Sacred Heart School teacher wins ARIA Music Teacher Award

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25 November 2021

Sacred Heart School, Fitzroy, music teacher Zoë Barry has been named the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Teacher of the Year for 2021.

Zoë was recognised with the prestigious award for her work leading the Harmony in Strings program at Sacred Heart School for the past 11 years, delivering multiple benefits for her students.

In acknowledging Zoë’s outstanding work, Sacred Heart principal Matthew Shawcross described her as ‘a treasure’.

‘Sacred Heart is a multicultural school. 98% of our students have English as a second language’, he said.

‘Some of our students haven’t had the easiest start in life and music brings them a sense of self-confidence and calm.

‘Zoë is patient and kind and, on top of that, an amazing teacher and musician. What more could you ask for?’, Mr Shawcross said.

Acting Executive Director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Dr Paul Sharkey, also congratulated Zoë on her achievement.

‘On behalf of the Catholic education community in the Archdiocese, we congratulate Zoë on this award.

‘She has demonstrated great talent, professionalism, and real care for and dedication to her students – all qualities we deeply appreciate and value in our Catholic schools.’

As part of the Harmony in Strings program, all students in Years 3–6 receive two lessons of music each week and often come together after school and at lunchtimes, as well as perform in a range of community and artistic settings.

Watch the video to find out more about Zoë’s wonderful work and the recent announcement of her nomination for the ARIA award by well-known Indigenous rap artist Baker Boy.

The ARIA Music Teacher of the Year Award was introduced to recognise music teachers for their passion and hard work in providing Australian children with a better education, and the chance to play and enjoy music.

Media contact: Gerard Delaney on 0413 274 176 or

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