The National Folk Festival is a limited-liability not-for-profit company formed for the purpose of presenting the event. It has a volunteer Board of Directors with a broad range of skills and experience which is elected from amongst members of the Company. Company members are current and past Board members, and current and past appointed Directors of the event. Almost all Board members have served in a volunteer and core volunteer capacity before serving on the Board.

The Board appoints a small core of paid staff, who organise another small team of core office volunteers and key contractors. This small crew of paid staff, core office volunteers and key contractors manage the entire event, including the program, with the large team of volunteer Coordinators and volunteers.


To deliver an annual National Folk Festival that offers a wide range of engagement in the folk arts, and a high level of participation for its attendees.

To ensure the event is safe, culturally relevant, creative and enduring with a strong sense of community.


The National Folk Festival will be a nationally recognised, annual exposition and celebration of folk culture.

Core Values:

  • Respect – for our traditional and contemporary folk culture; for one another.
  • Inclusiveness – openness to diverse participation, respecting personal contribution and effort.
  • Teamwork – common goals, different roles, collaborative action, shared accountability and rewards.
  • Professionalism – good governance and management, honesty, integrity and transparency.


Board of Directors 2017 – 2018

  • President: Gabrielle Mackey, BA (University of Newcastle), LLM (specialising in International Law) (ANU). Lawyer with both private and public sector experience and specialist knowledge in copyright law. Dancer of various folk styles. Festival Dance Program Coordinator 1998-2001. First joined the Board in December 2001 and served until November 2008, rejoining again in September 2010.
  • Vice President: Jacqueline Bradley, BA (Hons) Visual Arts – ANU. Jacqueline Bradley is a folk musician, professional artist and university lecturer. She teaches at the ANU school of art, as well as through CMAG and VAA. She has been involved in organising and promoting arts exhibitions, events and lectures, and chairs the gallery committee at ANCA Gallery. In her other life, Jacqueline plays and teaches trad folk music.  Jacqueline joined the board of the NFF in 2011. Jacqueline chairs the Board’s Marketing & Communications Committee.
  • Secretary: Ronald Brent – Ron Brent has extensive senior government administration experience. For 10 years Ron was the Director of the National Film and Sound Archive and then Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman for seven years with a stint as acting Commonwealth Ombudsman in 2010.  He was Australia’s first Aircraft Noise Ombudsman and is currently the Chair of the Australian Research Integrity Committee.  A loyal National Folk Festival supporter and attendee since 1992, Ron joined the NFF Board in November 2013. As well as being Company Secretary, Ron in on the Board’s Governance and Finance Committees.
  • Festival Director: Pam Merrigan, MMus – UNSW. Pam is a music educator, professional & folk musician and radio broadcaster with extensive experience in music arts, education and arts production and management. Pam has had a life long and passionate engagement with the folk arts including working on both the Newcastle and Wagga Wagga Folk Festivals and, as Artistic Director of Turning Wave Festival. Pam was engaged as Artistic Program Manager, NFF in 2012 and joined the Board when she became Festival Director in July 2013.
  • Member: Graham McDonald – Sound Archivist at the National Film & Sound Archive
    Graham is a former Board member 1992-1997, NFF Program Manager 2001-2005 and briefly Festival Director in 2004. He rejoined the Board in 2012.
  • Member: Peter Williams – Peter (PJ) Williams has over 30 years experience in the areas of Live Music / Theatre / Events and Media.  PJ is a long time National Folk Festival attendee and supporter and for 6 years (2003-9) was Producer and Production Coordinator for the ABC’s live broadcasts from the National Folk Festival. PJ joined the NFF Board in November 2013
  • Member: Rob Thorman -MA Environmental Planning – Macquarie Uni. Rob has over 30 years professional experience within Government and the private sector, currently working with the ACT Government. A keen supporter of live music, Rob was an active member of the Canberra Musicians Club (CMC) since its formation in 2008, and was president for 5 years. Rob has fully immersed himself in the National Folk Festival, camping with family and friends for the duration of most festivals over the last decade. Rob joined the Board in 2015.
  • Member: Jocelyn Vasey – Jocelyn Vasey has worked in a variety of roles in education, as a teacher in primary, secondary, TAFE and university sectors and in senior management roles focussed on special education, recruitment and performance management, and vocational education and training. For five years she worked as the Stalls Coordinator for the National Folk Festival and as an education consultant and researcher. She is a long-term supporter of the Festival as both a volunteer and participant and is currently chair of the Board Staffing Committee.
  • Member: Genevieve Jacobs – Genevieve has been a journalist for 30 years, working in print and radio. She is the former Mornings presenter for ABC Canberra reporting on everything from federal and local politics to human interest stories, and drawing on a deep understanding of her community. She works with a wide range of organisations including the Tara Costigan Foundation, and Gift of Life ACT, sits on the ACT’s advisory committee for historic places and the boards of the National Folk Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, M16 artspace and Conflict Resolution Service. Genevieve has an enduring interest in building and strengthening community engagement.

Core Staff

  • Festival & Artistic Director: Pam Merrigan
  • Operations Manager: Amy Whiting
  • Office & Special Events Manager: Ruby Hudson
  • Program Administrator: this position is currently vacant
  • Finance & Accounts: Piya Pattamaranggoon
  • Stalls Officer: Jayne Simon
  • Volunteer Manager: Natasha King

Core Contractors

  • Design & Publications: Jess Henderson
  • Publicist: this position is currently vacant
  • Operations: this position is currently vacant

Governance Charter

The primary governance document for National Folk Festival Limited is the Company Constitution.  The Constitution states the purpose of the Company [to promote, organise and conduct annually the National Folk Festival], the objectives for holding the Festival and sets out rules regarding Membership of the Company, the Board of Directors, meetings and other matters.

The structure, roles, functions and processes of the Board of Directors is set out in the NFF Governance Charter, including financial governance.

A copy of the National Folk Festival Ltd Constitution can be downloaded by clicking on this link – National Folk Festival Limited Constitution

A copy of the Governance Charter can be downloaded by clicking on this link – National Folk Festival Limited Governance Charter

Strategic Plan

2017-2020 Strategic Plan

Annual Reports


2016-2017 Annual Report

2016-2017 Financial Report

2015-2016 Annual Report

2015-2016 Financial Report

2014-2015 Annual Report

2014-2015 Financial Report


2013-2014 Annual Report

2013-2014 Financial Report

2012-2013 Annual Report

2012-2013 Financial Report


NFF Financial Report 2011-2012

2010-2011 Annual Report

2010-2011 Financial Report

2009-2010 Annual Report

2008-2009 Annual Report (zip file)

A Snapshot of the National Folk Festival 2008-2009

2006-2007 Annual Report


A copy of the NFF Refund Policy can be accessed or downloaded on this link – Refund Policy

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Important Dates

2019 Volunteer Applications
Open Nov 1

2019 Performer Applications
Open 2 July 2018

2019 Stalls Applications
Open 1 Aug

2019 Instrument Maker Applications