Jane Austen Festival Australia (JAFA) is an annual event exclusive to Canberra, directed by Aylwen Gardiner-Garden of the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since the festival's inception in 2008, JAFA has seen tremendous growth, developing a strong national and international reputation. Over its five year span, JAFA has inspired a loyal following and an enduring sense of community amongst attendees.
Jane Austen Festival Australia is held over four days and nights. It has been centred on the historic buildings and grounds of St Johns Church in Reid, but has also involved Lennox Gardens, Commonwealth Park, National Film and Sound Archives and historic Lanyon Homestead.
Whilst the predominant function of Jane Austen Festival Australia is to provide a platform from which to explore all aspects of Jane Austen's world, we are also keenly interested and engaged in exploring Australia's place in history during the lifetime of Jane Austen - hence our strong links locally with the ACT Heritage Festival and nationally, with the Australian Heritage Week. Associated with the festival have been full length plays, film screenings, short story writing competitions, rapier demonstrations, participatory archery, musketry displays, maypole dancing, grand Napoleonic Balls, afternoon teas in the Regency Manner, graveyard tours, costume promenades, period games, period food and much more.
2013 celebrated 200 years since the publication of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. It also celebrated six years that this annual festival has been running and growing in Canberra. The 2013 JAFA provided the perfect opportunity to unite one of history's most enduring and beloved writers with our own unique Australian history, opening a window on the life of Australia's early 19th century inland settlers and the milieu from whence they came and in which they lived.
Aylwen Gardiner-Garden - Jane Austen Festival Australia director, promotor and coordinator. She was assisted by the following sub-managers:
Melanie Green - Volunteer Manager