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Gig Buddies is a fantastic new initiative launched in Australia which links adults who have a learning disability to a volunteer who has similar interests in music, or other activities, to go out together.

Gig Buddies has already had a successful launch in the UK, linking up volunteers with people who have learning disabilities so they can go to gigs, clubs, theatre performances and exhibitions.

“The initiative is based on the UK version of the program, which has had wide spread success”, said Sean Willenberg, Project Coordinator of Gig Buddies Sydney.

“We identified a need here and felt that Sydney and Australia would benefit from such an amazing concept. To be able to give people with learning disabilities the access the sort of social opportunities that many of us take for granted is something that we hope to achieve and build on.”

The initiative has enrolled 16 Gig Buddy participants; there aim is double the number of Gig Buddy participants and volunteers by October this year.

Gig Buddy volunteers have an interest and passion for live music, nights out and events. If you would like to become a Gig Buddy, head to www.gigbuddiessydney.org or contact on sean@assistcom.org or 02 9419 6951 for a volunteer form.

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The Australia Council for the Arts have announced their changes to there grants system following the 2015-2016 Federal Budget announce.

See below for their official media statement, which you can also find here.

“The 2015-16 budget measures will have a significant impact and the Australia Council will be working closely with the Ministry for the Arts and Creative Partnerships Australia to avoid duplication and offer support to the sector that is complementary.

The Australia Council’s new appropriation for 2015-16 is $184.5M. As part of this appropriation the Australia Council will continue to deliver the Major Performing Arts framework, Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy, Playing Australia, Contemporary Touring Initiative and Contemporary Music Touring Program, on behalf of the Australian Government.

These government directed programs make up 66% of the Council’s 2015-16 appropriations. The Council’s remaining funds are $62M, which is $23M less than expected. These funds support the Australia Council’s grants model, current Key Organisations, national and international development activities, capacity building, research and operations.

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