Judith Clingan at her graduation

Judith Clingan at her graduation

Alumni then and now: Judith Clingan AM, BA ’66

When Judith Clingan started studying French, early English and German as one of the University’s first undergraduate cohort in the early 1960s, she didn’t know her love of music would give her a lifelong link to ANU.


Clingan joined ANU after studying at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney and was immediately at the heart of the on-campus action.

“I found in Sydney I was an insignificant fish in a big pond whereas, in Canberra, I was one of only two people in an undergraduate class and our classes were taught by the greats – Manning Clarke, AD Hope and Judith Wright,” she says.

“In both the French and German departments, we had a teacher who loved singing. I became the keenest student singer in the modern languages department, accompanying our singing with the ukulele and vocal harmonies that I wrote. Soon enough, we were performing in embassies across Canberra.”At the same time, Clingan met other undergraduates who loved singing complex church choral music and so started the ANU Choral Society (SCUNA), of which Clingan was a founding member, logo designer and later conductor.