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The Riverina Conservatorium of Music

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music (RCM) is a team of almost 40 professional music educators and support staff. Based in Wagga Wagga the RCM teaches music to almost 1200 students from across the Riverina region. 

The core business of the RCM is the provision of pre-tertiary instrumental and vocal music tuition but the RCM is also the Riverina region's primary provider of classical music performances. Additionally, RCM students are able to learn all aspects of music history, theory and composition.

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is a not-for-profit organisation and was established in 1981 by the Riverina Institute of Advanced Education to augment the music teaching opportunities for Institute teachers and to create a broader educational experience for Institute education students and the community. 

Today the Riverina Conservatorium of Music operates as a non-profit Company Limited by Guarantee. It is situated in the Blakemore Building on CSU South Campus Wagga Wagga. It also extends into many of the regions schools providing in-school access to music education. 

Primarily students at the RCM are learning to play a musical instrument or to sing. However, we do much much more. The RCM also provides valuable opportunities for students in low SES schools and facilitates band programs in many Riverina Schools. The RCM also extends its educational reach across regional NSW through state of the art videoconferencing systems. Currently, the RCM is using video teaching programs to work with remote students from some of the isolated communities in NSW such as Bega and Deniliquin.

Funded primarily by the NSW Department of Education the RCM has a strong focus on equitable music education and is aim is to provide "Quality Music Education and Performance, Accessible to all, Enriching lives and Building Communities".

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is proud to have Graham Abbott and Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO as its Patron.

RCM Patrons


Contact Us

Contact Us


Postal Address: PO Box 7290 Mt Austin, NSW, 2650

Address:  The Blakemore Building (514) 

South Campus, Charles Sturt University, 

College Ave, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Phone: +61 (02) 6925 3522




Send us an email - fill in the form below and we will get in touch with you.

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Our Team

The RCM is built upon its exciting team of professional music educators and administrative support people. 

Our Team

The RCM is built upon its exciting team of professional music educators and administrative support people. 

The RCM's Team is an amazing group of teaching and Administrative staff. They are highly qualified, skilled and experienced to deal with your or your child's music education needs. 

All RCM staff have full Child Protection screening and are required to undertake annual training in Child Protection and CPR. Staff are also actively engaged in professional development and are frequent presenters and attendees at major national and international conferences. 

Many of the RCM's teaching staff are also busy professional musicians performing in some of Australia's leading orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.


Board of Management

Board of Management

Our Board is made up of representatives from our community together with representatives from the Wagga Wagga City Council and Charles Sturt University. It is responsible for the oversight of our Conservatorium and for the development, implementation and monitoring of our policies and is accountable for these to statutory bodies and government agencies. It sets the budget for our organisation, and is ultimately responsible for our mission and strategic directions. It meets regularly and consults widely with our CEO as well as staff and our community. Our vision is outlined very clearly in our Strategic Plan (Click to download)



Andrew has been Chair of our Conservatorium for the past fifteen years. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, with interests in the impacts of climate change, environmental sustainability, history, and education. He has a real passion for both music making and education and has guided the Conservatorium through the massive growth and changes at the RCM, including the development of our new Conservatorium in Simmons Street.

Andrew has a great love for his family and has a wide range of interests including music making as well as in photography, swimming, cycling and just about anything made by Apple.



Robyn has been a community representative on our Board for the last six years. She comes from an executive background in business, tourism, hospitality and event management in Sydney and regional NSW. Robyn currently works in the community services sector, including advisory roles in the re-settlement of asylum seekers and refugees to NSW. She has experience in previous arts and community organisations and has a passion for music and particularly the Conservatorium’s vision of providing quality education and superb performance for all in the Riverina.

Robyn’s interests include music from the Baroque to Bono and the Bee Gees; theatre, travel, cooking for family and friends, gardening. Robyn is an avid reader; although she admits that there is never enough time for much, outside of her ongoing studies in Sociology and Community Services.




Wayne Geale OAM - Treasurer - community representative

Wayne joined us as Wagga Wagga City Council's representative on the Board. Despite his very busy schedule, he continues to make a major contribution through his insights and considerable background in community organisations. His strong support for the work of the Board comes from his belief in the power of organisations such as the Conservatorium in strengthening and enriching communities. He has been our treasurer since he stepped down from the Council and has most recently led us though through to our current status as a company limited by guarantee.

Wayne has a broad range of interests that include theatre, music (listening not playing), helping young people through the Scout Association. He and wife Barbara have two adult sons.


Cr Yvonne braid OAM - Representative of the Mayor of Wagga Wagga


Yvonne joined the Conservatorium Board as the Representative of the Mayor of Wagga Wagga and has been on the board since 2016.

Before joining the Board, Yvonne was General Manager of 2WG/StarFM for 12 years and worked at the stations for many years prior.

Yvonne has always had a huge interest in the theatre, that included music and dancing of all kinds including teaching ballroom dancing for many years.

Dr Malcom Allen - Community Representative


Malcolm joined the Conservatorium Board in 2014. Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, with a background in bio-organic chemistry gained at Manchester University. His interest in music arrived late in life and, now in retirement, is a student of piano at the Conservatorium and, together with his wife Helen, a part scholarship sponsor at the Conservatorium.

He enjoys walking, running, pilates and, when learning music allows, reading about mathematics, physics and astronomy.

Ms Danielle Wait - community representative

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Danielle joined the Conservatorium Board in 2017 as a community representative. She holds a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Marketing and Management and is an experienced Human Resources professional who has held roles within commercial recruitment agencies and inhouse recruitment teams.  Danielle is a current President of the Wagga Wagga Business Chamber, Airport Advisory Committee member, Regional Innovation Committee member and member of the Project Advisory Committee for the new Conservatorium building.


Danielle is the Director and Founder of Flywheel Consulting, a local company that supports businesses to effectively manage their Human Resource functions by offering compliant employment contract and policy documentation, recruitment process training and other related services.  Along with her interests in business, she is an amateur pianist and is currently preparing to complete her 8th Grade AMEB Piano exam.

Mr Caleb Richards - community representative

MR Manuel donebus - community representative

Manuel has an Economics Degree from ANU and joins the Conservatorium board with 28 years of experience in the property development and management industry; successfully managing many small to very large projects in Wagga Wagga.  His two children are both students of the RCM and music is an integral part of the family’s daily life.

Manuel’s is a tragic sports lover with a particular interest in football (soccer), where he coaches a local junior team.  Other interests include gardening and spending time with family.


The Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music's DRAFT 2019 - 2022 Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan 2019-2022 is the blue print that captures our vision for the next three years, and provides the road map for our organisation to realize this vision. It is a practical document that commits our organisation to a shared vision of our future, and provides us with deadlines to achieve each part of our vision.

This draft Strategic Plan has been developed to begin conversations. It needs to be challenged and expanded as we explore our vision for the next three years and beyond. It must also cope with the major uncertainties facing us as we develop and then occupy our new site in Simmons Street, Wagga Wagga.

Unfortunately we have a very short time in which to develop this plan, but we seek advice from everybody associated with the RCM – staff, students, families, concertgoers and friends.

Please take the time to look into the details provided in this document, and to comment on the suggested initiatives it contains. Share your vision with us. You can do this through advertised staff meetings and community consultations, or by a direct email to either Hamish Tait or myself (see contact details opposite).

We thank you for your support and advice as we develop this Strategic Plan. The closing date for submissions is Friday 29th March, 2019.

With best wishes,

Dr Andrew Wallace
Chair: Riverina Conservatorium Board. March, 2019

At our recent Scholarship Presentation I held a $10 note in the air. It was to suggest that this small piece of polymer has something profound to say to all of us. It reminds us of who we are. On the one side is an image of Banjo Paterson – arguably our best known bush poet who wrote The Man from the Snowy River, Waltzing Matilda and other icons of our culture. He is almost a local, having spent his childhood days in Binalong near Yass. On the other side of the note is Australia’s best known female poet, Dame Mary Gilmore. She IS a local! Her family were early pioneers at Brucedale. Dame Mary went to school in North Wagga and completed her teacher training at Gurwood Street Public. The gates we enter daily at South Campus were named in her honour. 

The point? Every time we drag a $10 from our pocket we celebrate the things we value in our local community. We are reminded of the value of culture in all our lives, the fundamental nature of it in enriching our community and our wellbeing here in Wagga Wagga and the Riverina.

Our Riverina Conservatorium is an important part of the culture of this community. Our Strategic Plan reflects our shared vision, and is the result of broad consultations with our wider community. Our plan provides the central focus for our work over the next three years. It outlines our role, expectations, dreams and aspirations and vision for the future of the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.

The development of the plan has involved many interesting conversations, and I want to thank all those who have expressed their opinions, share dreams, built new initiatives, and have focused our vision. I would like to particularly thank Ms Monique Shephard for her leadership in the preparation of this document, and to our Board and executive for their incredible support. Now it is up to all of us to realise our dreams – and a grand adventure it will be.

With warmest wishes,

Dr Andrew Wallace

Chair: Riverina Conservatorium Board

June 2016

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The Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

The Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is part of a 18 Conservatorium wide network. NSW Regional Conservatoriums are unique  NSW and are funded through the Regional Conservatoriums Grants Program managed by the NSW Department of Education and Communities. 

About the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

Regional Conservatoriums are self-governing incorporated not-for-profit organizations managed by community Boards. These Boards of Management are, in each of the seventeen Regional Conservatoriums, representative of the community and region in which the Regional Conservatorium operates.

The Association currently comprises 18 member organisations. Regional Conservatoriums are located across the state in locations geographically, climatically, historically and economically diverse.

In 1999, the NSW State Government reviewed the level of funding provided to Regional Conservatoriums, resulting in an increase in 2001 to global Regional Conservatorium . The Regional Conservatoriums and the NSW Government grant program was reviewed again in 2008. The review that was conducted by the Minister for Education resulted in an increase in funding for this program and the implementation of a number of recommendations which have led to a beneficial revision of the structure and delivery of the funding.

In 2003, the collective of Regional Conservatoriums formed the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums Incorporated (ANSWRC) as a device for developing policy and educational cohesion across regional NSW.

 Check out the ANSWRC's website to discover more about this exciting network. 

NSW Department of Education and Communities

NSW Department of Education and Communities

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is primarily funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities. This funding comes through the Regional Conservatorium Grants Program. This program provides annual grant funding to autonomous conservatoriums and smaller music centres in non-metropolitan NSW. Regional conservatoriums are independent, not-for-profit community organisations.

The Non-Tertiary Music Education Program supports eligible organisations to provide a comprehensive range of quality educational opportunities and performance activities in non-tertiary music.

Use the links below to learn more about regional music conservatoriums and the Non-Tertiary Music Education Program:

Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums

Regional music conservatoriums