Judith's "leopard skin" hat was famous on the folk scene!

Judith Vivienne Crossley

Born in Lancashire, England, 1934. Died in Adelaide, South Australia, 2014.

Judith Crossley left England in the 1960s and came to Australia as a young woman seeking to establish a new life. Settling in Adelaide, she quickly became an identity on the folk scene.

Judith was associated with the Folk Federation of South Australia from its earliest days, and she was one of the people whose hard work and vision got the South Australian State Folk Festivals going at the end of the 1970s. In particular, she was an advocate for the songwriting competition that ran at the Festivals, encouraging people to write new works about South Australia’s history, people and places.

A talented songwriter herself, Judith motivated many people to write who otherwise might not have. Through her long association with the South Australian Folk Federation, and SCALA (Songwriters, Composers and Lyricists Association), she encouraged many writers and performers, and championed traditional and new music across folk, blues and roots.

At the age of 66, Judith recorded Bluegum and Ironbark, an album that preserves a selection of her best songs, many inspired by the history and landscape of South Australia.

When she passed away, Judith left a small legacy that enabled a songwriting competition to be established through the Fleurieu Folk Festival.

The Judith Crossley Memorial Songwriting Award continues the work Judith was passionate about during her lifetime – encouraging people to write and sing songs about the things that are important to them.