The subject of a national body of instrument makers was first raised in 1978 at a meeting held by The Early Music Association of New South Wales at Macquarie University. Several instrument makers were present, and considering the amount of instrument making activity in Australia, it was thought highly desirable to form a makers’ association.

In the ensuing years, much discussion and deliberation took place with the view of producing a Constitution which would clearly set out the aims and aspirations of the Association. Those who were the most prominent in formulating the early direction of AAMIM included Geoff Wills from Queensland, and Ray Holiday and John Godschall Johnson, both from New South Wales. All three have since passed away, but they held official positions within the group for several years, and must be recognized for tirelessly raising the community awareness of musical instrument making.

AAMIM was officially launched in November 1981.

There were a number of aims set out in the Constitution, but the most prominent were:

  • To promote the interests of members and foster the craft.
  • To encourage the making of high class musical instruments.
  • To encourage the use of Australian timbers and materials.
  • To publish material relevant to the objectives of the Association and report on the activities of the members.     

It was the original intention of the founders that the Association was to function as an Australia-wide organization with a branch in each state. While this structure endured successfully for a number of years—with branches in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia—we have now more or less become a national entity.

Much activity has ensued since—far too much to list here. For those interested, a general history of the Association was published in the June 2004 edition of our journal, JAAMIM. Copies can be found in most Australian State public libraries, or obtained from the National Secretary or the Editor.

John Godschall Johnson 29K jpeg
John “Johnno” Godschall Johnson,
at an exhibition with a keen young musician

© 2007 AAMIM