Introducing the 2022 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominees! This important award is proudly supported by The Song Room.

Introducing the 2022 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award Nominees! This important award is proudly supported by The Song Room.

Today ARIA announced this year’s nominees for the 2022 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award; an award that has been proudly supported by The Song Room for six years.

The Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award helps shine a light on the importance of Music Education by celebrating the incredible achievements of four exceptional music teachers from around Australia.

Learning about their music programs and hearing about the work that they are doing in their schools and communities is so inspiring. The impact they are making on the lives of their students is invaluable and helps to set them up for a brighter future.

Telstra, ARIA and The Song Room are very proud to bring this award to the ARIAs.

It is concerning that 3 out of 4 Australian schools do not have a specialist music teacher. Despite evidence suggesting that students’ participation in music and the Arts increases school attendance, improves learning across the curriculum. As well as building student confidence and resilience. There is much work to be done to improve this situation.

The nominees were surprised by ARIA Award winning ambassadors, who visited the nominee’s schools to share the news of their nomination.

Meet the 2022 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award nominees and vote for your favourite teacher to win the ARIA!

Kath Dunn – Wollondilly Public School, NSW

Kath was surprised by Tsehay “The Yellow Wiggle” Hawkins, the youngest member of the Wiggles, to celebrate Kath’s nomination. She has created a school-wide, daily 10-minute beat program that engages all 300 students through regular and fun music activities. Her program gives every student, every day, the opportunity to enjoy music, grow their skills as well as benefit from music learning.

Watch Kath’s story with ambassador Tsehay Hawkins here.

Matt Orchard – Apollo Bay College, VIC

Victorian Music Teacher and rocker, Matty O, turned a single rundown portable with a few elective classes, into a ‘House Of Rock’ music program that teaches students from prep through to Year 12. It’s so popular students still return 20 years later to help work in the program. Ex-Silverchair drummer, Ben Gillies, visited the school to give Matt the good news.

Watch Matt’s story with ambassador Ben Gillies here.

Jane Nicholas, Willandra Primary School, WA

Jane is music teacher at a school with over 600 students from 40 different countries with diverse cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds. Through her music program, she helps celebrate their individual identities to build greater understanding, respect and peace for each other. First Nations singer songwriter Mitch Tambo joined Jane and her students to acknowledge her achievements.

Watch Jane’s story with ambassador Mitch Tambo here.

David Collins-White – Haberfield Public School, NSW

With over 22 years’ experience teaching music David understands that, ‘Music is an essential part of human development. It’s the foundation of aural skills, movement skills, abstract thinking and language development.” David has also helped teachers across Australian deliver their own music programs through online resources he has created, including a popular Youtube Channel. Anthony ‘The Blue Wiggle’ Field joined him to announce his nomination.

Watch David’s story with ambassador Anthony Field here.

Voting is Now Open!

Vote now to acknowledge these inspiring music teachers!

You can help determine the winner. Place your vote  ONCE PER DAY, PER DEVICE  from now until 11:59 pm on November 16! Vote for your favourite music teacher online at aria.com.au/vote.

The music teacher with the most public and industry votes will be announced during the 2022 ARIA Award ceremony. It will be broadcast on Channel 9 from the Hordern Pavilion on Thursday 24 November.


If you would like to learn more about the impact that a quality music and arts education can make on student outcomes, visit our Programs impact and also Research pages.