Byron Bay

Postal Address:

ADFAS Byron Bay & Districts
PO Box 356
Lennox Head NSW 2478

ABN:  40 338 920 815

ADFAS Byron Bay, is a small, friendly society whose members enjoy the company of others with an interest and passion for the arts. Our 2022 program offers members, guests and casual visitors eight informative one-hour presentations delivered by Australian and overseas experts across a range of arts related topics.   Lectures are held on a Monday evening in the historic A&I Hall in the charming Byron hinterland village of Bangalow.

Byron Bay and its surrounding hinterland offers residents and visitors alike, an array of attractions namely – stunning scenery, fine and casual dining, specialising in locally sourced produce, local craft brewers and gin distilleries, weekly local produce markets, galleries, museums, sporting, community clubs and much more.

Committee 2022

Dianne Stuart

Peter Harden
Ph: 0408 514 168


Membership Enquiries:
Peter Harden
Ph: 0408 514 168


21 March 2022
Title: A Tale of Two Cities – St Petersburg and Moscow
Lecturer: Kenneth Park
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow

This beautifully illustrated lecture profiles the contrasting cities of Moscow, with its impressive and world-famous landmarks like St Basil’s, the Kremlin and Red Square and St Petersburg – the artfully planned statement city of European sophistication that is a celebration of art and architecture.   St Petersburg is home to the Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum with its fabulous architecture and art collection, as well as other key monuments of Russian history including the Peterhof and Peter and Paul Fortress.

Kenneth W Park has served as Curator of Collections at Wesley College, Melbourne for over thirty years where he is responsible for the school’s extensive art and archival collections.  An avid traveller, tour leader and lecturer, Kenneth works with a range of tourism organisations and travel companies across the globe. He lives by the motto: ‘Life is a grand tour so make the most of it’.


2 May 2022
Title: Working From Life: Puppets, Lay Figures and Strange Studios
Lecturer:  Dr William Platz
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow

It was commonplace for artists, until quite recently, to populate their working spaces with odd studio puppets called ‘lay figures’. These disconcerting figures were beautiful pieces of ingenuity and craftsmanship and they enabled artists to pose and study the body when bodies were otherwise unavailable or inconvenient. Lay figures allowed artists to work ‘from life’ without the living.  Dr Platz uses his artwork and research into studio puppets, to shine light into this obscure corner of art practice and to demonstrate the continuing relevance of studio puppets in contemporary art.

Dr Platz is an American-Australian artist, teacher and researcher with a disciplinary focus on drawing.   He exhibits and publishes regularly in the US, Europe and Australia. With research concentrations in life drawing, portraiture and pedagogies of drawing, his recent work confects drawing, the body and puppets. He resides in Brisbane and is currently Head of Drawing at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Dr Platz completed his BFA and MA degrees in New York and his PhD in Australia.

23 May 2022
Title: War and Peace: Ben Quilty and George Gittoes
Lecturer:  Gavin Fry
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow 

Since the end of the Vietnam War more than forty years ago, Australians have served as peacekeepers in many parts of the world.  While the title might sound benign, the conflicts and experiences of those at the front can be as dramatic and dangerous as any world war. Both Ben Quilty and George Gittoes have  worked as war artists with these small expeditionary forces, bringing home a truly human story, filled with the high emotion and drama befitting artists of deep feeling and conscience.

 Gavin Fry is a writer, artist and museum professional with fifty years’ experience working in curatorial and management positions in Australian museums, galleries, and educational institutions.  He is the author of twenty-five books on Australian art and history and many catalogue and journal essays. In retirement, Gavin has returned to his art training and exhibits as a painter in Newcastle and Melbourne. As well as working as a professional writer, he also designs and publishes books on behalf of other writers and artists. Gavin holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts [Hons] and Master of Arts from Monash University and Master of Philosophy from Leicester University.

20 June 2022
Title: Turner – The Explorer
Lecturer:  Robert Ketton
Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow

Turner lived at a time of great social change and scientific invention and is regarded as one of the greatest 19th century painters, with works exhibited in galleries worldwide. His works record Britain’s transition from a rural to an industrial society. He was a fascinating character: secretive, driven, penny pinching and generous, chaotic in his private life and fiercely patriotic.  While Robert talks about the life and times of JMW Turner, Catherine demonstrates Turner’s style and technique.

Former Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Queensland, teacher and actor, Robert has subsequently established a Federal Government funded organisation helping flood victims and has published a number of books and plays.  He is currently working on an illustrated children’s book with his artist wife, Catherine. Catherine also has a diverse working background.  A former drama teacher and family therapist, then student of classical painting techniques at the Florence Academy of Art, member of an arts co-operative, plus teaching oil painting both freelance and for U3A.   She has held exhibitions of her work in many locations.

18 July 2022
Title: Inspired! Design across time and Smart Works: Design and the Handmade
Lecturer:  Grace Cochrane
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow

This presentation highlights the thematic sections, behind-the-scenes curatorial work, installation and final displays of two important exhibitions which opened at the Powerhouse Museum in 2004 and 2007.   Inspired! Design across time was intended as a permanent changing exhibition, showing work from the collection, spanning the entire range of Australian examples of decorative arts and design over 300 years.    Smart Works: design and the handmade considered the work of about 40 enterprising designers/makers from Australia and New Zealand, to whom making objects by hand, was central to their interests and desire to put ideas into production.   Smart Works considered the key questions and choices they made in responding to the challenges and opportunities this raised.

Grace Cochrane was a senior curator of Australian decorative arts and design at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney until 2005.   Here, she was the co-ordinating curator for the collection-based gallery, Inspired! Design across time (2005); and external curator for Smart works: design and the handmade (2007).  Her later exhibitions include, among others, White gums and ramoxes: ceramics by Merric and Arthur Boyd from the Bundanon Trust Collection (2009-2012); Potters Cottage: a tribute, Manningham Art Gallery,2012; The Fuping Group, sharing the experience, Sturt gallery, 2013. Now, as an independent curator and writer, Grace has written The Crafts Movement in Australia: a History, and for many years has spoken on crafts and design, written for a range of publications, been a board member and conference speaker.

15 August 2022
Title: History of Hallmarking in England
Lecturer:  Jolyon Warwick James
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow

This presentation provides an in-depth look at hallmarking – why was it needed, how it was developed and implemented and also its relevance today.  Whilst looking at English hallmarking, Jolyon also examines English provincial, Scottish and Irish marks, making comparative reference to hallmarking in other countries.  Historically interesting, it is a very practical means of learning how to “decode” these strange symbols.  

Jolynon Jones is a Sydney-based professional consultant on antique silver.  He was educated at London University and has been a lecturer, valuer/appraiser and adviser on English, European, colonial and other silver to museums, auction houses, Government bodies, collectors and educational organisations, both here and overseas.   He has published widely on international silver collections and practices and also produced a references manual on Australian gold and silver hallmarks.   

12 September 2022
Title: The Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte: too magnificent for a king?
Lecturer:  John Broadley
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow 

This lecture considers the fortunes of the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte. Completed in 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet for a grand fete in honour of King Louis XIV, the building conversely led to the owner being jailed for the remainder of his life and the confiscation of the château. Louis XIV subsequently built a grand palace at Versailles so that none of his subjects could ever outshine the king. This lecture will look at Nicolas Fouquet, the rivalries that led to his downfall and subsequent owners and occupants of the château. It will also include a detailed tour of the château and a look at how its current owners deal with managing one of the most significant privately-owned estates of Europe.

John Broadley is a historian of Australian colonial architecture, French culture, and relationships between Australia and Europe.  He holds an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies from Charles Sturt University.  John has worked in conjunction with heritage architects on conservation management programs for numerous significant heritage properties in New South Wales and has published on the historic houses of New South Wales.

10 October 2022
Title: All You Wanted to Know About Sets but were Afraid to Ask?
Lecturer:  Professor Michael Scott-Mitchell
Venue & Time: 6pm A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow 

This lecture focuses on a selection from the almost 200 stage shows, musicals and operas Michael has designed over a 38-year career.  Forty of these have been for the Sydney Theatre Company, twelve for Opera Australia, eleven for the Bell Shakespeare Company and the rest spread across Australia and internationally.  Michael’s stage designs for the Sydney Theatre Company include Suddenly Last Summer, King of Country, Storm Boy, As You Like It and Pygmalian. As set designer for Opera Australia since 1996, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, and Tosca are among some of his work.

For the past three decades Michael has been a formidable force within the performing arts making a major contribution both within Australia and internationally.  Musicals are an ongoing part of his body of work and these include Harry M. Miller’s theatrical productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Johnny O’Keefe’s Shout! Michael has designed an impressive number of world-renowned productions including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Cauldron, finding himself at the forefront of digital explorations in design for performance.  In the last twelve months he has designed Madame Butterfly for Opera Australia, the first fully fledged digital design for opera in Australia. In this presentation Michael will include some of his most recent and incredible works.  These works embrace digital technology, which in turn Michael is enfolding into his research as Professor of Practice, UNSW Art and Design. Digital Landscapes are a part of the future, and his interest is how to incorporate this technology to enhance performance. Not always as easy as you might think…


Date:  October/early November TBA
Venue:  A&I Hall Station St. Bangalow
Time:  TBA


Lectures are held in the historic A&I Hall Bangalow. The Hall was built in 1911 and originally used as the Agriculture and Industry Show Pavilion.  It is a fine example of Art Deco Architecture. The hall was also used for picture shows, debutant balls, soldiers’ farewells and welcome home concerts.  Other incarnations include a venue for dances, skating, weddings, flower shows and an emergency hospital during the 1919 Flu epidemic.


Contact –

Annual Membership – $140 per person and $240 per couple.   Guest/casual visitor fee – $25