Graham Bartle has made a distinguished contribution to music education throughout the world over many years. Both internationally and in his home country of Australia, Graham's philosophy has been that opportunities should be created to ensure that music education is the right of everyone. He has done this as a musician, a teacher, an academic leader and a researcher.
Graham has made major contributions to ISME over many decades. He presented a paper on comparative music education at the 11th World Conference in Perth in 1974, a study that led to the production in 1992 of the first edition of his publication, the International Directory of Music Education. This extraordinary piece of research contains details of higher music and music education qualifications from around the world, much of the information gathered by Graham through interviewing those responsible for the courses. A supplement to the first Directory was published in 1994 and two expanded editions were published in 1996 and 2000. The latest edition contains the details of a staggering 3,331 institutions in 157 countries. There can surely be no-one in the world who has met so many music educators and subsequently made so many friends in international music education.
Graham's contribution to ISME includes membership of ISME commissions and the ISME Board of Directors as well as a Special Advisor to ISME Commissions. His latest work was the establishment in 1998 of the sponsorship program, formed to assist music educators to participate in ISME conferences who would otherwise be unable to attend. As a result of this project, music educators from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Guyana, Romania and Bulgaria have attended recent World Conferences. To quote Graham, these contacts are valuable in 'helping to keep the flame of inspiration alive'.
Graham was appointed as the first lecturer in music at the Secondary Teachers' College in Melbourne in 1962, a newly established institution that became one of the leading teacher training colleges in Australia. He was lecturer and then senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Music from 1966 to 1993, and was Deputy Dean of the Faculty from 1978 to 1993. Many hundreds of music educators throughout Australia were students of Graham's at some stage, and thousands more have been associated with him through his long involvement with the Australian Music Examinations Board and the Victorian Music Teachers' Association. The VMTA is the largest body of music educators in Australia, and Graham was its Vice-President for several years before becoming President from 1999 to 2002. He was made an Honorary Life Member of the VMTA in 2003 for his dedicated service to the organisation.
Through all these endeavours and successes Graham displays something very special - a truly wonderful sense of humour. He has an eye for the comical and everyone who has met him has a favourite Graham Bartle story. For someone who has influenced so many he is a man of extraordinary modesty. Diplomatic and wise, as well, Graham Bartle is a most worthy recipient of Honorary Life Member.