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."



Rubbish-rifling recyclers earning $2000 a week

Rubbish-rifling recyclers earning $2000 a week

Cottage industry is infuriating residents because of mess they leave

FIRE UPDATE: What's burning this morning

premium_icon FIRE UPDATE: What's burning this morning

Find out the latest bushfire status around the Clarence Valley

70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

"Challenging" bushfire still being controlled, but conditions may change

Local Partners