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Motion | The Jam, The Mix, The Gig

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. T.A. Franks:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges the extraordinary work of The Jam, The Mix, The Gig (The JMG)—a longstanding and successful community arts mental health program;

2. Notes The JMG’s previous shared funding arrangement via the SA Mental Health and Substance Abuse program and Arts SA ‘s Arts Organisations (Disability) Program;

3. Notes with concern that The JMG’s application for funding through A rts SA has not been renewed; and

4. Calls on the g overnment to work with stakeholders including Arts SA to explore alternative funding pathways to ensure that The Jam, The Mix, The Gig (The JMG) can continue this important program.

(Continued from 18 March 2015.)

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 21:34 :09 ): I rise to speak to this motion and encourage members to support the same. I thought I would start with a quote:

The thought of the eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one , and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance.

This motion has been moved by the Hon. Tammy Franks and acknowledges the extraordinary work of The Jam, The Mix, The Gig (collectively known as the JMG), a longstanding successful community arts mental health program. It notes the JMG’s previous shared funding arrangement via the SA Mental Health and Substance Abuse program and Arts SA’s Arts Organisations (Disability) Program. It also notes, with concern, that the JMG’s application for funding through Arts SA has not been renewed and calls upon the government to work with stakeholders, including Arts SA, to explore alternative funding pathways to ensure that The Jam, The Mix, The Gig can continue with its important program.

The Hon. Tammy Franks moved this motion to acknowledge the important work of the JMG. The JMG is a South Australian community-based musical and mental health program that offers options to participants to enjoy playing music with others, whatever their level of musical ability, develop their musical and songwriting skills further and perform to the public as part of the JMG Band. I understand that the performance events are open to the general public and there are various performances throughout the year.

The JMG arts mental health program recently failed to secure the arts component of its funding necessary to keep its music programs operating. I understand it has secured the mental health component but, as I said, not the arts component. I understand it is a small amount of money, around $26,000, which it requires for the music programs to continue. I agree with the Hon. Tammy Franks that we should make every effort to save the JMG program for its valuable work in our community.

The community has already responded to news that the program is in jeopardy, with almost 400 people signing a petition that was provided to minister Snelling in February, drawing his attention to the impact that the loss of The Jam, The Mix, The Gig will have. I note the Hon. Tammy Franks drew our attention to the work of musicians such as Chris Finnan and Heather Frahn, both well-known South Australian artists who have been involved with the program for a long time.

Across the Western world, music therapy and involvement in the creative arts is becoming increasingly common for the treatment of mental health illness. This approach is beneficial to sufferers as it encourages both self-expression, social interaction and a sense of achievement through personal skills development and working as part of a team. Music therapy has been shown to be efficacious for mental healthcare clients with a range of disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression and substance abuse.

A large and comprehensive study conducted at Queen’s University, Belfast, has also found that musical improvisation can boost self-esteem and reduce depression in children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems. It also provides a way for them to promote and progress in their journeys to recovery. It is not surprising then that the JMG has been an outstanding community program that has provided skill development, connection, creativity and opportunity to those who need it most. Its outreach has helped many people during their struggle with mental health issues and, in turn, has saved many lives over the years.

Given the proven benefit that music therapy has for those who suffer from mental health issues, we should do all that we can to explore alternative funding pathways to ensure that the important work of the JMG program can continue. For the benefit of members of this chamber, I might finish with another quote, specifically for you, Mr President, as it is a long evening for you as well:

Music finds its way where the rays of the sun cannot penetrate. My room is dark and dismal, a high wall almost excludes the light of day. The sounds must come from a neighboring yard; it is probably some wandering musician…Carry me away then once more, O tones so rich and powerful, to the company of the maidens, to the pleasures of the dance.

I commend the motion to the chamber.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins .

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