APRA AMCOS Revokes Denis Handlin’s Ted Albert Award

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BRISBANE, Australia — Denis Handlin has been stripped of another major accolade, this time losing his Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon (Oct. 18), local time, the APRA board announced it had “unanimously resolved to revoke the Ted Albert Award that was presented to Denis Handlin at the APRA Music Awards 2009.”

It’s the third industry award rescinded in a week, as the fallout continues from a major investigation into the former Sony Music Australasia chief and the company he helmed for 37 years, and abruptly left in June 2021.

The PRO’s decision comes exactly a week after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired Facing The Music, a 46-minute report which explored allegations of systemic bullying, discrimination and misconduct at the label under Handlin’s leadership.

More than 100 current and former Sony Music employees were interviewed for the report.

The Ted Albert Award is one of the most prestigious honors in the Australia music industry, and is typically presented during the annual APRA Awards. Past recipients have included the late Michael Gudinski, Michael Chugg, Fifa Riccobono and Archie Roach.

In revoking the accolade, APRA AMCOS said it is “committed to fostering a music industry that upholds a high level of professional respect and conduct, and does not condone any form of bullying.

“Every single participant in our music industry has a responsibility to act safely and respect others. We recognise and accept there’s still much work to do in this space. We are committed to making the decisions that need to be made and to working with the broader industry so that we can collectively bring about this shift in culture.”

Following the ABC broadcast, Handlin was stripped of his honorary award from Q Music, and his ARIA Icon Award.

Australia’s music industry is facing its own #MeToo moment. Following a string of damning investigative pieces published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and elsewhere, several music executives have been terminated and two of the three major music companies — Sony Music and Universal — are currently reviewing their respective workplace cultures.

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