The primary aim of ADFAS is to provide interesting and informative lectures across a diverse range of topics encompassing all aspects of the arts.

Our lecturers are both local and touring overseas lecturers who are primarily from the United Kingdom.  They are generally experienced arts professionals, including curators, artists, authors and performers but could be anyone who has expert knowledge in an aspect of the arts and the ability to present an informal illustrated lecture which both explains and entertains. Lectures are approximately 1 hour long. In addition to lectures, many ADFAS Societies also offer Special Interest sessions of two or three 1-hour lectures where topics can be explored in more depth.

ADFAS also aims to bring like minded people together in a social atmosphere so lectures are followed or preceded by light refreshments. In addition, some societies arrange a social calendar of outings and events.

The lecture series generally runs from March to early November with societies presenting between 8 and 10 lectures over this period. Joining fees vary between societies and some societies will also accept guests. Please explore the Society section of this website to locate a society near you.


The lecture topics highlighted here are samples of the
diverse lecture topics from the ADFAS 2021 programme.

POTS AND FROCKS – the world of Grayson Perry

Widely known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry RA is now a core part of the art establishment. A Turner Prize winner and possibly one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists, his ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

A Sample of 2021 Lectures


On Ernest Shackleton’s third Antarctic expedition in 1914, his ship, the Endurance, was trapped and eventually crushed in the pack ice. The Australian Frank Hurley, one of the great photographers of the 20th century, was the expedition’s official photographer. His photographs are a visual narrative of an epic journey.


Jazz is one of the twentieth century’s most important musical genres: a fascinating blend of rigorous structure, free-wheeling creativity, close-knit ensemble work and improvisation. This lecture covers the early years of jazz from its very beginnings and the first ever recordings made just over a century ago through to the start of the Second World War.


When a critic described a work as ‘just little cubes’ he was being derogatory but most of all, he was not understanding the complex layers of meaning beneath the surface of the work.


This lecture looks at the first four Australian artists commissioned as Official War Artists in World War Two. William Dargie, Harold Herbert, Ivor Hele and Murray Griffin made a significant contribution to our understanding of the experiences of Australian service personnel in the early years of the war.

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Interested in starting a society in your area?

Contact: newsocieties@adfas.org.au

Mailing Address

PO Box 19
Toormina NSW 2452