Judy Small

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Judy Small is a judge of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia who was previously a Australian entertainer, folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Known for her feminist, often patriotic, and political songs, usually following a traditional theme, she has produced twelve albums, hundreds of songs and has been described as being among the most popular political singers in Australia. She has toured the country, playing primarily in clubs and pubs, and at various conventions. [1].


Judy Small was born in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales in 1953. She moved to Sydney in 1972, and began her career as a singer and songwriter in the late 1970s. She now lives in Melbourne. Her songs have been recorded by Ronnie Gilbert, Eric Bogle, The McCalmans, The Corries, Charlie King and Priscilla Herdman among others. Several have been translated into a number of languages. One of her successful ballads is "The White Bay Paper Seller", based on newspaper seller and Sydney icon Beatrice Bush. Apart from her own repertoire she is a great interpreter of song both traditional and contemporary.[1][2]

After a successful performance at the Vancouver Folk Festival in 1982 she became a full-time singer-songwriter. Over the next the 16 years, she regularly toured in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. In 1990, she received the "Mo" Award - Mo Awards for Australian Folk Performer of the Year and in 1997 was the Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year. She was also invited to Beijing for the United Nations Women's Conference NGO Forum - UN in 1995, where she sang to thousands of women from all over the world.

Judy Small retired from full-time performance in 1998. She became a family lawyer in Melbourne working for Victoria Legal Aid, but continued to write new songs and to perform regularly. In March 2013, she was appointed to a position with the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, and retired fully from performing.[3][4]


Judy Small's songs cover a wide range of topics and styles, with a particular emphasis on feminism and peace. Among the most popular are Mothers, Daughters, Wives, Women of Our Time, One Voice in the Crowd and Global Village.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1990, she was awarded "Mo" Award for Australian Folk Performer of the Year. In 1997 she was the Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year. In 1995, she was invited to Beijing for the United Nations Women's Conference NGO Forum.[5]


  • Judy Small: Live at The Artery
  • Mosaic
  • Let the Rainbow Shine
  • Never Turning Back
  • Global Village
  • Best of Judy Small
  • Home Front
  • Ladies and Gems
  • One Voice in the Crowd
  • Snapshot
  • Second Wind
  • A Natural Selection (rereleased)


External links[edit]

  • [2] Official website