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.
- 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: 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.
- 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: TBA
- 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: 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: 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: 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.
- Festival & Artistic Director: Pam Merrigan
- Operations Manager: Amy Whiting
- Office & Special Events Manager: Ruby Hudson
- Finance & Accounts: Piya Pattamaranggoon
- Stalls & Community Arts Managerr: Castaly Haddon
- Volunteer Manager: Natasha King
- Program Administrator / Design & Publications: Jess Henderson
- Publicist: Kylie Cobb Trading as Kitty Kitty Bang Bang
- Operations: this position is currently vacant
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
2006-2007 Annual Report
A copy of the NFF Refund Policy can be accessed or downloaded on this link – Refund Policy