Aardvark Music is a Melbourne based not for profit organisation that provides song-writing and music opportunities for young people aged between 14 and 24 who have a passion or talent for music. Music therapists, musicians and youth mentors work with young people to write, record and perform original music together in groups while creating a community to stay connected to.

Aardvarkians (the program participants) are young people, experiencing adversity due to chronic illness, mental health challenges, unstable homes lives or experiencing acute personal adversity. Participants are referred to Aardvark from a range of youth support services, who have identified in them a passion and aptitude for musical connection with others.

Founded in 2007, by a group of Melbourne musicians, young people and music therapists, Aardvark Music was designed to fill an identified need for young people who were musical, had a need to connect with a like-minded community and share their stories, but were often unable to access mainstream music opportunities. Aardvark Music sits within the music and health industries and programs combine the expertise of performing musicians and music therapists, who co-facilitate to offer a dual focus on music skills and personal development.

Aardvark Music’s Guiding Principles

  • We are a fun, friendly, proud and bold community of young people, recording artists, music therapists and music lovers who believe in equal access for all
  • Our programs are facilitated by both recording artists and music therapists as musical, social and emotional development are all important to us
  • We are inspired and directed by the insights of our young community and involve them at all levels of our organisation
  • We believe in creative expression and its power to connect, inspire and transform
  • We produce incredible, professionally recorded original music every year.
  • We provide opportunities for continued learning and pathways through our regular ongoing programs and gigs.
  • We forge deep friendships, support one and other and foster a sense of belonging
  • We love how creating beautiful music together in a safe and supportive place can allow confidence to grow and thrive.
  • At our core we aim to improve lives through music

Meet the Team

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Meagan Hunt
Meagan Hunt
Chief Executive Officer
Sarah Summers
Sarah Summers
Co-Founder/Partnerships Director
Elyse Carmichael
Elyse Carmichael
Communications & Marketing Lead
Asami Kioke
Asami Kioke
Program Manager
Registered Music Therapist
Yeo Choong
Yeo Choong
Resident Song Writer
Marty Ydema
Marty Ydema
Resident Song Writer
Rodney Pollak
Rodney Pollak
Registered Music Therapist
Morgan Jacobs-Leahy
Morgan Jacobs-Leahy
Youth Support Lead

“Aardvark made me happy when I was the most unhappy I’d ever been. Not only did Aardvark encourage me to express myself, it allowed a space where judgement and self- criticism did not impede that expression”

Eva – Aardvark Participant

Meet the Board

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Chris Klingbeil
Chris Klingbeil
Founder and Managing Director of Touchstone Consulting Executive Search
Mary Robb
Mary RobbVice Chair
Associate Director, Indigenous Partnerships, University of Melbourne
Alistair Brown
Alistair BrownTreasurer
CFO at Save the Children Australia
Sophie Coleman
Sophie ColemanSecretary
Lawyer and Company Secretary at Save the Children Australia
Andrew Deane
Andrew DeaneBoard Member
Associate Director, Development & Parnterships at Asia Society Australia
Andrew Dillon
Andrew DillonBoard Member
General Counsel and General Manager of Legal, Integrity & Compliance at AFL Victoria
Cameron McFarlane
Cameron McFarlaneBoard Member
Managing Director and Co-Founder at The Bucha of Byron
Elly Scrine
Elly ScrineBoard Member
Registered Music Therapist and Lecturer at the Univesrity of Melbourne

Our Supporters

We would like to thank our wonderful supporters for allowing us to deliver our work with confidence knowing our community is held into the future. Read more about what a partnership with Aardvark Music means…

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Our Ambassadors



Wouter “Wally” De Backer known professionally as Gotye is a Belgian-born Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Wally’s musical projects are varied and eclectic and his talent is formidable. Wally has topped charts and won awards worldwide, including multiple ARIAs and Grammys. In 2011 Wally co-facilitated the Aardvark Sessions with Monique Brumby and has since been involved with Aardvark as a sponsor and an official ambassador. Wally’s talent and generous and relatable character have bought so much to the Aardvark Sessions program and the organisation as a whole. We can not thank Wally enough for his continued involvement and support.

“Aardvark is a fantastic program and it has resulted in a really brilliant CD that I’ve been privileged to be part of, making music with an amazing bunch of young folks. I’ve seen them do incredible things as they’ve become friends and come out of their shells and written amazing lyrics, melodies and chords and put together songs I think are fantastic and I’ve really enjoyed being part of it.” Wally De Backer (Gotye)

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Stonefield is an Australian rock band made up of four sisters: Amy, Hannah, Sarah, and Holly Findlay. Stonefield is from Darraweit Guim, a small town in rural Victoria. The band won the 2010 Triple J Unearthed High contest in 2010 and was subsequently placed on high rotation. Since then they have gone from strength to strength performing far and wide from the famous Glasonbery festival in the UK to the MCG in Melbourne. Stonefield’s third album ‘Far From Earth’ will be released in April 2018. Stonefield have been working with Aardvark since 2014. They began by visiting the young people at the Aardvark Sessions, helping the Aardvarkians shape their songs. Later on, Hannah and Sarah joined the Aardvark Board until their touring and band commitments saw them on the road a lot more. We are delighted now to have Stonefield as our Ambassadors and look forward to working with them into the future.

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Monique Brumby

Monique Brumby is a much celebrated, Aria award winning singer-songwriter and producer. Monique began as volunteer facilitator with Aardvark in 2011 with Wally De Backer. She gave an incredible amount of her time and talent to the program and had an extremely positive impact on the young people she worked with. Monique then moved to Creative Director, lead Songwriter and Facilitator between 2013 and 2015, again taking the organisation from strength to strength. Monique is now a wonderful Ambassador to Aardvark and her passion and commitment contributes greatly to our community.

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Visiting Artists

Many performing artists make an invaluable contribution to Aardvark Music by running workshops and master classes in their areas of expertise. This allows Aardvarkians to build their music skills and learn from the lived experience of professional musicians working in the music industry.

We’ve had Missy Higgins sharing a few songs on the baby grand and then chatting about her experience with music growing up, Ben Abraham jamming with us, David Bridie giving production tips in the studio and Beatrice Lewis sharing her incredible journey as a musician through different genres and career paths!

If you are a performing musician and would like to volunteer with Aardvark as a visiting artist please get in touch, we would love to have you involved. We welcome volunteer artists but also employ guest artists to run workshops based on their unique skills and industry experience. We appreciate the dedication of the following artists that have chosen to contribute their time and share their knowledge with participants.

Missy Higgins, Ecca Vandal, Liz Stringer, Beatrice Lewis (haiku Hands),Ben Abraham, Tanya Cavanagh, Rebecca Barnard, Tully Sumner, May Johnston, Spiderbait, Imogen Heap, Paul Dempsey, The Living End, Sol Nation, David Bridie, Cameron Tapp

If you are a musician and would like to share your skills, we would love to hear from you.


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