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Neil Murray
Neil Murray

Neil Murray’s life and work will remain relevant while ever Australians ask the question – what in truth does it mean to call Australia home?
- Martin Flanagan, The Age

Maverick songman Neil Murray originally sprang from Victoria’s western district but in the late 1970’s with guitar in hand he set course for the Northern Territory. He emerged at Papunya in 1980 as a founding member of the pioneering Warumpi Band, which over three albums (Big Name No Blankets, Go Bush and Too much Humbug) and twenty years of performing thrust contemporary indigenous music into mainstream Australia. Yielding such classic songs as My Island Home, Blackfella Whitefella, Fitzroy Crossing, Jailanguru Pakarnu, Stompin Ground, From The Bush and Waru.

Collectively, Neil's work has done much to deepen Australia’s contemporary music heritage.

He has since become one of Australia’s finest singer/songwriters, enjoying a solo career since 1989. He has released a remarkable string of albums - the latest being Hindsight- a 2 CD selection of songs from his back catalogue.

Neil's song writing is diverse- from the rollicking Good Light in Broome, the prayerful Native Born, the roots groove of Long Grass Band and Eddie Mabo, the journeyman monologues of Lights of Hay and Where My People Go, the contemplation of place in Burrumbeep Hill and Whispering Casuarina.

  

Neil MurrayPhoto by Ferne Millen

1995
Awarded the APRA song of the year for My Island Home originally written for the Warumpi Band and re-recorded by Christine Anu
2000
My Island Home had become something of an unofficial anthem and featured in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and the opening ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
2005
Received a Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authority Environmental Achievement Award for instigating Healing Walks along watercourses in the region, and being the inspiration behind the establishment of the annual Lake Bolac Eel Festival
2007
Jailanguru Pakarnu- (Out From Jail) a song Neil co-wrote with Warumpi Band guitarist Sammy Butcher in the indigenous Luritja language, was honoured by the National Film and Sound Archives, Sounds of Australia series, as a significant recording in Australia’s heritage. Credited as the first commercially released pop rock single in an indigenous language.
2010
My Island Home, Neil's iconic song was published as a children’s book by One Day Hill
2012
Blackfella Whitefella, Neil's landmark song was published as a children's book by One Day Hill

2016
My Island Home, as recorded by Christine Anu, honoured by the National Film and Sound Archives, Sounds of Australia series as a significant recording in Australia’s heritage.
2017
Awarded the 2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year in recognition of his influence
Hindsight released - 32 track, double album back catalogue collection
2018
Recording a new album and performing nationally
My Island Home featured at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony