An active, professional volunteer organization, run by committed music lovers and advocates of the Arts, the AOAC since its inception more than three decades ago, has raised close to $2,000,000 to support OPERA in Australia.

The Australian Opera Awards Committee was the first to honour Dame Joan Sutherland by establishing a scholarship in her name. For more than 32 years the Dame Joan Sutherland/AOAC Scholarship (now $20,000) has been awarded annually. Among the many recipients of this award are Anthony Warlow, Daniel Sumegi, John Antoniou, Maria Pollicina, Gregory Tomlinson, Dominic Natoli, James Hancock, Richard Alexander, Dwayne Jones, Deborah Humble, Brad Cooper Andrew Goodwin, Emma Jayakumar, Simon Thew, Amy Radford and Lorina Gore.

It has been the Committee’s pleasure and privilege to host a Celebrity Luncheon or Dinner in honour of both Dame Joan and Richard Bonynge each year for over 30 years. This has been one of the many joyful and gracious ways of raising much needed funds to enable the Committee to continue supporting our talented singers.

Singers who have been and are members of the Opera Australia Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artists Development Programme have benefitted for more than 30 years, from the annual AOAC Sponsorship of $20,000, which includes the Nina Barden bequest.

Recognising that established artists also need assistance at various times in their careers, we give many ‘Sheila Prior Memorial Grants’ to singers, conductors, instrumentalists and international teachers and vocal coaches who work with our performers in Australia.

The AOAC has sponsored three CDs; ‘Lisa Gasteen-Singer of the World’ and Horst Hoffmann’s ‘Great Opera Heroes’, in the Voice of Australia series for Walsingham Classics and for Melba Records, ‘The Power of Love’, Deborah Riedel with Richard Bonynge conducting the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.