Hall of Fame

The National Beanie Hall of Fame recognises individuals who have significantly contributed to the on-going development of our festival. Adi Dunlop was our inaugural choice. It was she who first developed beanie fever and a vision of the festival. We thank her from the bottom of our beanies. There is an induction at the opening festival celebrations each year.


Deb Taylor Tompson, Deb Everson White and Kristian Malinski.

We couldn’t chose one without the others. These 3 have be complete legends when it has come to driving the Beanie Festival. All 3 have won awards in the National Beanie Competition and are amazing beanie makers in their own right. They have served on the committee for many years. Kris has run workshops in the remote Indigenous communities, he loves cataloguing the 6000 beanies, he paints boards, drills holes, looks after the beanie shed, drives the beanie bus, loves the giant beanie…marvellous. Deb TT donates to the Youth Scholarship program, runs the Indigenous workshops during the Festival, works the front counter, shares lots of joy and hugs and makes amazing cakes. Deb White, vice chair, coordinator of the volunteers (now that’s a big job) works the front desk, helps Jo keep her shit together, MCs the opening night, has a go at judging, and loves a plunger. Bless you all, we love you so much and thank you from the bottom of our beanies. Their outfits were created by the amazing Adi Dunlop.


Pamela Bladon

Pamela, a good friend of Adi Dunlop was there at the begining. She was Adi’s right hand lady. Writing grants, booking, organising, cooking, anything Adi needing doing Pamela was there. Her mum Eileen was a prolific crafter and loved making teacosies! Still today she loves helping out and loves being a part of the Festival. Hooray for Pamela.

Marion McLean

Marion, as a part of Araluen staff has been a part of many. many benaie festivals. she worked closely with the Festival and was a major player in getting the Festival of the ground each year. Many a new process in getting the Festival up and running was devised by Marion. She is a dear friend of the Festival and we love her very much.

Dave Nixon

Davo was there from the beginning too. He played in his band, Bark at the very first Festival. Then, throughout the years he documented the Festival making video stories, photographing beanies and beanie lovers. We continue to use his creations to promote the Festival and relive fond memories. He was also on dad duty throughout the year allowing Jo to focus on beanie business. Will always miss you Dave, love you lots.

2019 Brian Tucker

Brian is a beanie legend. He is a major sponsor, judge and our auditor. He keeps us on our toes and on track to run a successful festival every year. We expect he has the largest collection of echibition beanies outside the Festival. His generosity and spirit are a valuable assest to have every year. Brian helps out many organizations throught remote Australia and we all love him very much.a

2018 Greg Thompson

Greg, legend of all things technical at Araluen, has been to all 22 Festivals. He has been the master at getting the Festival together each year behind the scenes and dealt with all our strange requests with humour and grace. He will be leaving for Tassie in October but I’m not sure we can go on without him and will do everything we can to get him to fly back each year and help us out. Greg is a very deserving inductee of the Beanie Hall of Fame.

2018 Dave and Alma Straw

For many many years Dave and Alma have travelled from South Australia to volunteer at the Festival, Alma as a volunteer coordinator and Dave at the front door welcoming the punters. Sadly Dave passed away earlier this year and we will miss him terribly, but Alma in her gutsy determination travelled again to the Festival and continued her amazing volunteer work. Hooray for Alma…and we will love you always Dave.

2017 Tony and Penny Nicholson

For the past 10 years Tony and Penny have travelled from QLD for 6 weeks to Alice to volunteer their time to the Festival. Tony as treasurer and Penny as Teashop Boss. They are also responsible for the design and construction of the giant Beanie a centre piece of the Festival. The work they have done is incredible and they will be sadly missed especially Penny’s Honey Joys! We utterly appreciate and love everything they have done.

2017 Karen Jones

Karen has been on the committee for many a year she was Chairperson and a major organiser. Any job asked of her she just did. Scouting sponsors, finding money, getting buses and BBQs and keeping us sane with chocolate supplies. We love you Jonsey. Thanks.

2017 Tapatjatjaka Arts

The artists of Titjikala a remote Indigenous Community south of Alice Springs have been making beanies for the Festival for many many years. Their work is stunning, full of stories and country. They have won many awards for their beanies including being the first Indigenous artists to win the People’s Choice award in 2017 and also hold the record for selling the most expensive beanie at $2500. The artists also travel into the Festival each year to take part in the Festivities and teach Beanie making workshops to the tourists, they are very popular and add so much love and inspiration to all who meet them.

2016 Joanna Nixon

Jo is our chief beanieologist. Jo holds all the threads in her hands, and has done so since the first beanie landed on her doorstep. Jo’s home has been beanie headquarters for two decades and she has worked tirelessly for the festival and all that it stabds for. Thankyou Jo. We couldn’t have done it without you.

2015 Penny O’Neill

Penny O’Neill is acknowledged for her prolific artrageous crochet designs, her hilarious crochet workshops, her inventiveness and her creativity. We love Penny’s art works, her lizards are unique as is her humour. Penny we love your work!

2014 Gay Epstein

Gay Epstein of Ashford Australia has contributed to the festival as a sponsor, as a workshop facilitator. She was the festival’s chair person for many years. Gay has exhibited many gorgeous competition pieces to the festival and has a hand in so many projects.Gay also introduced the festival to needle felting. Thank you Gay!

2013 Ernabella Arts In 2005 Ernabella arts centre manager Hilary Furlong drove a troopy of senior artists 500 km to the festival. The artists demonstrated traditional Pitjantjatjara spinning and crochet at the festival. These creative and resilient artists have contributed incredible spinning, crochet and felting to our exhibitions. Some of the artists have won awards in the competition. They have demonstrated their work for many years since, enthusiastic to share their culture, despite the press of crowds. We thank them all for their understanding of theimportance of sharing.

Inpiti Winton, Tjariya Stanley, Ninguta Edwards and Hilary Furlong

2012 Annie Farthing Annie is the icing on the cake. Annie’s unflagging work in the Tea House has made the festival world famous for slice, cakes, muffins and biscuits. We thank Annie for coordinating both the baking and serving teams at the teahouse. The festival’s morning teas are world class.

2011 Merran Hughes Mez has been hanging the competition each year and documenting the festival since 1997. She set up the first competition and website in 1998, and haven’t we loved getting into the themes each year? Mez has worked every job over the years, but now she is mainly found doing publications and in the Araluen Galleries.

2010 Adi Dunlop We wonder how many thousands of beanies Adi Dunlop has made? No collection is complete without a Dunlop! Adi held the first beanie party and has been a cornerstone the development of the festival. We thank her for her artistry in the Beanie Central displays and her generosity in sharing her crochet tips. Adi is the original Beanie Queen.