Celebrated as the voice of rural Australia, Slim died at the family’s Sydney home on September 19, 2003, following a lengthy cancer battle.
His adored wife Joy, who penned many of Slim’s greatest hits including Lights on the Hill, passed away in May this year, aged 93.
“It’s been hard,” Anne says with a sigh.
An award-winning musician herself, the mother of two is proudly maintaining the Kirkpatrick/McKean tradition.
“With both of them gone, it really is the end of an era, but we do have wonderful memories,” she adds.
From the age of two, Anne travelled from gig to gig with Slim and Joy.
Even when she and younger brother David were sent to boarding school, going “home for the holidays” meant rejoining the family caravan wherever it might be – like Kalgoorlie or Far North Queensland!
“I remember sitting in the back of the car,” Anne says. “Mum and Dad were always so energetic, still young, talking about their plans for the next show, or the year ahead."
"It was a huge adventure, and they were in it together for around 50 years.”
The son of a “fair dinkum” cattle farmer, Slim was a runaway success from the moment A Pub With No Beer became a hit in 1957.
It was the first Australian single to go gold and the first, and only, 78rpm record to be awarded a gold disc.
His homespun version of Waltzing Matilda followed and was beamed to Earth from the Columbia space shuttle in 1981.
Slim also performed it at the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony.
“We were immensely proud,” recalls Anne.
“It’s incredible to think about Dad’s iconic career. Starting out as a boy wanting to escape a tiny dairy farm, he ended up playing for a worldwide TV audience of 2.4 billion people!”
He and Joy not only helped establish the Tamworth Country Music Festival, but also blazed a trail, Anne says.
“They inspired so many other younger Australian country music artists like Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers and Morgan Evans, who have made it big overseas. Mum was a pioneer in proving that you could have kids and a career.”
It’s an example Anne has been proud to follow. Brother David is also a gifted singer-songwriter and her son, James Arneman, plays with his wife Flora in a Melbourne-based band, Small Town Romance.
But family aside, to Anne her father’s greatest legacy is the songs.
“That’s what will live on,” she says smiling.