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Music teacher mentor recognised for contribution to music education at Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy

David Collins-White nominated for Aria Music Teacher Award

Haberfield Public School music teacher David Collins-White has been nominated for the 2022 Telstra Aria Music Teacher Award.

As well as building an outstanding music program at his inner-Sydney school, Mr Collins-White provides tireless support to music teachers everywhere so they too can deliver quality programs.

He has contributed to the quality of music education at Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy through several initiatives, including mentoring teachers in early primary classroom music instruction as part of the National Music Teacher Mentorship Program.

He has also opened up countless opportunities for musically-talented CYAAA students, including performing at the Sydney Opera House and bringing Guugu Yimithirr songs to the national stage.

Music teacher mentor awarded for ARIA Music Teacher Award

The annual award recognises the incredible contribution of music teachers, rewarding them for their hard work, creativity and dedication to their students and wider community. It also helps shine a light on the importance of music to education and student engagement.

Anthony Wiggle recently visited Mr Collins-White’s school in Sydney to find out more about his contribution to music education and present his nomination.

When Mr Collins-White joined the school over 20 years ago, there was no classroom music and only one ensemble. The school now has nine ensembles, including choirs, bands and strings and recorder ensembles.

Exploring David’s contribution to music education at Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy

While music education is in the Australian Curriculum and should be a right for all primary school students, many disadvantaged schools struggle to offer a quality music program.

The Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy has a very strong agenda to ensure its students receive a quality music education. Good to Great Schools Australia partnered with the Australian Music Teaching Mentoring program to provide a mentor to the Academy. The first mentor was David Collins-White.

Mr Collins-White is passionate about helping music teachers across Australia run their own quality music programs and has worked extensively with teachers at Hope Vale and Coen campuses of CYAAA.

He has mentored CYAAA music teachers as part of the Australia Music Teacher Mentoring program, pairing with generalist classroom teachers to build their skills and confidence in teaching music.

In his role as Artistic Director at the Cantabile Music Festival, he involved CYAAA students in the incredible opportunity to perform at the Sydney Opera House.

Indigenous leaders and musicians in the community of Hope Vale embraced the opportunity to work with Mr Collins-White so their children could incorporate their indigenous culture into mainstream music and get a strong musical and cultural education.

The Hope Vale students lead the mass choir at the Opera House to perform the song ‘Nganhthaan Waandaar Nganhthaan Ngurraar’ which translates to ‘We are white cockatoo, we are black cockatoo’, written by Guugu Yimtihirr Language Teacher Mrs Lillian Bowen.

Hope Vale students performing at the Sydney Opera House

The community collaborated with Mr Collins-White to compose the score for Hope Vale school’s performance of E=mc² – The Musical, which encourages students’ passion is science and maths through the artform of music.

How you can recognise David Collins-White’s contribution to music education

Voting is now open for the 2022 Aria Music Teacher Award.

Recognise Mr Collins-White’s contribution to music education, and show that you value music education for all Australian students, no matter where they live, by voting for him today.

Vote at www.aria.com.au/vote

Learn more about Good to Great Schools Australia Music for Learning program on our website.

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