Contemporary Women Give Voice to Past Female Lives

This International Women’s Day, Monday 8 March, FolkFedNSW celebrates the achievements, talent and energy of our women in folk who contribute so much to our communities.


In a fitting tribute to past female lives, Sydney based musicians Rosie McDonald and Cliona Molins have challenged history, giving a contemporary voice to some 9,000 convict women who inhabited Parramatta’s Female Factory, 1821-48, a place of incarceration, hardship and loss.


The stories of these convict women are told through ‘Mothers of the Nation’, a song suite commissioned by Parramatta Female Factory Friends Inc. to mark the Female Factory’s bicentenary. The project began as a single song but, as Rosie and Cliona explored the histories of these women it soon expanded into the current suite of four songs. Songs revealing hidden truths and untold stories.


Each of the above pics has a link that reveals more about this exciting project. Click to find out.


The Mothers of the Nation EP was launched on 26th Feb.  Rosie and Cliona are joined by Ann Palumbo, Jacqui McPhee and Nigel Lever plus guest artists. To learn more about the ensemble or to purchase the CD click on the above Mothers of the Nation pic.


Hear the band via this YouTube link. Mothers of the Nation have upcoming gigs at the Gaelic Club, Surry Hills 24th April and Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Folk Club 16th July.

Sydney Folk Festival News

Sydney Folk Festival aims to showcase the diversity of folk music and the folk arts in NSW and beyond with an event that is fresh, vibrant and engaging. Our artistic team is looking for performers, poets, dance and community groups that represent a range of styles under the broad umbrella of folk. Whether you’re involved in acoustic, blues, roots, bluegrass, Celtic, country or music that expresses one of the many folk traditions from our own back yard to those from around the world, we want to hear from you.

Click on the image above to view the SFF21 Website.

Upcoming Events

About the Folk Federation

Founded in 1970, the Folk Federation of NSW facilitates statewide development of the folk arts, dance and in particular folk music of all genres and ethnic diversity. Through affiliated folk clubs, festivals, interstate bodies and our membership we link those interested in presenting folk to the widest possible audience. Our main revenue is derived from membership. By joining you are helping us to support folk music and the related arts in NSW and beyond.

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Young Folk Artists of the Year Awards 2021

Applications for the Folk Federation of NSW’s Young Folk Artists of the Year Awards 2021 will open soon. Are you, or do you know a young performer you would like to nominate? More details will be available in mid March.

DONATE NOW and Make a difference


You can support the Folk Music and Related Arts Sector by making a donation to the Folk Federation through our tax deductible public fund. Help us to make a difference by contributing to the promotion, preservation and development of the folk arts in NSW.


Committee – 2020/21

Executive :

  • Pam Merrigan (President)
  • Margaret Walters (Vice President)
  • Pam Davis (Secretary)
  • Dallas Baxter (Treasurer)

Committee Members :

Ros Baker

Alex Bishop

Andy Busuttil

Terry Clinton

Russell Neal

Craig Sinclair

Christine Wheeler