The Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music – a national hub for First Nations musicians to develop their skills – is celebrating two milestones: it’s 50th anniversary and the appointment of it’s first Aboriginal leaders.

Newly-appointed directors Grayson Rotumah and Dr Dylan Crismani hope to continue the centre’s legacy of nurturing First Nations creatives from far and wide, despite funding cuts.

The centre began as a co-curricular program in Port Adelaide founded by Ngarrindjeri poet and musician Leila Rankine and ethnomusicologist Catherine Ellis in 1972 – and came into the fold of the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music shortly after. 

The Wire delves into the historical and ongoing significance of the centre with recently appointed co-director and program coordinator for almost three decades, Grayson Rotumah, whose career in the field began as a student at CASM.  

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Produced By: Anisha Pillarisetty

Featured In Story: Co-director Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music Grayson Rotumah

First aired on The Wire, Thursday 13 April 2023