MEET THE JUDGES

Brad Hinds

Brad Hinds

Oztix

Brad started his career in the music industry in 2003 by slinging tour posters around the Gold Coast in exchange for tickets at his favourite local music space. This led to opportunities to work with several well-known local music venues managing the marketing and publicity as well assisting with content and band bookings.  In his current role leading the business development team at national ticketing services provider, Oztix, Brad engages daily with venues, promoters and event managers across Australia.

Brad also works behind the scenes to create the growing Best Night Ever shindig each December.

Elizabeth Sharpe

Elizabeth Sharpe

Good Call Live

Liz is co-manager and editor of Good Call Live and is a passionate live music photographer and writer.  Raised surrounded by music, she eventually took over her Dad’s gigs at pubs, singing and playing guitar.  Although her own gigging days might be behind her, save for a few sneaky performances here and there, Liz attends, supports, and promotes local, interstate, and international shows under her alias @Ummagummamumma. Being a mother of two kids with extremely varied developing music tastes themselves has only seen her appreciation grow. Metal… Dream Pop… Indie Rock… Psych… Hip Hop… you name it, she’s keen!
Kimberly Ferguson

Kimberly Ferguson

Mo's Desert Clubhouse & Beats Cartel

Kim is best know as a Director at Burleigh Heads music venue Mo’s Desert Clubhouse and partner in booking and management company Beats Cartel. Kim has been working in the music industry in Australia wide for over 10 years now, starting in the industry after completing a Bachelor of Media Communications at University and a career in commercial radio. A lover of original music and also the president of a Queensland based music not for profit, the East Coast Originals, who run Peregian and Scarbrough Originals in Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, Kim has a wide range of experience across the industry and has worn many hats. From booking national and international tours to event coordinating gigs on yachts and owning music venues to the newest venture as host for Desert TV which is a new online music streaming channel based out of Mo’s Desert Clubhouse.
Mel De Regt

Mel De Regt

Cult Club

Mel kick started her industry journey booking an array of artists at the much loved Nobby Beach music hub The Cave in 2012. She was then invited to the emerging Miami space, Rabbit and Cocoon, to oversee the Arts Creative Market at Miami Marketta – and as the Miami creative precinct evolved, Mel then moved into the Music Director role at Miami Marketta, programming all the local and touring shows at the venue. 2017 she launched an event/artist management agency called Cult Club, overseeing the musical adventures for local acts Buttered, Thee End Less and Byron Band collective, Sunrose.
Zac Fahey

Zac Fahey

Blank Street Press & Major Events Gold Coast

Zac Fahey has been living and breathing music for the past 15 years. Starting his career as a musician he eventually gravitated towards the industry, cutting his teeth at the label services company Footstomp Music. Footstomp saw him working on everything from booking venues and managing artists to heading up publicity campaigns for international touring artists. In recent years Zac turned to freelancing, lending his expertise to BLEACH*, BIGSOUND, Gold Coast Film Festival and TAFE QLD as well as writing the monthly new music column for Blank GC. At the formation of Major Events Gold Coast in 2020 Zac was brought on board as the music programmer for the companies owned events including Blues On Broadbeach and Groundwater Country Music Festival.
Dan Carroll

Dan Carroll

City of Gold Coast

Dan Carroll has been writing songs and performing in bands on the Gold Coast for over 20 years. Dan continues to create music independently and with City Over Sand who released their latest record Good Grief in late 2016. Dan’s latest track Into Tomorrow was released in November 2018. A great supporter and advocate for the local scene, Dan has worked for the City of Gold Coast since 2010. In that time Dan has delivered contemporary music initiatives and coordinated the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). Dan lives in the burbs with his wife and two kids and will release new music in 2020.
Emily Holler

Emily Holler

Mojobullet

Emily Holler of Mojobullet has been in the music and events business for more than two decades. Some of her roles include music business mentor, festival director, music supervisor, blogger, marketing specialist, publicist, booking agent, international promoter and record label coordinator, across Sydney, Gold Coast, London and Europe.

Emily has a deep well of knowledge from a lifetime spent immersed in music & business, collaborating with artists and performing as an international DJ and singer. As the Director of Mojobullet, she is driven to support indie artists in honing their craft, developing their brand identity, establishing good business practices, marketing their music effectively and most importantly believing in themselves.

Kirsty Abrahams

Kirsty Abrahams

Konnection Artist Assistance

Gold Coast artist Kirsty Abrahams has been passionately celebrating local and emerging artists since 2014. Currently studying a Masters of International Music Business, 2016 Kirsty founded and established Konnection Artist Assistance connecting a variety of industry streams together. With over twenty years of personal performance experience in a variety of settings, Kirsty has developed an expert knowledge in artist booking, management, event organization, promotion and stage management.
Olivia Dennis

Olivia Dennis

DENNIS.

Award-winning singer songwriter DENNIS. wears her heart on her sleeve and crafts songs for the soul. Combining both a passion and a talent for groove-fueled, hook-laden melodies, DENNIS. has amassed over 3.5million Spotify streams, been played across triple j, Unearthed and commercial radio, and enchanted audiences along the east coast with her brilliant live show. Her collaborative approach to production and songwriting has seen DENNIS. team up with locally and internationally renowned producers/writers including Tom Eggert, MDWS, and Blake Malone, seeing her explore different sonic textures while creating a discography that is undeniably DENNIS.
Donna Weston

Donna Weston

Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

Donna Weston is head of Popular Music, at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University,  proud sponsor of the GCMA. As a lecturer in popular music, she has expertise in popular music history, scenes and industry, as well as being a dedicated fan of new music.  As head of pop, Donna has been a passionate advocate over the past 18 years for emerging artists and the development of a local scene for graduating students to launch themselves into.  Providing music industry experience and exposure to students while they are studying is a key outcome of the Conservatorium’s commitment to helping build thriving local music industries.
Jo Driessens

Jo Driessens

Placemakers

Jo has been fortunate to work on the Gold Coast since 2014 and alongside great creative industry professionals and key community members who are also passionate about the arts and culture transformation throughout the City.Having been raised in Brisbane, frequent trips to the Gold Coast and surrounding hinterland areas was part of family life and becoming independent with my own wheels, there were many more trips down the highway to go to the beach whenever I could. Between 2014 and 2019, Jo was fortunate enough to deliver the annual South Stradbroke Island Indigenous Artist Camp and have unique ‘on country’ experiences alongside all of the artists involved over the years. If I am able to get back over to South Stradbroke more regularly I would, however I am more than happy to connect with other special places on the coast like Tallebudgera, Currumbin or Jellurgal (Burleigh headland) for a swim or walk throughout the natural areas. She has successfully worked across government for 25 years, including a photography cadetship completed in 1999 at the State Library of Queensland, is passionate about continuing to document people and places especially through the arts. Later evolving into the City of Gold Coast, Arts and Culture unit and more recently as the First Nation Curator at Placemakers*. I love working in the creative arts industry and especially working in a city with a beach lifestyle.

Mark Duckworth

Mark Duckworth

Major Events Gold Coast (GCMA Deputy Chair)

Mark Duckworth grew up on the Gold Coast playing in bands and booking music venues.  For the past six years Mark has been Festival Director for the award-winning Blues on Broadbeach and Groundwater Country Music Festivals, booking local, national and world-class acts that contribute to the international reputation of Gold Coast as a music destination.  ‘Duck’ has a reputation as a lover of DIY music and has an exceptional ear for music of all genres. He has helped shape many artists careers and keeps a hand in producing records for locally based acts.
Samantha Morris

Samantha Morris

Gold Coast Music Awards (Chairperson)

Sam spends most of her time working with not for profit groups focussed on conservation and land management but in 2013 she took a break to focus a little closer to home and with her best mates, launched Blank Street Press and the Gold Coast Music Awards soon after. A qualified facilitator and counsellor with a degree in sociology, Sam loves punk and metal as much as she loves cassowaries, dunnarts and Toohey’s Old. The elements that tie both her arts and conservation work together are her ability to inspire others, facilitate groups, engage volunteers and kick big goals. Sam is currently a mentor for QMusic’s Women in Music program, is a regular presenter for ABC Gold Coast’s weekly new music show with Matt Webber and is writing a book about the city’s live music history in the 70s, 80s and 90s.  instagram.com/samanthamorriswrites.