Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) have been changing and inspiring young Australian lives for the past two decades. Facing challenging circumstances and grappling with issues such as homelessness, mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency, we wanted to share their stories. 


Zeek has grown up around music and says, “It’s an extension of my emotions and the things I was feeling and going through at the time.” Using music to process feeling of sadness and anxiety, Zeek now aims to relate to listeners through his songs. The song ‘When I Go Down’ was a song that changed his life and journey. During a dark moment in his life, the song inspired him to write and peruse music full time. 


Paz started taking drugs at a young age to numb the pain of her reality. Living in a refuge and struggling at school, Paz’s life changed when she attended a MMAD camp that “gave me something that drugs couldn’t.” Surrounded by people who believed in her, Paz learnt how to be confident within herself, on stage and in life. Flushing the drugs, Paz let go of all the things holding her back and began to move forward. Now a stand-up comedian and travelling the state, Paz volunteers at camps around the world in the hope to help others like her. 


As an outsider you feel like no one is listening to you. Growing up as the shy kid without an identity, Mugsy was filled with self-doubt and anger. Battling with his existence for a long time, reaching out for help was difficult – that was until he found hip hop. Dedicated to learning about the culture, Mugsy craved to be involved in the industry, and transferred his anger into lyrics. Wanting to make something of himself, he began to rewrite his story with music as his identity. Mugsy now helps and inspires those at MMAD heading down the same path as he was. 

The team and artists are doing a wonderful job bringing joy and meaning to the lives of young Australians. The team at Insider are so inspired by their stories, and we hope you were too.