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Steve Dillon (20 March 1953 - 1 April 2012) was a well-respected figure in the Australian and international music education communities, widely known for his enthusiastic approach to numerous projects around the globe, for his kindness, and his eternal optimism. A singer, songwriter, educator and humanitarian, Steve was particularly passionate about community music and the connections between music, wellbeing and social justice. His passion for music as a means of communicating between individuals and communities, and as a space and place for social change is evidenced in the many projects in which he was involved. The Steve Dillon award celebrates Steve's many interests and seeks to advance research and scholarship investigating the connections between music, wellbeing, and social justice.


The Steve Dillon ISME World Conference award is intended to support an early career researcher in attending the ISME World Conference to present a report on their research for the first time. The Steve Dillon award will normally provide up to USD3,000 to be used towards covering the costs of accommodation, travel and subsistence.


The Steve Dillon ISME World Conference award is open to ISME members who are early career researchers currently enrolled in a graduate research degree (Masters by coursework or research, doctorate including PhD, EdD or DMA) who have had a research paper accepted for presentation at the ISME World Conference.


In general the criteria by which applications will be judged include:

  1. the quality, originality and significance of the research project;
  2. the ways in which the research addresses the role of music in issues of social justice, community music-making and/or wellbeing; and
  3. evidence of the applicant’s financial need and likelihood of being unable to obtain funding for the requested travel and subsistence from other sources.


This Award is for first time presenters only, so do not apply if you have already presented at an ISME World Conference.

Applications are now open for the 2018 World Conference.

Download the application form from this page and submit it once submission notifications have been received - but before 1 March 2018.

Also download the referee report form from this page and ask your referee to submit their supporting statement before 1 March 2018.

The decision-making process

All applications are considered by the ISME Awards Committee chaired by the President or nominee (for 2018 this is former ISME President Margaret Barrett). Applicants are informed normally within four weeks of the closing date of the outcome and they must advise the panel in writing of their acceptance of an offer of award within 7 days of the receipt of the letter of award. The decision of the panel is final, and the Society regrets that it is unable to enter into any correspondence regarding its decision. Each application is treated individually on its merits; hence previous applicants are not precluded from applying, although previous award recipients are.

Past recipients

Past recipients of this award are:

2016:  Eva Wilde (UK) and Jaclyn Paul (Canada)

Steve Dillon Award application form Download
Steve Dillon Award referee report form Download