National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE)

NAAE advocates for arts education in schools, develops arts education policy, promotes quality teaching and learning in the arts, and works with government agencies, teachers, schools and tertiary institutions. As the recognised peak association in the arts learning area, the NAAE provides access to an extensive network of arts educators and artists, and represents the interests, concerns, values and priorities of arts educators across Australia.

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Member organisations

Member organisations represent the five art forms of dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.

Chair: Julie Dyson AM

Art Education Australia

Established in 1976 as the not-for-profit Australian Institute of Art Education, AEA is the peak national professional association of visual arts educators. AEA is concerned with the scholarly exploration and promotion of art education theory, practice and research. The Association performs a cohesive role amongst visual arts educators and encourages and promotes all facets of visual arts education. It publishes a national peer-reviewed research journal and provides a national forum and opportunity for the exchange of ideas for all people working in Australia in aspects of visual arts education. It upholds and promotes the National Policies for Visual Arts Education developed by the Association.

Margaret Baguley (0734 704 341‬) and Abbey MacDonald (03 6324 3170).

Australian Dance Council—Ausdance

Ausdance is Australia's professional dance advocacy organisation for dancers, choreographers, directors and educators. Its mission is ‘to be a national voice and provide leadership for dance in Australia’. Ausdance provides a dance information network through services based in national, state and territory offices. Our services include advocacy for dance, a national insurance scheme, industry journals and publications, workshops and forums, networking and communication facilities, information resources and infrastructure support. It's aims are to

  • Provide a national voice in the development of dance in Australia.
  • Provide leadership in dance education, advocacy, policy development and debate.
  • Champion innovation, creativity and diversity in dance.
  • Encourage access to and understanding of dance in communities throughout Australia.
  • Assist in the identification and promotion of all dance traditions which exist in Australia, in recognition of their cultural importance.
  • Foster international links with dance and dance-related organisations.

Jeff Meiners (08 8302 4434) and Sue Fox (0438 715 367)

Australian Society for Music Education

Established in 1967 following discussions between nationwide representatives after the successful UNESCO Conference on Music Education (Sydney 1965), ASME aims to encourage and advance music education at all levels as an integral part of general education and community life, and as a profession within the broad field of music. ASME supports the right of every person to a musical education; promotes quality music education; assists music educators to develop and extend their professional awareness of the whole spectrum of music education at a local, national and international levels; maintains and develops the status of music; provides a forum for the exchange of ideas; encourages Australian music and composers; develops teaching methods relevant to Australian students in all contexts; publishes news and research.

President Bradley Merrick (0412 320 812)
Antony Hubmayer (08 8274 4328‬)

Australian Teachers of Media

ATOM National is the peak national body that advocates on behalf of all state and territory Media Education associations in Australia. ATOM provides professional development for teachers, publishes Screen Education and Metro magazines, liaises with tertiary and industry sectors and serves as a central hub for the media education community. ATOM publishes Screen Education magazine; study guides and education kits; The Moving Image series of monographs; and websites for feature films, documentaries and television programs. ATOM also runs The Education Shop and The Speakers’ Bureau. ATOM runs professional development, provides resources and organizes screenings of features films and documentaries for teachers. ATOM holds a national conference every two years and recognises excellence in over thirty categories of Film, Television, Animation and Multimedia at the EnhanceTV ATOM Awards annually.

Chair (ATOM Vic) Roger Dunscombe ‭(0439 832 439)
Derek Weeks (07 3327 8333)

Drama Australia

Drama Australia is the peak national body that represents and advocates on behalf of all state and territory drama education associations in Australia. Drama Australia has an Executive Board of Directors made up of representatives from across the country. Each state and territory association has a Drama Australian Liaison Officer (DALO). Drama Australia also appoints an International Liaison Officer (ILO). Drama Australia provides national leadership for drama education through advocacy, liaison, representation and influencing arts policy; provides international leadership in drama and education by representing drama educators internationally; initiates and produces projects and research in drama and education; produces publications about drama and education; builds links and strategic partnerships with National Arts Education and Arts Industry bodies.

National President John Saunders (02 9250 1795)
Sandra Gattenhoff (07 3138 3596)

Music Australia

Music Australia is a 50-member national peak music organisation for Australia. Council members include nominees of major national music organisations, and distinguished individuals expert in various aspects of music. The membership structure is designed to ensure representation from a broad range of musical styles, the various levels of music education, and the many ways of documenting music and bringing it before its audiences. It covers both the non-profit and commercial sectors. Its purpose is to advance Australian musical life in all its aspects and it does this by providing information through a quarterly journal, 11 websites and 12 regular online publications, through research and policy development, advocacy and project management. Its advocacy for education covers all levels and includes projects such as Music: Count Us In, involving simultaneous performance of half a million children nationally. Music Australia is the official Australian representative to the International Music Council (IMC), the world peak music organisation based in UNESCO Paris. It receives funding from the Australia Council, Australian Music Association and other sources. Across its many programs it has about 7,000 members.

Linda Lorenza (02 8215 4684‬)

The National Association for the Visual Arts

NAVA is the national peak body for the visual arts providing advocacy, leadership, and services, to achieve a thriving Australian visual arts, craft and design sector and a more vibrant, distinctive and ethical cultural environment. Since its establishment in 1983, NAVA has provided research and advocacy, policy and project development to encourage the growth and development of the sector and set industry standards to increase professionalism within the industry. It also has provided direct services to its constituents through offering expert advice, representation, resources and a range of other services. NAVA's constituency includes visual artists, craft practitioners and designers, other arts professionals including curators, educators, arts writers and critics, arts administrators, art librarians and agents, and a range of organisations including public, artist run and commercial galleries, arts agencies, art service organisations, educational institutions, arts publications, manufacturers and retailers.

Executive Director Esther Anatolitis (02 9368 1900)

The Music Trust

The Music Trust was set up to offer a flexible, creative, energetic response to the situation of music in Australia, with commitment to the best ideas for fostering excellence, innovation, and access. Founded in October 2013, it already has a substantial program including information, research, advocacy and project management. The Trust is developing the Music in Australia Knowledge Base as a unique source of information about the Australian music sector. It is managing the Freedman Music Fellowships, among the most prestigious in the country. It is organising a campaign for school music education. Its very distinguished Advisory Council is proposing other activities to address needs and opportunities in Australian music and musical life. Some of The Music Trust activities originated in the Music Council of Australia and by mutual agreement, have been transferred. The Trust appreciates this collaboration.

Observer: Richard Letts AM (02 9251 3816‬)

Independent observer

Tamara Winikof OAM

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Related News & Events

Related Projects

Reinstate professional dance courses on the VET student loans eligible course list View this project

Ausdance National is working with the National Advocates for Arts Education to:

  • reinstate professional dance courses on the VET Student Loans eligible course list
  • make a case to redefine the methods used to assess courses eligible for student loans—recognising the cultural sector as one of Australia's major employers and arts graduates as key contributors to the creative economy in Australia.

Resourcing teachers to deliver dance in the Australian Curriculum View this project

We are working to ensure that the new dance curriculum (now part of the Australian curriculum) is high quality, provides every Australian child with a sequential and developmental dance experience, and that teachers are well resourced to teach it. We will help dance educators and students by highlighting successful teaching models and best practice, and give teachers the support they need to run a successful dance program.

Dance in the National Cultural Policy View this project

Ausdance supported the development of Australia's National Cultural Policy. We believed it should not only deliver new ideas and strategies, but also reflect the ambitions of the Australian community (including those identified in Dance Plan 2012).

It should respect and promote Indigenous perspectives, and encompass the cultural ambitions of our multicultural society. It should reflect and acknowledge the breadth of cultural activity and diversity, including professional excellence in artistic performance and education, community access and participation, and artists’ career development and sustainability.