Executive Committee 2021-2022
Chairman: Robert Oats
I have been a member of the WAFF since about 1975 after being introduced to the Stables Folk Club by a friend. I was on the committee in 1978 when the National Folk Festival was in Fremantle and was involved in the Toodyay Folk festival for a number of years. I got back on the committee at the 1997 AGM and served for for about 8 years. During this period I produced the Town Crier (when it was a printed magazine format) and the WAFF web pages and sat in a number of positions on the committee until taking a sabbatical to pursue other things. I returned to the committee as vice chairman after a couple years acting in an advisory role and editing the web pages.
I have been a performer since 1968 and mainly play guitar &amp sing. I have written, recorded and performed my own material, some of which can be found on the Rambling Bilbies CD called “Tread Softly” which highlights some of my songs. I have been in a number of bands and currently play with The Rambling Bilbies . I also do the odd sound engineering job (including Wanneroo Folk Club). I am a life member of The Nannup Music Club and the WA Folk Fed.
I started the WA Acoustic Music and Dance Calendar several years ago and keep it updated, it is now incorporated into the WAFF pages (see the link at the top) which promotes acoustic music events around WA. Contact for Rob: 04 1890 8899 or
Vice Chairman: Ed Bettega. Basically obsessed with music, I listen to everything with a particular fondness for English folk bands and artists. My music career commenced in 1974 – playing electric guitar in several Perth bands before relocating to Melbourne in 1976. I began composing music around the same time and have continued to write songs and instrumentals. I continued my musical activities in Melbourne while holding down a day job. During this time I played in a variety of styles including rock, jazz and R’n’B. I also amassed a record collection of about 4,000 LPs which I eventually sold.
I used to have a home recording set-up using a four track reel to reel recorder which I used to demo my songs and record bands I played with. To improve my recordings I began playing electric bass and keyboards (badly). In 1994 I started studying finger style classical guitar and more recently ukulele, mandolin and banjo. I started teaching music in 1998.
With my family, moved to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 2000. For the last twelve years I was guitar and bass tutor at Pacific Lutheran and Immanuel Lutheran Colleges. During this time I played in amateur theatrical and school orchestras for 20 musical productions. As a member of the SCREAM Big Band, I played at the Noosa Jazz Festival. With my then wife Jane, we worked for many years in church groups and the “Here’s Harry” Trio, as well as acoustic duos with her and more recently my daughter Jess. I resigned from teaching at the end of 2019 to move back to Perth and care for my elderly mother.
For the last three years I have been delving into the digital archives in search of music from the 19th Century. The main area of interest being banjo, guitar and mandolin music. Apart from my recent forays into solo performance at Wanneroo Folk Club and Matildas, I am also in the guitar section of the WA Mandolin Orchestra
Treasurer: Terry Bonnett
Terry is a Private Dentist in practice since 1977. He has been a member of WAFF for about 18 years and joined the committee in 1998, not long after the Joondalup Festival and was on the committee that helped save the WAFF at that time. He became Treasurer in about 1999 with only one year out of the job during this time.
In Terry’s words: “Unfortunately I have no musical talents (can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t do a godamm thing)”
Terry was made a life member of the WAFF at the 2017 AGM for service to the WAFF and the WA folk community. To contact Terry: phone 9279 2875 or, if you don’t mind waiting ages for me to reply.
Secretary Diana Keegan
I have been singing and playing guitar since a teenager. Keen to perform whenever the opportunity arose. Nowadays I’m not so confident on the performance side so happy to use my extensive experience in administration in supporting this fabulous folk club and the Federation.
General Committee
Deb Ralph (Memberships). My responsibilities in the WAFF include helping Terry out with memberships, collecting the money and ensuring members have current cards. At the Wanneroo monthly folk club I collect the admission money on the door with the help of Jean and Jamie. I buy the milk, coffee, tea, and biscuits every month and check we have sufficient supply for the evening. I buy the raffle prize, which is always a bottle of red wine (my favourite) and make sure we have a supply of raffle tickets. Counting the money, ensuring there is a float for change on the night and balancing the Wanneroo accounts.
I work 4 days a week as a nurse, which I still enjoy after 38 years. I look after John, do all the shopping, cleaning, washing and cooking at home (John does help a little). John and I have been married for almost 35 years. I am a terrible singer, completely out of tune, I can’t play an instrument but I do love to dance, and I try to attend the monthly contra dance’s run by Steve, which are always fun and welcoming. My other hobbies include kayaking, bush and beach walking, cycling and I go to the gym once or twice a week.
Wendy Bonnett. Wendy has been a long time supporter of folk music in WA along side Terry. You will often see Wendy helping set up and pack up at concerts and clubs and is one of the valuable people who help out behind the scenes.