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Australian Folklore Documentary

A documentary on the history of Australian folk lore, produced by the Friends of the National Film and Sound Archive was presented in a free webinar on 8 October 2023. A recording is now available and can be viewed by clicking the button below.

The film is a 25 minute archival documentary about the cultural history of Australia as seen through the prismatic eye of two remarkable women, oral historian Wendy Lowenstein and her close collaborator and friend, dance historian Shirley Andrews. Both strong and determined woman, passionate in their beliefs and struggling against the stereotypical roles available to women in Australia’s post-war era, and as such, are distinctive role-models for women today. It is a story told via unique archive; songs, footage, recordings, photos and audio interviews that illustrate their pivotal role in preserving what we can now term an aspect of our ‘National Soul’. Wendy & Shirley’s cultural and political journey as activists, collaborators and collectors formed in the idealistic post-war years of Melbourne’s New Theatre, and Eureka Youth League both play a key role in the formation of Australia’s seminal folk music, folklore, traditional dance, and oral history movements.

Wendy Lowenstein was a founder of the Folk Lore Society of Victoria, back in the mid 1950s. The society eventually merged with the VFMC a few years later. Wendy edited the newsletter ‘Tradition’ for several years in those early days. Wendy Lowenstein’s family including son Richard and daughter Martie, were immersed in social community activism, the Australian folk music revival and collecting oral history. Martie and Richard were both “volunteers" at the first National Folk festival in Melbourne in 1967.

The official site of the Victorian Folk Music Club Incorporated (Reg No A2511Y) ABN 28 668 156 704

Last modified: October 21 2023 13:51.