National Folk Festival Celebrates Cultural Diversity With First Artist Announcement / by Kylie Cobb

 Performing at 2019 National Folk Festival (L-R): Irish Mythen, Freya Hollick, Glen Skuthorpe, Green Mohair Suits, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Praashekh Quartet.

Performing at 2019 National Folk Festival (L-R): Irish Mythen, Freya Hollick, Glen Skuthorpe, Green Mohair Suits, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Praashekh Quartet.

Australia’s home and heart of folk for over 50 years, National Folk Festival today makes its first official lineup announcement for the 2019 Easter event featuring an incredibly diverse array of talent from all over Australia and the world.

Now in its 53rd year, the National is the longest running festival of its kind and looks set to make good on its promise to deliver ‘five days in a perfect world’ with today’s announcement, which includes the inimitable, Irish Mythen (Canada), UK’s award-winning Nancy Kerr with James Fagan, Australia’s Freya Hollick and Luke Plumb & Kate Burke plus a very exciting collaboration between the acclaimed Glenn Skuthorpe and Canada’s First Nations artists on The Homelands Tour.

“We are over the moon to launch 2019’s program with such a diverse selection of Australian and international talent,” said National Folk Festival director, Pam Merrigan.

“The National is known for expanding peoples’ understanding and experience of folk culture, so to be announcing artists from all our states and territories, as well as countries like USA, UK, Canada, Greece and Italy is important and exciting.”

Also announced today, one the most renowned Italian groups on the world music international scene, Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana, The Exciting! McGillicuddies, lead by Mick Slocum (of the legendary Bushwhackers), celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter Ken Yates, renowned American guitarist Darol Anger and The Republic Of Strings, award-winning Canberra favourites, Guyy & the Fox and more.

“Folk culture is so much more than what people often think it to be, which is why festivals like the National are more popular than ever. Folk music touches on a full spectrum of genres and the arts have people engaged in spoken word, dance, craft, music workshops and more.

“It’s the perfect antidote to the challenges of modern life and such a positive alternative to mainstream culture.”

With more than 750 shows throughout 20 venues over its five days, a kids festival, themed bars, food and market stalls, roving entertainment and an engaging, multi-discipline arts program, its easy to see why National Folk Festival is one of Australia’s favourite and longest running folk festivals.

National Folk Festival is held over the Easter long weekend, 18-22 April 2019 in Exhibition Park, Canberra.

Early-bird tickets are on sale now at folkfestival.org.

Full lineup announcement below with images and biographies.


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FULL FIRST LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT

Ballpoint Penguins (WA)

Black Mountain String Band (ACT)

Brothers On Fire (NSW)

Candice Mcleod (NT)

Darol Anger And The Republic Of Strings (USA)

East Row Rabble (ACT)

Freya Josephine Hollick (Vic)

Green Mohair Suits (NSW)

Guyy & The Fox (ACT)

Irish Joe Lynch (Qld)

Irish Mythen (CAN)

Jimmy Bay (SA)

Ken Yates (CAN)

Lucy Wise (Vic)

Luke Plumb & Kate Burke (Tas/NSW)

Manran (SCOT)

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan (UK x AUS)

Penny Davies & Roger Ilott (Qld)

Praashekh Quartet (WA)

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana (Italy)

Roguery And Brooke Friendly (USA)

The Dorsal Finns (WA) 

The Exciting McGillicuddies (Vic)

The Homelands Tour Ft Glenn Skuthorpe (AUS x CAN)

The Marios Papadeas Ensemble (GREECE x AUS)

The Vegetable Plot (AUS)

Tiffany Eckhardt (Tas)


APPROVED IMAGES + ARTIST BIOS

  BALLPOINT PENGUINS (WA)  The Penguins are going out with a splash and this will be your last chance to join the colony at the National before they become extinct. Marking the start of their 12 month farewell tour these festival favourites will show you why they are the best a cappella comic trio in the country with well crafted lyrics soaring harmonies and a keen eye for the absurd. Catch them while they're still tinct.

BALLPOINT PENGUINS (WA)
The Penguins are going out with a splash and this will be your last chance to join the colony at the National before they become extinct. Marking the start of their 12 month farewell tour these festival favourites will show you why they are the best a cappella comic trio in the country with well crafted lyrics soaring harmonies and a keen eye for the absurd. Catch them while they're still tinct.

  BLACK MOUNTAIN STRING BAND (ACT)  The Black Mountain String Band is a celebration of string band music in all its forms. They combine multiple fiddles and banjos along with guitar and double bass to draw from the well of tradition while adding timeless original material. They cleverly arrange their material in a seamless presentation that will delight aficionados and new audiences alike. The band is Donal Baylor,Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen.

BLACK MOUNTAIN STRING BAND (ACT)
The Black Mountain String Band is a celebration of string band music in all its forms. They combine multiple fiddles and banjos along with guitar and double bass to draw from the well of tradition while adding timeless original material. They cleverly arrange their material in a seamless presentation that will delight aficionados and new audiences alike. The band is Donal Baylor,Jacqueline Bradley, Matt Nightingale and Pablo Shopen.

  BROTHERS ON FIRE (NSW)  From a scarily young age the Holden boys have been playing with fire. From their home in Candelo in the Bega Valley, Jesse and Sammy have honed their skills in the circus arts to form Brothers OnFire. Their unique style weaves circus skills into street theatre and will appeal to all ages with its light-hearted exploration of the issues of their generation. It's a hot act!

BROTHERS ON FIRE (NSW)
From a scarily young age the Holden boys have been playing with fire. From their home in Candelo in the Bega Valley, Jesse and Sammy have honed their skills in the circus arts to form Brothers OnFire. Their unique style weaves circus skills into street theatre and will appeal to all ages with its light-hearted exploration of the issues of their generation. It's a hot act!

  CANDICE MCLEOD (NT)  After 6 years on the road, Candice McLeod still maintains no fixed address. Once described as ‘Australian Soul’ listeners can expect raw, power-driven vocals with soulful folk undertones. Her debut Album, Travellin’ Shoes, was launched in Alice Springs in October 2017, followed by a 6-month independent album tour from the NT to Tasmania’s Cygnet Folk Festival and back again.

CANDICE MCLEOD (NT)
After 6 years on the road, Candice McLeod still maintains no fixed address. Once described as ‘Australian Soul’ listeners can expect raw, power-driven vocals with soulful folk undertones. Her debut Album, Travellin’ Shoes, was launched in Alice Springs in October 2017, followed by a 6-month independent album tour from the NT to Tasmania’s Cygnet Folk Festival and back again.

  DAROL ANGER AND THE REPUBLIC OF STRINGS (USA)  The Republic Of Strings recruits a new generation of brilliant players along with acknowledged masters for a survey of the international string scene. Darol Anger’s unique vision comes into full play with densely orchestrated arrangements of music from around the world along with new originals. Fiddler composer producer and educator Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres some of which he helped to invent.

DAROL ANGER AND THE REPUBLIC OF STRINGS (USA)
The Republic Of Strings recruits a new generation of brilliant players along with acknowledged masters for a survey of the international string scene. Darol Anger’s unique vision comes into full play with densely orchestrated arrangements of music from around the world along with new originals. Fiddler composer producer and educator Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres some of which he helped to invent.

  EAST ROW RABBLE (ACT)  East Row Rabble delivers a slick mix of funk blues soul and reggae with upbeat party horn lines that will get your feet shuffling and your booty shaking. Addressing a mixture of world issues and daily curiosities front man Ben Drysdale’s songs explore the many varied and often conflicting elements of any situation with honesty hope and a little cheekiness.

EAST ROW RABBLE (ACT)
East Row Rabble delivers a slick mix of funk blues soul and reggae with upbeat party horn lines that will get your feet shuffling and your booty shaking. Addressing a mixture of world issues and daily curiosities front man Ben Drysdale’s songs explore the many varied and often conflicting elements of any situation with honesty hope and a little cheekiness.

  FREYA JOSEPHINE HOLLICK (VIC)   Bringing blues and honky tonk goodness that transports you back to early Appalachia, through wartime romance, the golden era of country music and into a cosmic hootenanny. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Bill Frisell, Dolly Parton, Ann Peebles and Dean Martin, among many others, Hollick’s live shows encapsulate a multifaceted approach to what no longer can be pigeon holed as country music.

FREYA JOSEPHINE HOLLICK (VIC)

Bringing blues and honky tonk goodness that transports you back to early Appalachia, through wartime romance, the golden era of country music and into a cosmic hootenanny. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Bill Frisell, Dolly Parton, Ann Peebles and Dean Martin, among many others, Hollick’s live shows encapsulate a multifaceted approach to what no longer can be pigeon holed as country music.

  GREEN MOHAIR SUITS (NSW)  A quartet of expressive songwriters who take their four-part harmonies as seriously as they take their good times, Green Mohair Suits hold a reputation for inspired showmanship and performances as brash as they are emotive. Occupying a musical landscape somewhere between Hank Williams and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Green Mohair Suits bask in the glow of "Garage Grass". Fans should expect happy-sad songs or sad-happy songs in a harmonious blur of delight.

GREEN MOHAIR SUITS (NSW)
A quartet of expressive songwriters who take their four-part harmonies as seriously as they take their good times, Green Mohair Suits hold a reputation for inspired showmanship and performances as brash as they are emotive. Occupying a musical landscape somewhere between Hank Williams and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Green Mohair Suits bask in the glow of "Garage Grass". Fans should expect happy-sad songs or sad-happy songs in a harmonious blur of delight.

  GUYY & THE FOX (ACT)  Soaring violin, epic instrumentals and powerful performances are the foundations of the award winning act – Guyy & the Fox. The duo is known for their exhilarating and mesmerising show and this year the duo adds a 3rd dimension to their act - Taiko drummer Harry Cramer brings with him the sound of Japanese war drums and a third beating heart to Guyy & the Fox.

GUYY & THE FOX (ACT)
Soaring violin, epic instrumentals and powerful performances are the foundations of the award winning act – Guyy & the Fox. The duo is known for their exhilarating and mesmerising show and this year the duo adds a 3rd dimension to their act - Taiko drummer Harry Cramer brings with him the sound of Japanese war drums and a third beating heart to Guyy & the Fox.

  IRISH JOE LYNCH (QLD)  Joe is the ultimate raconteur, with a direct connection to that rare and beautiful Ancient Celtic art. You will laugh out loud one moment and journey away on a dream the next. A mesmerizing show not to be missed.

IRISH JOE LYNCH (QLD)
Joe is the ultimate raconteur, with a direct connection to that rare and beautiful Ancient Celtic art. You will laugh out loud one moment and journey away on a dream the next. A mesmerizing show not to be missed.

  IRISH MYTHEN (CAN)  Irish is a true entertainer who is known for her gripping live performances. She is the storyteller who will grasp your attention and who will bring you on an incredible and emotional journey - as well as the comedian with a joie de vivre who’ll have you laughing from the very beginning until long after she’s left the bandstand.

IRISH MYTHEN (CAN)
Irish is a true entertainer who is known for her gripping live performances. She is the storyteller who will grasp your attention and who will bring you on an incredible and emotional journey - as well as the comedian with a joie de vivre who’ll have you laughing from the very beginning until long after she’s left the bandstand.

  JIMMY BAY (SA)  Vagabond Jimmy Bay has been travelling Australia for the past four years in a beat-up Kombi. In that time this multi-instrumentalist originally hailing from outback South Australia has captured audiences far and wide with his storytelling style and mesmerising live performances. Utilising guitar harmonica and his suitcase kick-drum.

JIMMY BAY (SA)
Vagabond Jimmy Bay has been travelling Australia for the past four years in a beat-up Kombi. In that time this multi-instrumentalist originally hailing from outback South Australia has captured audiences far and wide with his storytelling style and mesmerising live performances. Utilising guitar harmonica and his suitcase kick-drum.

  KEN YATES (CANADA)  Canadian singer-songwriter Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest rising stars. In 2017 he was the Canadian Folk Music Award winner for both Songwriter of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year. Born and raised in London, Ontario, he's embraced the troubadour life, and spends much of his time on the road sharing unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling and intricate finger-picking guitar wherever her goes.

KEN YATES (CANADA)
Canadian singer-songwriter Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest rising stars. In 2017 he was the Canadian Folk Music Award winner for both Songwriter of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year. Born and raised in London, Ontario, he's embraced the troubadour life, and spends much of his time on the road sharing unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling and intricate finger-picking guitar wherever her goes.

  LUCY WISE (VIC)  Lucy Wise grew up in WA, performing in the Wise Family Band until she moved to Melbourne in 2009. She has since delighted audiences across Australia, NZ, USA and the UK with her soulful voice, and intricate ukulele, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer playing. Joined by Dan Witton (double bass) and Mischa Herman (accordion), Lucy will be performing songs about love, joy and sadness, friendship and the relationships people form with their environment.

LUCY WISE (VIC)
Lucy Wise grew up in WA, performing in the Wise Family Band until she moved to Melbourne in 2009. She has since delighted audiences across Australia, NZ, USA and the UK with her soulful voice, and intricate ukulele, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer playing. Joined by Dan Witton (double bass) and Mischa Herman (accordion), Lucy will be performing songs about love, joy and sadness, friendship and the relationships people form with their environment.

  LUKE PLUMB & KATE BURKE (TAS/NSW)  Masters of their craft, Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty, Andy Irvine) and Kate Burke (Trouble in the Kitchen, w/ Ruth Hazleton) combine their formidable instrumental and vocal skill with world class experience in traditional music arrangement to create a new traditional sound.

LUKE PLUMB & KATE BURKE (TAS/NSW)
Masters of their craft, Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty, Andy Irvine) and Kate Burke (Trouble in the Kitchen, w/ Ruth Hazleton) combine their formidable instrumental and vocal skill with world class experience in traditional music arrangement to create a new traditional sound.

  MANRAN (SCOT)  Tagged as “Celtic-rock”, Mànran’s music has an eclectic mix of influences with a central ethos built around the band’s traditional Celtic roots, fiery tunes from fiddle, accordion, flute, uillean and Highland bagpipes bind powerfully to a rhythm section awash with elements of funk, jazz and rock to create some of the most innovative and uplifting instrumental music around. Coupled with songs in both Gaelic and English that undergo the same musical mixology.

MANRAN (SCOT)
Tagged as “Celtic-rock”, Mànran’s music has an eclectic mix of influences with a central ethos built around the band’s traditional Celtic roots, fiery tunes from fiddle, accordion, flute, uillean and Highland bagpipes bind powerfully to a rhythm section awash with elements of funk, jazz and rock to create some of the most innovative and uplifting instrumental music around. Coupled with songs in both Gaelic and English that undergo the same musical mixology.

  NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN (UK x AUS)  Outstanding UK-based partnership Nancy Kerr and James Fagan return as a duo, the format on which they built their career. Breath-taking instrumentation support two of the finest folk voices of a generation. Nancy (BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2015) has become best known as a poetic and hard-hitting songwriter. Canberra-born James is a world-renowned bouzouki player. Together they are in their element and will launch their first ever live album at the National.

NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN (UK x AUS)
Outstanding UK-based partnership Nancy Kerr and James Fagan return as a duo, the format on which they built their career. Breath-taking instrumentation support two of the finest folk voices of a generation. Nancy (BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2015) has become best known as a poetic and hard-hitting songwriter. Canberra-born James is a world-renowned bouzouki player. Together they are in their element and will launch their first ever live album at the National.

  PENNY DAVIES & ROGER ILOTT (QLD)  After almost 40 years of writing playing recording and singing together Penny Davies & Roger Ilott create the kind of seamless musical persona as a duo that only a long and loving musical relationship can. Their evocative versions of Queensland poet Bill Scott's songs are classics of the genre.

PENNY DAVIES & ROGER ILOTT (QLD)
After almost 40 years of writing playing recording and singing together Penny Davies & Roger Ilott create the kind of seamless musical persona as a duo that only a long and loving musical relationship can. Their evocative versions of Queensland poet Bill Scott's songs are classics of the genre.

  PRAASHEKH QUARTET (WA)  Born in Pune, India young sarod master, Praashekh Borkar is regarded as one of India’s leading younger generation musicians. An outstanding sarod player and inventor of his own customised e-sarod, Praashekh hails form a sarod playing dynasty. In this quartet Praashekh is joined by electrifying young tabla whiz, Sivakumar Balakrishnan, precociously talented Balinese bassist and recent jazz course graduate, Wayan Dana and multi-reedman, Mark Cain, a longtime leading figure in Western Australian world music.

PRAASHEKH QUARTET (WA)
Born in Pune, India young sarod master, Praashekh Borkar is regarded as one of India’s leading younger generation musicians. An outstanding sarod player and inventor of his own customised e-sarod, Praashekh hails form a sarod playing dynasty. In this quartet Praashekh is joined by electrifying young tabla whiz, Sivakumar Balakrishnan, precociously talented Balinese bassist and recent jazz course graduate, Wayan Dana and multi-reedman, Mark Cain, a longtime leading figure in Western Australian world music.

  RICCARDO TESI & BANDITALIANA (ITALY)  Banditaliana one of the most renowned Italian groups on the world music international scene from its outset has been offering a magical fusion of Tuscan traditional forms and rites jazz nuances and songs a fresh sunny music with a Mediterranean scent and no boundaries. Original compositions instrumental virtuosity precious rhythmical joints and refined arrangements are the stylistic key features of the group founded in 1992 by the composer and diatonic accordion player Riccardo Tesi.

RICCARDO TESI & BANDITALIANA (ITALY)
Banditaliana one of the most renowned Italian groups on the world music international scene from its outset has been offering a magical fusion of Tuscan traditional forms and rites jazz nuances and songs a fresh sunny music with a Mediterranean scent and no boundaries. Original compositions instrumental virtuosity precious rhythmical joints and refined arrangements are the stylistic key features of the group founded in 1992 by the composer and diatonic accordion player Riccardo Tesi.

  ROGUERY AND BROOKE FRIENDLY (USA)  Roguery is: Dave Bartley (plucky strings) Jim Oakden (keyboard strings winds) and Shira Kammen (bowed strings, voice) Together with Brooke Friendly (dance caller and choreographer) they have wowed and entertained dancers and audiences at festivals and dance events throughout the US and in Great Britain. Individually they've appeared on over 150 CDs, including 6 as a band. Shira is highly respected in international early music circles, and Brooke has published 5 books of original dances.

ROGUERY AND BROOKE FRIENDLY (USA)
Roguery is: Dave Bartley (plucky strings) Jim Oakden (keyboard strings winds) and Shira Kammen (bowed strings, voice) Together with Brooke Friendly (dance caller and choreographer) they have wowed and entertained dancers and audiences at festivals and dance events throughout the US and in Great Britain. Individually they've appeared on over 150 CDs, including 6 as a band. Shira is highly respected in international early music circles, and Brooke has published 5 books of original dances.

  THE DORSAL FINNS (WA)   Dusting snow off their shoulders from a recent visit to Sweden, a trio of fiddle/nyckelharpa/cello play traditional Scandinavian dance music, fit for trolls and Nordic gods.

THE DORSAL FINNS (WA)

Dusting snow off their shoulders from a recent visit to Sweden, a trio of fiddle/nyckelharpa/cello play traditional Scandinavian dance music, fit for trolls and Nordic gods.

  THE EXCITING MCGILLICUDDIES (VIC)  Australian music with a Celtic beat at its best! Lead by Mick Slocum the charismatic former member of the legendary Bushwhackers supported by master guitarist songwriter and vocalist Damian Peck. In early 2018, the band expanded to include the delectable singer/songwriter/violinist Renee Bufton and internationally recognized saxophonist Paul Van Ross. A band of spirited experienced musical Australians, the perfect combination that ensures a good time is had by all!

THE EXCITING MCGILLICUDDIES (VIC)
Australian music with a Celtic beat at its best! Lead by Mick Slocum the charismatic former member of the legendary Bushwhackers supported by master guitarist songwriter and vocalist Damian Peck. In early 2018, the band expanded to include the delectable singer/songwriter/violinist Renee Bufton and internationally recognized saxophonist Paul Van Ross. A band of spirited experienced musical Australians, the perfect combination that ensures a good time is had by all!

  THE HOMELANDS TOUR ft GLENN SKUTHORPE (AUS x CAN)   The HOMELANDS TOUR follows the night sky to journey along plains, down rivers and across oceans bringing established and young First Nations artists together on their Homelands and out onto the main stages at Festivals around the world, finding the points of connection that unite us all and celebrating life through music. Featuring Glenn Skuthorpe (AUS), Thelma Cheechoo, Vern Cheechoo (CAN) and local and international guest artists.

THE HOMELANDS TOUR ft GLENN SKUTHORPE (AUS x CAN)

The HOMELANDS TOUR follows the night sky to journey along plains, down rivers and across oceans bringing established and young First Nations artists together on their Homelands and out onto the main stages at Festivals around the world, finding the points of connection that unite us all and celebrating life through music. Featuring Glenn Skuthorpe (AUS), Thelma Cheechoo, Vern Cheechoo (CAN) and local and international guest artists.

  THE MARIOS PAPADEAS ENSEMBLE (GREECE/VIC)  Mario was born in Athens & from the tender age of 4 he began his musical studies & has since become one of the undeniable mastours of the Santouri with a vast repertoire delving into Smyrneika early rembetika & nisiotika. He’s appeared on multiple tv programmes & performed at festivals in Australia Paris London Vienna Switzerland &Iran to name a few. He is joined by local musicians Pascal Latra (Habibis Vox) Paddy Montgomery & Byron Triantafillides.

THE MARIOS PAPADEAS ENSEMBLE (GREECE/VIC)
Mario was born in Athens & from the tender age of 4 he began his musical studies & has since become one of the undeniable mastours of the Santouri with a vast repertoire delving into Smyrneika early rembetika & nisiotika. He’s appeared on multiple tv programmes & performed at festivals in Australia Paris London Vienna Switzerland &Iran to name a few. He is joined by local musicians Pascal Latra (Habibis Vox) Paddy Montgomery & Byron Triantafillides.

  THE VEGETABLE PLOT (AUS)  The Vegetable Plot is an award-winning live music act that has been spreading its funky roots all over Australia. Serving up a big wriggling heap of catchy tunes, colourful characters, quizzes, dances, jokes and truly rotten puns, these veggie superbeings are on a mission to change the way people think about both vegetables and “kid’s music”. Come and join Aspara Gus, Ru Barb, and Sir Paul McCarrotney for a ride on the soil train!

THE VEGETABLE PLOT (AUS)
The Vegetable Plot is an award-winning live music act that has been spreading its funky roots all over Australia. Serving up a big wriggling heap of catchy tunes, colourful characters, quizzes, dances, jokes and truly rotten puns, these veggie superbeings are on a mission to change the way people think about both vegetables and “kid’s music”. Come and join Aspara Gus, Ru Barb, and Sir Paul McCarrotney for a ride on the soil train!

  TIFFANY ECKHARDT (TAS)  Award winning songwriter, Tiffany Eckhardt has written and recorded 9 successful independent releases, and releases her 10th album 'Found' this year. After moving to Tasmania 4 years ago, this album is mostly Inspired by the natural environment, her animal friends and the human spirit. Global issues also creep into her songs. Tiffany plays with partner, guitarist, Dave Steel, and Ross Smithard on fiddle and banjo- heartwarming performances to lift the human spirit.

TIFFANY ECKHARDT (TAS)
Award winning songwriter, Tiffany Eckhardt has written and recorded 9 successful independent releases, and releases her 10th album 'Found' this year. After moving to Tasmania 4 years ago, this album is mostly Inspired by the natural environment, her animal friends and the human spirit. Global issues also creep into her songs. Tiffany plays with partner, guitarist, Dave Steel, and Ross Smithard on fiddle and banjo- heartwarming performances to lift the human spirit.

 


CONTACT

Kylie Cobb | Kitty Kitty Bang Bang PR | 0402 434 523 | kylie@kittykittybangbang.com.au