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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . .

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While he was not the first contemporary composer to have written for the didgeridoo, he was, however, the most sensitive and prolific. From a very early age in Launceston he began collecting local Indigenous words, legends and songs of the first Australians, which he incorporated into his first landscape works, the Irkanda "scrub country" series in the 1960s. This was followed by his remarkable Rites of Passage, commissioned for the opening of the Sydney Opera House.

In the mid-1950s, on a visit to the ANU School of Music, he stood on the roof and drew a pencil outline of the contour of the hills surrounding the city, in a similar style to those most famous Marion Mahony Griffin silk paintings. He then placed this pencil outline onto the lines of a music score and created Irkanda I, a solo violin work that is a wonderful and stylistic reflection of our early city. These sounds and rhythms, so sensitively combined with the calls of the birds, the undertone drone of the didgeridoo and the clarity of his observation, will make Peter Sculthorpe the most influential composer of his time.

Under the artistic direction of Chris Latham, who has joined us here this evening, and proudly supported by this government, the Canberra International Music Festival showcased Peter's early significant works, including the recommissioning in 2009 of Rites of Passage after a gap of 35 years, and the recommissioning of works which became Great South Land for the 2013 festival.

The Canberra International Music Festival also had five new commissions by Peter Sculthorpe, showcased in Canberra and often exported as live radio broadcasts. These included Kyrie in 2010, Shining Island and Requiem in 2011, OTI or Oh Thursday Island in 2012, and this year, in 2014, Salve Regina. Peter was a prodigious talent and one of Australia's hardest working artists. He showed little sign of easing up, continuing to work and compose well into his 80s.

I want to recognise here Chris Latham again, the brains trust and director behind the Canberra International Music Festival, and also his son Johannes, who was Peter's godson. I thank you for coming here and recognising this Assembly paying tribute to Peter Sculthorpe.

Vale Peter Sculthorpe, an artist who gave us much to celebrate, and made an exceptional contribution to Canberra and Australia. His work will feed our souls for many years to come.

World Ranger Day

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.56): Colleagues, 31 July was World Ranger Day, which commemorates park rangers who have been killed or injured in their line of duty. World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation to pay respect to the work of rangers around the world who work to protect our natural environment and to recognise those who have lost their lives or been injured in the course of their duties. In the words of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, rangers "are the frontline—the thin green line—of our planet's critical conservation battle".


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