National Library of Australia
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The records of the Australian Folk Trust Inc. (AFT) consist of minutes, reports, administration and financial records, grant applications, conference papers and publications. The bulk of the records cover the period from 1988-1996 when an AFT office in Canberra was in operation. A smaller number of records predating that time period which were created and maintained by AFT employees and trustees based in various states date from 1974-1988. Some of the grant applications have supporting material in the form of reports, photographs and audiovisual material.
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3646063).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of the Australian Folk Trust Inc., National Library of Australia, MS 9969, [series/file number]'.
The records of the AFT were donated to the Library in 2002 by Phil Spring, Director of National Folk Festival Ltd at that time.
In the Oral History Collection are sound recordings of an AFT-sponsored public lecture by Dr Richard Kurin in 1992 and many oral histories and sound recordings relating to the National Folk Festival.
In the Pictures Collection are photographs of the National Folk Festival.
In the Manuscripts Collection, the Papers of Hugh Anderson (MS 6946) contain correspondence with the AFT.
The Library holds a number of works published by or with the assistance of the AFT, including National Folklore Conference proceedings. There are also incomplete sets of the AFT's serial publication, which had a number of titles including Journal, Newsletter and Australian Folk.
Order has been imposed on the collection by the Library, except for portions of Series 3 which were already arranged according to the AFT's classified filing system.
The Australian Folk Trust Inc. (AFT) grew out of the National Folk Trust Fund which was set up in 1966 to coordinate the national folk festivals which, until 1992, were held annually in different states. The AFT took responsibility for holding festival funds from year to year and ensuring their transfer to the host state organisation running each national festival. In 1974 the Music Board of the Australia Council granted the Trust $12000 to establish itself as the umbrella organisation for the state folk federations. Protracted negotiations led to a mutually acceptable constitution and the Trust was incorporated in South Australia in 1978.
Membership of the Trust was limited to organisations, largely the state and territory folk federations. Each state member body appointed a maximum of two representatives to serve on the Board of Trustees which managed, conducted and administered the affairs and general business of the Trust. Trustees served a two-year term, for which they received no remuneration except reimbursements for incidental expenses. Transport and accommodation costs associated with the Board's meetings each year were shared by the host and state organisations. A General Council, consisting of an appointed representative from each member organisation's committee and excluding trustees, met annually to oversee the work of the Board and to consider membership and policy matters. Annual General Meetings were held during the National Folk Festival each year. During the 1980s the AFT employed National and State Folk Arts Coordinators and a Secretary who were based in various states. A national office was set up in Canberra in 1987-88 and two staff appointed, a Director and Secretary to the Board (later Administrator).
The objectives of the AFT were the continued development of the National Folk Festival as the premiere event of the Australian folk arts calendar, to be a central representative body for its members in relations with government bodies and other organisations, and to raise funds for the purpose of collecting, preserving, promoting, encouraging and disseminating the folk arts.
The Trust achieved its objectives largely through a grants devolution scheme (DGS) using funding from the Music Board of the Australia Council to assist folk music events and recording and collecting projects for which it received applications, as well as a major folk fellowship. To encourage other areas of the folk arts (dance, craft and multi-arts projects) the Trust also applied for and received funds from the Community Arts Board. The AFT published a number of serials and monographs, including Australian folk resources : a select guide and preliminary bibliography (1983), the AFT Journal and an annual folk directory. The Trust also organised or helped fund a biennial folklore conference. Whilst the Board focused on devolving grants, the Coordinators and Director roles included political lobbying, writing submissions (eg for the National Folklife Inquiry of 1986) and liaison with international folklore organisations.
The AFT continued to oversee the allocation of management of the annual National Folk Festival to a state member body each year. By 1992, however, it had become clear that the state organisations were struggling to organise and fund the festival and that its financial viability was at risk. The Trust took over responsibility for running the festival and made the decision to permanently locate it in Canberra. In 1993 a not for profit company limited by guarantee was set up, National Folk Festival Ltd (NFF Ltd), and protracted negotiations with stakeholders produced a memorandum of understanding to protect genuine national governance of the Festival. NFF then assumed ongoing responsibility for the festival.
In 1996 the AFT wound up its affairs, with residual funds passing to Folk Alliance Australia, an organisation set up c. 1995 and modelled on the US Folk Alliance with aims to foster the folk arts in Australia. The AFT's records were transferred to NFF Ltd.
The Australian Folk Trust Inc. was incorporated in 1978. Its objectives were to: continue the development of the National Folk Festival (NFF) as the premiere event of the Australian folk calendar; to be a central representative body for its state folk organisation members in relations with government and other bodies; and to raise funds for the purpose of collecting, preserving, promoting, encouraging and disseminating the folk arts. The Trust achieved its objectives through oversight of the NFF which was run by a different state each year until 1992, publication of a journal and annual directory, running or assisting with a biennial folklore conference and devolving grant money received from the Australia Council to fund folk arts projects.
Australian Folk Trust. 'The rules of the Australian Folk Trust Incorporated. Revised July 1991'
McJannett, Colin. 'Memo to all AFT Trustees and affiliated bodies', 1996
Seal, Graham. 'Letter to Anne', 1982[?]
This is an artificial series created by bringing together files and loose copies of agendas, reports, minutes and related documents for AFT Board, Executive, AGM and Council meetings. Accordingly they are not a complete set of the AFT's meeting records, excepting Files 12-17, which were the AFT office copies of minutes of all meetings between 1988 and 1995. Minutes for 1985 were not received with the records. For a copy of a report on 1985 activities see Series 2, File 12.
Includes transcript of discussion on the future of the National Folk Festival and a discussion paper on changes to the AFT.
Includes transcript of discussion on the future of the National Folk Festival.
Includes publications, planning notes for the AFT and National Folk Festival (NFF), Trustees' comments on a NFF proposal, NFF sub-committee report to the AFT 1992 and a Trustee's information package.
Includes notes from a facilitated session on the future of the AFT 1994 and National Folk Festival reports 1993-4.
This series contains what appear to have largely been the working files of the AFT's National Coordinators between 1985-1987, Val Hastings, Isabel Margrett and Bob Petchell. Those attributed to Hastings were in a box marked 'AFT history' when received by the Library. With the papers attributed to Margrett and Petchell were some clearly marked as those of Executive Officer Geri Lobl (Files 7-10), which include correspondence and reports for grants from the period 1984-1985. Files of minutes which were originally with these administration files have been relocated to Series 1, Files 6-7. See Series 3 for later administration records.
Includes a letter and other texts explaining the AFT's origins and a proposed logo design.
Includes state folk federation constitutions and proposed AFT constitutions.
Includes correspondence and applications relating to the positions of State and National Folk Arts Coordinators and Administrator and statements on 'Folk arts in the community'.
Includes grant application lists 1984, correspondence and grant reports, including one from John Meredith.
National Folk Arts Coordinator reports, correspondence, a submission for funding and a paper by Phyl Lobl, 'Defining folk arts'.
Includes a history of the AFT published in the 1982-83 Folk Directory, photographs of a a bullockies reenactment, proceedings of the 1st National Folklore Conference 1984 and copies of articles on folklore and folklife.
Mainly reports on 'Arts in working life WA' project.
Mainly publicity material.
Detailed planning notes and report.
Mainly minutes of the Organizing Group for the Festival and Bicentenary Fair.
Files of the AFT. The classified order has been reconstructed by the Library using the explanatory list of categories and file titles located in File 1 in this Series. The system appears to have been created in 1988 at the time the AFT's office in Canberra was set up. The classes are: 100-199 administration; 200-299 membership; 300-399 programs; 400-499 government. Unnumbered files originally located amongst numbered files have either been left in place because they are clearly related to the surrounding files or have been relocated according to their number in the explanatory list based on the file title. Administration files which predate the classified filing system can be found in Series 2.
Filed with the list is a small amount of correspondence from 1995-6 regarding the future of the National Folk Festival, dispersal of Trust funds and a proposal to run the 8th National Folklore Conference in 1998.
These files were not originally located with the classified files. They contain correspondence relating to the winding up of the AFT as well as copies of the AFT's Rules.
File 65 is entitled 'Multicultural Arts Centre of WA'.
File 85 is entitled 'Jenny Gall's papers'.
File 101 entitled 'Australian Folklife Centre - NMA grant in aid'.
Includes files entitled 'Lobbying and funding crisis 1994', 'Lobbying and funding business' and 'Letters asking for support for grants'.
Three ledger books recording the AFT's receipts and expenditure for the period.
1 folio item
Grant money received by the AFT from the Australia Council Boards was allocated by the AFT Board to projects, artists and groups under a number of different forms of devolved grants schemes: the Multicultural Dance Program, Folkloric Dance Program, Folklife Grants Program and AFT Fellowships. Each year there were two rounds of allocations. The applications include large numbers from dance groups and many from state and local folk organisations to fund festival events.
The applications for 1989 were in no discernible order and remain largely as they were received. They include supporting material, correspondence with grant recipients regarding overdue reports and summaries of applications. Only successful applications from 1990 were retained by the AFT. From 1991 the applications were filed in ring files and most files commenced with a summary list and other documentation relating to the applications contained in the ring file. The applications have been relocated to archival files and the summary lists have been filed in separate files at the beginning of the run of applications to which they refer. The order of the applications has been retained, generally successful interfiled with unsuccessful ones and with several filed in each archival file. The 1994 and 1995 applications were separated into two distinct numbering ranges - Folklife Grants Program (FGP) and Multicultural Dance Program (MDP). Accordingly in these years the applications are arranged into separate runs of FGP and MDP applications, with FGP first. Separate lists and memoranda relating to grants from 1990-1993 and additional supporting material for applications in 1991-1994 are filed at the end of the series.
Includes lists, memoranda and faxes to Trustees and a transcript of a teleconference about 1993 grants.
Includes applicants' reports and the Director's report to a 1993 meeting.
More detail on case
Compact cassette tape
Sony HF 60
Includes audio and videocassettes.
More info on tape and on paper stored with tape
Consumer formats - VHS, S-VHS etc.
Please return to aade (sa) inc.
The AFT organised or helped fund biennial folklore conferences during its years of operation. This series consists of papers relating to the second and third conferences of 1986 and 1988 respectively. The 1986 records included two large bundles of papers containing correspondence with performers and speakers and conference papers. These have been placed in runs of archival files and numbered accordingly eg part 1 of 3. The conference papers are arranged alphabetically by speaker. For further records relating to the National Folklore Conferences, see Series 2, File 17 and Series 3, Files 35 and 68-70.
Includes a delegates list, correspondence, budgets, meeting minutes, publicity material and sponsorship records.
Incoming and outgoing mail registers for AFT correspondence. The correspondence was not filed in chronological order and can be found throughout Series 3.
Publications of the AFT and state member bodies. The official serial publication of the AFT had a number of different titles, including Journal, Newsletter, Magazine and Australian Folk. Whilst for the most part the Journal appellation occurred between 1978-87 and Newsletter and Australian Folk from 1988-96 and the two had different ISSNs, the serials have been filed in a continuous run by the Library as they appear to have served the same function for the AFT. See also Series 3, Files 28-30 for file copies of some of the newsletters. A more complete set of the serial can be accessed via the National Library catalogue under its variant titles.
Includes state folk directories, festival programs and and AFT brochure.