About us

Our mission: Creating music, community and opportunity

Aardvark is a not for profit organisation that uses the power of music, combined with support, peer connection and collaboration to give young people living with major adversity the opportunity to expand their identity and wellbeing through creative self-expression and skills development. Aardvark focuses on providing a community for young people with similar life experiences and who require extra support to access music and songwriting opportunities. Emphasis is also placed on providing opportunities for future pathways into leadership and employment. 

Aardvark is driven by passion and inclusion. Past participants of Aardvark describe this as a unique and life changing experience. Aardvark’s programs bring the young participants aged between 14 - 24  together with professional musicians and music therapists to write, record and perform original music - underpinned by a Board of Directors and committee of music therapists.

Aardvark was conceived and founded by Sarah Giufre and Bel Harper in 2007. Today, it has grown into an organisation that improves the lives of many young people who are marginalised due to Chronic illness, mental illness, unstable home life or a significant lie event. Aardvark's staff team include Creative Director Meagan Hunt (MMus Mus Thrpy), a music therapist and program Manager for the Chronic Illness Peer Support (ChIPS) program at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Lucy Bolger PhD, Programs and Engagement Director and Tristan Goodall, Resident Songwriter.

Aardvark Sessions and the monthly Alumni Dig Days are held at The Channel at the Arts Centre Melbourne. Aardvark is grateful for the partnership with the Arts Centre Melbourne.

 

 

Musicians who have worked with Aardvark

Wally De Backer (Gotye)

Monique Brumby

Paul Dempsey

The Living End

Missy Higgins

Cameron Tapp

Wayne P Sheehy

David Bridie

Sol Nation

Tanya Cavanagh

Rebecca Barnard

Tully Sumner

 

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Aardvark Staff

Aardvark Creative Director

Meagan Hunt

Meagan is a Registered Music Therapist with experience both locally and internationally. She is passionate about the use of music and creativity to assist young people to find their full potential and has designed and implemented sustainable music therapy programs in different settings in Brisbane, Dublin, Romania and Melbourne.

For the past 12 years Meagan has concentrated on working with adolescents and young adults who have chronic illness, eating disorders and mental illness. During this time Meagan also completed a Research Masters Degree investigating the use of group music therapy to foster a sense of belonging in young Sudanese refugees.

As well as being the Creative Director of Aardvark, Meagan is senior clinician for the Chronic Illness Peer Support Program (ChIPS) at the Royal Children’s Hospital where she has been for the past 10 years.

Career highlights also include convening four Australian Music Therapy (AMTA) conferences, one AMTA Profssional Development seminar and one National Youth Health Conference and Youth Forum. Meagan has been involved with Aardvark since 2009 first as a Board member, then as the music therapist before stepping up into the creative Director role in 2015.

 

Aardvark Music Therapist

Lucy Bolger

Lucy brings a depth of experience to the Aardvark program. She is a singer and piano player as well as a music therapist and has a passion for working with young people and communities.

Lucy recently completed her PhD looking into understanding the collaboration with young people in marginalised communities. Lucy came to Aardvark first as a board member several years ago before she jetted off to India where she has been leading and teaching a music therapy course for the past two years. Welcome back Lucy!

 

Aardvark Musician in Residence

Tristan Goodall

Tristan is well known as a principal songwriter and guitarist for the Australian band The Audreys and has a long history in the music industry with three Arias and a gold record under his belt.

He has run songwriting groups for Wild at Heart and APRA among others. He has also written music for film, TV and theatre. When not writing or performing he likes to watch horror movies and play backgammon.

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