Kempsey museum pays tribute to Slim and Joy

Media Release


19 November 2015

Joint release with:

Luke Hartsuyker

Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
Federal Member for Cowper

Iconic Australian entertainers Slim Dusty and Joy McKean will be permanently honoured in Kempsey with the opening of the Slim Dusty Centre & Museum today.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the contribution of the two personalities to Australia's cultural identity had been immense.

“This iconic couple travelled around the nation for decades bringing joy to many families through their music. There aren't many Australian's who haven't heard ‘A Pub with No Beer’,” Mr Truss said.

“Slim Dusty won 37 Golden Guitars, two ARIA awards and has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

“Joy was the rock in Slim's life and a highly accomplished performer in her own right. She won the first Golden Guitar awarded in 1973 and received several others throughout her career.

“Slim Dusty may be the household name but the two performers toured, collaborated and worked together for many decades.

“The Australian Government has committed $6 million towards this centre, ensuring all members of the community can celebrate their contribution to Australian life.”

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the Centre opening would be a significant boost for the North Coast by bolstering tourist numbers to the Macleay Valley, while also formally recognising the contribution of our local artists as cultural music icons.

“Slim and Joy were great contributors to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, not only through the multiple Golden Guitars they received, but the fact they have inspired so many performers over many generations,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Importantly, we need to recognise Slim Dusty was born and bred at Nulla Nulla Creek near Kempsey. He is as much a part of the lives of Australians as he is a part of the family here on the North Coast. I am absolutely delighted to see this Centre open and the region looks forward to the increase in visitor numbers we expect to flow from the opening.”

The New South Wales Government provided $1.6 million in funding toward establishing the Centre. The Australian Government has also contributed $30,000 towards a bronze statue of the two performers unveiled in Tamworth last year.