Rosemary Roberston is one of Fairbridge Festival’s ‘founding fathers’, meaning she has been a part of the festival team since before its inception in 1993. Over the years, she has had many different roles from coordinating children’s activities to her current roles, which are leading the teams who do the meet and greet dinner on the Thursday night preceding festival kick-off and doing ABC Radio Perth’s Saturday Breakfast live outside broadcast catering.
Fairbridge Festival has seen four generations of Rosemary’s family being involved. Her parents were volunteers and work-shoppers for the first ten years; her husband Ian helps Rosemary with catering; her brother attends the festival; her daughters are involved as volunteers and work-shoppers; and now, her grandsons also come along.
Every Fairbridge Festival, Rosemary looks forward to getting together with her family and friends, making friendships with the organisers and volunteers and looking at what the festival has blossomed into after such a humble beginning with no budget and little help.
To Rosemary, the festival represents fun, friendship and abounding talent as well as all the hard work she put in at the beginning. She sees the way the festival has grown and appreciates seeing that even the children’s workshops she designed are still catering for hundreds of kids.
Rosemary has many fond memories, including Martin Pearson putting on a private performance for the exhausted organisers, having Fay White and Christine Hutchinson stay with her before a festival and Christine going on to use Rosemary’s rabbit in her musical magic show, hearing that one of the members of The Chipolatas had broken his leg in New Zealand and the group went on with the show and Rosemary later visiting him in hospital, and the spooky experience of seeing a young boy walking through the wall of their cottage one afternoon after a resident saying they’d heard a boy crying (although Rosemary says that she was not spooked at all!). There are too many memories for Rosemary to recount all of them.
Rosemary is still an integral part of the Fairbridge Festival team to this day and she is excited that she has been involved long enough to see its 25th birthday.