17 September 2023

ASME Vic – “The 2023 ASME Afternoon”

"An ASME Afternoon 2023" was held on Sunday September 17 at the Kent Hotel, Carlton North in Melbourne, Victoria. It is an annual social event that celebrates the significant achievements of established and new music educators from Victoria.

On Sunday September 17th at the Kent Hotel in Carlton North, Melbourne, the Victorian music education community came together for the 2nd annual “An ASME Afternoon”.  This social event was a joyous and heart-warming afternoon to celebrate and acknowledge the wonderful achievements of established and new music educators, facilitating the opportunity to catch-up and network with old colleagues, friends or form new connections.
The afternoon featured acknowledgement of:
ASME Victoria Young Composer Project representative – Sage Ryan
ASME Graduate Teacher Award recipients – Flora Cawte, Stewart Taylor and Thomas Baldwin
ASME Music Educating for Life Award recipients Peter Sharp and Claudia Barker
Honorary Life Membership recipient Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret
FASME, Fellow of the Association of Music Education, recipients Helen Champion, Dawn Joseph and Robin Stevens

An ASME Afternoon 2023

Sage Ryan – ASME Young Composer Project, Victorian Representative

The Young Composers’ Project was begun in 1995 at the Hobart National Conference when student composers from each Chapter were selected to workshop their pieces with a wind symphony. As with each Conference since, a well-known composer was selected to work with the students in workshopping their pieces.

This year’s composer-in-residence was Holly Harrison, a composer from Western Sydney whose music is driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll that embraces stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock and whimsical humour. 

At this year’s ASME National Conference, five States were represented by composers, either in the final two years of school or first two years of tertiary study. Victoria was most ably represented by Sage Ryan, a Year 11 student at Northcote High School, whose composition ‘Chimaera’ was written for flute, clarinet, cello and keyboard. Writing for this instrumental combination was a requirement of the project. The compositions were performed by the Sydney-based group, Ensemble Offspring. 

The performance of Sage’s work by Ensemble Offspring at the 2023 ASME National Conference at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music was sensational and received with great admiration and applause by the appreciative audience, and Sage was presented with a plaque to mark the occasion.


Graduate Teacher Awards

The ASME (Vic) Graduate Teacher Awards are presented every year to the highest achieving postgraduate music education student enrolled at each of Victoria’s universities. 

The 2022 Melbourne Graduate School of Education award (in the University of Melbourne) was presented to Tom Baldwin. Tom’s award was celebrated at the MGSE Awards earlier this year. 

The 2022 Deakin University award was presented to Stewart Taylor. Stew’s award was celebrated at the Deakin University Awards earlier this year. 

The 2022 Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Master of Music Performance Teaching award is presented to Flora Cawte.


Educating for Life Awards

The ASME Educating for Life Awards are presented to outstanding music educators employed in one or more of early childhood, primary, secondary, or special education in the government or non-government sector, with a minimum of three years’ experience.

The award focusses on the applicant’s exceptional contribution to the provision of quality music education in the context within which she/he is working, as demonstrated by the following criteria:

  • Effectiveness and innovation in enabling development of new musical understandings that build on and enrich pupils’ knowledge, skills and attitudes in music
  • Teaching approaches that cater for diverse needs and backgrounds
  • Working collaboratively with other teachers and providers of music learning to improve outcomes for pupils

Peter Sharp

Pictured left to right: Peter Sharp, Dr. Leon de Bruin

Peter has taught for over 30 years at Frankston High School, having begun there part-time in the early 1990s. During this time he has led and developed a substantial music department.

With Peter at the helm, and support from school administration and a range of instrumental teachers, the music department has grown from strength to strength, developing 4 concert bands, three stage bands, and numerous smaller ensembles. 

Peter has connected with Frankston Rotary, Frankston Council, and the Frankston Susono Friendship Association. This work paved the way for bi-lateral music exchanges between Susono (Japan) and Frankston, with numerous international trips for students, including a 10-day five city tour of Japan by the Frankston High School Senior Stage Band, which included a performance at World Expo 2005 in Nagoya

Peter has regularly taken bands to the Melbourne Bands Festival (now Victorian Schools Music Festival), along with the annual pilgrimage of the Frankston HS stage bands to Mt Gambier for Generations in Jazz – for which he was often the bus driver!

Thirty years since he first began there, Peter currently is still Head of Department at Frankston High School. Having seen the ushering in of computers, VIT, data driven teaching, his quality of teaching and connecting with so many students, teachers, community bands and ensembles over the years are many facets to the exceptional, enduring and passionate contribution Peter has made to Frankston high School, the City of Frankston, and music education in Victoria. 


Claudia Barker

Pictured left to right: Claudia Barker, Dr. Leon de Bruin


Claudia Barker has made an extraordinary contribution of music and music education across many decades. For more than 50 years she taught music at Kooweerup Secondary College where the school named the Claudia Barker Performing Arts Centre in her honour.

She has impacted on many aspects of school and community life.

In 1998 she formed the college marching band and entered them into the Anzac Day march in Melbourne. They have marched in the Anzac Day commemorations every year since. She has been a tireless advocate for music and its place in the school and community.

Claudia was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through a range of musical organisations, ABODA Life Membership, and is in the aMuse Music Education Hall of Fame.

Some of Claudia’s career highlights include:

  • In 1965 she appointed as the only music teacher at Koo Wee Rup High School. In 2023 the program has grown to include 10 music staff  
  • In 1982 started the school’s senior band program
  • In 1998 instigated the Koo Wee Rup SC College marching band. The band has attended the Melbourne ANZAC march since 1999 and leads the 39th Battalion annually in the march
  • In 2002, the Claudia Barker Performing Arts Centre was named in her honour, the same year she became a leading teacher.
  • 2012 Koo Wee Rup Secondary Band tour to the UK where the highlight was performing in Westminster Abbey
  • 50 performances at music festivals
  • 38 school musicals
  • 56 years teaching at the Koo Wee Rup SC, during which time she resigned three times in order to grow her family of six children.

Claudia has been recognised through the following awards:

2017 Life Membership of ABODA Victoria

2017 Recognition of Service to Victorian Education award for 40 years of service

2019 Medal of the Order of Australia

2022 Association of Music Educators (Vic) Music Education Hall of Fame.


ASME Life Membership

Honorary Life Membership is reserved as an honour, bestowed by ASME, in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contribution to music education. It is ASME’s highest accolade. 

Chapters can nominate individuals in recognition of service to a Chapter Council and distinguished service to music education in the relevant state or territory. 

Dr Neryl Jeanneret

Dr Neryl Jeanneret retired from The University of Melbourne in 2021 and maintains the honorary position of Principal Fellow. Throughout her career Neryl has worked tirelessly with ASME at both national and chapter level including as:

  • ASME National President 
  • Council Member, NSW Chapter 
  • Council Member, Victorian Chapter 
  • Member of the Editorial Boards for the Australian Journal of Music Education and Victorian Journal of Music Education 
  • Convenor of the ASME XII National Conference (Sydney, 1999)
  • ASME representative on the Steering Committee for the National Review of School Music Education (2004-2006) 
  • Awarded Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education in 2011.

Neryl’s career has included:

  • Head of Music Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne 2005 to 2021, where she also held the position of Associate Dean (Research Training) from 2012 to 2015. 
  • Senior Lecturer and Director in the Professional Experience Unit, School of Education at the University of Newcastle and before this she was Curriculum Consultant & Ministerial Advisor: Music K–12 with the NSW Dept of Education after working as a high school music specialist in Sydney high schools.
  • Work with the Australian Music Centre and ASME from 2005 until 2016 to produce teaching kits focussing on the ASME conference commissioned work and other Australian works of note.
  • Adviser and writer to the NSW Department of Education, the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, the DET, Victoria, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the South Australian Department of Education and Training. 


FASME Awards

Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education (FASME) was ratified by National Council 2005.

ASME Fellowship is a recognition of outstanding and distinctive contributions to the advancement of music education.

The recipient is eligible to use the acronym (FASME) after their name and qualifications. 


Helen Champion

Pictured left to right: Dr. Helen Champion, Dr. Leon de Bruin

Helen has led the development and implementation of arts and music curricula through her roles as Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts P-12 with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (1998 – 2018), and as Curriculum Specialist with ACARA (2018-2022)

Helen’s sustained level of commitment and dedication to detail has resulted in producing the curricula followed by every government and Catholic school in Victoria, and all schools nationwide.

She has a reputation as a generous leader who makes herself available to all who rely on her sage advice to clarify and to educate. She is known for her prompt and detailed responses to questions, and willingness to present at subject association conferences, VCE conferences, pre-service teacher lectures and teacher networks.

Since stepping away from her work with ACARA Helen has embarked in a PhD and works as a freelance curriculum consultant. Her legacy in Australian music education is immense and profound having impacted every primary and secondary school in the country.


Dawn Joseph

Pictured from left to right: Dr. David Forrest, Dr. Dawn Joseph

Dawn is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University

Dawn is recognised locally and internationally in her focus areas of music education, African music, multicultural music community music, and ageing and wellbeing in the Arts. Her main focus has been on bringing multi-cultural music in its widest forms into teacher education and the classroom. 

An active member of the Victorian Chapter of ASME serving as Chair for two terms and Deputy Chair, as well as participating in National Council. She has also been involved in numerous aspects of ISME and The Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education. 

Dawn is a prolific publisher across the fields of her research. She is also a respected editorial Board member of many journals including International Journal of Multicultural Education, International Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Higher Education, Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teacher Professional Development, Australian Journal of Music Education, Victorian Journal of Music Education, Australian Online Journal of Arts Education.


Robin Stevens

Pictured from left to right: Dr. David Forrest, Dr. Robin Stevens

Robin was formerly Associate Professor of Music Education in the Faculty of Education at Deakin University, Burwood Campus. He is currently a Principal Fellow in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at The University of Melbourne

Robin’s focus has been on history of music education and the application of computer technology to music teaching and learning, and his contribution in both fields has been outstanding. A particular focus of research has been on the promotion of the Tonic Sol-fa pedagogical and notational methods and on the life histories of prominent Australian music educators. 

Robin has had extensive involvement in publications, member of the Editorial Boards of several international scholarly journals. He has held positions with various associations including president of the Australian Association for Research in Music Education, Chairperson of ASME (Victoria) and a member of ASME National Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of the AMEB in Victoria (1993-2007). As well, he was a member of the Steering Committee for the National Review of School Music Education (2004-05), and of the Australian Government’s Music Education Advisory Group (member 2007-08 and chairperson 2008-09). 

In 2014 Robin was inducted into the Music Education Hall of Fame of the Association of Music Educators (Victoria).


Leon de Bruin

Dr. Leon de Bruin

The final FASME honour was bestowed on outgoing ASME National President, Leon de Bruin. Having completed two years as National Vice President and two years as National President, Leon now moves into the position of Immediate Past President.

Leon’s FASME was celebrated at the ASME National Award ceremony at the close of the Sydney conference this year.


ASME recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first musicians, storytellers and educators of this land. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, acknowledging their ongoing connection to land, sky and waterways