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Shane Hewitt has been in the entertainment industry for more than four decades, enjoying success on both the performance and management sides of the business.

He began his career as lead singer of the popular Australian rock group, Lotus, and has seen its 1971 hit single Lotus 1 (I'll Be Gone) re-released on the compilation albums Made In Australia (1987 EMI), Golden Miles (1994 Raven Records) and Keep On Rockin' - Australian Pop of the 70s Volume 5 (2014 Sony Music).  A solo singing career followed several years of touring with Lotus, and performing, recording and television appearances kept Shane in the public eye.

Releases in this period include the single Guess It's The Time Of Year Again (written and produced by Freddy Hampton) backed with Shane's own song Wanting You Wanting Me, the album Alice's Wonderband (featuring Sybil Graham) and the children's album Look There! Humphrey Bear.  Shane's version of the Humphrey B. Bear theme song opened the popular television show each morning for many years.

Presented in 1973 with the opportunity to work with theatre-legend, Kenn Brodziak, Shane quickly jumped to the other side of the footlights.  It was meant to be a brief diversion from his stage career, but became the foundation for a long and successful career in theatrical production and venue management.  Over the next 25 years he held senior positions with some of Australia's leading arts and entertainment organisations, including: General Manager, Aztec Services Pty Ltd; General Manager, J.C. Williamson Productions Ltd; Entertainment Manager, Diamond Beach Hotel Casino, Darwin; General Manager, Darwin Entertainment Centre; Operations Manager, Melbourne Park (formerly Flinders Park National Tennis Centre); Deputy General Manager, Victorian Arts Centre; and Executive Officer, Venue Management Association.

During his career Shane has also held numerous honorary directorships with not-for-profit organisations and has served on the Boards of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association, Venue Management Association, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Green Room Awards Association and Australian National Memorial Theatre.

Along the way there have been a few unusual diversions, such as being the chef in a Sydney restaurant (in partnership with his brother and sister-in-law); running his own house-painting business; and being a freelance producer and project manager for some of Australia's major theatrical entrepreneurs.  However, Shane's passion for singing and songwriting has never been far from the surface.

In 1997 he established his own record label, Middle Eight Music, and released his first solo CD called Hopeless Romantic, a 12-track collection of easy-listening ballads, swing standards and two of his own songs.  Later that year he released The Fats Waller Project, a CD with violinist Tony Conolan, featuring 18 popular songs from the 1920s and 1930s.

In October of 1997 Shane returned to performing with two sold-out performances at the Melbourne Concert Hall for the Victorian Arts Centre's Morning Melodies series, with a show he devised called Unforgettable! A Tribute to Nat King Cole.  He subsequently took it to many regional centres, and a CD of the songs from the show was released in 1998.

Also in 1998, Shane expanded Middle Eight Music into an online retail CD shop and wholesale distribution business, specialising in cabaret, show music and jazz.  He is particularly proud that in 2000, his release of Unusual Way by John O'May was rated as one of the Top 10 CDs of the year by both The Age and the Sunday Herald Sun.  And in 2002 he was thrilled to release a CD of Phil Scott's brilliant show Serious Cabaret, recorded live at Glen Street Theatre in Sydney.

In 1999 and 2000 Shane appeared at Melbourne's award-winning cabaret venue, Capers, with his show called The Other Side Of Me, with the wonderful Kevin Hocking as Musical Director.  At the same time he continued to develop Middle Eight Music whilst spending whatever spare time he could on songwriting.

In 2002 his song New Habits appeared as the title track on the debut CD by John Ellis, and a song for which Shane co-wrote special lyrics with Mark Jones was performed as a duet by cabaret and theatre stars Melissa Langton and Kane Alexander on Melissa's debut CD released in October 2002.  In the same year Shane also co-wrote with Mark Jones a specialty song, My Name Is Enda, for Irish performer Enda Markey who is now a leading theatrical producer.  In 2004 Shane's song Swing Still Works For Me, co-written with Craig Schneider, was the title song for Craig's fourth CD.

In the middle of all these activities, in 2000 Shane became involved with The Dramatic Group Pty Ltd whose Directors, David Eedle and Fiona Boyd, established Arts Hub, in which Shane was a founding shareholder.  From a small start-up it became a world leader in the provision of information services to the arts and cultural industry.  In 2006 it was sold to a syndicate led by Simon Baker, who at the time was Managing Director and CEO of www.realestate.com.au.

In early 2004 Shane was asked to do a short-term stint as Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square in Melbourne. However, when the Chief Executive Officer resigned, Shane spent much of that year as Acting CEO while the Board searched for a replacement.  It was certainly a challenge, juggling the responsibilities of the role whilst continuing to run Middle Eight Music.

In May 2005 Shane welcomed Max Peterson, a veteran of the music retail industry, as a partner in Middle Eight Music and in July 2005 they opened a CD and DVD store at 145 Osborne Street, South Yarra, in Melbourne, which became a popular spot for music aficionados for nigh on five years.  In April 2010, due to changes in the economic climate, they closed the shop and reverted to online mail-order only.  In June 2017 they made the decision to close the business.  They are very grateful to all their loyal customers and suppliers for 20 years of support!

In addition to his involvement with Middle Eight Music, Shane has worked for many years as a consultant providing bookkeeping, BAS, payroll and administrative support services to small and medium sized business in Melbourne.  It keeps his accountant and bank manager happy, and modest quality wine on the dinner table...


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