Woodford Folk Festival Live Show: The Twelve Tribes

Special Guest: Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott hosts the podcast Inside the Tribe, winner of the Best True Crime Podcast at the 2023 Australian Podcast Awards. He is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has appeared in London's The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, and The Australian. Tim is senior writer at Good Weekend, the Saturday magazine for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, where he has won two Kennedy Awards and been nominated for a Walkley.

Special Guest: Matthew Klein

Matthew Klein spent two years in the Twelve Tribes between 1999-2001, and two decades on remains passionate about sharing his experiences to advocate for change. He particularly keeps the children impacted at the forefront of his mind in this endeavour.


Written and Researched by Sarah Steel

Music by Joe Gould

January 17th, 2024 (released – recorded January 1st 2024)

1 hr 15 mins 21 secs

Season 6


Season 6 presenting partner:


This episode was recorded live at Woodford Folk Festival on 1 January 2024. Many people in the audience would have come across the Twelve Tribes previously at that very festival, as they used to build a big Common Ground cafe by the lake where tens of thousands of festival-goers ate and drank over the years.

Numerous wonderful people have devoted their lives to the communities and the lifestyle of the Twelve Tribes. Thousands of fantastic individuals and families are truly dedicated to a way of life that in certain respects has a lot to offer. Their positive experiences, however, don’t negate the stories of those who have come out with less positive things to say. And it’s important to understand why there have been numerous stories with similar themes of harm that have come out of this group over the decades since they formed.