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    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Winner of 2008 Grant McLennan Fellowship announced

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Winner of 2008 Grant McLennan Fellowship announced

    A songwriting duo will be travelling to London after being awarded the 2008 Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship today by Arts Minister Rod Welford.

    Mr Welford said John Busby and Chris Dale of the Brisbane band Halfway were this year’s recipients of the $20,000 fellowship, named in honour of the late singer-songwriter from The Go-Betweens.

    “Co-writing partners for more than ten years, John Busby and Chris Dale are passionate about creating songs which explore the connection between people and places, past and present,” Mr Welford said.

    “John and Chris are originally from Rockhampton, where they played in the band St Jude, and Central Queensland features as a backdrop to many of their songs.

    “Now based in Brisbane with their band Halfway, they are working on their third album.

    “With their songwriting careers firmly established in Queensland, they now have the chance to live in London for a short period.

    “In London they will be able to capitalise on the critical acclaim and radio airplay they’ve already received in the UK.”

    Mr Welford said the selection panel for the fellowship was made up of Robert Forster, Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson from The Go-Betweens.

    “The panel was looking for a contemporary music songwriter or songwriting team with both experience and exceptional talent, and John and Chris fit the bill perfectly,” he said.
    “Other shortlisted songwriters were Heinz Riegler, Kate Cooper and co-writers Ben Thompson and Meredith McHugh.

    “The annual fellowship offers the winner a trip of up to two months to either London, Berlin or New York – cities which had a lasting impact on Grant’s songwriting and career.”
    Today’s announcement coincided with the official launch of the Grant McLennan Archive at the State Library of Queensland, where fellowship recipients donate a legacy item.

    Last year’s inaugural fellowship recipient Greg Charles, who recently returned from New York, has donated the song God’s Head and Strange Bees to the archive. The song, written, recorded and performed during his time overseas, incorporates street sounds of the city.

    “I look forward to seeing the archive grow in the coming years as a valuable resource for contemporary music in Queensland. I am sure it will reflect the incredible depth of songwriting talent in our state,” Mr Welford said.

    Media contact: Emma Clarey on 3237 1000 or 0417 791 336