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May 11, 2019


May 2019

Occasional Newsletter of the Australian Folklore Network

Edited by Graham Seal

and on Facebook at Australian Folklore Network


The 14thAFN conference was, as always, well attended, with around sixty registrants and a few casual drop-ins.

Papers and presenters included:

Yvette Staelens – Cornwall to Kadina with Twenty-Six Cornish Carols

Dave de Hugard – The Forgotten Mudgee Waltz

Mark Gregory – The Cyprus Brig and other folkloric finds (Presented by Margaret Walters)

Graham McDonald  – The Death of Frank Gardiner

Kerith Power – The First Australian Women’s Songbook

Heather Clarke – Rediscovering a Lost Convict Culture

Emma Nixon – Scottish Ceilidhs in Brisbane

We also enjoyed a panel session on the future of folk in Australia and the lunchtime concert featured the songs of Tasmanian singer/composer,Theresa (Teri) Young. This also attracted a large and appreciative audience.

As always, we thank our presenters and our partners, the National Library and the National Folk Festival, for their ongoing support. Next year will be the fifteenth event and we’d like to do something special, so let us know if you have any thoughts.

The panel discussion on the future of folk – whether performance, research, collection, archiving, etc. – came up with several suggestions – one was that, whatever else it might turn out to be, the future is digital. The AFN membership has not been heavily oriented to the world of social and digital media. We have a Facebook page and a blog, but they are not well patronised, raising the question of whether we should close them down. Perhaps a topic for next year?

Another idea was for the AFN to undertake projects. In the past, we have run a number, including publishing a selection of conference papers, but there may well be things a volunteer network of enthusiasts could do, perhaps in partnership with other organisations. 


On the subject of the digital world, here are some sites that do attract a fair bit of interest, nationally and internationally, suggesting that they do have some appeal to people with similar interests to AFN members. Tell us if you know of any others.

Australian Folk & Roots Music Forum –

Verandah Music –

Podcast – Tales from Rat City

Folklore Thursday – operates primarily through Twitter)

Dust to digital –

Must be lots more. If you know of any, send them in.


Just published – Games, Rhymes, and Wordplay of London Children by Nigel Kelseyat:

Centre for English Traditional Heritage


Graham Seal (Convenor) and the AFN committee:

Gwenda Davey

Jenny Gall

Graham McDonald

Rob Willis

Kevin Bradley

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