4 June 2019

Excellence in Indigenous Music Education Teacher Award

Written by: dev

Inaugural ASME Indigenous Teacher Award presented, October 2019

The ASME XXIInd National Conference in Perth saw the inaugural ASME Indigenous Teacher Award presented to highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Shellie Morris, from the Northern Territory.

In ASME Update (published in December, 2019) Shellie says: “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)

Indigenous Teacher Award – background

At the XXIst ASME Conference National Executive and Council meeting, 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. This will be supported financially by ASME National and will be awarded for the first time at the XXII Conference at Perth 2019. This was announced publicly at the awards ceremony to all delegates on the last day of the 2017 conference.


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.

Please post to:

ASME Indigenous Award, PO Box 7184, West Lakes SA 5021.

Please email to:

Send nominations by email to:


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

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