Wilcannia music teacher nominated for special award

26 October, 2020
Wilcannia music teacher nominated for special award Image

I was recently contacted by Dan Rosen, the Chief Executive of ARIA music awards. Dan advised us that Sarah Donnelley, a music teacher from Wilcannia Central School in the Barwon electorate was one of four finalists selected for the 2020 Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award.

‘Miss Sarah’, as she’s known to the school children, created a reworked version of the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow” by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly. During the COVID -19 lockdown when students were not able to attend school, Sarah adapted her music program to keep her students connected. In a remote community where internet learning is not an option, she arranged for the song to be played on Wilcannia’s radio station at certain times of the day. Wilcannia Central School students were then filmed singing the song, and the footage was used to create a sense of togetherness in the Wilcannia community during a time of social isolation.

Sarah states: “The award is not only for me, it’s for my students, my school and everyone in Wilcannia”.

Research proves that children involved in music at school achieve better grades, attend school more often, improve their self-esteem and confidence and experience less depression and loneliness. Sarah’s music is calming, brings joy to students and has improved primary school attendance.

Sarah was chosen from thousands of music teachers across Australia, and I acknowledged her achievements in Parliament last week by reading the Community Recognition Statement. The award ceremony will be held on 25 November and broadcast on the Nine Network.

I urge you to support Sarah’s nomination by voting for her on the ARIA website.

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