Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March News

2014 brings a new year, a reviewed mission and new committee to sMAG.  Ian Harvey and Catherine Lyons have been installed as Co-Chairs, leading a new committee of 13 or 14 members.  We all look forward to contributing to the ongoing commitment to see every child, in every school learning music under expertly trained specialist teachers.

We take our hats of to Dr. Anne Lierse!  A tireless campaigner for Music over several decades, she has contributed above and beyond the call of duty.  Anne continues on the sMAG committee, contributing valuable expertise and time although not serving as Chair in 2014.  We cannot express our gratitude to Anne enough!

We would also wish to thank Carl Stevens for standing in as interim chair over the summer time.  The role attracts a significant workload, and we are grateful to him for the work achieved, when most folks are having a well earned rest.  Thank you, Carl!

Following our forum on December 5th, and our General Meeting in March, we have:
  • Written letters, endorsed by 18 affiliated music associations, to Dr. Napthine, Mr. Dixon, and Mr. Hall urging them to implement all 17 recommendations from the inquiry report
  • Written letters, endorsed by our 18 affiliated music associations, to Labour opposition members including Mr. Andrews, imploring them to take a bi partisan approach to the inquiry report's recommendations
  • Developed an action plan to respond to the 17 recommendations, and think through implementation strategies
  • Reviewed our mission, and will shortly release an updated version pertinent to the 2014 developments.
  • Worked on a sMAG submission to Christopher Pyne’s Federal Review into the National Curriculum
  • Requested times to meet with the relevant ministers and opposition representatives
  • Continued to look at the data that is available to sMAG regarding the delivery of music education.
  • Appeared on 3RRR to update the community on the inquiry report and 17 recommendations 


June 21st  International Music Day.
All members of the music education community are encouraged to discuss what they might be able to do aligned to IMD.  The opportunity to gain the attention of the local media is here.  Many suggestions are made on the website, and suggestions can be taken to your local/regional meetings.  Any concerts or promotions done on this day, aligned with promoting music education can potentially get media attention.  Any regions/groups wanting to press ahead with the idea can let us know, and we can assist by providing event listings on our Facebook page and assisting with drafting a press release.

The Labour party has an online portal where anyone can nominate their school needs – www.ourschoolneeds.com.au The opportunity is here for you to request facilities, equipment and specialist teachers is here!  Take the opportunity, Victoria!

sMAG would encourage all in the community to write via email or hard copy to their local Victorian MPs, expressing how important this report is to local communities.  From major cities, to regional Victoria, every voice counts towards encouraging the government to adopt the recommendations outlined in the report.  The addresses of local Vic MPs can be found with a simple search on Google.  A copy to the local community papers, the local opposition MP and local school principals would also assist in garnishing further support.
To assist in this process we have outlined a simple generic example which you may choose to use if you wish:

Dear (insert name) MP,

Following the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Extent, Benefits and Potential of Music Education in Victoria, I would like to express my appreciation of the work involved, and the subsequent report and recommendations.  http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/etc/article/1965

It is vital that the recommendations be put into place because in our local area (cite the local engagement with music, or cite the local lack of music education, or cite your personal observations).

I would strongly encourage you to advocate that the recommendations be adopted by the Victorian government to strengthen quality and equity of music education in schools. 

I believe that school music education is valuable because - (your personal belief).

When parliament returns, please ensure that this vitally important report's recommendations be implemented for the benefit of all future generations.

Kind Regards/Yours sincerely,

Your name and positon

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