Margaret is Professor and Founding Director of the Creative Collaboratorium at The University of Queensland. She has served as the Head of the School of Music (2008 – 2018) and prior to this, held appointments at the University of Tasmania Faculty of Education (1988-2008) including Director of Research, Deputy Head of School, Director of Post-Graduate Studies, and convenor of Music Education.
Margaret has served as President of the International Society for Music Education (2012-2014), Chair of the World Alliance for Arts Education (2013-2015), Chair of the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research (2009-2011), board member of the International Society for Music Education (2008-2010), and National President of the Australian Society for Music Education (1999-2001). Margaret has been an advisor for arts and educational bodies nationally and internationally, including the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority, and the United Kingdom Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. She currently holds positions as a Director of the Australian Music Centre, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the Queensland Music Festival.
Her work has been recognised through Fellowship of the Australian Society for Music Education (2011), Excellence Awards for Teaching (UTas 2003), Research Higher Degree Supervision (UQ 2016), and Research Engagement (UQ 2016). She has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship (2018) and elected Beaufort Visiting Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge University to further her research into children’s singing and song-making (2018).
Margaret’s research encompasses the investigation of the role of Music and the Arts in human cognition and social and cultural development. Her research has addressed problems in the areas of aesthetic decision-making, the meaning and value of Arts engagement for young people, young children’s musical thinking, young children’s identity work in and through music, teaching and learning practices in the arts, and the pedagogy and practice of creativity. A key aspect of her work has been the development of innovative arts-based inquiry methods in music and music education. This research has been funded by grants from the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council for the Arts, the British Council, and a number of commissioning bodies. She has published in excess of 100 articles, book chapters, and conference papers. Recent publications include Collaborative creativity in musical thought and practice (Ashgate, 2014), Narrative soundings: An anthology of narrative inquiry in music education (with Sandra Stauffer, Springer Publications, 2012), and, A cultural psychology of music education (OUP, 2011).
West Australian born, Joan studied mime, dance, speech, drama and music, specialising in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, known as ‘Music through Movement’. Since the mid-1950s she tutored in various institutions in WA, including Kindergarten College, Lady Gowrie Centre, WAIT, Curtin University, UWA, ECU, WAAPA and Notre Dame. As President of Dalcroze Australia for many years, Joan still serves as an examiner and advocate for this creative approach.
In 1954 Joan was the first Arts student at UWA to enrol in Music I with Frank Callaway, was a founding member of ASME in WA in 1967 and awarded Honorary Life membership decades later. Her historical research PhD from Monash University on the Dalcroze method in Australasia (1918-1928) gained the Callaway Award for a Music Education Doctoral Thesis.
She has performed, broadcast and directed for numerous theatre, dance and music groups in WA, and with her musician husband Brian, initiated the innovative Community Arts Children’s Festival group CATS (Childrens’ Activities Time Society) in the mid-1960s. In 2017 she was honoured with the National AUSDANCE Award for Services to Dance Education.
As a practicing musician, composer/songwriter and music researcher, I lecture in ethnomusicology and popular music at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. My research focuses on the sustainability of Aboriginal song and languages together with the social impacts of music traditions and technology. I was nominated for ‘Best Original Score’ in the 2012 Helpmann Awards and The Australian described my composition work as ‘masterful’ and my ‘live guitar and vocal qualities’ as ‘pure magic’ in 2016. My Aboriginal family from the south-east coast of Western Australia use the term ‘Wirlomin Noongar’ to refer to their clan and my PhD research at the University of Western Australia (2013-2015) focused on the aesthetics and sustainability of Noongar song.
Dr Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Anita brings a wealth of experience as an active educator to every presentation. She is an experienced classroom teachers and conductor (Canberra Grammar School), has been musical director for three award winning productions and she has over a decade of experience as a teacher educator across all areas of tertiary education (University of Canberra and the Australian National University).