The Carol Day OAM Commission has been designed to offer a female-identifying Australian composer the opportunity to write, rehearse, and perform a large-scale orchestral work in a high-profile performance setting, whilst maintaining creative autonomy. This commissioning award allows our members to glean knowledge from living composers with underrepresented voices, and exposes our audiences to new and innovative orchestral music that speaks of our time. 

WA Youth Orchestras is a non-profit registered charity providing unparalleled orchestral training and performance opportunities for young Western Australians and our audiences. Since 1974, WAYO has been committed to the long-term investment of engaging and enriching the lives of WA’s youth through music. Our programs highlight works of historical, educational and cultural value, creating an experience for our members that nurtures their creative education whilst being representative of the community and culture they exist within.

Gender imbalance in Australia’s professional music sector continues to be perpetuated by the programming choices of our major symphonic performance organisations. WAYO acknowledges this lack of parity, and is working towards correcting this through a focus on equality at a grass roots level. This commission has been designed to offer a female professional the opportunity to write, rehearse, and perform a large-scale orchestral work in a high-profile performance setting, whilst retaining creative autonomy over her work.

About this Award

The selected composer will be invited to write a ten-minute piece for full symphony orchestra with triple winds, to be premiered by our flagship ensemble (WA Youth Orchestra) in Perth Concert Hall. The award will consist of a cash prize of $5000, significant rehearsal time, live performance of the work at Perth Concert Hall to an expected live audience in excess of 1500, and a live recording of the work.

This award is open to all female-identifying Australian composers 35 years and under as of the closing date. There is no application fee. The winning composer will be selected by a panel of industry experts and representatives of the WAYO board.


2018 Melody Eötvös
2020 Georgia Scott

Who is Carol Day?

This award has been established in recognition of long term chair and co founder Carol Day. In 1974 Carol established the beginnings of what would grow into WAYO, and has served faithfully since that time in a variety of roles, including Chair, administrator, acting CEO, motivator, parent, and all rounder. A much admired arts leader and supporter, Carol has been instrumental in supporting WAYO’s phenomenal growth since its inception 45 years ago, and remains a valuable and committed WAYO Board member to this day. Carol also served as Deputy Chair on the Australia Council for the National Music Board for six years as the sole Western Australian representative and was a great champion for Western Australian Arts. She has also held other significant not-for-profit and community directorships. Her personal drive and passion for supporting young artists has inspired WAYO members and staff over many decades and we are proud to name this commission in her honour. It is with much gratitude that we say thanks to Carol for her tireless support and dedication to WAYO and the broader Australian arts community.