Maroon shaded graphic with the year 2018

Gurrumul, Powderfinger and Goanna celebrated in this year’s Sounds of Australia


From one of the first women to have a hit song in the Australian charts, Pilita Corrales, to the highest selling Aboriginal album by Gurrumul, 10 essential sounds that helped define Australian history and culture have been added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s (NFSA) Sounds of Australia.

Other inductees include Goanna’s track about Aboriginal land rights, Solid Rock; Margret RoadKnight’s empowering Girls In Our Town; Powderfinger’s hit These Days; the popular tongue-twisting song I’ve Been Everywhere by Lucky Starr; and Binny Lum’s extensive collection of celebrity interviews.

The 2018 Sounds of Australia are, in chronological order (see PDF for details):

  • 1905 Caro Mio Ben - Ada Crossley: A prominent turn-of-the century opera singer.
  • 1926 Freshie/After the Dawn - Sydney Simpson and his Wentworth Café Orchestra: After the Dawn is the first entirely Australian recording, composed, performed, recorded and pressed by Australians.
  • 1955-1967 Binny Lum Collection - Binny Lum and interviewees: The Melbourne broadcaster’s collection of interviews includes exclusives with The Beatles, Barbra Streisand and countless Australian and global stars.
  • 1959 Come Closer to Me - Pilita Corrales: A Filipino woman singing in Spanish was one of the first female singers to make the Australian charts with a locally produced record!
  • 1962 I’ve Been Everywhere - Lucky Starr: More than 131 versions of this tongue-twister exist, confirming its universal appeal and ongoing popularity.
  • 1976 Girls in Our Town - Margret RoadKnight: An empowering song about the trials and tribulations of teenage girls during the 1970s era of women’s liberation.
  • 1982 Solid Rock – Goanna: A protest message that resonated with the Australian public.
  • 1992-2008 Songlines: Songs of the East Australian Humpback Whales - Mark Franklin: Featuring Migaloo, the famous albino humpback whale.
  • 1999 These Days –Powderfinger: One of the alternative band’s most popular tracks.
  • 2008 Gurrumul – Gurrumul: the best-selling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music album in Australian history.

J Yunupingu, on behalf of Gurrumul’s family, said of the announcement: ‘The album Gurrumul represents identity of all Yolngu people of North East Arnhem. Dr G has sung in five different Yolngu languages and the publication of these songs is a treasure and a gift for all Australians and people all over the world.’

Skinnyfish music’s Mark T. Grose and Michael Hohnen (Gurrumul’s manager and producer respectively) added: ‘We are honoured to have this landmark album added to the Sounds of Australia. As a label we are proud to be able to contribute to the artistic estate of this country, and present Dr G Yunupingu’s voice and musicianship - a treasure in its own right- to the greater population. Dr G. Yunupingu was a beautiful, gentle and significant force, whose important language, powerful voice and spirit embody a deeper culture of this country.’

Goanna’s Shane Howard said: ‘It means a lot to know that Solid Rock, which set out to shine a light on the historical injustice suffered by Aboriginal Australians, is now to be formally set in stone as a part of Australian history. I was deeply moved when I received the news.’

Powderfinger said: ‘It’s a great honour for us to have our music included amongst some of the finest ever made in this country in the NFSA’s Sounds of Australia. These Days almost wrote itself and was based on a very simple motif that circles around the same four chords and lyrics that lament time and the pressure it places in our daily lives. The repetition was intentional and reinforces its simple message. Given that it was never a single, it is surprising that it has become one of our most enduring and loved songs.’

In 2007 the NFSA launched Sounds of Australia, the honours list of Australian recorded sounds that changed history, or defined our evolving cultural identity. They are recognised for their cultural, historical and/or aesthetic achievements. Being part of Sounds of Australia means that the recordings will live on at the NFSA, for future generations to discover and enjoy.

The following talent are available for interviews:

  • NFSA Sound Curators Thorsten Kaeding and Nick Henderson
  • Michael Hohnen, Gurrumul’s producer
  • Pilita Corrales
  • Shane Howard (Goanna)
  • Margret RoadKnight
  • Sharon Terry, Binny Lum’s daughter
  • Lucky Starr (Leslie William Morrison)
  • Margery Missen, author and Ada Crossley biographer

To arrange an interview or for more information please contact:
MIGUEL GONZALEZ, P: (02) 8202 0114 or 0404 281 632,
BRANKA PRODANOVIC, P: (02) 6248 2248,


Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts. They can be popular songs, advertising jingles, famous speeches, radio broadcasts, or any other sound recordings – as long as they’re Australian and more than 10 years old. Nominations are now open for 2019.