The National Library, in conjunction with the National Folk Festival, is pleased to announce Mr John Shortis as the 2024 National Folk Fellow.

This Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for the recipient to discover and explore original collected material at the Library for use in their own artistic work.


Mr John Shortis

Worth Fighting For (Australian protesters and their songs)

Protests have frequently been in the news in recent times, including the school children's climate change rallies, protesters gluing themselves to bridges and paintings, the SA government's laws preventing disruption, COVID-19 protests, women's March4Justice, transgender demonstrations that see a politician being expelled from her party, and more. Against this contemporary background John Shortis will research the many oral history recordings, sheet music, manuscripts, newspapers, and pictures, held by the National Library to seek out songs and stories of protests from World War 1 to now.

Thank you

The annual National Folk Fellowship is offered jointly by the National Library of Australia and the National Folk Festival. The National Library thanks all applicants for the 2024 Fellowship and encourages unsuccessful applicants to apply for the next program.


Since 2004 the National Folk Fellowship has supported more than twenty established and emerging folk practitioners to further their work using the Library’s collections, including musicians, singers, dancers, poets, performance artists and performers.

Recipients of the National Folk Fellowship receive a stipend of $8,000, supported access to the collections, and access to the National Library sound recording studios for up to 30 hours over their residency. Any recordings arising from the project will be acquired for the National Library’s Oral History and Folklore collection, with the Fellowship resulting in a performance at the 2024 National Folk Festival.