Lifetime Achievement Award Past Recipients

2019 – Eric Bogle (SA)


The National Folk Festival is delighted to be presenting this award in 2019 to Eric Bogle one of Australia’s leading, prolific and most loved singer/songwriters. A native of Scotland, Eric Bogle immigrated to Australia in 1969 and now resides in South Australia. With appearances at every major folk & country music festival across Australia, over 25 albums (studio and live) to his credit and many of his songs having been covered by the cream of folk artists from around the world, Eric is regarded as one of the folk music world’s greatest living treasures.
Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the entertainment industry and, a United Nations Peace Medal for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony the NFF is humbled that he is accepting this Lifetime Achievement Award marking a truly remarkable and important contribution to the folk life of Australia.

2018 – Margaret and Bill Winnett (NSW)


Margaret began learning solo Irish dancing in 1957 and from 1959 attended Peter McKenna’s Ceili dancing class at the Irish National Association’s Cultural Centre (INA) where her interest in Ceili dancing was encouraged. Margaret and her sister were an Irish dancing duo for The Tartan Show performing on the registered club circuit in the 1960s.
Bill and Margaret met in 1964 at the weekly INA dances and during their courtship were out dancing five or six nights a week. This included performing with the Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers and the Bankstown RSL Ladies Auxiliary Concert Party.
They married in 1970. They joined the Sydney Colonial Dancers in the 1980s and the Sydney Playford Dancers in the 1990s. Margaret even danced with Chris Green’s Port Jackson Swords.
Since 1989 they have made 21 trips to Ireland, attending summer schools, dance workshops and ceilithe, immersing themselves in traditional Irish dancing culture.
Together they share their absolute love of traditional Irish dancing with as many people as possible and have travelled extensively in Australia and overseas doing just that.

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


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 Lob


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 Egan


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) Marg Road


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)Mike Jack


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.