A new award starting this year and created by the Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) will recognise the contribution made by Indigenous music teachers. The annual Indigenous Teacher Award, which offers a range of professional development opportunities to recipients, seeks to “honour and acknowledge music educators in First Nation and Indigenous Community settings”.
This is the first time such an award has been offered in Australia. A cash prize of up to $2,500 is offered, primarily to cover the costs of participating at ASME’s annual conference – this year in Perth in October – at which the award winner will be announced. Where the funds allow, the winner will also have teacher resource expenses and additional professional development opportunities paid for.
It is a wonderful initiative. Applications and nominations for the ASME Indigenous Teacher Award are open until 15 July. Go here to obtain the necessary form or find out more.
This year’s ASME conference is entitled ‘Footprints, creating pathways to the future’ and “seeks to celebrate current best practice across all levels and contexts of music education in Australia”. Convened by the Australian Society for Music Education WA Chapter, it takes place at the University of Western Australia on 2-4 October. Keynote speakers are Margaret Barrett, Joan Pope, Clint Bracknell and Anita Collins.
Another initiative of ASME is its Young Composer Project. For composers aged 16-20, this gives winners year the opportunity to have their work performed at its national conference. This year they will have their compositions workshopped with composer James Ledger.
Anita Collins is a Councillor for Music Australia representing Music Education Research.