Una McAlinden – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
Executive Director (new role) of Folk Alliance Australia – past President. Director of National Celtic Festival.

Why do you do it?
I am in my element working in the folk scene. I love to be part of making things happen. I think it is important to have a peak body that brings the folk scene together, advocates and supports our industry.

What do you love about the city you live in?
I live in Geelong: beach and bush down one road and Melbourne down another road. Best of both worlds I think. Avalon airport 15 minutes away; Sydney $39 away!

Where did you go for your last holiday?
Canada in Autumn/ Fall. Driving through the Rockies, it was absolutely breathtaking. Quebec City, Toronto and a visit to Cape Breton where Celtic Colours Festival was in full swing.

What's your favourite item of clothing?
I love thick woollen socks. They are a favourite because I feel comfortable, warm and cosy. Not great for summer months, but I do seem to need to travel a lot to Europe and USA in their winter months, so I have followed winter over the three or four years.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
Something vegetarian. Tapas, platters, wine probably. Something tried and tested as my creativity in cooking is not always a success.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
My Mum always told me: ‘just to get on with it!’. This may not be a lesson I have learned but a way to stay on track, focussed, fired up and not bogged down. That's the plan anyway.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I have a cat called Sharon, I play the fiddle, I hammered my hand to a piece of wood and had to go to emergency to get it removed (DIY gone wrong!).

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
No, not really. When your work is also your passion and your choice of pleasure in life it is not that easy to switch off and unwind. I also work from a home office quite a lot, which also makes it harder to walk away from. I am working on this though and have a plan to get better at it this year.

How do you define success?
That's not a quick or easy answer. There are so many levels of success and so many measures of success and so many goals to reach. Success for myself, organisation, festival and for others ... living life to the full, living a valuable life, responsiveness to others, concern, contributing, health, security, relationships, being in your element. I think this is a topic for conversation over AMW.

What's your spirit animal?
I don’t know what my spirit animal is. I do know that I am a fish (zodiac) and a tiger (Chinese zodiac).

What are you most looking forward to about Australian Music Week 2017?
Folk Alliance Australia is proud to be teaming with Australian Music Week this year to hold our Folk Alliance Conference; we are looking forward to bringing together our diverse folk community over AMW, showcasing some of the best acts from across Australia and building new networks and connections for our members and for Folk Alliance Australia. We can’t wait to catch up with folks from across the industry from all corners of Australia and across the globe.

How important is an event like this to the Australian Music Scene?
Great opportunity to strengthen our organisation's partnerships (national and international) and to bring the industry together as a whole and to explore possibilities to deepen our connections. Important also to profile Folk Alliance Australia and the work we do nationally as well as showcase the folk industry at an event like this.


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