Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

Music Education in regional New South Wales - Australia

Regional Conservatoriums in NSW have been in existence since the late 1970s.

Over the past 30 years they have grown from modest beginnings in Bathurst to a network of Conservatoriums servicing most of NSW’s regional centres.

Devised as a tool for providing quality music education opportunities for music students outside Sydney, the consequent network of Conservatoriums now provides extensive music education services that encompass specialist instrumental/vocal training through to curriculum and classroom support in music for both government and non-government schools.

History of NSW Regional Conservatoriums and the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

Regional Conservatoriums are self-governing incorporated not-for-profit organizations managed by community Boards. These Boards of Management are, in each of the seventeen Regional Conservatoriums, representative of the community and region in which the Regional Conservatorium operates.

The Association currently comprises 17 member organisations. Regional Conservatoriums are located across the state in locations geographically, climatically, historically and economically diverse.

In 1999, the NSW State Government reviewed the level of funding provided to Regional Conservatoriums, resulting in an increase in 2001 to global Regional Conservatorium funding. The Regional Conservatoriums and the NSW Government grant program was reviewed again in 2008. The review that was conducted by the Minister for Education resulted in an increase in funding for this program and the implementation of a number of recommendations which have led to a beneficial revision of the structure and delivery of the funding.

In 2003, the collective of Regional Conservatoriums formed the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums Incorporated (ANSWRC) as a device for developing policy and educational cohesion across regional NSW.

The Association’s Mission Statement, Vision and Role, as set out in the 2010 Strategic Plan, is as follows;

Mission Statement: High quality music education and performance. Accessible. Enriching. Engaging.

Vision: To provide leadership, resources and expertise to support the activities of Regional Conservatoriums in New South Wales.

Role: As the peak body for NSW Regional Conservatoriums, the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums sees its role as:

  • providing leadership for NSW Regional Conservatoriums
  • advocating on behalf of NSW Regional COnservatoriums and their communities
  • representing the interests of NSW Regional Conservatoriums to government and non-government bodies
  • promoting the value of music education in Regional NSW
  • promoting community engagement through musical performance
  • facilitating networking across NSW Regional Conservatoriums and with other organisations
  • research for the benefit of NSW Regional Conservatoriums
  • facilitating professional learning opportunities for management and staff of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

Regional Conservatoriums are major contributors to regional culture. In most cases, they are the principal provider of music education and performance in their respective regions. The Association’s commitment to regional NSW begins with the pursuit of quality music education programs. Regional Conservatoriums are partially funded by NSW DEC to develop these programs within NSW DEC schools.

Across its network, the Association is also a major employer. Each Conservatorium is committed to developing the professional capacity of its teaching staff. Conservatoriums are committed to attracting and employing skilled professionals who would otherwise not live in regional NSW.