The Future of Australian Folklore
Most Australians know at least a little about folklore. Whether you’re well tuned to belt out Waltzing Matilda, or relay the impassioned story of Ned Kelly’s last stand, Aussie folk penetrates our lives from a very early age. Folklore is considered by many historians to be an incredible important part of Australia’s living history, but public support for the preservation of folk has dwindled over the last few decades.
Folklorists believe that the demise of folklore celebrations and traditions could be a great loss for Australian history. While it may be present in subtle and strange ways; like in schoolyard chants and hand-clapping games, folklore remains one of the few living traditions of Australia’s modern history. In fact, Australia even has its own National Folk Festival, held every year in Canberra as a celebration of art, craft and song associated with the folk tradition.
Emily Gallagher is a PhD Candidate in the School of History at ANU, and she’s passionate about the importance of conserving folklore, as well as the extraordinary nature of children’s folklore and the ways it manifests today. Sidd Sharma of Thursday Drive spoke with Emily about all things folk.