West Australian Folk Federation (WAFF)

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West Australian Folk Federation Webpages

WELCOME to the webpages of the West Australian Folk Federation (WAFF)

WAFF was incorporated in 1974. It has served the state entire, and particularly the Perth Metro area, for over four decad es.  WAFF is working now to reinvigorate itself and redefine its role as a leader in promotion of folk arts in Western Australia.  In the coming months we promise many new and exciting developments.  Join us as we work to elevate understanding and appreciation for folk music, poetry, dance, and story-telling.

      John Ralph, WAFF Chairman

Current WAFF Affiliated Folk Clubs


WAFF supports new and existing WA Folk Clubs through 'affiliation.'  Affiliated clubs can receive benefits though WAFF insurance and APRA license fees.  Affiliated clubs are asked to pay WAFF a small membership fee yearly to help cover the Federation's expenses for club licenses coverage.  WAFF can and sometimes does help with managing clubs and finding performers.

If you would like to start a folk club (especially in the Perth Metro Area) we are here to help you!

Currently two clubs are now officially affiliated with WAFF -


Wanneroo Folk Club

2nd Friday of every Month 8 pm
Friday 12th August

Another excellent night's entertainment with a great attendance. Our MC for the evening was El Presidente of the WAFF John Ralph fresh from his overseas trip. (Jamie is still away on tour). Rob Oats was on Sound and Treasurer Terry Bonnet managed the door. 

Mel Nerva got the evening off to a laid back start with a medley of songs "From the Islands" accompanying himself on the guitar and ukelele. (Mel started his career in Singapore before eventually ending up in Perth as an accountant but got a leisure-time job singing and playing at Miss Maud's. Some of the musical groups Mel was previously involved with were the Hawaiian Band The Star Gazers and Mel's Tropical Steel.) The crowd joined in with such favourites as Yellow Bird, Brazil, Songs of the Islands and Listen to the Ocean. Mel augmented his singing (with some very nice falsetto) with some lovely whistling. We can thank John "Harmonica" Elkington for introducing Mel to the club and we hope to see & hear more of him in the future.

The next act featured Helen & Tony Madigan from Mandurah. Helen came on stage with a big blonde hair-do, a big black hat and a big voice. Helen accompanied herself with guitar and husband Tony played some lovely bass. After over-coming some early sound glitches, they gave us a great version of the old standard Freight Train, followed by Do Your Duty Blues (featuring Helen's striking voice to perfection), and the great Ewen MacColl song Thirty Foot Trailer (Farewell to the Life of a Rover). We hope they will make the trip up to the Wanneroo Club again.

Then it was time for the mighty Dingoes (or more correctly Dingo's Breakfast) fresh from their tour around the Top via Normanton & the Gulf Country. Their line-up was almost a reunion of the Mucky Duck Bush Band because on stage we had Roger Montgomery, John Angliss, Helen & Tony Madigan, Jamie Browne and Iris Jones. Their first bracket concentrated on the life and words of Fighting Jack Sorensen, the true-blue bush poet - boxer, shearer, miner and overlander. They gave us The Song of the State Battery; Glenburgh Station; the very amusing poem How We Cashed the Pig; Song of the Inland Rain; the poem The Banshee; and concluded with the rousing The Shemlock. John told us the sad and mysterious true story of Jack Sorensen's death/murder on a State Ship at sea off Queensland. Sounds like the plot of an Agatha Christie story.

Our German friend Anti von Klewitz returned to the club fully recovered from the flu which dogged her performance a month ago and she quickly won the audience over with her sunny personality and interesting material. Being the daughter of diplomats, Anti is certainly well-travelled and along the way she has picked up many different influences. On the night, Anti gave us a wonderful selection of mainly gypsy-style Hungarian folk tunes and songs. Anti enthralled the crowd with her fiddle  playing and stage presence and this was reflected later when her CD's flew off the desk at the back. Her songs were A Csitari; Szerelem-Szerelem; Lorincreve; Hora Mare (Rumanian), Keren Chave (Hungarian Gypsy song). One of the high-lights of the evening was the audience banter directed at John Ralph as he made ineffectual efforts to accompany Anti as she strummed, stroked, plucked, bowed and sang on a couple of numbers at the end of her bracket. A special mention also must be made of Don & Judith Shaw who were billeting Anti and accompanied her to the club. It turned out it was Judith's birthday as well. Don & Judith hold a special place in our hearts at the Wanneroo Folk Club because they founded the club and ran it for many, many years.

After the intermission and the wine-raffle, the Dingoes were back. They included more songs allowing audience participation songs. Their bracket started with a lovely Irish song played solo on the electric piano by Iris Jones. She followed this with The Water Is Wide which had the audience choir in full voice. The full group then gave us John Meredith's Mademoiselle from Armentieres (which was very fitting in the 100th anniversary year of Fromelles & Pozieres). This was followed by one the Dingoes' trademark items - an extended vitriolic Curse-in-Verse aimed at bankers. Brilliant! They followed this with Dirty Old Town; Inglewood Cocky; Now I'm Easy; Travelling a Down the Castlereagh (Banjo's version); Aragon/Belfast Mill; another Curse-in-Verse (this one aimed at our pollies) and finished their bracket and the evening's entertainment with a beautiful version of Roland Orzabal's haunting song from 1982: Mad World. 

Stay tuned for next month's line up on September 10th

Cnr Dorchester & Dugdale Sts, Warwick

 $10 (WAFF $8)

 Email: John Ralph johndralph@hotmail.com

Jackadder's Music Club                                             

 3rd Sunday of Every Month at 3 PM

August 21st


The prolific Irish composer Pete St John said many years ago that… “Songs are magic carpets. They can tell a story over and over again without boring the pants off the listener and maybe take us out of ourselves for a few moments of peaceful escapism”.

Fred Rea will take you on a magic carpet ride with his own songs and some of his favorites. With his Irish wit and melodic voice Fred is the complete entertainer. Fred writes and produces the monthly magazine The Irish Scene www.irishscene.com.au

He will perform some of the songs from the CD "Roses From the Heart". It commemorates the 25,566 convict women who were transported to Australia from Britain and Ireland from 1788 to 1853. As a unique memorial to these women thousands of bonnets were made and taken back to England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland where the convict women originally came from.

the Ragtime Mandolin duo SOMETHING DOING with Rachel Armstrong and Peter Grayling will also be performing at Jackadder's. Something Doing reflect the sparkling era of ragtime music in an authentic and beautifully articulated fashion. Using a combination of "golden era vintage mandolins and other instruments they weave tightly honed classic rags with original tunes and songs. The duo is playful and entertaining with excursion into the humouresque contrasted with moments of exquisite artistry. www.somethingdoingragtime.com. You'll also hear talented young performer Aisha Joyce with her stunning voice and fine guitar playing.


 Woodlands Reserve Hall, Teakwood Ave, Woodlands.                     

 Adults $8, WAFF - Children $2 - WAFF members 50% discount        

 Carmel Charleton 9446 1558 carmel@carmelcharlton.com               

WAFF Membership

There are several types of WAFF membership.  Of course, you may ask yourself why join WAFF?  Joining WAFF is an expression of support of  WA Folk arts which we believe may slowly be lost without support.  It is also a commitment to ensuring that our past traditions are neither lost of remain frozen in time, but rather they continue to evolve in volume, diversity, and quality. In a state rich with heritage, the blending of peoples from many lands, and the spirit of high adventure, we can all join in to keep it's songs, stories, and dances alive.

  • Reduced entry fees at all WAFF sponsored events including folk club meetings, concerts, and more
  • Subscription to the WAFF quarterly newsletter
  • Listing in the WAFF database as a performer, with free advertisement and priority placement at WAFF events
  • Opportunities for learning including instruction, song sheets, workshops, and more
  • A source of information on concerts, festivals, and other folk-related events
  • A chance to join in a community that has a focus on fun, fellowship, and folk

  • WAFF Child - Free (WAFF member children are given free membership up to age 12 years, allowing free entry to all WAFF sponsored events)
  • Individual Membership - $20 per year (allows one adult full WAFF benefits)
  • Family Membership - $30 per year (allows a member and partner and two children up to age 19 full WAFF benefits)
  • Concession Membership (Golden WAFFie) - $15 per year (Allows seniors of 65 years and over full WAFF benefits for one year, with three free admissions to WAFF sponsored events)


Joining WAFF is easy.  Just click on the "Join US" button at the top of this page.  It will lead you through the membership registration process.  You can even pay your dues using PayPal or your credit card (secure transaction).

If you have questions please contact the WAFF Membership Officer at: WAFolk@hotmail.com 

WAFF Quick Links

WA Folk Acoustic Music and Dance Calender                            WAFF Home Page                          WAFF on Facebook

Mundaring Folk'n'Blues Club                                                            Bush Traditions                              Perth Morris Men

Folk Alliance Australia                                                                      Nannup Music Festival

Fairbridge Folk Festival                                               Denmark Festival of Voice       Old and Not So Old Bush Songs





EMAIL: wafolk@hotmail.com

WEBSITE: www.wafolk.org.au

ABN: 23 052 531 632

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