In 2009, Deborah Cheetham established Short Black Opera as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous opera singers. The following year she produced the premier of her first opera Pecan Summer. This landmark work is Australia’s first Indigenous opera and has been a vehicle for the development on a new generation of Indigenous opera singers.
Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.
In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Deborah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance.