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  2006 Tamworth Country Music Festival Summary

Winners announced!!
2006 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia!
Male Vocalist                                              Female Vocalist
Troy Cassar-Daley                                     Sara Storer          
Best Group -The Flood
New Talent - Samantha McClymont  (Photo courtesy Paul Spencer)
Lonesome But Free
Writers: Paul Kelly and Troy Cassar-Daley

Troy Cassar-Daley

Sara Storer

Chandelier Of Stars
John Williamson
Producer: John Williamson

The Flood

Jimmy Barnes & Troy Cassar-Daley
Bird On A Wire

Bells In A Bushman’s Ear
John Williamson
Writer: John Williamson

Rally Round The Drum
Paul Kelly

Yellow Belly
Troy Cassar-Daley

Samantha McClymont

Song Of The Old Rake
Paul Kelly
Directed by Nice Trees

Kasey Chambers

Chandelier Of Stars
John Williamson

After being pipped for the award by Adam Harvey in 2005, Troy Cassar-Daley takes out the award for Male Vocalist of the Year for his performance of Lonesome But Free, the song that’s also been judged APRA Song of the Year. Troy is one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters and this award is recognition yet again of his pairing with Paul Kelly. Troy also wins a Golden Guitar for Vocal Collaboration of the Year for his duet with Oz Rock legend Jimmy Barnes, Bird On A Wire, and Instrumental of the Year for Yellow Belly taking his career tally of Golden Guitars to 14.

Likewise, Sara Storer’s mantelpiece will be groaning under the weight of yet another Golden Guitar with the news that she has taken out this year’s award for Female Vocalist of the Year. Sara’s staggering success at the 2004 Country Music Awards of Australia is firmly etched in country music history when she won an unprecedented seven Golden Guitars in one night.

Kasey Chambers takes her Golden Guitar tally to 8 with the award for Single of the Year, earned for Pony, the opening track of her third album, the bestselling Wayward Angel.

And Paul Kelly, regarded as a national treasure among songwriters (and his legion of fans) earns his third Golden Guitar for Heritage Song of the Year with the stirring Rally Round The Drum and his fourth for APRA Song of the Year Lonesome But Free with Troy Cassar-Daley.

John Williamson has returned to the national consciousness with his album Chandelier Of Stars. Lyrically direct, melodically gorgeous and passionately concerned with the land, it’s a thoroughly deserving winner of this year’s Golden Guitar for Album of the Year and Top Selling Album of the Year. He also takes home a Golden Guitar for Bush Ballad of the Year with Bells In A Bushman’s Ear, taking his career tally to a staggering 23.

The Flood, scored their first ever Vocal Group or Duo of the year Golden Guitar win with Hello Blue Sky, from their third studio album The Late Late Show. This win sets a new high-water mark for the band for 2006.

The New Talent of the Year award this year goes to Grafton songbird Samantha McClymont. Her new single, Heart Of A Man, was written by Sam when she was 16 (at the CMAA Australian College of Country Music), is receiving airplay across the country.

The 34th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia were presented in the
Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre on Saturday, January 28, 2006

Troy Cassar-Daley ‘waxed’ in Tamworth
unveiled at Tamworth’s Gallery of Stars
Wax Museum during the 2006 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Wax model of Troy Cassar-Daley

Star Maker
Cat Southern wins Toyota Star Maker 2006
Cat Southern, a 25 year old described as a born singer and entertainer, has won the 2006 Toyota Star Maker Quest in Tamworth.

After a gruelling day of heats, the initial 20 finalists were whittled down to a top 10 who performed before a capacity audience, and the judges, in the Toyota Country Theatre in Country Music Capital on Sunday night.

Cat took the Toyota Star Maker 2006 crown from a strong line-up of grand final contenders... James Anderssen, Tim Farren, Belinda Harkness, Nick Kingswell, Brad Lee, Rebecca Lee Nye, Ryan Sampson, Jason-Lee Sharp and Craig Stewart.

Originally from South Australia, Cat moved to the NSW Central Coast in 2003 after making a commitment several years earlier to build a career in country music. Since then, she has performed all over Victoria, NSW and South Australia and, in 2005, joined the Brian Young Show touring and performing through remote New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

Having already succeeded, as a youngster, at pursuits including gymnastics and diving, Cat’s decision to become professional was influenced by her natural ability to entertain. Since she could talk, Cat has been singing and entertaining everyone around her, never afraid to attract attention!

A kick-start to Cat’s career came when she reached the national top 100 of the 7 Network’s Pop Stars solo performer competition. A year or so later, she entered Network 10’s Australian Idol winning through four auditions in South Australia to be chosen as one of 14 performers to go to Sydney.

As Toyota Star Maker 2006, Cat will receive an enormous career boost.
The prize package includes a big budget recording session with Ramrod Studios, distribution and promotion of a CD through the ABC Music label, production of a video clip to be showcased on Country Music Channel, media promotion, guaranteed performance bookings and invitations to a number of major festivals and industry events, a Toyota Star Maker winner's jacket, a special edition Maton guitar, a new BOSE Personalised Amplification System (PAS) and use of a fully serviced Toyota motor vehicle and fuel card for the 12 months after winning Toyota Star Maker.

Official presentation of the Toyota vehicle to Cat will take place in front of the Toyota Country Theatre at Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre today, Monday, January 23, at 11.30am.
Illabo based singer song-writer, Peter Pratt, has continued to reap a harvest of awards at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival.
His debut album, Ever True, has delivered two more accolades - his first ever Tamworth Independent Artists Recognition Award (TIARA) for best Bush Ballad for the self penned song Where I'm Longing To Go and his second ACMLA award for the Eric Bogle song As If He Knows, in the Heritage category.

“The Gentleman Geoff Brown Memorial Award”, was awarded to Clelia in recognition of her first original song “HEARTBEAT HIGHWAY”, the title track of her current CD. Originally from Tamworth, this award is very special to Clelia, as the Browns were her “other” family in her Tamworth years before she moved north. Geoff was one of the founding fathers of the country music festival in Tamworth in the early 70’s.
ABC Country stars illuminated the 34th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia held tonight at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre.

Sara Storer was named for the 2nd time, Female Vocalist of the Year for the single Firefly from her album of the same name. Sara’s compelling songs evoking the bush and characters have now earned her 9 Golden Guitars and she dedicated this award to her father. During 2005, Sara took country music to a wider audience through the national tour with Paul Kelly and her ‘Broad’ tour with Deborah Conway and Katie Noonan,

Sara is back on the road to WA in late March with this year’s Male Vocalist of the Year Troy Cassar-Daley, then the NT and NSW’s north coast in May.

Samantha McClymont is New Talent of the Year and received her Golden Guitar for the song Cookin’ in My Kitchen, performed at the awards and co-written by her sister Brooke and Rick Price.

20 year old Samantha from Grafton NSW, travelled for much of last year with Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence as part of the Toyota Star Maker tour. Her latest single Heart of A Man just peaked at Number 1 on the CMC video chart and is racing up the Country Tracks radio chart right now.

The audience was mesmerised as Samantha and co-finalist for Vocal Collaboration of the Year Travis Collins performed their stunning duet, A Fool Like Me. Travis returned to Tamworth following the official harbour shore Australia Day concert where he performed his single Start The Car from his debut album, to an audience of 180,000.

Beccy Cole, current CMAA Entertainer of the Year, was a fantastic host for the Golden Guitars and kicked off the evening with a dynamic performance of her new single So Good For So Long. Beccy has just returned from an experience of a lifetime, her tour to Iraq, where she entertained the troops over the festive season.

The Golden Guitars are the genre’s most prestigious accolade and ABC Music congratulates all recipients for their outstanding contribution to Australian country music.
For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
Sue Camilleri 08 89 412 512/0408 412 512 Em: soozcam@bigpond.net.au

Reg Poole elevated to the Roll of Renown

One of Australia’s finest bush balladeers – Reg Poole – was elevated to the Country Music Roll of Renown in Tamworth
Reg was born in Rushworth, Victoria, just after World War II and grew up on a dairy farm at Tatura on a block his great grandfather selected in 1871.
He formed his first dance band in the 1960s
He first recorded in 1972, a custom release selling 1,000 copies over the counter of his local Shepparton radio station.

On the strength of this, he gained a contract with W&G Records in 1973, recording his now classic Australian Country Music Hall of Fame song winning his first Golden Guitar in 1974, the first award for New Talent of the Year.

Reg joined Selection Records in 1977 issuing numerous highly successful recordings over the next almost 30 years including many successful concept albums such as his popular truck and rodeo theme releases.

In 1999, Reg was named Victorian Entertainer of the Year.
“The Gentle Giant” of country music, as he is known, Reg constantly tours and performs all over Australia. As well as keeping a fast pace on the road, Reg makes time available for many charity shows and activities.

Currently he is recording a new CD for his own Matildaroo Music label planned for release in March.
Reg is the 33rd inductee to Australia’s highest country music honour.
He joins Tex Morton, Buddy Williams, Smoky Dawson, Slim Dusty, Shirley Thoms, Tim McNamara, Gordon Parsons, The McKean Sisters, Reg Lindsay, Rick & Thel Carey, Johnny Ashcroft, Chad Morgan, John Minson, The Hawking Bros, Stan Coster, Barry Thornton, Nev Nicholls, Shorty Ranger, Jimmy Little, Ted Egan, Dusty Rankin, John Williamson, Rocky Page, Brian Young, Rex Dallas, Arthur Blanch, The Schneider Sisters, Frank Ifield, The Webb Bros, Kenny Kitching, The Singing Kettles and Athol McCoy on the Roll of Renown located in front of the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre.
The Roll of Renown honour is presented annually to those artists who have made a lasting and significant contribution to Australian country music.
It is administered by the Australian Country Music Foundation.

Nick won the 2006 Telstra Road to Tamworth talent quest and the prize included recording time in

Nashville. He is also a graduate of the Australian Country Music Association college. Photo from Telstra.

2006 Telstra Road to Tamworth songwriter winner Kirsty Lee Akers off to Nashville
Kirsty Lee Akers from NSW Hunter Valley is off to Nashville and on the threshold of an exciting professional career after winning the Pub With No Beer Song Writer’s Award in the national Telstra Road to Tamworth country music talent competition in Tamworth on Tuesday night Jan. 24th.

Singing before a packed crowd of over 1200 and thousands of others around Australia and overseas who watched live online via webcast, Kirsty impressed the judges by singing 3 of her own original songs, competing with seven other grand-finalists who initially qualified for the final series after winning their hometown heat. Over 800 singers from across the nation entered the competition, then 35-heat winners made the journey to Tamworth to compete for some extraordinary prizes and take home the 2006 title.

Kirsty (from Stanford Merthyr near Kurri Kurri) will head to Nashville as part of the newly established songwriters recognition award. Judges recognised her song writing skills by awarding her with the inaugural package which includes writing appointments with top American country music songwriters.

Kirsty is delighted to have been chosen as the winner of the 2006 Telstra Road to Tamworth Competition Song Writer’s Award. “I just realised I’m goin’ to Nashville!” was Kirsty’s onstage reaction to this great news.

Telstra Country Wide Group Managing Director, Geoff Booth, said Kirsty performed terrifically tonight & made a worthy winner. “With such depth of talent on display, the future of country music in Australia is looking bright. This is the beginning of a prosperous career for all the heat winners in the competition,” he said.

Allied Artists Chief Executive Officer and Telstra Road to Tamworth judge Marius Els said Kirsty’s performance was outstanding and her life will be changed forever. Kirsty is a very talented artist with all the qualities of a future star. Telstra Road to Tamworth is a real launch pad for young country music singers.,”

Three American-based record company executives joined local industry officials to judge the Telstra Road To Tamworth country music talent competition Grand Final.
Pat Higdon, Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville Senior Vice President/General Manager
Mark Brown, Senior Director, A&R Sony Music Nashville
Mark Moffatt, Australian raised, Nashville-based independent record producer.

The Pub with No Beer Songwriter’s Encouragement Award winner receives a return airfare to Nashville, seven nights accommodation, a daily allowance and five days of song writing appointments with top American country music songwriters.

Telstra Country Wide support the Telstra Road to Tamworth Competition as a means of helping some impressive Australians live out their hopes and dreams of establishing a professional career in country music.

Through this initiative, Telstra Country Wide is helping support the future of the country music industry in Australia.

A Pocketful of Poetry - Album of the Year 2006 Australian Bush Laureate Awards
One of Australia’s finest bush poets Carol Heuchan received the highly sought-after Golden Gumleaf trophy for Album of the Year at the 11th annual Australian Bush Laureate Awards in Tamworth last week.

The CD ‘A Pocketful of Poetry’ produced by Restless Music is a mixture of humorous and very moving poems recorded to original music compositions. The album is a collection of poems Carol has won major performance and written poetry awards for throughout Australia.

Equally accredited was her poem ‘Why?’ a heart wrenching plea to absentee fathers. It won the coveted Blackened Billy Verse from a field of 279 Australian and overseas writers. ‘The response to the poem Why has been overwhelming. So many hurt women and even one ashamed man have told me how they have been touched by my words’ she said.

Carol is ecstatic about the wins and she acknowledged the work of the bush poetry community ‘To receive this beautiful trophy as the epitome of Australian bush poetry excellence is very much respected. It’s inspiring to be in the company of the finalists in these categories and I’m thrilled to see my work recognised in this way. Thanks to my friends for pushing me into Bush Poetry and to my new family - the Bush Poets of Australia for supporting me and making me so welcome’

Up until a few years ago Carol Heuchan from Cooranbong in the Hunter Valley New South Wales was totally involved in the world of competition show horses. After publishing her first book ‘Horseplay’ a collection of rhymes and ramblings which proved to be a roaring success she stepped onto the stage where her reputation as one of the best bush poets in the country quickly gained prominence. Her second book ’Horsing Around’ was a final five nomination in the Bush Laureate Award’s Book of the Year Category for 2005.

In just three years she amassed over forty awards including richest prize in Australian poetry history. Carol’s entry ‘Hats Off’ about her old Akubra hat won a CASE IH JX55 tractor valued at $34000 sponsored by The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and The Land Newspaper at the 2004 Royal Easter Show prompting as one would expect another poem ‘Tractor Factor’. It too became a winning entry later that year in the Original Humorous Championship in Perth.

Her ability to connect with her audience as an entertainer, a compere and a guest speaker has completely changed her lifestyle from the days of equestrian show events. She has regularly appeared at Beaudesert in Queensland Inverell Dunedoo Narrandera Scone Young and Tenterfield in NSW and Mulwala in Victoria. In 2004 she appeared on NBN Channel 3 and is well known in poetry circles as a performer and in horse circles as a judge at exhibitions at the Brisbane Ekka and the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

‘I’m thrilled when I can combine my two loves - bush poetry and horses.’ Carol said
Media Contacts: Carol is available for interview.
Carol Heuchan - tel: 02 4977 3210 or email: carrobity@hotmail.com
Rhonda Sinclair - mobile 0438 902413
CD & Book Sales:
CD ‘A Pocketful of Poetry’ is available from the Golden Guitar Gift Shop New England Highway Tamworth NSW 2340 Tel: 02 67 652688 and Tamworth Sound City 84 Dennison St Tamworth NSW 2340 Tel: 02 67653435 or by cheque or money order to: Carrobity 67a Crawford Road Cooranbong NSW 2265 Tel: 02 4977 3210
Publications: ‘Horseplay’ and ‘Horsing Around’ are available from all major equestrian and saddlery shops throughout Australia and at Dymocks, Book City and several independent bookshops.
Six new famous country music hands
Six new famous country music names will be immortalised in concrete in Country Music Capital’s Hands of Fame next Saturday.
The 2006 Hands of Fame names were announced by the Australian Country Music Foundation at the Roll of Renown Concert in Tamworth this afternoon.
The six are... Carter & Carter, Ernie Constane, Peter Denahy, Wave Jackson, Shaza Leigh and Lenore Miller-Somerset.

Carter & Carter are one of Australia’s most successful country duos with numerous awards to their credit including a Golden Guitar for 2004 Vocal Group or Duo of the Year and three consecutive Australian Country Music Independent Entertainer of the Year awards.

Bush ballad singer/songwriter Ernie Constance had 17 songs recorded by Slim Dusty and has released three CDs of his own. In 2002, he was honoured by the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association as their SongMaker award winner. He has won many awards including TSA Bush Ballad of the Year and Album of the Year at the Bungendore Stan Coster Memorial Bush Ballad Awards.

Peter Denahy, having toured extensively as a support act and band member for Sara Storer and the late Slim Dusty, has built a solid fan base. At home at country music festivals and on any stage, he is probably best known for his comedy ditties but, after a five year hiatus, he has just released a self titled album of straight material through on the ACMEC label highlighting his talents as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Wave Jackson is one of Australia’s best known bush ballad singers and writers with many of his ballads recorded by the likes of Slim Dusty, Keith Jamieson, Double Decker Dave McCallum, Rick Hopkins, Felcity Urquhart, Alisha Smith, Dean Perrett and Jeff Brown. At last year’s Golden Guitar Awards, Wave won APRA Song of the Year with Where The Yellow Kapocks Bloom, recorded by Jeff.

Having toured Australia extensively for more than a decade and with five albums and a string of hits to her credit, Shaza Leigh has secured her place as one of Australia’s leading female performers. She has appeared on many major showcases, events and festivals throughout Australia and abroad. Shaza has won numerous awards including three consecutive Independent Female Vocal of the Year titles and has had more than 60 songs published.

Lenore Miller-Somerset then Lenore Miller, was known as Queensland’s Yodelling Jillaroo in her hey day in the ‘40s and ‘50s. She worked with Buddy Williams in the war as an entertainer and recorded with him on 78s. After marrying, Lenore went into folk music, appearing on numerous television programs including Reg Lindsay’s Country & Western Hour from Adelaide and with stars like Graham Kennedy. She also recorded a number of her own albums.
The Hands of Fame are co-ordinated for the City of Tamworth by the Australian Country Music Foundation.

Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame adds four
Four new names were added to the Australian Country Music Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital, they are Brian Howard, Maurie Huxley, Barry McMahon and Cathy Winkler.

A long-time country music broadcaster, Brian Howard’s career goes back to Sydney radio, including the popular 2SER FM. Eventually moving to Tamworth, Brian worked on the famous Hoedown (later Country Music Radio or CMR) program on 2TM for many years. When CMR returned to the airwaves more than a year ago, Brian was recruited to once again host part of the program.

Maurie Huxley has been a country music broadcaster for more than 20 years (since 1985), currently with Coast FM 88.7 in Adelaide. His personal mission is to help publicise Australian artists and bush balladeers, a mission many say he well and truly accomplishes on a regular basis.

The late Barry McMahon was, when he died unexpectedly in August last year, Program Manager of Good Morning Country, the national breakfast show heard daily on the community radio satellite ComRadSat heard on more than 60 stations. Barry had a lifelong passion for country music and radio.

Cathy Winkler is a long time broadcaster of country music on the NSW mid north coast. When she took up the occupation, it was for her love of the music more than wanting to be a broadcaster but through the encouragement and assistance of her co-volunteers, Cathy took to the task and, now in her 80s, is still on air.

The Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame was inaugurated by the Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) to honour and pay tribute to those broadcasters, past and present, who have played a significant role in the development and promotion of Australian country music through broadcasting.

Inductees to the Hall of Fame are now Mike Bedford, Mel Cameron, Hedley Charles, Gary Coxhead, Dick Cranbourne, Smoky & Dot Dawson, Carter Edwards, Gene Fisk, Bob Fricker, Brian Howard, Maurie Huxley, Peter Leslie, Reg Lindsay, Helen Kay, Doug “The Bandit” May, The McKean Sisters, Barry McMahon, Tim McNamara, John Minson, Barbara Morison, Nev Nicholls, John Nutting, Don McGuire, Dave Prior, Rocky Page, Keith Melbourne, Neville Pellitt, Earl Reeve, Bob Spence, Allan Wallett, Barry Williams and Cathy Winkler.

The Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame Honour Roll is located at the ACMF in Brisbane Street, Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital.
- - - - - - - - -
OPEN extended hours daily from 9am during the January Country Music Festival
93 Brisbane Street Tamworth NSW 2340
PO Box 1842 Tamworth NSW 2340

Tel 02 6766 9696  Fax 02 6766 9918
Email info@acmf.org.au



Winners in the 2006 Australian Bush Laureate awards were announced before a capacity audience in the Tamworth Town Hall

In BOOK OF THE YEAR, for the best Australian rhymed verse in book form, the winner was OLD BUSH SONGS, a centenary edition of Banjo Paterson's classic collection edited by Warren Fahey and Graham Seal (published by ABC Books).

In BOOK OF THE YEAR, ORIGINAL VERSE, for the best original Australian work in book form, the winner was AUSTRALIAN POEMS THAT WOULD CAPTIVATE A KOALA by Philip Rush (self published). A prolific writer, Philip hails from Tasmania and has been a multi finalist in the Bush Laureate Awards over a number of years.

In ALBUM OF THE YEAR, the winner was A POCKET FULL OF POETRY by Carol Heuchan, of Cooranbong in the Hunter Valley of NSW (Restless Music, produced by Roger Ilott). Carol is also widely known as a brilliant horsewoman.

For SINGLE RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR, the winner was TV personality and broadcaster Jim Brown from Heathcote in Victoria with ANGEL OF DEATH, produced by Jim for Stanza TV.

The winner of the JUDITH HOSIER HERITAGE AWARD, for outstanding achievement in nurturing Australia's heritage of verse, went to the Winton Tourist and Business Association (WTBA) which has staged the famous Bronze Swagman bush poetry events and published the Bronze Swagman books every year since 1972.

After the presentation to Louis Dean and David Strang representing the WTBA, poet Carmel Randle said Winton had "kept alive the legend of Banjo Paterson while at the same time encouraging today’s poets to write down that story – to tell that poem."

The Bush Laureate Awards were first staged in 1996 to recognise excellence in published and recorded Australian bush poetry. At the presentation it was announced that in 2007 a trophy would be awarded for the Bush Poetry Performer of the Year.

2006 Judith Hosier Heritage Award Winner
A tribute to The Winton Tourism and Business Association
Moving into their 35th year of The Bronze Swagman

By Carmel Randle

There is a name synonymous with Australian bush poetry – Winton. This tiny town in the middle of Western Queensland (population 1,200) is the "birth place" of Waltzing Matilda, where it was first performed and where, for the last 34 years, a book of the best original Australian bush verse has been published.

The town has kept alive the legend of “Banjo” Paterson while, at the same time, encouraging today's poets to write down that story, to tell that poem!

Truly I believe that Winton has kept that heritage alive! Go to America or England and watch the faces of the crowd when you say a Paterson poem, or listen while any gathering, anywhere in Australia or overseas, breaks into a chorus of Waltzing Matilda, and you'll know what I mean!

Winton is now the home of the Waltzing Matilda Centre, an establishment of world renown, as well as…

a. The Bronze Swagman competition
b. The Qantas-Waltzing Matilda Bush Poetry Awards
c. The Little Swaggies Competition
d. The Junior Performance Festival

In addition, it has published books of the best of the Bronze Swagman entries for the past 34 years and has recently published a book of children's entries.

Everyone who goes through Winton appreciates "Waltzing Matilda" and the other poems that Paterson wrote. Why? Because the people of Winton have worked so hard for so long to make this dream materialise.

I am delighted that the Winton Tourism and Business Association have been presented with the 2006 Judith Hosier Award for their absolutely outstanding contribution to Australian Bush Poetry over three and a half decades.

Tamworth, Tuesday, January 24: It was announced today at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards that, in 2007, the Awards will recognise for the first time the performance of Australian bush poetry with the introduction of a new category.

Since the Bush Laureate Awards started in 1996, all awards have been made on the basis of recorded or published material.

A spokesman for the organisers said that over the years there had been a significant increase in the popularity of Australian bush poetry. This had been both encouraged and reflected by expanding public performance.

The time had come for the Australian Bush Laureate Awards to recognise and salute the talented artists who, in the true oral tradition of the bush, are taking Australian bush poetry back to an ever-widening circle of enthusiastic followers.

Called Bush Poetry Performer Of The Year, the new trophy will be presented to an individual performer whose public performance of Australian bush poetry over the current 12 month period (December to November) on stage, radio, television or any other public forum, is judged to be outstanding.

Criteria for the Award will include frequency of performances, reach of performances, professionalism, popularity and entertainment value of performances and originality and Australian character of material used.

Judging for the Bush Poetry Performer Of The Year will be based on a system, which combines:

A panel of individuals who have a significant involvement in Australian bush poetry, including bush poets themselves. The panel’s votes will receive a weighting.
A popular vote conducted through The Australian Bush Laureate Awards website and other specialist media outlets and events to be announced.

Judging forms will be distributed through the year and, for the 2007 Awards, must be returned to the ABLA by Tuesday, November 30.

The winner of the inaugural BUSH POETRY PERFORMER OF THE YEAR will be announced at the annual Bush Laureate Awards presentations on Tuesday, January 23rd 2007.

Further information can be obtained from the Awards website www.bushlaureate.com.au  or PO Box 377, Tamworth 2340

A very positive email to thank the City of Tamworth
Hi Helen,
I am Michelle from the Mudgee Old Maids. A group of 9 Touch playing friends who came to Tamworth this year to celebrate Sharon's 40th. We had no idea what to expect but were always going to have a great time(we do no matter where we go!!!!) We were NOT disappointed. The Tamworth Country Music Festival is AWESOME!! We went hard for three days and nights and danced ourselves still. We went especially to see Finn MacCool on Saturday as we love the guys and have seen them quite a lot. But we discovered Simply Bushed, Red Hot Poker Dots, Matt Scullion and the lost moments and the Re-mains. I also went out to see the Bushwhackers. We were not country music die hards before last weekend but we are all converted now and will definitely be back next year and every year for as long as we live!!!!!
Thank you Tamworth and thank you to all the bands we saw.
Michelle Seis and the Mudgee Old Maids.
2007 Tamworth Festival Dates
 Friday January 19th to Sunday, January 28th.
The Festival Countdown will run from Friday, January 12th to Thursday, January 18th.
2006 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, - 27th January 2007- 
Information Centre - 02 6767 5300

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