A montage of artists featured in Sounds of Australia 2017, including Frank Ifield, Kasey Chambers, John Paul Young and Marie Narelle

INXS, John Paul Young and other icons join Sounds of Australia


24 October 2017

INXS, John Paul Young and other icons join Sounds of Australia

There’s INXS in there, and John Paul Young as well… Ten recordings have been added to the NFSA’s Sounds of Australia, recognised for their lasting impact on Australian culture – from a song about our most famous cricketer to Louie the Fly and the Play School theme!

Being part of Sounds of Australia means that the recordings will live on at the NFSA, for future generations to discover and enjoy. This year’s 10 Sounds of Australia are, in chronological order:

  • 1910 Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer – Marie Narelle
  • 1930 Our Don Bradman – Len Maurice
  • 1940-58 Australia’s Amateur Hour - AWA
  • 1957 ‘Louie the Fly’ Mortein Advertisement - Ross Higgins
  • 1962 I Remember You – Frank Ifield
  • 1966 Play School Theme (There’s a Bear in There) – Various Performers
  • 1977 Love Is In The Air – John Paul Young
  • 1981 Brand New Day (Milliya Rumarra) - Kuckles
  • 1982 Don’t Change - INXS
  • 2001 Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers

John Paul Young said: ‘It is indeed an honour to be part of Love Is In The Air, a marvellous song which has achieved so much success in so many countries, over so many years. And now to be inducted into the prestigious Sounds of Australia is the cherry on top. I can only thank Harry Vanda and George Young for their hard work during my association with them and for giving me a lasting career.’

In 2007 the NFSA launched Sounds of Australia, the honour list of Australian recorded sounds that changed history, or defined our evolving cultural identity.

NFSA CEO Jan Müller said: ‘We’re very excited to celebrate ten years of Sounds of Australia. As the list grows, it reflects the many faces of the Australian experience and the power of recorded sound to connect us all. Congratulations to the 2017 inductees!’

The registry is truly a who’s who of popular music, from AC/DC to Waltzing Matilda. Kylie felt ‘lucky, lucky, lucky’ to be inducted; Midnight Oil were ‘excited and honoured’ to make the list. But Sounds of Australia is much more than anthemic songs. It includes everything from sleeping Indigenous languages (inscribed in the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World) to inspiring speeches, sounds of nature and sounds of cutting-edge technology, experimental music, the catchiest jingles, and fascinating news reports. The list is as varied as Australian creativity.


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 2018.


John Paul Young, Frank Ifield, Scott Higgins (son of Ross Higgins, actor and voice of Louie the Fly) and NFSA Sound Curators Thorsten Kaeding and Nick Henderson are available for media interviews. To arrange an interview or for more information please contact:
MIGUEL GONZALEZ, P: (02) 8202 0114 or 0404 281 632, miguel.gonzalez@nfsa.gov.au
AMANDA DIAZ, P: (02) 6248 2248, media@nfsa.gov.au

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