Karen’s story

At the heart of Karen’s story is a wish to connect, move people through song and open up people’s hearts. Karen values holding an awareness of all perspectives that make up our way of understanding reality so we can make our time here on earth meaningful, respectful and beautiful.

Her belief is that everyone has a story worth telling that gives context to the whole story of humanity, that the natural world is precious and we urgently need stewards to honour it. She believes this story is worth singing about and sharing. In an age of selfies, click-bait, brevity and time-poorness with constant “connectedness in the digital world”, our minds are fed on a fast-food diet of ‘content’ with little nourishment. Karen’s trusted brand built up over four decades of touching people’s hearts is the antithesis of this.

Through her rich experience of performance and song writing, Karen sings her truth connecting with the richness of stories touching people’s hearts. She offers ways for people to truly connect with the natural world, and opens windows to worlds beyond words that touch and enlighten souls.

Through all she does in the world, Karen enables us to take some time out to reflect, to reconnect and nourish our true essence. To perceive, to open a window. To feel something.

Time spent with Karen as a singer, coach or event facilitator is an enriching experience that has many ongoing ripple effects. She works with individuals to open their self expression and creates and nurtures communities to thrive and heal through transitions. She has been recording since 1980 and continues to create new music that is informed by a listening ear to the world. 

Karen’s album Solid Ground was officially launched at the Inland Sea of Sound Festival NSW in February 2020 as a celebration of the gift of the recording of Min Mia’s sacred indigenous songs of the Wirradjirri people – it is a gift by Min Mia to all Australian women and is such an honour for Karen to have been asked by Min Mia to record these songs.

Her latest album Sanctuary commencing with the beautiful Morning has broken and following on with a collection of songs specially curated to bring listeners into a sanctuary through music is available here

You can see further details of the various offers here on the site (coaching & community offers).

If you would like to engage with Karen more deeply about her creative processes and support the creation of her future new music consider joining Karen’s community and become one of Karen’s patrons via Patreon – further details are here

If you have any queries at all or would like to be in touch with Karen about a project &/or collaboration, feel free to contact Karen here


“I’d like to congratulate you Karen for your new release Solid Ground. It is a terrific piece of art”

– Therese Virtue, OAM, The Boîte World Music Cafe, Melbourne, Australia

“I would like to congratulate you on your new CD Solid Ground. I ordered my copy a few weeks ago and it arrived just in time for our Australia Day celebrations, which I found most appropriate. We used it as the soundtrack for our day, which consisted of a family and friends BBQ. I first listened to it in my car and immediately felt a connection to it. The words are deeply meaningful and I feel your connection to Mother Earth which also makes me feel a connection too. I already love nature as I do a lot of bushwalking and hiking for fitness reasons but your CD has bought it to another level. I can’t decide which song is my favourite as I hear something else in each song every time I listen to it  which is everyday as it stays in my car but ‘The Birds’ and the title track are pretty special. I just felt like letting you know that you’ve done an astounding job on this CD.”

– M Rasheed


“I’m on the last song of listening to the ‘Sanctuary’ album this morning and receiving rememberings in EVERY song. I don’t think I have ever loved an album as much before. It’s a masterpiece of love, and deep healing for what feels like the land to me and for all Australians. There’s an audio medicine that feels like a calming balm, melting pain away with a hug from the mother herself … What a beautiful piece of work and a privilege to receive. Thank you Thank you Thank you!
– Tegan Rein

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Karen Knowles is an Australian born singer and performer, a lawyer, inventor, entrepreneur, humanitarian and has been involved in the reconciliation movement in Australia since 1995.

Commencing her performance career on Young Talent Time and then soon after as a recording artist and live performer her career now spans over 40 years.

Karen Knowles has been recording since 1980 when she was signed with Ron Tudor’s Fable label. Karen has received gold and platinum awards in Australia and also has released recordings in the United Kingdom (Why won’t you explain), and Malaysia (You are the Reason). She recorded Moonglow in the United States for a worldwide release.

Karen was the highest selling female recording artist in Australia for two consecutive years. While concurrently maintaining her solo career, she was invited to join as lead singer of legendary Australian folk group “The Seekers” and toured with the group nationally and internationally for two years.

Joined by the group’s main song writer Bruce Woodley and the National Boys Choir she recorded the original version of the much loved song “I Am Australian”. She received a nomination for a Green Room Award for best supporting actress in a musical for her role as Mary Jane Wilks in the hugely successful 18 month run of “Big River”.

Her recording credits include: “Why won’t you explain”, (Fable/Polygram/EMI/PRT(UK)WEA)(gold record(Aust)), “You are the Reason (platinum recording) (Fable/Polygram/EMI), “Loves us all” (gold recording), “A Night of Carols” with the Australian Girls Choir, “By Request”, “On a clear day”, “Moonglow” (VTL (USA)).

Karen performs regularly in her own solo concerts at Arts Centres and venues around Australia. Her career has spanned all forms of performance – recording, music theatre, live performance, television and theatrical credits (Melbourne Theatre Company, Chamber Made Opera) and has more recently included work within community engagement and social innovation.

Karen has received many awards and nominations during her career as a performer including an Australian Humanitarian Award for her Services to the Arts and was appointed by the Reconciliation Council as an Inaugural Ambassador for Reconciliation. In addition to many awards for her recordings, she has acted as patron to the Australian Girls Choir and to Breaking the Cycle (a program designed to break the cycle of welfare dependency in disadvantaged youth).

Karen Knowles with Judith Durham and the Choir of Hard Knocks at a performance at the Vodafone Arena Melbourne
Karen Knowles’ first gold record – Why Won’t You Explain
Some of Karen’s performance career highlights

Awards and Credits Awards / Nominations

  • Australian Humanitarian Awards Nomination in the Arts and Entertainment Category for Services to the Arts
  • Green Room Awards Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for “Big River”
  • TV Week/Countdown Rock Awards Nomination for Best New Talent
  • B&T Record Award (predecessor to the ARIAs) for Best New Artist Album
  • B&T Record Award for Best Pop Single
  • US Ampex Golden Reel Award for “You Are The Reason”
  • US Ampex Golden Reel Award for “Loves Us All”

Patron / Ambassador

Inaugural Ambassador for Reconciliation (appointed by the Reconciliation Council Canberra

Joint national patron of “Breaking the cycle” (together with cricket legend Max Walker)

Patron of the Australian Girls Choir

Karen Knowles – Australia’s singer & songwriter

Newest Releases – Solid Ground and Sanctuary2019 saw Karen releasing her 7th studio album Solid Ground which features songs written by Karen (three songs in conjunction with other co-writers) and accompanied by musicians Michael Kokinos (guitars, harp) and Caerwen Martin (cello). Authorised sacred songs from the Wirradjirri indigenous people of New South Wales (Australia) are also featured on this recording including spoken word introductions by Wirradjirri elder and lore carrier Min Mia.

Also released in 2019 is Karen Knowles In Concert a music video, a full live in concert performance recorded at one of the oldest theatres in Australia, the Capital Theatre in Bendigo in September 2019.

Karen’s latest release is Sanctuary designed to create a relaxing and reflective space. Featuring the classic Morning has broken and many songs written by Karen as a response to her experience in the natural world while touring Australia so many people have been touched by the new music and are truly loving the new songs. “It’s so relaxing – gives me space to breathe” is some of the feedback so far. You can order the Sanctuary CD here or download the Sanctuary recording here

Your favourite tunes: All Karen Knowles musical hits and favourites, including special editions released on CD By Request and On a clear day, a live DVD From the heart and Karen’s most recent work Solid Ground released in 2019 are available directly through Karen’s store here.

Delivery: For physical items please allow 14 days for delivery or choose the digital download option. 

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