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The Australian Youth Classical Music Competition acknowledges the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation

as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, learn and work. 

We pay our respects to First Peoples past and present, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, water and culture.

The Advertiser, The Trust and the Competition - 32 Years

In 1990 the Geelong Advertiser celebrated 150 years of publishing. A special 150 page feature was produced, each page recalling the major events from 1840 to 1990. Sales generated a sizeable profit and the funds were used to widen the support of community programs in the field of performing arts, especially music.  

In recognition of the support of readers and advertisers, the directors announced a trust for the benefit of musicians by providing assistance to them to further their skills, talents and careers.  To this end, the Geelong Advertiser Music Scholarship Trust was formed through an initial grant of $60,000 made by The Geelong Advertiser.

Initially, the Scholarship competition was structured to offer a National prize only, however in 2005, the Trust implemented a Regional Section of the Competition to encourage local young musicians. In 2011 the Trustees resolved to change the name of the competition from the Geelong Advertiser Music Competition to the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition.

2020 marked the 30th year of the competition but as COVID-19 prevented running the competition, 2024 is now the 33rd year.

Regional Section

The purpose of the Regional section is to encourage and recognize local solo instrumental musicians with the award of a Regional Prize of $2,000. Runner-up prizes of $1,000 are awarded to three finalists.  

Regional applicants audition before a panel of expert musicians who choose up to twelve applicants to perform at the Finals Concert. 


To enter the Regional Section, participants must be aged 18 years of age or younger as at the 1st of January and reside within the G21 footprint or are a full time student at a secondary school within the region.

National Section  

The purpose of the National section is to encourage young people to aspire to excellence in music and to further this aim, the National First Prize winner receives a $20,000 Overseas Travel Scholarship sponsored by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. Second Prize of $4,000 and a Third Prize of $2,000 are also awarded, plus a participation award and Audience Prize.


Eight National finalists are chosen to perform at the National Finals Weekend by a panel of adjudicators from Melbourne Universities. Auditions are submitted by video.


To enter the National Section, participants must be solo classical musicians aged between 17 and 25 years by the closing date of applications and an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia. 

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