A timely effort today from the Queensland Music Festival, which has just announced it inaugural Songs That Made Me initiative, a mentorship program that will help to support emerging female artists as they seek to break into the Australian music industry.

Named after Noonan’s record of the same name, the new program will see her working alongside respected Australian musicians including ARIA-winners Claire Bowditch and Deborah Conway and Grant McLennan Fellowship winner Hannah Macklin as they set about working with emerging female singer-songwriters from the regional areas of Mount Isa, Gladstone and Mackay to encourage their efforts and nurture their careers.

The initiative was announced in a press conference yesterday by the Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman and the festival’s artistic director Katie Noonan, held in conjunction with Queensland Women’s Week and International Women’s Day, which takes place today, Wednesday March 8th.

Noonan explained that official APRA/AMCOS statistics show a clear discrepancy in the ratio of male to female singer-songwriters, with women comprising only 21 percent of its members.

“As we celebrate the state’s second ever Queensland Women’s Week and on the eve of International Women’s Day, it is essential opportunities such as Songs That Made Me are provided to female artists,” Fentiman added. “Katie Noonan’s vision of providing our community with a voice through music is inspiring.”