Ruthless Jabiru stands unequivocally against racism and inequity.

The essence of our orchestra lies in the performance of contemporary music programmes with a conscience, in collaboration with our friends in the campaigning sector. Through music, we have given our attention to the indigenous casualties of Maralinga, texts of Australian Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, political and climate refugees worldwide, and the victims and survivors of honour crime. Yet we have neglected to directly call out our own sector’s systemic underrepresentation of non-white professionals, and for this we apologise.

As a collective of freelancers communing on a project basis, we have the agility to make immediate change. This statement outlines the orchestra’s data so far and our renewed commitment to anti-racism following the death of George Floyd.

We understand diversity as fundamentally hinging on self-identification, so the statistics which follow are an estimate in lieu of confirmed metrics.

Ruthless Jabiru is committed to globally-balanced programming. We aim to advocate for composers from our shared homes of Australia and Britain; as well as from Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and beyond.

Breakdown of the composers Ruthless Jabiru has programmed since outset:

85% Living
45% Women
12% Non-white: of Asian, Arab and Latinx heritage
41% British or British-based
37% Australian

Our commitments

  • We commit to increasing our support to at least 50% non-white composer representation in all future programmes
  • We commit to the inclusion of Black and First Nations composers in these figures in addition to those of Asian, Arab and Latinx backgrounds
  • We commit to at least 50% female composer representation in all programmes

Ruthless Jabiru is an ensemble of professional Australian musicians living temporarily or permanently in the UK. We seek to bring professional, creative and community-building opportunities to first-, second- and third-plus generation Australians, and Australians with indigenous backgrounds; in conjunction with local British creatives and cultural practitioners.

Breakdown of the freelancers Ruthless Jabiru has engaged since outset:

66% Women (50-80% per project)
22% Non-white: of Asian, Arab, Pacific Islander and First Nations heritage (9-33% per project)

Our commitments

  • We will aspire to at least 50% non-white representation across the combined orchestral, soloist, creative and staff engagements for each of our future projects
  • We will explore possibilities to support increased representation of Black and indigenous Australian musicians in the Australian orchestral sector and abroad
  • We will consider new ways to diversify project teams wherever possible; including creative collaborations and staff recruitment from outside the sector
  • We will continue our commitment to gender balance

Further actions (non-exhaustive)

  • Developing a collection system for personal identity markers to ensure authentic representation of collaborators both publicly and internally
  • Supporting non-white businesses for outsourcing where possible
  • Exploring options for unconscious bias training
  • Continued advocacy for anti-racism resources across Ruthless Jabiru’s social channels
  • Commitment to measuring and communicating progress to the orchestra’s members, stakeholders and audience
  • Remaining open to diversity in all its forms

We understand our responsibility to respond to the wisdom and leadership of our non-white colleagues as we adjust our models: we thank them again for their continuing patience.

Kelly Lovelady
Artistic Director
July 2020

Recent Posts

Inside Music: Composer Soosan Lolavar explores deep musical connections

Soosan Lolavar is a British-Iranian composer and researcher. Today on Inside Music, she discovers how composers like Janǎćek, Philip Glass and Ligeti often revisit their best ideas. 

Soosan also describes the way her recent treatment for cancer has changed her relationship with music, forging deeper connections with the works of Mahler, Sibelius and Beethoven.

And she also finds how a performance by the legendary Iranian singer Mohammadreza Shajarian conjures moments of freedom, wild horses and the folk traditions of Sicily. 

A series in which each week a musician explores a selection of music – from the inside.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

This time last year we were still giddy from our Crowdfunder success! Thanks so much again to everyone who’s supported our album collaboration with Soosan and Nonclassical so far.

For all those interested in our progress—Soosan speaks openly about her year here for Inside Music, while I continue my fundraising crusade to support our sizeable project team..

We hope to regale you all with a 2022 release! In the meantime, our Crowdfunder remains open for donations of any/every size

  1. Meet the Artist: Camille Maalawy, mezzo-soprano Leave a reply
  2. Complex tragedies of honour crime and family violence: Ruthless Jabiru at Grimeborn Festival Leave a reply
  3. BBC Radio London: Inspirit with Jumoké Fashola Leave a reply
  4. Diverse cast unite in Bushra El-Turk’s Silk Moth Leave a reply
  5. Silk Moth and honour Leave a reply
  6. Lecturer’s libretto returns to the stage 1 Reply
  7. Mixtape #006 Leave a reply
  8. Ruthless Jabiru to make Grimeborn Festival debut with all-female programme of music Leave a reply
  9. Arcola announces 2019 Grimeborn Opera Festival Leave a reply