APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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Posted by Team APATA | Aug 31, 2021

Welcome to the 2022 APATA Awards Program.

I am so delighted to be announcing the opening of the APATA National Awards for 2022!

When I started The Australian Performing Arts Teacher’s Association, I knew that I wanted to incorporate a way to acknowledge teachers and the work that they do. My all-time favourite teacher was Mrs Meskell, who fuelled my love for all forms of dance, musical theatre and stage craft.

Not only did Mrs Meskell inspire my musical appreciation, but she also taught me to read music, count time and keep the rhythm. There were lessons in teamwork, respect, and discipline. She channelled my energy, taught me patience, built my self-esteem, and improved my confidence.

Most of all she passed on a love of performance. Whether performing myself or watching others – it was all magic, and still is!

Mrs Meskell was the one that made the difference for me. Her class was a place of freedom, challenge, discovery, and escape. I was never going to be the professional dancer on stage, but I was certainly one of the lucky ones. I’d found my happy place, from there I built a career working in the arts, events, and entertainment industry.

Starting APATA was a lifelong dream for me. This association is my way of saying thank you to my teacher Mrs Meskell and to all the educators out there making a difference, changing lives, and creating our future creators.

Performing arts and everything it encompasses thrills me to the core. The teachers, schools, studios, students, and organisations who step into the performing arts need to know that they are seen. I see you, the APATA community sees you and with these awards we hope to help your light shine bright so that others see you too.

So don’t be shy. As the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it.

We hope you will join us in celebrating performing arts education with the 2022 APATA Awards.

We bring the Awards to you!

Covid-19 reshaped the APATA Awards for us in 2021. We realised that while gala dinners are great, personally meeting our winners, inviting industry professionals and your ambassadors to play a part in presentations seen around Australia, was even better.

NIDA hosted Wakakirri’s award presentation for Excellence in Performing Arts Education with Yellow Wiggle, Emma Watkins, congratulating the team in a special video: WATCH HERE.

The Honourable Mick de Brenni MP delivered the Performing Arts School of the Year to John Paul College, QLD, on their campus surrounded by the students and faculty: WATCH HERE.

APATA Ambassador, Set Designer Frances Hannaway accompanied Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis to St Patrick’s College to present Jackson Hughesman with the Performing Arts Student of the Year Award. Jackson and his family had the opportunity to spend time with Lee and Fran over morning tea and Jackson’s presentation video has proved hugely popular: WATCH HERE.

You can also view the full presentation videos:  WATCH HERE.

We bring the Awards to you, sharing your studio, school, achievements, and story with home turf presentations by APATA and select Industry Professionals who resonate with your journey. All professionally captured so you can shine.

Who are these awards for?

The APATA National Awards Program recognises excellence in education across all elements of the performing arts including dance, music, theatre, musical theatre, opera, comedy, culture and circus through to those who develop our writers, designers, producers, directors, managers, administrators and technical production experts.

We have six APATA Award categories!

Which Category suits you or someone you know?

Award 01. Excellence in Performing Arts Education  This award recognises excellence in performing arts education and can be entered by an individual, organisation, or industry working in performing arts education.

Award 02. Performing Arts Private Studio of the Year  This award recognises a private studio / school that inspires students in their learning and development in the performing arts.

Award 03. Performing Arts School of the Year – This award recognises a school that inspires students in their learning and development in the performing arts.

Award 04. Performing Arts Teacher of the Year – This award recognises a teacher for their passion, inspiration, and dedication in providing students with guidance, encouragement, and education to explore the performing arts.

Award 05. Performing Arts Student of the Year – This award recognises those developing their skills and technique, unique talent, artistic quality, and dedication in their performing arts discipline.

Award 06. The Meskell Award – The Meskell Award is an honorary award acknowledging lifetime service and extraordinary contribution of an individual teaching and educating in the performing arts. APATA’s Honorary Award is given at the discretion of the judging committee and not necessarily awarded every year.

The 2022 APATA Awards Program.

Important Dates

Entries close 1st March 2022, so you have plenty of time to collate your work and results from 2021.

Awards will be announced 29th April 2022. We take the role of receiving entries very seriously as our judges review written submissions and accompanying content.

Our judges are experienced industry and academic leaders who bring tremendous credibility to our award program. Their depth of experience and knowledge ensures the process is both independent and robust.

Do I need to be an APATA member to enter the awards?

Yes. We have memberships for students, individuals, schools, performing arts organisations and business.

What do the winners receive?

  • $1,000 Bursary each
  • A gorgeous, engraved crystal trophy.
  • Winner’s Certificate
  • APATA Award Winners Seal to attach to your marketing.
  • Presentation video and images from the day.
  • Exposure to the APATA Community and beyond through: the Weekly APATA Newsletter, articles in APATA Studio News and the APATA Awards page, and optional APATA Podcast plus promotion via Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

What do people have to say about the APATA Awards?

“This award is a credit to all our students that have decided to make performing arts a part of their lives and share their love of dance, drama, music, and cheer through the many performances we share with audiences. We are truly blessed with the calibre of our staff who mentor, guide and impart their passion for the performing arts to each and every one of our students. Ms Amanda Waddell and I would sincerely like to thank the Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association for your continued support and valuable voice in promoting the performing arts across Australia.” 

Mr A.R. Bobby Gallo, John Paul College, QLD :  2021 Performing Arts School of the Year.

“It’s a tremendous accolade to be recognised as the very best in the nation. I want to recognise the teachers here who instil an ongoing passion for the arts. What happens here at JPC means that the industry of the arts here in Queensland will grow and it will thrive. Winning this award speaks volumes about John Paul College.”

The Honourable Mick de Brenni MP

‘It’s a strange hunger theatre. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your community in ways that very few other professions do. The job of a theatre maker is to inspire society to be better than it is. To create stories that challenge us, that make us laugh, make us cry, and make us imagine a future that is not yet evident. I hope this award is an encouragement to you to commit to the thing that gives you the most joy.”

Lee Lewis: Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre


Why enter the APATA Awards?

APATA is for teachers, educators, businesses and schools developing the future of our industry.

Everyday at APATA it is our focus to support performing arts educators and students and to celebrate all your achievements.

In schools around Australia teachers put in so many extra hours to give their students the opportunity to come together, to learn, to develop passion and skills, and to present shows.

We’ve spoken to educators and industry and its unanimous. You do this because you love it!

With performing arts education not only are you laying the foundations for creative exploration, but you are also fostering social and emotional wellbeing, and sparking joy, while possibly educating Australia’s future creators (and educators).

We say, why not enter the APATA Awards? Celebrate the small wins. This is your platform positioned to put performing arts and performing arts education in the spotlight for the whole country to see! Because, “Nobody puts baby in the corner!”


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