Ministers speak on important issues at Woodford Folk Festival

By Kirra Livingstone

PRIME Minister Anthony Albanese visited the Woodford Folk Festival on December 28-29 to discuss the importance of the arts within communities following the event’s long hiatus.

This was the festival’s fourth visit from an Australian Prime Minister and Prime Minister Albanese said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were harsh on the arts industry.

“The arts suffered terribly during COVID…the arts are not a luxury, they are central to our very being… [they] contain, nurture and protect our very sense of self,” he said.

“One of the great things about coming to Woodford is to hear the artists who aren’t in your record collection, and to discover something new.

“It’s a great opportunity to walk around, see a bit of music and meet with people.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, and the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the Australian House of Representatives, spoke alongside the Prime Minister as well.

The main focus of her speech was to bring to light the importance of what voting yes in a referendum to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, will do for the country.

“In 2023, you will get your chance to write yes in very big letters… in a referendum, and in 2023, I know this country is up for it [and] I know this country will vote yes,” she said.

“It will be a simple but momentous step on the path to making Australia a better place for everyone.

“I want us to dare to dream… because we have an opportunity to unite Australia.”