Neil Murray (Australian musician)

Neil Murray (Australian musician)

Neil Murray (b. 1956, Ararat, Victoria) is an Australian musician and writer. He was a founding member of the Warumpi Band that formed in the early 1980s, the first major Aboriginal rock group and influential Aboriginal rock band.



Neil was raised near Lake Bolac in Western Victoria. In 1980 he moved to Papunya and became a founding member of the Warumpi Band.[1] The Warumpi Band were pioneers of Aboriginal Rock. They released three albums and toured widely, including the Blackfella/Whitefella Tour with Midnight Oil in 1986.[2] Neil launched his solo career in 1989 and has since released eight albums, three books and one CD of spoken poetry. In 1995 his song "My Island Home," originally written for the Warumpi Band, was named the APRA Song of the Year. Re-recorded by Christine Anu, it has since become an unofficial anthem and featured in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.


  • Calm & Crystal Clear 1989
  • These Hands 1993
  • Dust 1996
  • The Wondering Kind 1999
  • Going the Distance 2003
  • About Time 2005
  • 2songmen--Shane Howard & Neil Murray Live in Darwin 2006
  • Overnighter 2007
  • Witness 2010


  • 1989 Calm and Crystal Clear, Let's Fall In Love Again
  • 1993 Holy Road, Sing Your Destiny
  • 2004 Over the Moon, Holding on to Sky
  • 2005 Tom Wills Would
  • 2007 Lights of Hay

Published works

  • 1980 Starting Procedure (poetry)
  • 1993 Sing for me, Countryman[3]
  • 1999 One Man Tribe (poetry)
  • 2009 Native Born (song lyrics)[4]

Short stories

  • "Home and Away", The Bulletin 1983
  • "Boomerangs", Going Down Swinging 1983
  • "Two Stones", Inprint 1983
  • "The Risks of Two-up Motorcycling", Australian Short Stories 1987
  • "One Last Hitch", The Edge 1989
  • "Unmarked Graves", included in Banjo Clarke's Wisdom Man, Penguin Australia, 2003


  • "A Guide to Boomerang Buying", On the Street 1983
  • "Turning up the stars full blast", Australian Playboy, 1984
  • "Over the back fence", Follow me Gentleman 1986
  • "He's my brother", The Australian Way, July 1989
  • "The Getting of Banjos Wisdom", The Age, 25 April 2000
  • "Was True Blue a Blackfella?", The Age, 6 July 2002
  • "Gunnedah Dreaming", The Age Review, 3 July, 2004
  • "No Flowers", The Monthly, 3 August, 2005
  • "How Many Sleeps?", The Monthly, January 2006
  • "A Healing Walk", published 2009 in the University of Portland Magazine, Vol 28, No 2

Stage plays

  • King For This Place, commissioned by Deckchair Theatre, Fremantle, Western Australia, 1999


  1. ^ Murray, Neil (2009). Native Born. One Tree Hill.
  2. ^ Dodshon, Mark (2004). Beds Are Burning. Penguin. p. 146.
  3. ^ Murray, Neil (2003). Sing for me, Countryman. ISBN 0-646-42868-3
  4. ^ Murray, Neil (2009). Native Born-Songs of Neil Murray. ISBN 978-0-9805643-9-6

Other links

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