27 February 2019
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE and extend my condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
Margaret, or Maggie as she was more affectionately known, was the founding director of The Australian Ballet School and was a key figure in the establishment of the Australian Ballet Foundation.
Born in South Africa, she trained in ballet in London before settling in Australia in the 1950s. Appointed the first director of the Australian Ballet School, she remained in this position for over 25 years. Her determination and vision saw the school transform from a new teaching facility to an internationally recognised training institution for the next generation of elite performers. Maggie was known for discovering and nurturing young talent including those that would go on to have illustrious careers such as Graeme Murphy and Meryl Tankard.
Maggie’s work has been formally recognised with many awards including being made a Dame Commander in the Civil Division of the British Empire in 1981 for services to ballet and a Companion of the Order of Australia, in 2005. She will be remembered as a pioneer of Australian dance, an educator, a talented choreographer, a determined administrator, and an international advocate for dance.
Maggie’s legacy can be seen in generations of performers in Australia and across the world that have been inspired by her talent and vision. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.