Helen Begley

Helen Begley is a Melbourne Singer/Songwriter with a prevailing interest in writing and presenting song cycles that become albums. She was born at Box Hill hospital and grew up playing in paddocks along the Koonung Creek in Blackburn North before the Eastern freeway extension was built. 

Her friend, Lynden, started writing songs at 13 years old. 12 year old Helen was so impressed that she decided to have a go at writing a song too. Once started, she hasn't stopped. 

When she was in early 20's, she moved into the inner suburbs and finally settled in West Brunswick. As she prepared to move, after 20 years of living in the suburb, she wrote and produced her latest album called “West Brunswick”. 

This truly local work records the highlights of living in Melbourne’s Inner North. All of the songs written present Helen's unique version of West Brunswick and the album is produced, recorded, designed and printed in Brunswick.
 
Helen has appeared in many festivals over the years as a solo artist and with Melbourne Folk band, "Milk" as well as touring nationally. She has written and recorded two solo albums, written and appeared on three "Milk" albums, written songs for the likes of Carl Pannuzzo, Penny Larkins and country singer, Jody Galvin and has won several awards for song writing including the inaugural Melbourne Ukulele Festival Songwriting Award. She plays her songs on guitar, ukulele, banjo and has been described as a “rough angel who writes a mean song.”
 

Helen wrote and produced her first solo album "The Bride" in 2010. Her songs have also appeared on three Milk CD’s, ‘Made’ (2001), ‘Golden Ring Life’ (2004) and ‘Shipwrecked at the Royal Oak’ (2007) as well as a number of compilation albums including ‘Girl Comp2’, ‘Reels and Roads’ with Lucie Thorne, ‘Rock Against Bullshit’ (2006), Carl Panuzzo’s album “20 Ukulele Greats” (2008), the Wilderness society’s “Forests Forever” (2008) and various Folk festival Compilations including Nannup and Cygnet.

She has appeared at the Top Half Folk Festival in Darwin 2010, Kilmore Celtic Festival 2010, Kangaroo Valley Music festival 2010, Uranquinty Folk Festival, 2010 Canberra Country Music Festival 2010, The Maldon Folk Festival 2010, Songwriter in residence at The Boite Singers Festival 2011 and Yackandandah Folk Festival 2012 as well as appearing at venues across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

She has been a judge for the Victorian Bush Poetry competition and The Man from Snowy River Poetry Competition and has previously judged the Darebin Songwriting Competition Grand Final. She has written and performed a radio song tour of her original song “All aboard the Pirate Ship” which was commissioned by 3CR. She won Melbourne Ukulele Festival’s Songwriting Competition 2010, The Man from Snowy River Aussie Bush Idol 2012 senior section, and Albion Park Camp Cooking Damper Competition 2011. Her work has been played on ABC and community radio stations across the country.

She studied music at Blackburn High School and completed a degree in music and creative writing at LaTrobe university.

Helen also runs her own music making business, "Chicks with Picks Melbourne" where she teaches and encourages women to learn ukulele, guitar and songwriting and participate more broadly in music and song making.  

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Helen Begley: West Brunswick

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