The Flame Awards will not be running in 2013. We are considering new ways in which the Music Council of Australia can support this work and we will continue to advocate for the value of music education. Schools eager to expand their music education programs can register for Music: Count Us In, which offers free professional development packages, nationwide, in the lead up to the biggest music gig in Australia, when half a million kids sing the same song, at the same time, on October 31st 2013.

2011 NATIONAL WINNER:  Parkhurst State Primary School (QLD) $10,000 cash prize

parkhurst_ss_qld_edit1This school involves all 270 students in an innovative music and multimedia program.

"Instead of banning MP3 players and mobile phones, here is a school which is embracing 21st century technologies to help students unleash their creativity, learn to make music and then apply it as a tool across the curriculum. The school’s Music Innovation Centre lives up to its name, as an e-learning environment where students create ringtones, make CDs as gifts, compose soundtracks for their own presentations and write and record songs for podcasting or to accompany story books. No dreaded recorder lessons here: students can’t wait to get to class to create their own upbeat backing tracks on which they then record their own recorder playing. The school shares its approach with neighbouring schools, bringing other students and teachers in five times a term. Parkhurst builds its music program on rigorous evidence about what works for its students and demonstrates a real commitment to using popular culture and community trends to deliver an impressive music program which gives students a rich, rewarding and contemporary education. Well done!” Judges’ citation.

2011 RUNNER-UP AWARD:  Boggabilla Central School, (NSW) $2,500 cash prize

boggabilla_cs_nsw_edit1Situated in one of the lowest socio economic communities in NSW, this school has found creative ways to engage its almost entirely indigenous student population in classroom music.

Although fledgling and without a specialist music teacher, this program exemplifies the unique difference music can make to students’ lives across a range of areas, from academic success to improved self-esteem. Through its music program, Boggabilla has found creative ways to improve the ambience of the school, which provide flow-on effects to families and the whole community. These include a new student-created School Song based on its social values program and the use of student compositions as the ‘bell’ to end break times. Team skills have come to the fore as students prepare for the first-ever school musical, with classrooms ringing with drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and children’s confident voices.” Judges' citation.

2011 RUNNER-UP AWARD: Ernabella School, (SA) $2,500 cash prize

Built on a tradition of community singing it blends Western and local Anangu music in its curriculum.

"Ernabella is commended for its commitment to providing a sequential, continuous, developmental music program which is integrated across the whole school and wider community. Drumming programs designed to help at-risk students heal, cultural sessions led by community members and an Award-winning choral program all make a contribution to this school’s positive ethos. Ernabella says its music keeps it happy. Hooray to that!” Judges citation

2011 Judges’ SPECIAL MENTION: North Lakes Senior Campus (WA)

This program uses a ‘virtual classroom’ to link its migrant and refugee students across two different sites, encouraging collaborations which make creative use of digital technologies and which improve students’ musical and life skills while building a positive and inclusive school culture.” Judges citation


The winning schools were picked from a pool of twenty three national finalists in the Awards which this year set out to highlight schools using creative ways to engage children in music making and singing. Open to government and private schools, the Awards are run by Music: Play for Life and supported by philanthropists, Robert and Elizabeth Albert.

The 2011 National Judges were: Suzanne Rogers, National Councillor, ASME; Bradley Merrick, Chair, ASME NSW; Jane Law, MCA’s music education Councillor and Tina Broad, Music: Play for Life.

Read more about all the 23 finalists.

Theme - 'Creative and engaging ways of delivering music education'


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Most Aussie kids miss out on the benefits of a music education while at school.