Festival Management

The National Folk Festival is a not-for-profit organisation 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 team 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 2018 – 2019

  • President: Dr Jacqueline Bradley is a folk musician, professional artist and university lecturer. She joined the NFF board in 2011, chaired the marketing committee from 2013 – 2018, served as vice-president from 2017 – 2018 and became president at the 2018 AGM. In her art practice, Jacqueline exhibits nationally and internationally and is a lecturer in the Sculpture workshop at the ANU School of Art and Design. Her work is held in private collections nationally, and she has been recipient of a range of residencies, awards and prizes. In her music practice, Jacqueline performs and tours nationally with a variety of bands, and has taught folk music in schools and privately. Her passion for the folk community and dedication to the festival drive her commitment to the future of the
  • Vice President: Graham Chalker, B. Ec., Dip AICD – Had a long career working in industry/government relations and association governance. His roles included CEO Australia Mobile Telecommunications Association, Convenor Food Industry Council, Executive Director of the Australian Manufacturers’ Export Council and Company Secretary Australian Food Foundation. He was for a short time General Manager of Sing Australia. He has represented industry on a range of Federal Government Advisory boards. Most importantly he has been singing and playing Australian bush music for over 4 decades. Graham was an NFF Board member from 2006-13, including 6 years as Company Secretary.
  • Secretary: David Gilks, LLB (ANU), BEc (ANU). David is a manager with experience in strategic policy and operational delivery roles both in Australia and overseas. He is a folk musician, dancer and dance caller. He has participated in the Festival as a patron, volunteer and performer and was the Festival’s Ticket Office Area Coordinator for four Festivals (2009 – 12).
  • 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: 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.
  • Member: Stephen Gallacher, B.Acc, C.A. – Originally hailing from Scotland, Stephen is a Chartered Accountant with over twenty-five years of experience in the not-for-profit sector at senior levels including CEO and CFO in community and hospitality organisations. Whilst being a long-standing supporter of performing arts including traditional music and dance, Stephen and his family have recently become more active as participants in the Australian folk festival community. He is looking forward to contributing to his favourite event in the festival calendar. Stephen joined the board in October 2018.
  • Member: Chris Grange, BA (UNSW), MCom Finance (UOW) – Chief Operating Officer of the Australian National University, a role he has held since 2013.  Prior to that he had an equivalent role at the University of Wollongong.  Chris is responsible for financial, facilities, IT, Library, human resources, legal and many other functions at the University.  A regular attendee of the National Folk Festival since his arrival in Canberra, Chris, his wife and his 5 children have strong musical interests, including playing and performing together.
  • Member: Helen Ludellen BA (ANU) has worked in the cultural and IT sectors, (National Film and Sound Archive, Wizard Information Services, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, Australian Parliament House Art Collection), for over 25 years on the development and administration of collection management databases and collection digitisation projects.  Aside from being a volunteer at other folk festivals, she has been a volunteer co-ordinator at the National Folk Festival since 2008 and has been organising the Mountaingrass bluegrass and old time music festival since 2013.
  • Member: Judy Turner – Judy Turner worked over 40 years in fundraising, arts project management, grant making, community development and violin teaching. She currently runs her own fundraising consultancy and develops community music projects in the regional area of Victoria where she lives. A regular performer at the National Folk Festival both as founder and director of the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club and with various bands (Paradiddle, Captain Moonlight, The Bruce Brothers, New Dogs Old Tricks, Neil Adam and Judy Turner), Judy is a passionate folkie.

Our Staff

  • Managing Director: Helen Roben
  • Business Manager: Ruby Hudson
  • Artistic Director: Pam Merrigan
  • Event Operations Manager: Patrice Wallace
  • Finance & Accounts: Piya Pattamaranggoon
  • Stalls & Community Arts Manager: Sam Barrett
  • Volunteer Manager: Rebekka Ambroz
  • Event Infrastructure & Resource Supervisor: Amy Whiting

Core Contractors

  • Program Administrator / Design & Publications: Jess Henderson
  • Publicist: Kylie Cobb Trading as Kitty Kitty Bang Bang

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


2017-2018 Annual Report

2017-2018 Financial Report

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


Refund Policy (pdf)

Privacy and Disclosure of Personal Information Policy (pdf)