Australian media icon and sustainability advocate Indira Naidoo has been named the third recipient of Launceston Church Grammar’s Peter Sculthorpe Alumnus Award.
The prestigious award was created in 2015 to acknowledge members of the Grammar community who have made a significant impact on the world in their field of endeavour.
Ms Naidoo’s unorthodox career combining television news presenter with gardening for sustainability has brought her “full circle” back to Launceston, with a message to young students that a linear career is not the only way forward.
Visiting the Grammar campuses on Monday to accept her award and meet current students, Ms Naidoo said there were plenty of memories for her walking around the school grounds.
“Just going back and seeing the quadrangle, seeing how things have changed and what classrooms used to be where,” she said.
So many of my values were formed by this school.Indira Naidoo
The third Grammar alumnus to receive the Peter Sculthorpe Award, Ms Naidoo said she often returned to Hobart to work with food sustainability organisations and programs.
Named after the renown composer, the award has another personal connection for Ms Naidoo, who went to school with Sculthorpe’s nieces.
“Because of that, I – maybe unusually for a nine or 10-year-old – knew of Peter Sculthorpe and knew of his composing,” she said.
“One of his first films he composed music for, Manganinnie, was a school outing … it had a huge impact on me.
“It’s such a humbling thing to get an award in his name, because he was such an inspiration.”
Headmaster Stephen Norris said the award had been developed as a way to bring the high achievers from previous generations of Grammar students back to the school to inspire and encourage the next generation.
For Ms Naidoo, returning to Grammar was not just for the benefit of the students with who she shared her life story and experiences.
“When you’re in this environment it reminds you how important it was for not only your education … so many of my values were formed by this school in a way you don’t really think about when you’re going through your daily life,” she said.
“It’s really good to be reminded about the important responsibility that schools and school communities have in forging that important part of you that, in a way, becomes more important than the academic or career contributions you make.”