Investigation update

Dear colleagues,

I am writing on behalf of the IASPM Executive and the IASPM Ethics Committee to provide the organisation with an update regarding the investigation into allegations of sexual assault against members of IASPM. The investigation is ongoing.

We recognise, acknowledge, and empathise with the ongoing distress this matter is causing, particularly to the complainants. We understand there is frustration among members, compounded by the time frame. The IASPM Executive and IASPM Ethics Committee have both been working hard to navigate and address this matter with care, due diligence, and professionalism. Due to the complexity of the matter–and in the absence of a formal organisational complaints policy or procedure–it has taken us longer than anticipated. The IASPM Executive has appointed experts to oversee the investigation and we have also sought and acted upon legal advice. Due to privacy and confidentiality, we are unable to provide details. However, we do expect to reach a resolution, as well as introduce new organisational measures designed to better support and facilitate the reporting of future complaints, prior to the IASPM international conference in Minneapolis.

The safety and wellbeing of all IASPM members is paramount. This is our main priority as we continue working towards a resolution. In accordance with advice from the external experts appointed to oversee this investigation, we will communicate that resolution to the membership as soon as possible. In the meantime, in addition to the Code of Conduct already written, the IASPM Ethics Committee is working on a formal complaints procedure. Once the Ethics Committee has prepared a draft, we will circulate it to the membership for feedback. In the meantime, we welcome expressions of interest from the membership to join us in undertaking this work for the benefit of all IASPM members. Please direct expressions of interest to:

I would like to thank the IASPM Executive and the IASPM Ethics Committee for their ongoing work for our organisation, and I thank the membership for their ongoing patience and understanding as we work through these unprecedented and complex matters.


Samantha Bennett – Chair

IASPM Ethics Committee:

Christina Baade
Alexandra Boutros
Michael Drewitt
Kathleen Galloway
Beatriz Goubert
Nora Leidinger
Catherine Strong
Martha Ulhôa
Jacqueline Warwick
Ann Werner

Professor Samantha Bennett

Associate Dean Higher Degree Research
Professor of Music
Chair – International Association for the Study of Popular Music | IASPM
College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University
Beryl Rawson Building #13
Ellery Crescent
ACT 2601