Music honours for Jimmy Little and Peter Sculthorpe

6 June 2005

Two of Australia's most influential musicians and composers, Jimmy Little and Peter Sculthorpe, were presented with honorary doctorates in music last Friday, 3 June in the University of Sydney's Great Hall.

Both Jimmy Little and Peter Sculthorpe have been pioneers in promoting Aboriginal culture and music - Jimmy Little as a popular Indigenous singer- songwriter and Peter Sculthorpe as a widely recognised non-Indigenous composer.

Their joint contribution to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has been profound, so it was particularly appropriate that they were honoured on the last day of National Reconciliation Week 2005,  also Mabo Day.


Pictured: icons of Australian music, Jimmy Little and Peter Sculthorpe, in the Sea of Hands at the University after being awarded honorary degrees.


Both men share a long connection with the University of Sydney. Emeritus Professor Peter Sculthorpe joined the University's Department of Music as lecturer in composition in 1963 and was appointed to a personal chair in composition in 1991. Until his retirement in 1999, he mentored the next generation of Australian composers including Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards, Barry Conyngham, Elliott Gyger and Matthew Hindson.

Jimmy Little began teaching and mentoring Indigenous music students at the Eora Centre in Redfern in 1985 and since 2000 has been a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney's Koori Centre.