Past Conferences

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Past AMTA National Conferences

The Australian Music Therapy Association has been holding its annual National Conference for 46 years. It’s the key annual industry event for music therapists in Australia. The conference is a wonderful opportunity for music therapists and people interested in music therapy to come together, participate in professional development and learn, share and discuss ideas on music therapy. It’s also a chance to network with peers and catch up with old colleagues and friends.

A dedicated Conference Committee plan the theme, and organise the conference program and events. Past program events have included clinical practice, interactive workshops, symposiums, round table and panel discussions, oral presentations and poster/paper presentations.

Local and international music therapists, health professionals, creative therapists, community musicians, academics and researchers are invited to submit abstracts that fit into streams within the conference theme. Successful applicants are then invited to present at the conference. Attendees can register to attend all of the conference or some sessions.

Below is a snapshot of a couple of conferences held in recent years.


AMTA 2020 Conference: ‘Connection’

715 November 2020

The 46th National Conference and PDS was held virtually in response to COVID restrictions. This added an extra special meaning to our conference theme of ‘Connection’ as the Conference Committee, speakers and delegates together collaborated, shared and learned together.

The Keynote Speakers were Dr Marisol Norris, who presented on ‘Building connections: Radical imaginations in music therapy’, and Professor Susan Hadley who presented on ‘The Urgency of Sociocultural Reflexivity in Music Therapy’.

Other speakers included:

  • Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson, AM and Asami Koike (RMT) who were the leaders in conversation on the topic of Indigenous and Diasporic Perspectives on Trauma.
  • Dr Dale Taylor and Professor Jörg Fachner who were the leaders in conversation on the topic of International Dialogues in Music and Neuroscience.
  • Dr Helen Shoemark and Priscilla Pek who were the leaders in conversation on the topic of Music Therapy with Children and their Families in Hospitals.
  • Allison Davies and Dr Vicky Abad who were the leaders in conversation on the topic of Advocacy in Music Therapy.
  • Sue-Anne Hunter and Tigist Kebede who were the leaders in conversation on the topic of Pursuing Decolonisation and Self-Determination in Therapeutic Practice.



AMTA 2019 Conference: ‘Changing the future: Advocacy, Equity and Partnerships’

29 – 30 November 2019

The AMTA 2019 National Conference was held in Melbourne in the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, the home of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne.

We changed things up a little for our 2019 conference. Alongside our annual conference, we presented a special event, the ‘Music, Adolescents and Trauma’ Symposium, in partnership with Professor Katrina McFerran and the University of Melbourne.

The Keynote Speakers were Dr Phillipa Derrington and Helen Cameron (RMT). Dr Herrington presented on ‘Reconsidering therapeutic space, therapeutic relationship and conversations around music therapy: Reflections on working alongside a young adolescent who experienced childhood trauma’. Helen Cameron presented on ‘Key changes in music therapy and disability – a practitioner’s perspective.

Some of the symposium topics included Music, Adolescents and Trauma; Parkinson’s; Education and Disability; Mental Health; Supporting Parents; Collaboration and Voice; Innovative Approaches, Participant Experiences, Collaboration and Children; and Clinical Practice. A DrumPower Workshop with Andreas Wölfl was also held.