Our traditional Custodians are members of the Jinibara Nation. The Jinibara people are the registered Native Title Holders for the Woodford area and are comprised of the descendants of Fanny Mason, known as Jowalmel, who was born in the 1840’s at Woodford, and Johnny McKenzie, known as Wangiramu, born in 1826 near Kilcoy.
Our Custodians Uncle Noel Blair and Uncle Kenny Murphy have been appointed by the elders of the Jinibara to act as their spokespeople and representatives. The world of the Jinibara is rich in Dreaming places and ceremonial grounds including Bora rings, stone arrangements, camping places, food resource areas and story places. The Jinibara Peoples have many stories that connect them with country and ancestors.
Today, the land is managed by Woodfordia Inc., dedicated to the arts and humanities and is underpinned by a strong commitment to the environment. Woodfordia Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation (Incorporated Association) and a recognised charity.
The vision of Woodfordia Inc. for its Woodfordia festival site is more than the dream of security in owning its own home—it is a dedication to future generations. Woodfordia Inc. believes that the future of our community and environment are intertwined and that our commitment to caring for the land is integral to the organisation’s values—which is why the Woodfordia festival site is a cultural parkland dedicated to the arts, humanities and folk lore.
The festival land (now known as Woodfordia) was purchased in July 1994 for the purpose of securing a permanent home for the then Maleny Folk Festival. The festival was first held at the Maleny showgrounds on the Easter long weekend of 1987 and from that time until 1993, the festival kept growing at a spectacular rate. After the eighth festival (1992/93) it was obvious to all that the festival had outgrown Maleny.
The entire organising group had been searching for a venue for years, but it was not until July 1994 that the Woodford site was secured. When the Woodfordia Inc. purchased this new permanent home for the Woodford Folk Festival, it was an enormous relief and a great responsibility. Festival organisers knew that the 240-acre cleared and degraded rural property, was going to take a lot of work to transform it to a festival site.
The Infrastructure Project at Woodford commenced on the 2nd September 1994, just 15 weeks before the festival started. This project saw the foundations laid for future site infrastructure including 16 mega-litre dam, an extensive network of vehicular and pedestrian roads, pedestrian bridges, an underground sewage reticulation system, sullage and potable water reticulation, drainage and venue earthworks.
Due to limited hire options at the time, the construction of the first camping shower and toilet blocks and a million other tasks were only completed literally minutes before the festival commenced. The festival was opened on the new land on the 28 December 1994 and was called the Maleny Folk Festival Woodford.
In 1997 the QFF launched the first May weekend working-bee where a band of committed volunteers gave their time and toil for the planting of trees. It was the first step towards restoration and regeneration of the property. Established as an annual event, the Tree-Planting Weekend became a much-loved opportunity for the organising group and friends to play with the soil and do their bit for the place they were growing to love.
Since its beginning, the Tree-Planting Weekends have put over 100,000 trees into the ground and been an enormous and successful effort in nurturing existing environments, encouraging species diversity, as well as weed management and eradication. Trees planted over twenty-one years ago tower overhead casting shade—the wildlife has burgeoned and plants blossomed so that there are new seedlings sprouting of their own accord under the canopy. The results of all this work have been rewarding and have organically evolved into what is now known as The Planting.
Since 1994, Woodfordia Inc. has purchased three additional parcels of land: an 82-acre property located adjacent to the current site, a 40-acre property located adjacent to the land and a 40-acre property with two residential houses located on the corner of Woodrow Road and Beerwah-Kilcoy H’way.
To date, in excess of $14M has been invested in site facilities. The major achievements include:
Queensland Arbor Day Tree Planting Award
Community Groups category, 2008
Queensland Arbor Day Regional Award
South East Queensland, 2008