Peter Dodds McCormickPrint Page Print this page

Memorial tablet commemorates Peter Dodds McCormick who wrote the words to "Advance Australia Fair ".  Mr McCormick was an elder of the Waverley Church and for many years was Precentor of the General Assembly. 

Peter Dodds McCormick was born in Glasgow and came to Australia in 1855. He trained to be a teacher at Fort Street Model School (an early teacher training institution) and from 1863 to 1885 taught at schools in various parts of Sydney, including St Marys and Woolloomooloo. McCormick`s main interests were choral music, Scottish heritage and the Presbyterian Church, and he retired from teaching in 1885 to concentrate on these interests. As an amateur composer, McCormick wrote about 30 patriotic songs on Scottish and Australian themes. Some time in or around 1878, McCormick attended a concert of national anthems and was dismayed by the fact there was "not one note for Australia". So he decided to write his own, and began composing a song in his head on the way home in the bus. Thus "Advance Australia Fair" was born. On November 30, 1878 the song was performed for the first time at a Scottish Highland gathering in Sydney. "Advance Australia Fair" remained popular for the rest of the century and was performed by a massed choir of 10,000 voices at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia in Centennial Park on January 1, 1901. In 1907 the NSW Government of Premier Joseph Carruthers awarded McCormick £100 for composing "Advance Australia Fair".


Address:Victoria Street, Jubilee International Church (formerly Grahame Memorial Uniting Church), Waverley, 2024
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.900254
Long: 151.254365
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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