Melbourne Spoken Word was founded in 2015, with the idea of it being a central online hub for spoken word in Melbourne, the place to find out about events, discuss spoken word, and involve the spoken word scene in a unified platform to amplify our artform and bring in new audiences.

A couple of years ago we expanded from a website that people could add their events and submit articles to, to an organisation consisting of a committee from the spoken word community to create accountability and share some decision making. This year, as we move towards incorporation, we wanted to expand that further.

We’re calling out for those involved in spoken word in Melbourne to fulfil some specific roles, namely some people for our new Board and some fresh perspectives in the current committee. We also want to create some co-ordinator roles, including a reviews editor, a comment/opinion pieces editor, some interviewers and a producer to help to produce our podcast and audio-journal, Audacious.

All roles unless otherwise stated are currently volunteer roles, and for people with a passion for spoken word and existing support for the aims of Melbourne Spoken Word. Currently, MSW is applying for grants and seeking other funds to provide payment for roles. We’d love for you to be part of the process of MSW becoming an official not-for-profit organisation for the spoken word scene in Melbourne. MSW believes in paying artists where funding is available. We’re not looking for someone who merely wants to use the role to add something to their CV, but someone who sees the value of this work in the community.

Board Members
MSW is in the process of forming a legally recognised incorporated association, with membership, that is registered as deductible gift recipient (DGR) – that’s a not for profit organisation that you can become a member of. In order to do that, we need to form a board, and are calling for expressions of interests, specifically for people who are considered to be Public fund ‘persons of responsibility’ according to the ATO:

  • Justices of the Peace
  • Members of the clergy
  • Church authorities
  • Trustees or board members of a non-profit school or college
  • Judges/Magistrates
  • Solicitors
  • Accountants (must be CPA, ASA, NIA or ICA registered)
  • Directors/Senior Executives of large companies (must be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange)
  • Medical practitioners and other professional persons (must belong to a professional body, which has a professional code of ethics and rules of conduct, e.g. Medical Registration Board)
  • Teachers in senior positions:
    • School principals
    • Senior academics (professors, deans, principal lecturers, as well as appointments made by chancellors)
  • Persons holding Public or Elected Office:
    • Mayors
    • Town Clerks
    • Councillors
    • Members of Parliament
  • People who hold (or have held) other public positions (i.e. appointments made by Government Ministers)
  • People with honours (AO, AM, OBE etc)

Specifically, a registered accountant or lawyer that’s had some experience with the poetry scene would be highly regarded.

The role of the board is to oversee the legal and fiscal sustainability of the organisation. We are looking for people with an understanding and appreciation of the spoken word art form in Melbourne and the history of events, someone who demonstrates of support for the mission and goals of Melbourne Spoken Word and someone who’s demonstrated an interest in the spoken word community as a whole.

MSW Committee
The MSW Committee is more responsible for the day-to-day running of MSW. The committee meets once a month to discuss the progress of its main events and projects, curate event line-ups, work on the incorporation process before the board is formed, and generally promote and represent the spoken word scene.

We’re looking for two poets, currently active in the spoken word scene, that regularly attend a range of events, and is willing to take on some volunteer tasks and supports the mission of Melbourne Spoken Word.

Reviews Editor
Melbourne Spoken Word is looking for an editor (or poet willing to learn) that is currently active in the spoken word scene, that regularly attends a range of events, to edit and coordinate reviews of spoken word gigs and publications by local spoken word artists for the MSW website.

The editor would be working alongside Director Benjamin Solah to collect submissions and commission reviews and proofread and prepare reviews for publication. The role is for a volunteer with a passion for spoken word but is one of the roles Melbourne Spoken Word is seeking funding or grants for.

Comment/Opinion Piece Editor
Do you have an ear for the debates and opinions going on in the spoken word scene? We’re looking for a passionate poet willing to help us curate and edit discussion piece for the Melbourne Spoken Word site. It requires reading submissions, curating or commissioning pieces from a diverse range of opinions on the scene, and proofreading/editing pieces.

The editor would be working alongside Benjamin Solah and is for a volunteer with a passion for spoken word, but is one of the roles Melbourne Spoken Word is seeking funding or grants for.

Interviewer & Reviewers
Melbourne Spoken Word is seeking some volunteer interviewers and reviewers to work alongside interviewers and interview coordinators Waffle Irongirl and Amanda Anastasi, and a new Review editor, to interview poets around the scene to introduce a range of poets to the rest of the scene, as well as review new books, albums and gigs from around the spoken word scene.

Podcast and Audacious Producer
Melbourne Spoken Word is seeking a poet that is currently active in the spoken word scene, that regularly attends a range of events to work alongside Director Benjamin Solah to coordinate the recording of the podcast and commissioned recordings of Audacious.

The role would be for someone who has some basic understanding or recording and has good organisational skills. The role is for a volunteer with a passion for spoken word but is one of the roles Melbourne Spoken Word is seeking funding or grants for.

If you’d like to apply for any one of these positions, or even a couple, please email benjamin *AT* melbournespokenword *DOT* com with the position/s in the subject line and outline your involvement in the spoken word scene and any relevant skills and interest you have in them.

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, activist and the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word. He grew up in Western Sydney before calling Melbourne home in 2008, where he's performed since 2010 around Melbourne's regular spoken word and poetry nights including Passionate Tongues, The Dan Poets, Voices in the Attic and House of Bricks as well as the NGV and White Night. He's released a chapbook, broken bodies, and two spoken word albums, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense EP.
Benjamin Solah

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