MBA student designs musical charity gig

Headshot of MBA student Stephanie Oates, wearing a scarf.
MBA student Stephanie Oates is taking her innovative passion for music into the charity sector.

Griffith MBA student Stephanie Oates is a driving force behind a charity project aimed at developing the musical interests of children who are long-term patients at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Stephanie co-founded Music Tech Academy in 2013 with Craig Parry and their latest musical enterprise is Kinder Bleep! – a live event showcasing Brisbane’s underground electronic scene.

Through online pledges and ticket sales, they aim to raise enough money to buy two iPads to be donated to the children’s ward of the Royal Brisbane Hospital. The iPads will be loaded with music production apps from Music Tech Academy. Craig will also spend a week at the hospital to train staff and long-stay children how to use the apps.

Kinder Bleep! takes place at new Brisbane club Wasteland on Friday, May 10.

The project materialised after Craig’s son Isaac had an extended stay at the hospital when he lost the use of his legs for three months.

“While in there I got a first-hand experience of how depressing and boring it can be for the longer stay children who are confined to a bed,” he says.

Stephanie says she was inspired by an online comic called Penny Arcade whose writers started a charity called Childs Play, aimed at raising funds for video game consoles for children’s hospitals.

“While I thought this was a great idea, I was hoping to use music as a more productive medium in which the children could spend their time and develop their creativity,” she says.

“The iPad interface is incredibly intuitive for creative projects and also a powerful one that young children seem to respond to very positively. The applications that we install will range in complexity from very simple for the younger children to much more accomplished audio workstations that the older children can compose, edit, save and export on.”

Stephanie Oates started her MBA studies at Griffith University in 2009 while working in the construction industry. She had previously worked as a music teacher in Darwin and Southeast Queensland.

She set up Music Tech Academy to pursue her passion for music and education, and is already running workshops at Brisbane schools to teach students how to become a DJ, work in production or develop the art of turn-tabling.

She says each new pursuit is informed by the MBA degree she is studying part-time with the Griffith Business School.

“I just love its flexibility of delivery and the structure of the MBA content. It is not just about learning content to a certain standard, it’s about the discussions and discovery of new ideas.”

Ticket for Kinder Bleep! are available at and packages range from $5 to $20. Donations to the charity can also be made here.

Underground electronic artists, DJs and promoters of Brisbane’s old and new guard will perform at Wasteland, playing a variety of music including IDM, Glitch, Breakcore, Broken Beat, Chiptune, Wonky, Futurebeat and Crabstep-halfbeat-techrock. Showcasing artists include Puzahki, Chupi, Nick McGavern, Gross Prophet, Walri & Herts.