Graham Howle of Bowraville is the Australian Songwriters Association Songwriter of the Year

Graham Howle wore Ned Kelly’s iron suit that inspired the award-winning song.

THE Nambucca Valley continues to cement its reputation as a haven for creatives after the Australian Association of Songwriters (ASA) announced last week that Bowraville’s Graham Howle was the Songwriter of the Year in the Australia category.

In an overwhelming number of entries, the esteemed jury chose Graham’s resounding anthem “I am Iron, I am Steel” from among 30 finalists to win the prestigious award.

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When News Of The Area asked Graham how it felt to have won, he said, “I thought I had a small chance, but I wasn’t convinced I would pull off the best gong in such a field. competitive.

“When my name was announced it was very exciting and I have to say it was awesome.”

The song is about the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and when asked what inspired him to write the song, Graham replied, “Ned has always caught my eye and as an adult I thought about what his life would have been like at that time.

“During the shootout in Glenrowan, Ned Kelly left the building he was in on two occasions but returned to continue the fight.

“When he came back wearing his armor, he was heard shouting ‘I am iron, your bullets can’t hurt me,’ which inspired the song’s theme.”

Graham said it was one of the most complex songs he had ever written.

“It took me a while to get it exactly how I wanted it.

“I’m also proud of the song because it’s over five minutes long in a world of songs between two and a half and three and a half minutes.

“So to hold a listener for that long, it had to be good.”

Graham Howle fans will notice that the song also forced him to push his limits vocally, and the power of his voice on this song reaches new territory for him.

Graham told News Of The Area, “I would now like to delve into co-writing to take my writing to new levels through collaboration.”

That wasn’t the only award Graham picked up at the ASA Awards.

In the Comedy Novelty category, his song ‘James Squire’ won first place, his song ‘Upriver Cowboys’ was in the top 10 in the Country Music category, in the Folk Acoustic category ‘She’s my Change of Scenery’ won the third place and her song Maria also received Outstanding Merit from the jury.

To purchase a download of “I am Iron, I am Steel” and support this local songwriting champion, you can go to

By Mick Birtles

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