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Founding Personal


It was due to the tenacity and perseverance of a few persons in Australia who were desirous of securing a standardisation of Highland Dancing within Australia and thereto affiliation with the newly formed SOBHD. Vera Lacey was one such person.

Mrs. Lacey, as British Ballet Organisation's Australasian representative, and keen upon Highland dancing examinations being incorporated into an affiliated Highland branch, knew it would be extremely difficult to achieve a standardisation of Highland dancing within Australia and for the many teachers to make the necessary changes to what they had been teaching for years on somebody else's say-so.

Hence, she realised how necessary it was to accept an arbitrator, such as the newly formed Scottish Official Board, and set off on what was, at that time, a long and costly trip to Britain to attend SOBHD meetings,    observe and take films of Highland Dancing in Scotland and seek as much technical information and advice as was possible to bring back to Australia.

Vera Lacey was instrumental in the setting up of the initial meetings of what is now the ABHDI and offered the British Ballet Organisation's premises in Sydney free for meetings and later ABHDI Judges' examinations. She remained in her original position as the BBO Australasian representative and as an examiner for the BBO and NDAA until her passing in 1978.


Dorothy Kerr's contribution to Highland dancing within Australia is considerable and with her drive and vision to lift the art of Highland dancing within Australia she did achieve much success. Following the SOBHD steps from the initial 16mm film produced in Scotland she passed such knowledge on to teachers in New South Wales cities and towns and also within other States.

For her services to Highland dancing she was honoured with the British Empire Medal and also recognised as DuineUasal with post nominal rights of use of D.Ua for service to the Celts by the Celtic Council of Australia. Her encouragement,    advice and assistance to the younger teacher will be remembered by many across Australia.

As the ABHDI's first Honorary Secretary she was instrumental in gaining support and approval for the ABHDI to conduct Judges' examinations within Australia. In collaboration with Vera Lacey and Mabel MacInnes, she introduced the first Highland examinations into Australia in 1951 and registered the first Championship under the auspices of the SOBHD. She was a Registered Judge, Examiner and great teacher culminating in two of her pupils winning the World Championship. Being honoured along with four other distinguished world Highland teachers in Las Vegas in 2004 meant a great deal to Mrs. Kerr. She was a mentor to many teachers. Mrs. Kerr  indeed left the NDAA with a great legacy on her passing in 2008.