Legendary Seekers lead singer Judith Durham had Greek heritage

The recent passing of Judith Durham, the lead singer of the legendary band The Seekers saw tributes flowing from all over the world, including from the Australian Prime Minister who praised the late Australian artist.
"Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists," said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Twitter.
"Her kindness will be missed by many, the anthems she gave to our nation will never be forgotten."
 Meanwhile, it has been suggested that in fact Durham had a Greek heritage.
According to Australian historian Leonard Janiszewski from Macquarie University, Judith Durham’s maternal great grandfather was Cretan - Antoni Dimitri Pannicca", a fact published in his book "In her own image: Greek-Australian women - beyond the stereotypes" by L. Janiszewski & E. Alexakis, Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand), 2006, pp. 269-170.


Judith Durham AO was an Australian singer, songwriter and musician who became the lead singer of the Australian popular folk music group the Seekers in 1963.

The group became the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States and have sold over 50 million records worldwide. Durham left the group in mid 1968 to pursue her solo career. In 1993, Durham began to make sporadic recordings and performances with the Seekers, though she remained primarily a solo performer. On 1 July 2015, she was named Victorian of the Year for her services to music and a range of charities.

On 21 November 1969, Durham married her musical director, British pianist Ron Edgeworth,  at Scots' Church in Melbourne.

They lived in the UK and Switzerland until the mid-1980s when they bought property in Nambour, Queensland. In 1990, Durham, Edgeworth and their tour manager, Peter Summers, were involved in a car accident on the Calder Freeway. The driver of the other car died at the scene and Durham sustained a fractured wrist and leg. The response from her fans made Durham consider getting back together with the other members of the Seekers for a Silver Jubilee show. During this reunion Edgeworth was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He died on 10 December 1994 with Durham by his side.

In the late 1990s, Durham was stalked by a former president of a Judith Durham fan club,  a woman who sent her dozens of doormats through the post. The woman was subsequently prosecuted, and was later imprisoned for other serial crimes.

In 2000, Durham broke her hip and was unable to sing The Carnival is Over at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with the Seekers. However, she sang it from a wheelchair at the 2000 Paralympics shortly after.

In May 2013, during the Seekers' Golden Jubilee tour, Durham suffered a stroke that diminished her ability to read and write—both visual language and musical scores. During her convalescence, she made progress to rebuild those skills. Her singing ability was not affected by the stroke.

Durham died after suffering from bronchiectasis, a chronic lung disease, at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne on 5 August 2022, aged 79.