Former PM Bob Hawk sings Waltzing Matilda to a surprised audience of thousands on Woodford Folk Festival's opening night.
Former PM Bob Hawk sings Waltzing Matilda to a surprised audience of thousands on Woodford Folk Festival's opening night. Tessa Mapstone

'Straya: Hawke sings Waltzing Matilda at Woodford

BOB Hawke, 87, looked frail as he was helped onto the stage but it was with a clear voice he gave a surprise gift to Woodford Folk Festival visitors.

The former Prime Minister surprised a crowd of about thousands on the opening night of the festival by breaking out in song.

A true-blue Aussie, Mr Hawke sang a true-blue Aussie song - Waltzing Matilda - and a chorus of festival goers joined him from their grassy, hillside seats on the amphitheatre.

Mr Hawke said Woodfordia was uniquely Australian.

"And there's something else that's uniquely Australian, and that's Waltzing Matilda," he said before singing the first words.

Festival director Bill Hauritz said Mr Hawke and his partner Blanche have been part of the festival for about eight years.

"They don't just drop in, they live here," he said.

FOLLOW THE LATEST ON WOODFORD HERE

"It's a great honour to have what is truely a very loved Australian person who's known by so many people wherever he goes, and loved by everyone irrespective of their politics.

"A very special man."



Police begin investigations after couple assaulted at beach

Police begin investigations after couple assaulted at beach

Police urge witnesses to come forward.

Man accused of carrying a loaded rifle and bomb in car

premium_icon Man accused of carrying a loaded rifle and bomb in car

A Bellingen man, 30, has appeared in the Coffs Harbour Local Court

Prescription overdose deaths rise

premium_icon Prescription overdose deaths rise

Regions hardest hit by accidental overdoses on prescription drugs

Local Partners