Australia mourns loss of 3 musical icons

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Australia has lost three giants of music and entertainment in just over a week.

Olivia Newton-John, Judith Durham and Archie Roach all showcased Australian stories to the world in their own way.

The death of Olivia Newton-John after a long battle with cancer is heartbreaking.

It was only in May this year that ONJ received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Women in Music Awards.

No matter how young or old, Australians always had a place in their heart for Olivia Newton-John.

From country albums, to megastar, to environmentalist and advocate – her music and her life touched us all.

Judith Durham was once the best-known Australian voice in the world.

The Seekers put Australia up in lights for the world to see but it was here at home that they shone most brightly.

In 1967 10 per cent of Melbourne’s population attended a single gig – a truly staggering crowd.

With The Seekers and in her solo career, Judith earned her place as an icon of Australian music.

‘I Am Australian’ will be played forever. What a contribution. What a loss.

Losing them both so soon after we lost Archie Roach really hurts.

He was an elder, a storyteller, a songman and one of the most humble people I’ve met in my life.

Before he found music so many of the ingredients of his life had been harsh, even brutal.

He took all of that and used music to create beauty, truth telling and hope.

What an incredibly sad time for all of their families and loved ones. I extend my deepest sympathies to them.

I can’t remember 10 days where so many of our finest voices fell silent.

10 days where a nation mourned the loss and replayed the music to cherish what we had been given.

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