Congratulations to Dr Susan West on receiving the prestigious ANU Vice Chancellor's Award for Community Outreach! This award recognises the excellence and dedication Susan has brought to her role as Convenor of the innovative Music Education Program at the ANU School of Music. The award will be presented by the Vice Chancellor Ian Chubb on the 12th November in the Great Hall, University House.
Susan West was invited to the Canberra School of Music in 1984 to help establish the Music Education Program. Recognising a need for different and more successful forms of music education, she continued her studies, first at Charles Sturt University and later with the Institute for Music and Health, New York. This work led to the establishment of the Hand-in-Hand outreach program that focuses on uniting children and the community in shared, altruistic music-making.
Dr West composes and arranges principally for children, or to provide avenues for artistic collaborations between children and adult professionals. She teaches and lectures all age groups from pre-school through to post-graduate and for non-award courses with a particular focus on developing the skills and confidence of in-service teachers.
Dr West’s work has attracted both national and international interest and the impact and benefits of her programs are being studied by students from Australia and abroad. Her work is being documented in a range of short films from Ronin Films, Australia. She has been recognised through various awards, including a National Children’s Week Award, a National Women’s Day Award and a citation for Teaching Excellence from the Carrick Institute. Most recently the Hand-in-Hand Outreach Program was recognized for its excellence as a community outreach program through a national awards program run by the Music Council of Australia.