Previous Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

2017 – Bob Bolton (NSW)
Since the early 1960s, photographer Bob Bolton has been documenting Australian folk music and dance. As a longstanding member of Sydney’s Bush Music Club much of his photography has been focused on their activity and other folk music events around NSW.  At the same time he was one of a core group of photographers that captured images of the National Folk Festival over much of its long history.
Born in 1945, Bob grew up in the west of Sydney. He joined the Bush Music Club in the early 1960s before spending some years living in Tasmania in the late 1960s. He moved back to Sydney in 1970 and since then his smiling face and ever-present cameras have been a familiar sight at folk music events across the eastern part of the country. His day job was working as a photographer for the NSW Electricity Commission but in the evenings and at weekends he could be found with his accordions and concertinas playing music but the camera was never far away.  The Australian folk community has been fortunate to have had such a passionate documenter of people and events over more than half a century.
Danny Spooner 2016 – Danny Spooner
Danny Spooner’s passion is the expression of British and Australian culture through folk music. Influenced by the likes of Declan Affley, Martyn Wyndham-Read and Margret RoadKnight, Danny developed his craft and soon understood the importance of the social context of folk song. He has appeared at every major folk festival in Australia, at which he has given a vast range of workshops on aspects of folk songs of Britain and Australia. His passion is getting people singing and he has inspired and encouraged many to develop their singing craft. Described as ‘a living national treasure’, Danny Spooner can make traditional music seem new, and make new songs seem old.
Phyl Lob 2016 – Phyl Lobl
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. Phyl’s work has continued over the years and she is still active in championing folk music and encouraging and nurturing young musicians.
Ted Egan 2015 – Ted Egan AO
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.
Marg Road 2014 – Margret RoadKnight
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 are many and varied from lecturing on folk, black and women’s music to working with Musica Viva and numerous collaborations with a plethora of local and overseas performers.Five decades on Margret RoadKnight continues to tour extensively, captivating audiences with her riveting songs, delivered either a cappella or with her guitar and African thumb piano and interspersed with her informative and amusing anecdotes.
Mike Jack 2013 – Mike Jackson OAM
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.