2017 – Bob Bolton (NSW)
Bob Bolton documented Australian folk music and dance through photography and was one of a core group of photographers who captured images of the National Folk Festival over much of its long history. Growing up in western Sydney Bob joined the Bush Music Club in the early 1960s where his smiling face and ever-present cameras have been a familiar sight at folk music events across the eastern part of the country, a passionate documenter of people and events for the Australian folk community for over half a century.
2016 – Danny Spooner (VIC)
Danny Spooner expressed British and Australian culture through folk music. Influenced by the likes of Declan Affley, Martyn Wyndham-Read and Margret RoadKnight, Danny developed his craft with a keen understanding of the importance of the social context of folk song. He has appeared at every major folk festival in Australia, presenting a vast range of workshops on aspects of the folk songs of Britain and Australia. During his lifetime Danny was described as ‘a living national treasure’.
2016 – Phyl Lobl (NSW)
Phyl Lobl began writing and performing songs in the late sixties as Phyl Vinnicombe. Larrikin records used Phyl’s talents on several LPs before releasing ‘On My Selection ‘ followed by ‘Broadmeadow Thistle’ consisting almost entirely of Phyl’s compositions. Phyl was the first artist to take part in the Folk Touring Circuit initiated by the National Folk Trust. An appointment to the Music Board of the Australia Council resulted in improved funding for folk music and recognition and funding that led to the National Folk Festival moving to Canberra.
2015 – Ted Egan AO (NT)
Ted describes himself as an old bushy who lives in Alice Springs in the centre of Australia. Fascinated by Australian history from an early age he has spent the last 40 years writing and recording songs, filming and writing about the Australian people who, for him, represent the real ethos of tis country. Ted Egan has been a regular performer at the National Folk Festival and many others around the country.
2014 – Margret RoadKnight (VIC)
In an outstanding career spanning 50 years Margret has the distinction of having performed at the very first National Folk Festival in Melbourne back in 1967 and since has recorded ten solo albums and been featured on 30 others. Her credits include lecturing on folk music, working with Musica Viva and collaborations with a plethora of local and overseas performers. Five decades on Margret RoadKnight continues to tour extensively, captivating audiences with her riveting songs, interspersed with informative and amusing anecdotes.
2013 – Mike Jackson OAM (VIC)
The inaugural recipient in 2013, Mike Jackson is a worthy awardee and has also been a unique example in nurturing the talents and enthusiasm for folk music in young people over 40 years. He has travelled the length and breadth of Australia as well as being a wonderful ambassador for Australian folk music during his extensive travels overseas. He is said to have played ‘live’ to more children than the Wiggles and is a generous performer who connects with people of all ages and walks of life.