Callaway Doctoral Award

In memory of Sir Frank Callaway, the founding President of ASME, the Callaway Doctoral Award is 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 is 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.

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

Post to: Callaway Doctoral Award, ASME National Secretary, PO Box 7184, West Lakes SA 5021
Email to:

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 registration cost 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:

2023University of Melbourne

Dr Stephanie MacArthur

Thesis entitled: How I wonder what you are: Interpreting the child’s early experiences of learning to play the cello.

2021University of Queensland

Dr Jason Goopy

Thesis entitled: Adolescent boys’ music beliefs, values, and identity work in a single-sex independent school.

2019Griffith University

Dr Gillian Howell

Thesis entitled: A world away from war: musical interventions in war-affected settings.

2017Monash University

Leon de Bruin

Expert practitioner voices. A Phenomenological inquiry into teaching, learning and collaborating in musical improvisation.

2015Western Sydney University

Eleanor McPhee

How do instrumental teachers learn to be effective educators? A look inside the toolbox.

2011University of Newcastle

Jennifer Mary StGeorge

The subjectivity of musical learning: understanding participation instrumental music instruction.

2009Monash University

Joan Pope, OAM

Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australasia: the first generation from 1918.

2007The University of Western Australia

Dawn Bennett

Classical instrumental musicians: Educating for sustainable professional practice.

2005University of Tasmania

David Cleaver

Illuminating Musical Lifeworlds: phenomenological narratives of the musical lifeworlds of five senior secondary school students.

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