Lee Morgan – Winner of VIPA (Music) Lifetime Achievement Award

Dione Joseph chats with Lee Morgan, winner of the Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in music…

Lee Morgan VIPA winner 2012
Lee Morgan VIPA winner 2012. Image by Steve Rhall

Lee Morgan may not be a household name but this surely is only a matter of time. The talented guitar player hailing from the Gunditjmara Kirrae Whurrong clan from South-Western Victoria has been making musical magic for over 30 years – and he certainly doesn’t look like he’s about to slow down anytime soon.

Having spent years performing with renowned artists and appearing as a guest on many collaborative albums with some of Australia’s best talent this soulful country rock muso is carving an independent niche for himself.

“Its only been in the last few years that I’ve actually decided to do my own thing, and do it properly,” admits Morgan. “Its been about taking responsibility for my work and as a result I’ve been able to see the results of all those hard yards.”

[pull_left]I got into a band when I was 14 and now I’m making a living out of it[/pull_left]

As the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the music industry at this week’s Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts (VIPA) Awards, Morgan was both delighted and surprised.

“A life time achievement award is such an honour and it makes me feel older than I really am, but the reality is I have been doing this since I was a kid” he said.

“I got into a band when I was 14 and now I’m making a living out of it.”

The award comes as a surprise for Morgan who “had no idea” and originally was asked many months ago to be a judge at the VIPAS: “Imagine my surprise to find out I was nominated when only a few months earlier I might have been choosing the winner!”

After the success of his debut album Feed Me (2010) Morgan has spent the last few years focused on developing his solo career and getting his next album out in 2013: “Its all recorded, just the art work needs to be organized and early next year it will out on the market!”

Good things come to those who wait, and even though Morgan felt a nasty twinge in his back on the afternoon of the VIPAs he still made the decision to go:

“Just being nominated was a pretty big deal,” he said. “How amazing to actually be the recipient of the award and know that all those years and countless gigs and the effort has been recognized by the community.”

A well deserved accolade for one of Melbourne’s rising stars.


Jan Chandler

Jan has been working freelance in the arts industry for some 15+ years in a variety of roles including: arts management; journalism (print, radio and online); publicity; and media relations. Passionate about the arts in all their variety, Jan has worked in film (production assistant; reviewer); dance (publicity; producer and presenter of 'Dance Dialogues - 3CR) and Board Member of Ausdance (Victoria)); performing arts (company manager, performer, reviewer, online editor). Jan had the honour of being the General Manager of Ilbijerri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre for some 18 months.

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