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Performing Arts

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Joy McKean

Joy McKean

Joy McKean (b. 1930) is recognised as one Australia's leading country music songwriters. She wrote many of her husband's - the iconic Slim Dusty - most popular songs. Joy McKean was born in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.

Her story is told in the 2020 documentary, Slim and I, in which she talks of the impact of being separated from her family for 3 years from the age of 4 when she was hospitalised with polio.

"It made me very different" she says. Joy McKean married Slim Dusty in 1951 and they formed a lasting musical partnership, travelling Australia - including to areas most musicians did not get to - and with their children in tow for much of the time. Joy McKean was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1991 for her service to the entertainment industry.

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