Of snakes, opals and Dolly Parton: Canberra-born country singer Victoria Edwards

Victoria Edwards remembers having to avoid snakes as she walked to school in the northern Canberra suburb of Macgregor.

Now a country singer, opal cutter and visual artist, she says she saw more snakes in Canberra than she has in far southwest Queensland, where she lives in the town of Windorah, population about 50.

It was a while ago, but among her memories of Canberra were shopping trips to Kippax, before her family sold up and moved to Quilpie to run a guesthouse – only to become victims of fraud. Fortunately, a chance meeting led to her father, and later Victoria, becoming opal cutters.

She also grew up on Dolly Parton albums, though when she started singing professionally she fought the urge to perform country music, thinking it uncool. But she now performs at gigs including at the Big Red Bash west of Birdsville. She’s released two albums and is planning a third.

Victoria Edwards talks to Richard about her life and music, with selections from her current album, Authentic