Jackson (Cole Clark Guitars), Greg Phillips (Australian Musician) Rob Walker, (Anthony Ursino (Macron Music), Tony Burn (TRC) Pic by Jason Rosewarne

Report: Greg Phillips Photos: Jason Rosewarne

After first being appointed to the Australian Music Association (the official body of the Australian music products industry) in 1990, Rob Walker will hand over the position of Executive Officer at the end of 2021. Rob has been in his current role since returning to the AMA in 2013 and is now stepping back from this responsibility. However, Rob is quick to point out he’ll still be active in the event and performance sphere.

Yesterday, AMA committee members including new President Anthony Ursino (Macron Music), Tony Burn (The Resource Corporation), along with Cole Clark’s Miles Jackson and Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips, showed their gratitude to Rob for his years of service to the industry, when they presented him with a special limited edition model Cole Clark guitar at Macron Music. Rob was very appreciative of the beautiful gift, a guitar featuring Big Tree Redwood top from Wombat Hill botanic gardens in Daylesford, with Australian Blackwood headstock, back and sides, Queensland Maple Neck, and River She Oak fretboard. All timbers fully sustainable, of course.

Rob Walker has been involved in the major events and member organisations management, marketing and promotions fields for decades. He was at the forefront of the development and production of major events such as the St Kilda Festival, Melbourne Music Festival, Australian International Music Shows, AMAC Conventions, the Audio Engineering Society Conventions and many others. More recently he has conceived the re-birth of the Melbourne Guitar Show, and the presentation of both the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show and Melbourne Synth Festival. He has worked internationally as director of market development at NAMM the International Music Products Association and was also Executive Director of the American Music Conference. Additionally he was National Marketing Manager of the Allans Music Group, Australia’s leading full-line music retailer and worked in this role through 2012 and also concurrently served as President of the Australian Music Association.  Rob has also been key to the success of the annual national event, Make Music Day Australia. Rob will participate in the transition process and continue to advise the AMA on future events and remains part of the family. He is deputy-chair of the board and has been integral to the launch of the industry Charity, Music for All.

In 2018, Rob Walker was honoured at The Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, receiving The Believe in Music Award. The Award nomination cited ‘Your career is a shining example of the passion and innovative thinking that makes our industry great!’ Awardees are recognised for their years of support and dedication to the music products industry.

Closer to home, in 1995 Australian Musician magazine was established, an initiative of AMA executive committee member, Alex Bolt and was produced by Executive Officer Rob Walker, who acted as Managing Editor. It was then designed and edited by Greg Phillips (Mediaville), who became Managing Editor in 2001. Rob has been integral to the longevity of Australian Musician, always being supportive and passionate for the title.

The Australian Music Association publicly thanks Rob for his dedication to the AMA and the music industry more broadly both commercially and as a musician. Rob can be seen regularly gigging with Hunter’s and Collectors’ Jack Howard as bass player in Jack’s side project bands, The Ambassadors of Love and The Long Lost Brothers.

On the AMA website Rob Walker recently said, “It has been my privilege to act as Executive Officer of the AMA. We have weathered the storm of the last couple of years, a bit battered, but still floating and ready for the next stanza – we’ve got some young, enthusiastic and influential members on the board who represent the future of the industry, and this is good to see. I’d like to thank all the members for their support over the years and I appreciate the many friendships I have made and great people I’ve dealt with over the years.”

Outgoing AMA President Michael Shade (Yamaha Music Australia) said, “I would personally like to thank Rob for his extraordinary investment of time and energy into the AMA, shouldering the bulk of the workload, managing relationships, and providing stability for the association.”

On a personal note, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Rob for supporting Australian Musician magazine and always having my back. I’d like to think we’ve been a great team, often punching well above our weight with the resources we had at our disposal and achieving many incredible goals with Australian Musician and AMA events. We all wish Rob well with his much less stressful workload, enjoying time with his wife Allison and extended family and continuing to be involved in presenting music events and playing music.

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