Matt’s got ’em beat

Apollo Bay P-12 College's classroom maestro Matt Orchard was right on key, taking home the coveted music teacher award at the ARIAs.

He's hit the top note! Victorian music teacher Matt Orchard has claimed the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) music teacher award.

On Thursday 24 November 2022, the Apollo Bay P-12 College's superstar proudly stepped on stage to accept the trophy at Australian music's biggest night of the year - and reminded everyone that music can change lives.

Matt looked every bit the rockstar, and in rhythm with the nation's top musos, as he joined The Wiggles on stage at Sydney Hordern Pavilion on Thursday 24 November 2022 to accept the highly coveted honour.

A cheer for power of music

Beaming Matt, a teacher and working musician for more than 25 years, thanked ARIA for shining a spotlight on the importance of music in our lives.

'Music and music education play a crucial role in improving the mental health and wellbeing of kids right across the country in school,' Matt told the national audience.

'As musicians, we've known this for quite some time and it's great that it's being recognised on such a huge scale.'

Ode to Apollo Bay

Matt thanked 'every single person' who voted for him, but made special mention of Apollo Bay P-12 College and the local community.

'It's a special place to live,' he told the audience and broadcast viewers.

He also thanked his ARIA Ambassador, Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies, and – in true rockstar fashion – his mum!

Matt's nomination for the award had been a talking point in the town and wider district for weeks in the lead-up to the big event.

The House of Rock – the school's music centre – is still rocking to Matt's success!

Thanks to all our In Our Classroom readers who voted for Matt.

Find out more

For more information, see the 2022 winners.