Now that nominations for the 2019 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award are closed (as of 1 July), it might seem that the public’s role in this competition is over. Not so. The important part is yet to come. Any member of the public is able to take part in the voting process, which is expected to begin in October on a date to be advised. Do it here once the voting period opens.
As in previous years, the music teacher who receives the most public votes will be presented with an ARIA at the awards night in November. Impressively, more than 1,000 nominations were received last year, out of which 20 teachers were shortlisted, and a lucky final four were partnered up with Artist Ambassadors Guy Sebastian, Justine Clarke, Sheppard and Thelma Plum, who visited their schools. Scott Maxwell from Grant High School in Mount Gambier, SA, ultimately came through as winner.
So look out for when voting starts on the link above, and spread the word. This is Australia’s largest celebration of the tremendous role that music teachers contribute to the lives of young people across the country, and it brings great kudos not only to the winner but all teachers who are nominated and shortlisted. In turn this increases public awareness of the importance of music teaching right across the educational system. And hopefully with this increased awareness, every Aussie kid will one day be able to receive a quality music education – a situation that sadly does not yet exist.
For updates on the award, also follow ARIA’s tweets here. Right now, nominated teachers are being asked to complete an entry form describing the music education program they run at their school.
The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award is open to any teacher in Australia who is involved in a school music program, whether at preschool, primary or secondary levels. Childcare staff, after-school educators and private music teachers are also eligible. The award started in 2017, with its inaugural winner being Renee McCarthy of Woodcroft College, also in SA.
This year’s award will be dedicated to the memory of Richard Gill.