Vale Shirley McKechnie

Professor Shirley McKechnie was one of the most influential artists and educators Australia has produced.

Professor Shirley McKechnie AO, one of Ausdance’s founders and perhaps one of the most influential artists and educators in Australia’s recent history has died, aged 96.

McKechnie’s passion for dance, her unwavering faith in the ability and potential of young artists and educators, and her understanding of the core values of dance, made her one of our greatest and most articulate advocates and mentors. Her life was marked by generosity, intellectual rigour and support for artists across the whole dance spectrum.

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Julie Dyson is an arts advocate across several national and international organisations, including as immediate past Chair of the National Advocates for Arts Education and a Global Executive member of the World Dance Alliance. She is the former national director of Ausdance and has edited many publications. In 2007 Julie was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).