Barbara Hebden OAM
At St Margaret’s 1945-1948
Barbara Hebden was a talented musician and prominent critic and reviewer among Brisbane’s arts scene.
During her time at St Margaret’s she excelled both academically and in her extracurricular pursuits. She played the piano, danced and was a keen athlete.
After graduating from school, Barbara continued her piano training in London at the Royal Academy of Music. She later returned to Brisbane teaching piano and voice privately for many years. She was also a member of the choir at All Saints’ Church on Wickham Terrace. There she met organist and music critic Frederic Rogers, the pair becoming good friends. Frederic was a critic for The Courier Mail and Barbara soon followed becoming a critic for The Telegraph, The Sunday Mail and, later, The Courier Mail.
Barbara served as a member on several boards including the Brisbane Biennial of Music, the Queensland Gallery Society, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the ABC Subscribers’ Committee.
She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999 for service to the promotion of music and the performing arts in Queensland.
After Barbara stopped writing reviews for newspapers, she started a weekly segment on music and the arts on 4MBS Classic FM, a role she continued until 2011 when she moved into aged care.
Barbara is an alumna of The University of Queensland having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1952. Each year, the university awards the Barbara Hebden Music Bursary to an undergraduate music student.