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 2015 – 2016
- 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 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 the past five years she has 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.
- Member: David Whitney – David’s working career includes arts management experience with the Adelaide Festival; General Manager, Riverland Region Cultural Trust (S.A); Director, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs; Director, Canberra Theatre Centre and Director, artsACT (the ACT Government Arts Policy and Funding program).
Responsibilities included oversight of budgets, programming and patron engagement including direct management of national and international artists and performers.
David was introduced to the folk movement through Radio5UV in 1983 when South Australia hosted the National. He has been a regular attender in Canberra since 1999.
David volunteered as a bus driver for the 2016 National, and joined the Board the same year.
David is the Chair of the Governance Committee of the National Folk Festival.
- Member: Peter Bayliss – Chair of the National Folk Festival Finance Committee
- Festival & Artistic Director: Pam Merrigan
- Production Manager: Amy Whiting
- Office & Special Events Manager: Ruby Hudson
- IT Manager: Kim Navin
- Program Administrator: Karlie Megay
- Finance & Accounts: Piya Pattamaranggoon
- Stalls Officer: Jayne Simon
- Volunteer Manager: Sarah Boyd
- Design & Publications: Jess Henderson
- Publicist: this position is currently vacant
- 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