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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Voting is now open!

As we move closer towards this years ARIA Awards, The Australian Recording Industry

Association (ARIA) have announced this year's Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award nominees, iIn partnership with Telstra and supported by The Song Room.

This year, David Collins-White of Haberfield Public School in New South Wales, Jane Nicholas of Willandra Primary School in Western Australia, Matt Orchard of Apollo Bay P-12 College in Victoria and Kath Dunn of Wollondilly Public School in Goulburn have all been recognised for their significant contribution, hard work, creativity and dedication to teaching. Find out more about each nominee below, and vote for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.

Annabelle Herd, ARIA CEO says: “With everything going on around us in 2022 the music classroom and our music teachers are more important than ever as a place of sanctuary, comfort, learning, connection and joy for children and music students. This year, I’m so thrilled to see such a high number of nominations for passionate, dedicated and inspiring music teachers who go above and beyond for their students. The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award is all about recognising the special people who are key in nurturing the next generation of music lovers and musicians. I want to thank Telstra for their ongoing support over the previous five years and I cannot wait for The Wiggles to announce the winning teacher at the ARIA Awards in November. To all the nominees, from the bottom of my heart thank you for all the great work you have done and continue to do.”

Launched in 2017, the award honours and recognises the hard work of music teachers across the country, who inspire the youth of Australia to follow musical career paths. The introduction of the award served as an initiative to “shine a light on the importance of music to education and student engagement.”, with previous winners including Zoë Barry (2021, Sacred Heart School, Melbourne VIC), Sarah Donnelly (2020, Willcania Central School, Wilcannia NSW), Antonio Chiappetta (2019, St Andrews College, Sydney, NSW), Scott Maxwell (2018, Grant High School, Mount Gambier, SA) and Renee McCarthy (2017, Woodcroft College, Adelaide SA).


Haberfield Public School – Eora Nation, Haberfield NSW

Mr David Collins-White has been a music teacher at Haberfield Public School for 22 years, teaching weekly music lessons to all 650 students and conducting an additional 10 music ensembles. He has created resources, including a popular YouTube channel, to help teachers across Australia implement their own quality music programs. Vote for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.

Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Willandra Primary School – Noongar Land, Seville Grove WA

Ms Jane Nicholas has been the music teacher at Willandra Primary School for over 10 years with students from over 40 different countries. She captures their diverse identities in music to build greater understanding, respect and peace. Vote for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.

Image: Kelvin Chong


Apollo Bay P-12 College - Gadubanud Territory, Apollo Bay, VIC

Mr Matt Orchard, or Matty O to his students and colleagues, is a working musician with 25 years in the business and over 3,500 gigs under his belt. He brings his years of experience and passion for rock music into the classroom to inspire the next generation of music students. Vote for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.

Image: Harmony Rose


Wollondilly Public School – Gundungurra Land, Goulburn NSW

Mrs Kath Dunn has created a daily 10-minute beat program that engages all 300 students at the school through regular and fun activities, supporting them to grow their skills and a love of music learning. It is having a noticeable impact on the student's academic success, improving focus and self-esteem. Vote for the Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award here.

Image: Rachael Cramp


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