Vote for Australia's Unsung Hero - Music

After receiving hundreds of entries in our Unsung Heroes competition, it was incredibly hard to whittle the list of worthy recipients down to just five. Now it's your turn to decide. Which one of the five shortlisted music teachers below do you believe to be Australia's most deserving Unsung Hero? (Please note: Voting closes at 17:00 AEST on December 9, 2019.)

Music Teacher


Here are this year’s final nominees:

David Ashfield

Galen Catholic College Wangaratta, Victoria

Nominated by Lucy Lee (colleague)

He is honestly the most supportive and enthusiastic teacher I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with. ‘Mr  Ash’ has always worked so hard to enhance the music/band department of our school. Not only has he had a significant impact on our school, but he has positively influenced the wider music community. His passion for music and the people he works with constantly amazes me. I've never seen any teacher put in so much love and enthusiasm into everything that he does. As a previous student, David Ashfield was always a teacher who was willing to listen and encouraged you to achieve your goals, not only in music, but in everyday life. 


Geoff Robinson

Dalyellup Primary School, WA

Nominated by Belinda Jones (parent)

‘Mr Robbo’ is an exceptional music teacher who encourages all students to be their best. Students feel safe to have a go and do things they wouldn’t normally because of his kind nature and ability to help students shine in their own way.  Mr Robinson is in charge of the school production each year and they are always tremendous! Students who you think would never be on stage singing are up there on centre stage proudly sharing their talents because of Mr Robbo’s guidance.  Mr Robinson teaches the students at our school all about music but he also does lots of other things too. He taught the whole school how to sign Advance Australia Fair, he often writes and teaches the whole school songs for different occasions eg, a song on respect, songs for National Simultaneous Story Day and a song about our retiring principal for the whole school to sing at his retirement assembly.

I have been at school during breaks and Mr Robinson is always approached by students of all ages wanting a chat or a high five. He takes the time to listen to them all. Mr Robinson is a very special teacher and a very talented music teacher who loves what he does and it shows. We are extremely lucky to have him at our school.


Michael Smith

Hume Anglican Grammar

Nominated by Marisa Jarvis (colleague)​

Mr Smith works tirelessly to promote and encourage the musical talents of our students. Above and beyond his amazing classroom lessons, he gives up EVERY lunchtime to rehearse multiple school bands. He never says 'no', but makes sure he works out a way that any student can participate no matter what, even if that means forming ANOTHER band and offering more of his time to teach and rehearse them. He always looks for opportunities for students to perform, such as community concerts and battle of the bands, and he is always there to support them even if it is on a Friday night until 11pm! He organises school singing nights and instrumental concerts throughout the year so that all students can perform, both novice and experienced, for their family and friends. He is the 'go to' person for any staff member that needs help setting up an AV lighting and sound systems, for assembly or presentations. He is the musical director for the school productions which involves many hours of work to help the students perform at their best. There has been times when Mr Smith has been at school 7 days in the week to run rehearsals for the kids. He is an absolute treasure who gives freely of his time to provide our students enriching and life-changing opportunities and experiences.


Kelly Perger

Cairns School of Distance Education

Nominated by Jacob Lutton (colleague)

Mr Perger has been a huge influence to my musical interest and an inspiration to all students learning instrumental music.  He is an easy-going, but hard-working teacher who is always ready to give students friendly advice and tutoring where they need it the most.  Music camps are highly-anticipated events which are always enjoyed by beginners and long-standing band members alike.  Mr Perger never fails to make our time at camps and our learning in general a fun and unique experience, always encouraging students to try their best and never putting anyone under stress.  Teaching three different schools and numerous students to try new things and challenge themselves, Mr Perger is an inspirational music teacher who manages to bring out our talent despite the distance which separates all Cairns School of Distance Education students from their teachers and definitely deserves the Unsung Heroes Award this year.

Jason Home

Coober Pedy Area School

Nominated by Matthew Key (colleague)

Jason Home came to Coober Pedy Area School 3 years ago, and in that time he has worked with some of the most complex students in the state. When he arrived the school was unorganised, over 8 principals in 6 years, and the music program was all but defunct. In his second year at Coober Pedy he worked hard to put on a large scale, musical production. This involved working with community groups to get a stage, audio equipment, lighting and all the bells and whistles to put on a successful show. And all this working in one of the states most disadvantaged schools, 850kms away from the nearest city. He has repeated the feat this year with a marvellous exhibition of Suessical the Musical and shown commitment and passion for our remote community.



Prize details:


At Corwin, we have one objective: To help educators make the greatest impact on teaching and learning. We offer a host of professional learning services to support school based, system wide, regional and state wide improvement priorities. These services come in a variety of modalities - they are research informed, innovative and are tangible approaches to professional learning solutions with a relentless focus on improving student learning. 

A $500 Booktopia gift voucher prize for the winner, thanks to Corwin.