ASME Awards

ASME Teaching Award for Excellence in Indigenous Music Education


At the National Executive and Council meeting held prior to the XXIst ASME National Conference in 2017, a proposal to honour and acknowledge music educators in First Nation and Indigenous Community settings was presented by Immediate Past President Dr Brad Merrick and accepted unanimously. The ASME Teaching Award for Excellence in Indigenous Music Education was announced publicly at the awards ceremony to all delegates on the last day of the 2017 conference. This award is to be supported financially by ASME National and the inaugural award was presented to highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Shellie Morris, from the Northern Territory during the ASME XXII Conference in Perth, 2019.  In ASME Update (published in December, 2019) Shellie Morris wrote: “I’ve worked in more than 70 remote Australian communities in my career, I’ve learnt to sing in more than 17 Aboriginal languages – many of which are considered “sleeping” or close to extinction. First Nations cultures have always used the arts as the main way of communicating over the ages, as an education tool for kids’ learning, lore, law, inter-tribal communication and imparting social mores. I’m continuing this.” (Shellie Morris)


This Award aims to recognise music educators in First Nation and Indigenous Community settings through their exceptional efforts in the provision of quality music education. The award seeks to enable further professional growth through attendance at the ASME National Conference where there will be opportunities to share their experiences and to access current thinking, professional practice, and resources.

The purpose of this award would be to support attendance and resources to selected recipients, the first winner/s being acknowledged in person at the XXII Conference. The award in total will amount to a maximum value of $2500.00.

This may include

  • Support for travel, attendance, and accommodation at the conference (with possible presentation of a teaching workshop, in combination with acknowledging the award publicly with other chapter- based teaching awards), and if additional monies are still available;
  • Possible support for the purchase of teaching resources/or access to an additional PD opportunity – as part of the $2500 allocation for the total award; and
  • This $2500 amount may be split between two recipients if the National Executive wish to acknowledge more than one teacher (with an allocation of $1250 for two recipients).

Applicants must either complete this form themselves and include comments from other referees. Alternately, this form may be filled in by an external work colleague and submitted. It is important that the designated person is aware that they have been nominated for the award.

Applications are due 3 months before the next ASME National Conference.

Either – Post to: ASME Indigenous Award, PO Box 7184, West Lakes SA 5021.

Or – email

Click here to download the 2019 nomination form National Teaching Award For Excellence In Indigenous Music Education

ASME Music Educating for Life Awards

ASME National Executive presented the inaugural ASME Music Educating for Life Awards during the ASME XIX National Conference held in Canberra in 2013. 

The intention of these Awards is to publicly recognise one award winner from each Chapter at the ASME National Conference. Subject to the resources of individual ASME Chapters, the award winner may receive some support towards attendance at the National Conference. The decision to offer the award is at the discretion of individual ASME Chapters. Any potential award applicants should register their interest with their local Chapter. The deadline for applications is 3 months prior to the next ASME National Conference.

The 2013 recipients were: 

Western Australia – Diane Durham

Victoria – Dr Rosalind McMillan 

The 2015 recipients were:

New South Wales – Andrew Mifsud

South Australia – Ben Fuller

Western Australia – Jane Alderson and Jan Ruscoe

The 2017 recipients were:

New South Wales – Greg Thwaites

South Australia – Janice Purdie

Victoria – Michael Travers

Western Australia – Jane Nicholas

The 2019 recipients were:

New South Wales – Alex Manton

Queensland – Dr Cade Bonar

South Australia – Sari Noble

Tasmania – Carolyn Cross

Victoria – Michael Travers

Western Australia – Veronica Akse


One of the outcomes of the National Review of School Music Education (2005) was the establishment of the National Awards for Excellence in School Music Education which were funded by the Australian Government and administered by ASME, and were awarded annually during the period 2007 – 2011 (inclusive).

The funding provided thirteen $5,000 awards each year, and the awards process had some impact on publicly recognising the achievements of outstanding music teachers and school leaders which indirectly had some positive effect on the status of school music education. ASME’s submission for the continuation of the funding was not successful. Nevertheless, ASME continues to nationally recognise outstanding music educators through the ASME Music Educating for Life Awards.

Callaway Doctoral Award

In memory of Sir Frank Callaway founding President of ASME, the Callaway Doctoral Award will be presented on a biennial basis to the best doctoral thesis from an Australian university in the area of music education. The thesis can be for a PhD or for an applied doctorate.

The award will be based on the contribution made by a doctoral thesis to furthering theoretical, empirical, historical and/or methodological knowledge in and about music education. In particular, the ability of a doctoral thesis to make conceptual advances in music education theory, policy and practice, to indicate methods for improvement of music education, to assess the significance and viability of innovation in music education, or to contribute to the advances in methodology for research in music education will be assessed as criteria for the award.

The closing date for nominations is three months prior to the next ASME National Conference. Nominations should be emailed to: or sent by mail to: Callaway Doctoral Award, ASME National Secretary, PO Box 7184, West Lakes SA 5021

Nominations should be in the form of a formal written letter, addressing the key criteria listed above. It should highlight the significance of the research and the way that the thesis contributes to the field of music education and the specific area studied.

The award will be made by a sub-committee of the National Executive of the Australian Society for Music Education and will be announced at the biennial national conference of the Society. The recipient will be invited to present her/his research in a Doctoral Award session of the conference. The recipient’s conference costs will be borne by the Society.

The process for the adjudication of the award is:

  • nominations for the award are made at least three months before the date of the Society’s biennial national conference and a decision for the award is made to the National Executive of the Australian Society for Music Education two months before the biennial national conference
  • any recipient of a doctoral degree relevant to music education in the period since the previous national conference of the Society can be nominated for the award
  • nomination for the award is to be made by the Dean or relevant Head of School/Department and consists of
    • a letter of nomination indicating the contribution the thesis makes to music education
    • a copy of the thesis abstract
    • copies of all examiners’ reports on the thesis
  • any supervisor or examiner of a doctorate nominated for the award will not be a member of the doctoral award sub-committee
  • if the doctoral award sub-committee decides that no doctoral thesis fulfills the criteria for the award in any biennial period, the award will not be made.

Recipients of the Callaway Doctoral Award are as follows:


2005 David Cleaver
University of Tasmania
Illuminating Musical Lifeworlds: phenomenological narratives of the musical lifeworlds of five senior secondary school students. Asme 1
2007 Dawn Bennett
The University of Western Australia
Classical instrumental musicians: Educating for sustainable professional practice. Asme 2
2009 Joan Pope, OAM
Monash University
Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australasia: the first generation from 1918. Asme 3
2011 Jennifer Mary StGeorge
University of Newcastle
The subjectivity of musical learning: understanding participation instrumental music instruction. Asme 4
2013 Melissa Cain
Griffith University
Philosophy, Policy, Practice: visions and realities of the cultural diversity in selected primary classrooms in Brisbane and Singapore. Asme 5
2015 Eleanor McPhee 
Western Sydney University
How do instrumental teachers learn to be effective educators? A look inside the toolbox. Pp Mcphee Eleanor 244x300
2017 Leon de  Bruin 
Monash University
 Expert practitioner voices. A Phenomenological inquiry into teaching, learning and collaborating in musical improvisation  



The Callaway Doctoral Award winner for 2019 was Dr Gillian Howell, Griffith University, for her thesis entitled: A world away from war: musical interventions in war-affected settings.

Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education

Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education is one of the highest honours that the Society can award, and should be seen by ASME members and Fellows and by the wider education community to be a recognition of outstanding and distinctive contributions to the advancement of music education.

A Fellowship Awards Committee can only make decisions on the written evidence placed before them. A Fellowship is a national award and the evidence offered must provide sufficient proof that the person is indeed worthy of this highly prestigious award. It is therefore essential that in preparing nominations, nominators address the criteria set out in these Fellowship Guidelines.

The proforma nomination form, to be used for nominations is part of the Fellowship Guidelines document.

Nominations to be considered for the next conference should be mailed as follows:
Address: Fellowship Award, ASME National Secretary, PO BOX Box 7184, West Lakes SA 5021

Fellowship of ASME has been awarded to the following recipients:

2006 David Forrest

2009 Amanda Watson, Martin Comte

2011 Max Cooke, Roger Covell, Warren Bourne, Barry Palmer, Joan Livermore, Gary McPherson, Mary-Jane Whitehead, Margaret Barrett, Robert Smith, Neryl Jeanneret, Julie Montague and Jennifer Rosevear

2013 Susan Harding, Kay Hartwig, Jay McPherson (post.), Anne Lierse

2015 Judith Haldane

2017 Bradley Merrick, Helen Swan

2019 Antony Hubmayer

Lady Callaway Award

Following a bequest from Lady Callaway’s estate, a small monetary award is made at the ASME National Conference to a recipient resident in that State or Territory. National Executive determined that the local ASME chapter council is to seek nominations for the Lady Callaway Award, and to decide on the winner of the award. The first award was made in 2009.

ASME National Executive determined that the award winner should be an early-career music educator who has supported the cause of music education, particularly through the provision of piano accompaniment for educational purposes, as this was an area of particular interest to Lady Callaway.

2009 Michael Curtain (accompanist)
2011 Stewart Kelly (accompanist)
2013 James Huntingford (accompanist)

2015 Matthew Binion (accompanist)

2017 John Young (accompanist)

2019 Adrian Soares (accompanist)

National Awards for Excellence in School Music Education

In response to the 2005 report of the National Review of School Music Education, a National Awards for Excellence in School Music Education Project was funded by the Australian Government under the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme. The awards were administered by the Australian Society for Music Education. Funding for these awards ceased after the 2011 awards.

An archive of the National Awards for Excellence in School Music Education is available here.