Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM)

CASM is the only devoted university-based centre for studies in Australian Indigenous music.


Are you a musical Indigenous Australian who is 17 or over?

The CASM Foundation Year is a dedicated entry program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians wanting to study at university. CASM is located in the Elder Conservatorium of Music and is a node of NCALMS.

The CASM Foundation Year offers an innovative program that responds to the learning needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and offers state-of-the-art learning and sound recording facilities.

Students at CASM are actively involved in a variety of music performance, composition and recording activities. Much of this work is done in the CASM studios, which house state-of-the-art facilities for rehearsing, music recording, and audio-visual production.

CASM was founded in 1972 through partnership between by the ethnomusicologist, Catherine Ellis, and the acclaimed Ngarrindjeri poet, Leila Rankine. CASM's early programs also built on deep exchanges with the Anangu community at Iwantja, which led to the ground-breaking appointment of the Pitjantjatjara songman, M. Baker, as a Senior Lecturer at CASM in 1975.

In the 1980s, CASM students began to focus on creating original music, and formed the ground-breaking bands, No Fixed Address, Us Mob, Coloured Stone, and Kuckles.

More recent CASM alumni, Zaachariaha Fielding of the band Electric Fields, Ellie Lovegrove and Simi Vuata, are widely acclaimed performing artists.

CASM graduates have led successful careers in composition, performance and recording, and have won international recognition and awards for their music. They are also employed in a wide range of professions and leadership roles across the education, health, government, community development, media and arts sectors.


If you’d like to apply to study the CASM Foundation Year, follow the steps below:

  1. Register for your audition using the request an audition form
  2. Once you have completed your audition, submit an Access Pathway application and upload your CASM Audition Feedback Form with your documents
  3. Wirltu Yarlu will be in touch with you to step you through the rest of the application process from there.

Request an audition