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About Bush Traditions Inc

Bush Traditions is a not for profit association incorporated in the ACT. It was established in 2006 to promote the playing and enjoyment of Australia’s cultural heritage in Word, Bush Songs, Tunes and Dances. The Rules of Association are available HERE.

Its main goals are to help keep our "bush traditions" alive and to pass them on to future generations.

Bush Traditions Inc seeks to achieve this through:

  • providing occasion for the like minded to gather and enjoy our heritage as a community;
  • providing opportunities to showcase these traditions;
  • maintaining and building the community of people interested in Australia’s traditions;
  • building the networks that link them;
  • identifying and providing access to heritage material.

The Committee

The members of the Bush Traditions committee who work behind the scenes to make things happen are:

  • President - Ray Mulligan
  • Vice-President - David Johnson
  • Secretary - Sandra Martens
  • Treasurer - Graham McDonald

and Members

  • Heather Clarke
  • Don Brian
  • Rob Willis
  • Moir Holmes

The committee acknowledges and thanks former committee members:

  • Bill Arnett
  • Shirley Taylor

VALE Bill Arnett 1947-2021

Bill Arnett was a founding member of Bush Traditions. In 2006 I was looking for help to establish Bush Traditions. Bill provided enthusiastic support for the idea and with the help of others Bush Traditions was born. Bill’s help and support were invaluable. He had experience with the admistrivia of incorporation and the operation of not-for-profit organisations. Bill was an active and supportive part of Bush Traditions since then.

With his tents and tarps, he provided a canvass home for those who wanted one at the early Gatherings at the Old Goulburn Brewery. A larger than life character, he did this in his inimitable way, setting a tone of conviviality and sharing for those and subsequent Gatherings. One of these Gatherings, memorable for its rain and wild winds, found us huddled in his canvass shelter and Bill up at 3am re-pegging and tying down just to hold things together.

Community was important to Bill and he worked in order to be part of and to enjoy his community. A folkie through and through, he set store by his relationships with fellow travellers. Not afraid to differ, he contributed in his way to achieve a common good. He valued ‘integrity’. For him it was a mixture of things that included truth, honesty, fair dealing and sticking to your word.

Bill made a lot of friends in his time. His approach to life and to things folk can be summed up in his admonition “there are no strangers here – just friends we have not met yet.”

Ray Mulligan


The Story so far....

Since Bush Traditions was established early in 2006 it has promoted interest in Bush Music through:

  • Open workshops at the National Folk Festival 2006 - 2019
  • Bush Traditions Gathering held in Goulburn 2006 - 2017, held in Yass 2018 - 2019
  • Tea Dance at the National Folk Festival 2009 and 2010
  • Bundanoon DanceFest 2009 - 2019 (Initially called Weekend of Bush Dancing)
  • Festival Bush Orchestra at the National Folk Festival 2012 -2019
  • Back to the Bush @ Binalong 2017

Donations and Support

Bush Traditions Inc is a non-profit organisation so any donations made go to furthering the aims. There are exciting projects in the planning stage - expanding the tune database; putting together profiles of collected players, collectors, and musicians; compiling other tutors; and more.

If you'd like to assist this with a donation your place in heaven will be assured.

To support the work of Bush Tradtions you could:

  1. Volunteer your time, energy and skills
  2. Donate using our online store link
  3. Donate in person at a BT function