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Keep up to date about Australian composer, environmentalist and writer Dindy Vaughan's upcoming events.

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Starting professional life as an academic lecturer, Dindy Vaughan expanded her career to encompass community development, with particular focus on arts and the environment. She maintained her own professional development in music, and is a recognised Australian composer.

Through her business, Gallery Without Walls, she contributes to career development of artists, writers and musicians, establishment of arts and environment programs, and growth of arts and cultural centres within communities.

Music composition is a life-long preoccupation – with her CD Up the Creek (music for shakuhachi and harpsichord), reflecting her intense concern at the state of the nation’s waterways, she was a Finalist in the Australian Classical Music Awards, 2006.

Commissioned by Music Glenelg, Portland, she wrote the words and composed the music for Discovery, a Choral Symphony, World Premiere in Portland, and Melbourne Premiere, in August, 2008. Discovery is now issued as a CD/DVD.

In 2010, her CD Spirit Country, comprising the Dandenong Ranges String Quartet, the Wimmera Quartet for Flute and Strings, and the Tharawal Sonata No 1, for Violin and Piano, was launched at Photonet Gallery in Fairfield, Victoria.

In 2011 she was Composer in Residence at Montsalvat, in Eltham, Victoria, where she wrote Montsalvat, Sonata No 2 for Violin and Piano.

Research into aspects of arts and contemporary society has remained an important component in her working life.

Her two-year project, Focus on Water, saw the development of a number of community projects, including West Wimmera Photography Competition, and Lake Bolac Eel Festival. For the first Eel Festival, under her direction, dramatisation of the Eel Life Cycle, and Aboriginal connection to, and significance of Lake Bolac, was presented as a major music/art/drama collaborative performance in Ararat Performing Arts Centre by students from Ararat and Melbourne.

Many years of collaboration with former Senior Lecturer in Drama, Peter Green, saw the generation of new plays and outdoor performances, notably Louisa, (Winner of the Saltwater River Drama Festival, 1977), and Orpheus, a modern reworking of the ancient myth in environmental terms by poet Moira McAuliffe, both outdoor, and at La Mama, 2000.

Dindy Vaughan's music has been played in Canada, China, New York, Europe and Australia, and on ABC and 3MBS FM. She is represented by Vaughan Willoughby, Yanagang, Willowmavin and Reed Music Publishing.

In 1996 Dindy Vaughan was the recipient of the prestigious University of Sydney Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service. In 2021 she was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to the arts.

She appears in Marquis Who's Who in the World Millennium Edition, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, Outstanding Intellects of the 21st Century, and Who's Who of Australian Women. She was recognised as Woman of the Year Representing Australia 2009 by the American Biographical Institute.

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New Release CD November 2020.

Helen Ayres: violin

Larissa Cox: piano

Zoe Knighton: cello

Danae Killian: piano

Montsalvat Sonata for violin and piano

Recollections of Childhood for solo piano

Seascapes 1, 2, 3 for cello and piano

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NU' DAY 2008


2017 release, music by Dindy Vaughan, pianist David Laughton 

" a wonderful and clearly defined compositional voice" - international performer, composer and conductor John Carmichael

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By Dindy Vaughan. CD and DVD.

Music Glenelg in collaboration with the Friends of the GSWW, commissioned Dindy Vaughan to write this Choral Symphony. A video recording by Peter Corbett and a CD audio by Brian Cavagnino were produced to immortalise the event.

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A CD of original compositions by Dindy Vaughan

Chamber Music for Clarinet, Flute, Cello and Piano, with Craig Hill, Mardi McSullea, Tamara Kohler, Rosanne Hunt and Larissa Cox

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Anne Norman: Shakuhachi 
Peter Hagen: Harpsichord 

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Tailem Quartet: Rachel Homburg, James Steedman, Merewyn Bramble and Sharon Draper

Mariana Green - Violin 
Michael Crisp - Piano




Ocean, Salt’s Handkerchief (1984)

Poetry of Levantai, reading and improvisation performed by Dindy Vaughan

Illawarra 1 (1990)

Out of Home Volume 1: Piano Music & three short songs.

Maribyrnong: The River From My Window. At the Bend of the River. Ancient Sea Bed. Lacrymae. Yanagang to Kingfisher. On Euluera Ridge.

Out of Home Volume 2: Eight Songs to Peoms by Roland Robinson

  1. Casuarina 2. Plum Tree 3. Celtic Harp 4. Jacaranda 5. And the Blacks are Gone 6. Call on the Sea to Be Still 7. Native Orchid 8. Invocation

Wimmera Quartet (1992) for flute and strings

Ash Wednesday (1992) for soprano with piano

Reconciliation Octet (1996) for wind and strings

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1997)

Kununurra (1998) for choir and baroque instruments. Setting of a poem by Anne Edgeworth.

The Water Spirit (1999) for voice, strings & percussion. Commissioned and performed for the Mullum Festival 1999.

Four Songs (1999) To poems by Roland Robinson. Requested by Andi Garing.

Orpheus (2000) for voice, flute, percussion, chainsaw & axe. A dramatic poem by Moira McAuliffe.

Del Espiritu Santo (2000) clarinet solo in 4 movements. Requested by Craig Hill.

Three Choral Songs (2000) to poems by Judith Steele.

Prelude & Fugue in C for Harpsichord requested by Peter Hagen.

Prayer for the Restoration of Our Rivers (2001) for shakuhachi & harpsichord. Requested by Peter Hagen & Anne Norman.

In Memorian & Celebration for Ross Hartnell for clarinet, viola & cello

Invocation for Shen requested by Wang Zheng Ting

String Quartet No. 1: Dandenong Ranges (2006) 

Wings of White Owl, Blessing of Peace (2007) for solo clarinet

Discovery: A Choral Symphony Celebrating the Great South West Walk (2008) Commissioned by Music Glenelg, premiered in Portland and Melbourne

Nu’ Day 2008: Twelve Piano Pieces for the Year of the Apology premiered and record by David Laughton

Summer Dances trios for flute, clarinet and cello

Homecoming 1, 2, 3 (2010) for flute with piano 

Sea Shells on Bruny (2010) for soprano and string quartet, text by John Hurst

Melbourne Suite (2010) for orchestra

Montsalvat Violin Sonata 2 (2011) for violin with piano

SimUlarity (2013) for didjeridu with orchestra

String Quartet No. 2: Lake Bolac (2013)

Earthbeat (2015) for multiple choirs with orchestra

Lake Bolac Dusk to Dawn (2016) for wind quintet

Lake Corangimite for wind quintet

Lake Elingamite (2017) for wind quintet

Lake Colac (2017) for wind quintet

Clarinet Quintet No. 2 (2017)            

Planxty Janice McBride (2017) for violin and bush band

Lullaby for Kenji (2019) for piano

Seascapes 1, 2, 3 (2017) for cello with piano

Seasons (completed 2019) eighteen songs for soprano and piano

Apocalypse (2019) for women’s voices and ensemble, commissioned by Neil Mcleod

Dances for the Young Climate Warriors (2019) 

Playing Violins


A selection of Dindy's music for children's performance is available for purchase from Australian Autumn Music

From 1994-2010 Dindy Vaughan was Founding Conductor
and Director of Burnt Bridge Junior and Burnt Bridge Senior Orchestras.

From 2005 she instituted regular music tours for these orchestras to play at Lake Bolac Eel Festival, and also later with Lameroo P12 College in South Australia.

These country and interstate tours were of great educational value for participants as they got to know rural Victoria, and a small, relatively isolated Mallee town in South Australia. Conversely, reciprocal tours bringing country students to Melbourne, greatly enlarged their view of the world.


Brown Jug Polka (2006) Arr D.V. For Junior Orchestra
Score and Parts, Yanagang Publishing

Who Let the Chooks Out? (2006) For Junior Orchestra
Score and Parts, Yanagang Publishing

Yanagang Greeting (2006) For Junior Orchestra
Score and Parts, Yanagang Publishing

Burnt Bridge Bender (2006) Duo for Violins.

Over and Out (2006) Trio for Two Violins and Cello


Our Sun, Our Earth, Our People (2006)
Sun Arise
Celebration : Our People
For Croc Fest, Swan Hill, 2002
Score and Parts Yanagang Publishing 2006

Spring Tide, Wilson’s Promontory (2006)
Score and Parts, Yanagang Publishing

Koonung Creek (2006) For Youth Orchestra
Score and Parts, Yanagang Publishing

Starry Night in Mullum Mullum (2006) For Youth Orchestra

The Cello Spike (2008) For Youth Orchestra

The Water Spirit Big Desert, Burnt Bridge, The Birds Suite, Lake Bolac Suite No 3, Planxty Petula Bannard, Stephanie’s Waltz and You Can’t Put Out the Flame Suite No 2.


Burnt Bridge Orchestras also performed on an annual basis for Community Aid Abroad Fundraising concerts, first held at Box Hill High School, then later at Blackburn Secondary College.
The orchestras also played regular concerts in their local area, including school fetes, Retirement Villages, and in local halls, including Bush Dances.

Written and Performed at Successive Lake Bolac Eel Festivals

Kooyang (2004) For Junior Chamber Orchestra and Choir
Performed at the First Lake Bolac Eel Festival in Ararat Performing Arts Centre, and at Lake Bolac Festival

Lake Bolac Suite No 1 (2004-5) For Junior Chamber Orchestra
Elvers Migration, Hopkins River
Lake Bolac
Cockajemmy Lakes
Fiery Creek
Performed at Lake Bolac Eel Festival, 2005

Lake Bolac Suite No 2 (2005-2006) For Junior Chamber Orchestra
Ritornello : The Singing Land, Elvers Migration, Hopkins River
Gathering of People
Performed at Lake Bolac Eel Festival 2006

Times of Change (2007) For Junior Orchestra
Performed at the Lake Bolac Eel Festival 2007

You Can’t Put Out the Flame (2008) For Junior Orchestra
Earth Fire
Performed at the Lake Bolac Eel Festival 2008

In Memoriam, for Black Saturday Victims(2009). For Junior/Senior Orchestra
For Lake Bolac Eel Festival 2009


Fiddledeedee Volume 1 & 2
Violin Tutor for Australian Children
Systematic Tutors reflecting Australian Culture and Society
Begginers (Volume 1) and Well On the Way (Volume 2)
Material in one, two and three parts, with historical notes, relevant music theory, and words and dance steps where appropriate. Good for both Private and Group tuition.
Yanagang Publishing

Fiddle and Folk : Dances and Songs for Australia Today
All Original Material, Dances, Dance Steps, Songs. First Published 1992. Reissued 2013 : For Violin, Guitar, Vocal by Yanagang Publishing.

Person Writing


Fighting Monsters (1998) poetry of Moira McAuliffe & Judith Steele

Multiculturalism and the Arts researched and written by Dindy Vaughan

Perspective on Visual Arts researched and written by Dindy Vaughan, published by the Australia Council

Click to view list of research by Dindy Vaughan
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1960-66 – A youth leadership course devised by Oliver Fiala, at the time a recent immigrant from Chekoslovakia, promoted strong emphasis on components of music, drama and visual arts in community interactions.

This resonated very strongly with Dindy Vaughan, a young participant, becoming a cornerstone of her subsequent working life.

Dindy had grown up in a small bush town where, post-1930s Depression, nobody had much in the way of material goods; post-World War 2, with parents passionate about art, music, and education, Dindy and family felt the gulf between their aspirations and the general consensus in the town, where such things were seen, in the main, as “not for the likes of us”.

Dindy had already realised that this prevailing attitude was why so many gifted Australians fled overseas to further their careers – there was a yawning gap between them and the general Australian community. From an early age she had resolved to change that, and the teaching of Oliver Fiala was an inspirational catalyst.


1960-67 – as a part-time student at the University of Sydney, working as a Scanner in the High Energy Nuclear section of the Department of Physics, Dindy nevertheless embraced Oliver Fiala’s teaching to the full.

In her early years she gained recognition as;

*  choral conductor, chief conductor of Sydney University Musical Society  Choir 1966, and Founding Conductor of Flinders University Choral Society 1967
*  music theatre performer, both at University and in downtown Sydney
*  singer, regular work with ABC Radio broadcasts workshop presenter
*  recreational Therapist, volunteer at Broughton Hall Psychiatric  Centre, and employed at the Paton Asthma Centre. Of the latter, Dr Clair Isbister wrote……”her work has set the pattern that we have followed since”

1970-82 – career paths at this point were diverging, but ultimately she opted to accept an academic lectureship at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Dissatisfied, however, with the narrow focus, after some years she moved into community projects, maintaining part-time lecturing at Footscray Institute of Technology, and, later, being an Academic Assessor for Deakin University.

During these years, workshops were a major feature, resulting in much creative writing

*  generation of theatre by students at FIT, with Louisa, and With the Odds Stacked Against You, winning the Saltwater River Drama Festival in 1975 and 1976
*  women’s studies, Mountain District Women’s Co-operative, where she also established Matriculation classes, with very high success rates of students,
*  community development, writing many successful submissions and funding applications.

Her major interest in Music composition, ongoing since University days, continued, with a number of works for theatrical productions.

In 1979 she accepted a full-time position as Community Arts Officer with the City of Nunawading , where she,

*  developed Artist in Schools, and Galleries in Schools, programs
*  assisted formation of a local Disability Awareness Group
*  wrote a weekly Arts Column for the local Leader newspaper
*  developed arts and crafts classes in local community houses
*  instigated and co-ordinated special arts events (eg a huge community weaving), demonstrations and exhibitions of art and craft in public places, ethnic dance groups, and integration of intellectually disabled adults with schools and community groups
*  acted as one of the consultants for the development of Nunawading Community Theatre Complex (now Whitehorse Theatre).

In 1982, severe family illness forced a radical rethink of career.

Setting up business from her home base, Dindy developed a series of inter-related programs, Music Composition becoming a major focus (see Body of Work for Compositions and Youth Music).

Her business Gallery Without Walls developed and expanded opportunities for many musicians, visual artists and writers, activities including
. regular exhibitions of art work, frequently accompanied by music performance, both at home base, and touring to accompany other events. such as Music in the Round, and Ballarat Arts Post; also permanent exhibitions in other business premises.
. published books of poetry, ( Ocean, Salt’s Handkerchief, by Levantai, and Fighting Monsters by Judith Steele and Moira McAuliffe), essays and books on visual artists
. published music
. set up ongoing classic concerts by professional chamber performers in local communities, Burnt Bridge Classic Concerts, Sunday Afternoon at St Johns, Croydon, and Classics in the Caf at Burrinja, Upwey, all co-ordinated, directed and funded by Gallery Without Walls
. acted as Consultant for young professional musicians, such as Berkeley Ensemble
. researched and wrote on contemporary artists at behest of the Australia Council, resulting in their publication of Multiculturalism and the Arts and Perspectives on Visual Arts (see Research/Writing)
. invited to be Composer in Residence, 2012, Montsalvat, Eltham, Victoria.

Development of Music for Youth was also an important focus
. taught in schools, and from home studio
. established many music progams, including pre-school music, Burnt Bridge Junior and Senior Orchestras, and ongoing participation in Community Aid Abroad concerts; also Kids Concert Club, with regular attendance at Australia Pro Arte Concerts
. instituted regular country and interstate tours for Burnt Bridge Orchestras, performing at both Lake Bolac Eel Festivals and Lameroo P12 College, SA, and organising reciprocal tours and performances in Melbourne for country students.

Environmental issues also were a major focus
. researched, wrote and published LIAISE (regular review of local issues) and Environmental Action Resource Catalogue; contracted to proofread and provide commentary on the final draft of the Croydon Consultative Committee Report.

Setting up Focus on Water, 2004-5, Dindy worked on consultation and development with communities across Victoria, including East Gippsland, Lake Bolac, West Wimmera, Shire of Buloke, North Central, Lake Condah and Mansfield, resulting in instigation of the Lake Bolac Eel Festival, West Wimmera photography competition, a number of one-off workshops, and Dindy’s composition of a CD of music for shakuhachi (Anne Norman) and harpsichord (Peter Hagen) Up the Creek, a Finalist in the Australia Classic Music Awards 2006; subsequently also awarded a commission to compose a Choral Symphony, Discovery, for the Great South West Walk.

Oral history was always an important facet, being a major tool in researching aspects of contemporary arts; in 1993-5 Dindy recorded an extensive oral history of the Burnt Bridge area with John Rodaughan, a man of Aboriginal descent. These aural tapes are now lodged with Monash University.

From 2004-12 Dindy also undertook research and writing for Neil McLeod Fine Arts Studio, encompassing oral history of aspects of his work in PNG, and with Aboriginal people in Australia. Extensive research of his recorded material (written notes, CDs, Videos, DVDs, photographs), with cataloguing, extensive study of diaries, a wide bibliography and detailed interviews, eventuated in the production of the text of a comprehensive biography.

Current Work in Progress includes recording three CDs: Homecoming, (Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Piano), A Time and Place (String Quartet, Clarinet, Voice, Piano) and You Can’t Put Out the Flame (Piano Solos); a second Symphony is also in preparation.

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Contact Me

Dindy would welcome hearing from you regarding her work. Perhaps you'd like to discuss a commission proposal, workshop or your next project.

Please email, or use the form below. 

Sheet Music


PO Box 8068

Croydon 3136, Victoria, Australia


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