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Neil Murray

b. 1956

Neil Murray (b. 1956), singer/songwriter, grew up in country Victoria, studied art and became a teacher. In 1980 he went to the Northern Territory, where he became a founding member of the Warumpi Band. Over three albums and twenty years of performing the Warumpi Band brought contemporary Indigenous music into the mainstream. A solo operator since 1989, Murray has released ten albums with songs in a variety of idioms, together evoking his affinity with the land and respect for Indigenous culture. He was awarded the APRA song of the year in 1995 for 'My Island Home', originally written for the Warumpi Band and re-recorded by Christine Anu. Sometimes described as one of our unofficial anthems - suitable for all who live here to sing - the song featured in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Murray is the author of the novel Sing for me Countryman (1993), the volume of poetry One Man Tribe (1999) and the play King For This Place (1999). His song lyrics are collected in Native Born (2005), and My Island Home has recently appeared as a children's book. In 2005 Murray received a Victorian environmental achievement award for initiating 'Healing Walks' along watercourses around his home in the west of the state, and for inspiring the annual Lake Bolac Eel festival. In 2007, 'Jailanguru Pakarnu (Out From Jail)' a song he co-wrote in the Luritja language with Sammy Butcher, was acknowledged in the National Film And Sound Archive's 'Sounds Of Australia' series as a significant Australian recording. Murray performs regularly at festivals and live music venues in Australia and overseas.

Updated 2018