Biographical information given below dates from the time of publication of an article.

Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion performing with ‘spellbinding intensity’ and ‘graceful virtuosity’. Her award-winning performances combine a theatrical energy with charismatic and original interpretations bringing to life the varied array of music she performs. Claire is the only Australian musician to win the ‘APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual’ three times (2016, 2012, 2007), was the recipient of a recent Australia Council and a Freedman Fellowship and the winner of numerous European (resident there for seven years) instrumental and percussion competitions as well as 1999 Australian Young Performer of the Year. Recently appearing as soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Myer Music Bowl and on Play School to an audience of thousands of children, Claire is passionate about percussion and new sounds being widely disseminated.

Colin Offord is an inventor and builder of musical instruments, a composer, a performer.

Daniel Gregory completed a PhD in philosophy at the Australian National University. He now holds a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Germany.

Daniella’s research applies philosophy and theories of ethics to teacher education and draws from a wide range of empirical and scholarly sources to explore pre-service and serving teacher beliefs about and experiences of (1) moral complexity in teaching and (2) programs, policies and pedagogies to develop educative dialogue about the ethics of teaching in the profession. She leads the Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity group ( Her most popular paper, Codes of Ethics in Australian Education: Towards a National Perspective can be found here:

Dr Dawn Bennett is a Research Academic in the Division of Humanities, Curtin University of Technology, Perth.

She holds postgraduate degrees in education and music performance and has worked as a primary and secondary teacher in the UK and Australia, and as a violist, researcher and lecturer. Her research has largely focused on creating sustainable professional practice within the cultural industries, with a special emphasis on the effectiveness of related education, training and policy.

Dawn’s monograph Understanding the Classical Music Profession: The Past, the Present and Strategies for the Future was published by Ashgate in 2008.

Prof. Deborah Cheetham AO DUniv, BMus Ed, AmusA

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.

In 2009, Deborah Cheetham established Short Black Opera as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous singers. The following year she produced the premiere of her first opera Pecan Summer. This landmark work was Australia’s first Indigenous opera and has been a vehicle for the development of a new generation of Indigenous opera singers.

In March 2015 she was inducted onto the Honour Roll of Women in Victoria and in April 2018 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia for her pioneering work and achievements in the music. Ms Cheetham’s Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace, premiered to sold out audiences on-country at the Port Fairy Spring Festival in October 2018 and at Hamer Hall in Melbourne with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on June 15, 2019.

Deborah Cheetham’s list of commissions for major Australian ensembles including works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australia String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Rubiks Collective, The Sydney Philharmonia, Plexus Collective, the Goldner Quartet and Flinders Quartet. In 2019 Deborah Cheetham established the One Day in January project designed to develop and nurture Indigenous orchestral musicians. In this same year she received the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award for service to music in Australia, the Merlyn Myer Prize for Composition, was inducted onto the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll and received Life Time Membership at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Deborah Cheetham is the 2020 Composer-in-residence for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and commenced her appointment at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University as Professor of Music practice. Deborah is the 2019 winner of the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Music and was named Limelight Magazine’s Critics Choice Artist of the Year for 2019.

Deborah Mills has worked for many years in arts and cultural policy: as Senior Project Officer and then Director of the Australia Council’s Community Cultural Development Board, as a Director in local government managing a range of regional cultural facilities and services and as a freelancer working with local government and with small to medium not-for-profit arts organisations and on behalf of The Institute for Creative Health facilitating sector involvement in the development of a national arts and health policy framework. She is co-author with Dr Paul Brown of Art and Wellbeing: a guide and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at The University of Sydney.

Secretary ACMF.

A/Prof Diane Hughes is a researcher and lecturer in Vocal Studies and Music at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research areas include the singing voice, vocal health for singers, vocal pedagogy, sound, recording practices, songwriting, the music industries, and popular music and song. She is co-author of The New Music Industries: Disruption and Discovery (Hughes, Evans, Morrow & Keith, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan). She is an advocate for music education and for voice studies in school education. See

Elaine Chia, whose career spans music, theatre and visual arts, is a passionate advocate for the arts. Prior to her current role as CEO of City Recital Hall Limited, Elaine was the Director, International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts. Elaine has held senior roles at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra. She has worked on numerous international projects and led orchestral tours to Asia, Europe and South America.

Elliott Gyger studied composition at Sydney University with Ross Edwards and Peter Sculthorpe, and at Harvard with Mario Davidovsky.  He is currently Associate Professor in Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Among his recent works are an hour-long solo piano cycle inspired by Dante, Inferno (2013); concertos for tenor saxophone (Smoke and Mirrors, 2014) and prepared piano (From Joyous Leaves, 2015); and Acquisition (2016) for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Awards include the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 80th Anniversary Composition Prize (2012) for on air, and the 2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize for giving voice.  His chamber opera adaptation of David Malouf’s novel Fly Away Peter was presented by Sydney Chamber Opera in Sydney and Melbourne in 2015, to critical acclaim.

Emily Wurramara spend her infancy on two islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria and at age 6, moved to Brisbane. She is an Indigenous singer/songwriter who wrote her first song at age 7.

Emily's father is a Filipino/Chinese/Spanish man who grew up in the provinces of Negros. Her mother is a Warninidlyakwa/ Greek/ Italian/ Turkish woman who grew up on those two islands, Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra (Bickerton Island).


Emma Grace Stephenson is an Australian pianist, songwriter and PhD student, whose music combines rhythmic, harmonic, and improvisatory elements of modern jazz with folk and popular songwriting styles. Emma is the recipient of the 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellowship for Australian jazz musicians under the age of 36, and the 2016 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for young women in the Australian jazz scene. She has recorded her own music with Hieronymus Trio (Nick Henderson on bass and Oli Nelson on drums), on their debut self-titled album (2016) and on ‘Where the Rest of the World Begins’ (54 Records 2017, recorded at ABC studios).

Esti Zilber is the Export Music Associate Producer at Sounds Australia.

CEO, Australian Copyright Council

Gabrielle Appleby is a Professor at the UNSW Law School, Sydney. She was a pro bono constitutional adviser to the Regional Dialogues and Constitutional Convention at Uluru (2016-2017). Her research interests include the role, powers and accountability of the Executive; the role of government lawyers; and the integrity of the judicial branch. She is the Director of The Judiciary Project at The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law.

Gary McPherson is the Ormond Professor and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. He has served as President of the Australian and International Societies for Music Education, and has published over 150 articles and book chapters, and edited 6 books for Oxford University Press, including The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development and a new volume to be released this month entitled Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

Professor Geoff Masters AO
BSc, MEd, UWA, PhD Chicago, FACE, FACEL

Geoff Masters is Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

In this role he maintains his professional interest in educational assessment and school improvement, and has been invited to undertake numerous reviews for governments. His recent works include Reforming Educational Assessment (, the National School Improvement Tool ( and Five Challenges in Australian School Education (

Professor Masters is an Adjunct Professor in the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, and has served on a range of bodies, including terms as founding President of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association; President of the Australian College of Educators; Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA); Chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA); member of the Business Council of Australia’s Education, Skills and Innovation Taskforce; member of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO (and Chair of the Commission’s Education Network); and member of the International Baccalaureate Research Committee.

Gillian Harrison has lived and worked for over 20 years in the Northern Territory mainly in the arts, particularly the music industry and with Aboriginal musicians. She was the inaugural Chair of the NT Government’s Arts Grants Board and brings networks from across the NT, particularly remote areas and Central Australia from her time as Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Music Manager, running CAAMA’s record label and recording studio in Alice Springs. She has served on two boards of the Australia Council and two grants committees of what is now Arts Victoria.

Glen C Savage, Senior Lecturer in Education Policy and Sociology of Education, and ARC DECRA Fellow (2016-19), University of Western Australia

Gordon Kerry, who has composed one or two things himself, has also worked as a music critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, a freelance journalist with numerous other newspapers and magazines, and an arts administrator in which capacity he commissioned a number of new works. His book, New Classical Music: Composing Australia was published by UNSW Press in 2009.

Graeme Smith is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University. His interests lie in popular music studies and ethnomusicology, especially music and national and group identity, folk revival musics, Irish traditional music, Australian country music, multicultural and world music, construction of social meaning, voice and body. He has written extensively on the Australian folk and country movements, as well as the way the Australian world/multicultural music has interacted with official and popular politics of difference and identity. Singing Australian: A History of Folk and Country Music was published by Pluto Press in July 2005.

Dr Graham Sattler is CEO of the Mitchell Conservatorium, Bathurst, one of the members of the regional conservatorium network in NSW.

Dr Graham Strahle is a freelance writer who writes music reviews for The Australian and The Adelaide Review. He was the MCA’s representative for music criticism and journalism.

Guy Gross is the President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. A multi award winning film composer himself, he is a member of Church Street Studios, an autonomous collective of composers and producers located in Camperdown, Sydney. He attended the Conservatorium High School where he studied composition under Edwin Carr. His eclectic and extensive list of credits range from the international hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to children’s television Blinky Bill and US Sci-Fi hit Farscape. His scores have been performed in concert by the Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. More info:

Hannah Sarvasy is a Research Fellow at Western Sydney University

Hans founded his own consulting firm, Economic Strategies Pty Ltd, in 1984, following 25 years with larger organisations. He specialised from the outset in applied cultural economics — one of his first major projects was The Australian Music Industry for the Music Board of the Australia Council (published in 1987), which also marks his first connection with Richard Letts who was the Director of the Music Board in the mid-1980s. Hans first assisted the Music Council of Australia in 2000 and between 2006 and 2008 proposed and developed the Knowledge Base, returning in an active capacity as its editor in 2011. In November 2013 the Knowledge Base was transferred to The Music Trust, with MCA's full cooperation.

Between 2000 and 2010 Hans also authored or co-authored several major domestic and international climate change projects, using scenario planning techniques to develop alternative long-term futures. He has for several years been exploring the similarities between the economics of cultural and ecological change, and their continued lack of political clout which is to a large extent due to conventional GDP data being unable to measure the true value of our cultural and environmental capital. This was announced as a major scenario-planning project for The Music Trust in March 2014 (articles of particular relevance to the project are marked *, below).

Helen Champion is the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA)  curriculum specialist in charge of writing the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. You can contact her at

Dr. Helen Lancaster offers advisory services to higher music education institutions, music teachers and arts organisations. She is a former Chair of the Music Council of Australia, and a Research Fellow at Queensland Conservatorium of Music. For the MCA she established the National Instrument Bank in 2008, and the Australian Youth Music Council in 2009. With a team of distinguished researchers, she undertook the audit of Post-Secondary Music Education and Training published with further analysis in this knowledge base as Music Study in Australia.

Helen Pietsch is President of the South Australian Chapter of ANCA.

Lecturer in Arts and Cultural Management, University of South Australia. Former editor, MCA Early Music Network.

Mezzo Soprano, Helen Sherman is an alumnus of The Sydney Conservatorium of Music and The Royal Northern College of Music, UK. She was the first person to receive the International Artists Diploma in Opera from the RNCM. Helen has represented Australia at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and at the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition. In 2018 she was nominated for a Helpmann Award for her portrayal of Poppea, L’incoronazione di Poppea, for Pinchgut Opera. Recent career highlights include Flora Bervoix, La Traviata at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Tamiri, Farnace for Pinchgut Opera, Dorabella, Cosi fan Tutte for Teatru Manoel, Malta, the title role in Carmen for the State Opera of South Australia, Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier, Dorabella, Cosi fan Tutte and Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro for Opera North. Recordings include Mozart in London for Signum Records and The Coronation of Poppea and Bajazet for Pinchgut Live. Helen currently resides in Oxfordshire, UK.

Helen Svoboda is a double bassist, vocalist, composer and nature-enthusiast.

Born of Finnish/Australian heritage, she draws influence mainly from vegetables, flowers and the genres of minimalist neo-classical music to folk and experimental jazz.

Following her recent return from two years in the Netherlands and Germany, Svoboda was recently awarded the 2020 Freedman Jazz Fellowship and named the 2020/2021 Pathfinders Associate Artist for the Australian Art Orchestra, based in Melbourne. She has released over ten albums across her own projects to date, and as a composer her work has been commissioned for a variety of ensembles both locally and overseas.

As an ‘indispensible part of the Australian jazz, improvised and experimental scenes’ (Erik Griswold, AUS), Svoboda has toured across Australia, Europe and the USA at festivals/venues including Make it Jazz (Tilburg, NL), Stadtgarten (Cologne, GER) and MONA (TAS). Across her work she has collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Kristin Berardi (AUS), Sebastian Gramss (GER) and Cory Smythe (NY).

Helena Maffli lives in Clarens in the French-speaking western part of Switzerland. She is President of the European Music School Union (EMU), and a Board member of the European Music Council (EMC). A pianist and pedagogue, she is the former director of the Conservatoire de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Henry Vyhnal is a music teacher, performer and concert director. He has played and recorded with a wide variety of musicians including Nick Cave, Stephen Cummings and Joe Camilleri during the explosion of Australian original music in the mid to late1970’s. Henry is accomplished in a variety of musics including classical, country, jazz, world music and punk.

As well as teaching music at Kyneton Secondary College he is the Music and Program Director for MITCH (Music in the Central Highlands), an organisation that supports emerging young musicians through the provision of performance opportunities and funding.

Professor Huib Schippers is Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, and past Deputy Chair of the Music Council of Australia. He has a long and varied history in music practice and research across Europe. He has worked as a performing musician, a teacher, a concert promoter, a journalist, and in the record trade. Over the past ten years, he has run major action-research projects in music and music education, lectured and published across the world, and served in a variety of capacities on numerous forums, boards and commissions, including the Netherlands National Arts Council, the Music Council of Australia, and the International Society for Music Education.

IAML Australia is the national branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Document Centres.

Executive Officer Australian Music Association, Director of sales and marketing consultants Morton Group, Past Treasurer MCA.

The Australian Music Association (AMA) provides an annual statistical analysis for its members.

Australian pianist Ian Munro's career began with a series of international prizes in Spain, Italy, Portugal and the UK (Leeds 1987). Since then, Ian has performed sixty piano concerti in over thirty countries and has recorded for Hyperion, ABC Classics and extensively for BBC and ABC radio. Since winning first prize at the Queen Elisabeth international competition for composers in 2002, his compositions have been performed by many of the leading ensembles in Australia, the UK, Austria and Germany. Recent commissions include a flute concerto for Prudence Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Ilana Finefter-Rosenbluh is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. A sociologist and educational counsellor by training, her research resides at the cusp of assessment, ethics, policy, and teaching in government and independent education settings. Her studies seek to identify educators' perspectives on, and ethical experiences with, different assessment tools and the way they inform the development of policies and programs intended to improve educational practice.

Jack Symonds is a composer, conductor and pianist, and Artistic Director of Sydney Chamber Opera. He has conducted the Australian premieres of major stage works by Dusapin, Kurtág, Benjamin, Romitelli, Kancheli and Britten and world premieres of operas by Gyger, Smetanin and Finsterer. His music has been played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Composers Ensemble, Australia Piano Quartet, Streeton Trio, Timo-Veikko Valve among others, and he has written three stage works for Sydney Chamber Opera, including Notes from Underground. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music, London under Kenneth Hesketh, and gained the university medal from the Sydney Conservatorium.

Editorial intern, The Conversation