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 not-for-profit society, where members, guests and casual visitors have the opportunity to attend lectures presented by overseas and Australian experts on a wide range of topics.   Our 2021 program offers ten informative one-hour presentations on topics ranging across the decorative and fine arts, craftsmanship, furnishings, design and performing arts.  

ADFAS Byron is now registered as a COVID Safe business and we are committed to providing a safe environment for members and visitors to attending our 2021 lecture program. The venue for our evening lectures is Bangalow’s historic A&I Hall which, with its adequate space for social distancing, will assist us to implement our safety plan.  We remain hopeful that all scheduled events will take place in the Hall.   However, digital back-ups of lectures for virtual viewing will be available, if travel restrictions prevent our Australian lecturers from presenting in person.

Our two UK lecturers will provide the option of a virtual lecture for communal screening and home viewing, or live-streaming.

Committee 2021

Dianne Stuart
Ph: 0412 370 372

Diana Harden
Ph: 0418 288 428

Peter Harden
Ph: 0408 514 168


Membership Enquiries:
Sue Brennan
Ph: 0409 728 814

Follow us on Facebook: @ADFASByronBay

Programme for 2021

ADFAS Byron is registered as a COVID safe business and will provide both digital and face to face lectures during 2021, according to current Public Health determinations and the capacity of our venue.  The February and September lectures by UK lecturers, will be screened for members in Bangalow’s  A&I Hall and will also be available for home viewing. The scheduled face-to-face lectures will have options for home viewing if border restrictions prevent the lecturers from travelling. Please check as circumstances may change at any time.  Social distancing and check-in requirements will be in place.For further information please contact

8 February 2021
Architecture of Mughal India: Palaces, Mosques and Mausoleums
Dr John STEVENS – UK Lecturer
Digital / A&I Hall Bangalow  –  6pm

Before the British arrived, the Indian subcontinent was ruled by Mughal Emperors. The buildings and gardens they constructed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century left an indelible stamp on India’s architectural and cultural landscape. Mughal architecture fused Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian traditions, giving rise to some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. This lecture takes you on a tour of some of India’s greatest buildings, providing insight into the historical contexts and colourful personalities involved in their construction.

Dr John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London and a member of academic staff at the SOAS South Asia Institute. He has a PhD in History from University College London. He teaches British Imperial history, Indian history and Bengali language and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh. He publishes widely in the fields of British and Indian history.

8 March 2021
From the Tentmaker’s Khan to the City of the Dead
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm 

In this lecture, Jenny explores textiles in Egypt. She demonstrates examples of the appliqué hangings stitched by the Tentmakers of Cairo; the ground-breaking work of the Wissa Wassef tapestry school;  patchwork projects with wives and daughters of the garbage collectors of Cairo; the embroiderers of Upper Egypt who sew their stories into fabric; dyeing silks in the dyeing khans for use as tassels in curtain making, or spinning in the long alleys of the City of the Dead.

Jenny Bowker
Jenny has an Arts Degree (Visual) from Australian National University. She has been quilting since 1997 and is an internationally known and awarded quilter, quilt judge and appraiser and a published writer.   Married to an Australian diplomat, Jenny lived in New Guinea, Syria, Malaysia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.     She has worked with women’s groups in Iran, Palestine and other developing countries, as well as teaching in Europe, Asia and USA.  She is known for her work with Egyptian Tentmakers and has exhibited her work in many countries.

In 2018 Jenny was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia “For distinguished service to Australia-Middle East cultural relations through the preservation of traditional creative and visual arts and as a textile artist and educator.”

12 April 2021
Telling our Stories: Images and Ideas in Three Waves of Australian Films
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm

Australian films rose to world attention as a distinctive cinema in the 1970s and early 80s with a series of beautifully shot and performed period dramas – Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir, 1975), My Brilliant Career (Armstrong, 1979), and Breaker Morant (Beresford, 1980).  These films created a lyrical and bittersweet image of Australia for the world.   A decade later “The Glitter Cycle”, created a very different image – one covered in sequins, rambunctious and gleefully spectacular.  Strictly Ballroom (Luhrmann, 1992) Muriel’s Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1994) and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Elliot, 1994).   Box office success and critical acclaim have been somewhat elusive since the 90s, but now there is a new wave of attention from local and international critics and audiences for the distinctive work of Indigenous filmmakers.   Samson and Delilah (Thornton, 2009) The Sapphires (Blair, 2012) and Mystery Road (Sen, 2013) offer complex, poetic, images of Australia generated by strong, self-assured voices.   This lecture looks at examples from these three ‘waves’ of Australian Cinema, and considers how the industry tells ‘our stories’ and projects an image of Australia to the world.

Dr Karen Pearlman is a senior lecturer in Screen Production and Practice at Macquarie University – Australia’s 2020 Top Research Institution in Film.  In 2019, Karen and colleague Dr Iqbal Barkat, won the 2019 Australian Award for University Teaching Citation, in recognition of their collaborative teaching of screen production.   Karen writes, directs and edits screen productions and is a co- director of the multi award winning Physical TV Company based in Sydney, through which she has been responsible for development and production of numerous highly acclaimed and award-winning dance-films, documentaries and dramas.   These works have received over 80 nominations or awards and have been screened at over 300 international film festivals.

17 May 2021
Aboriginal Art from Rock Art to Today
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm

This lecture explains how the modern Aboriginal art movement has developed since the 1970s and how it maintains its connection to visual traditions going back to rock art created many thousands of years ago. It focuses on how cultural traditions are reinvented and reinvigorated through innovative art of today. Examples include Indigenous art from the Central Desert, North Queensland, the Kimberleys and Arnhem Land.

Dr Sally Butler is a Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Queensland, specialising in contemporary Australian art, contemporary Australian Indigenous art and cross-cultural critical theory.   Sally is the author and curator of the 2007 publication and international touring exhibition titled Our Way: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River.  She is an editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art.  

Previously, she edited the book – Fully Exploited Labour, Pat Hoffie, 2008; authored a chapter on Arnhem Land artist John Mawurndjul and was a former Associate Editor of Australian Art Collector Magazine.  

7 June 2021
Those Mitford Girls
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm

In this lecture, Susannah looks at the lives and works of the aristocratic and unconventional Mitford sisters. These five Mitford sisters were writers and socialites, biographers and essayists.    Jessica, who wrote Hons and Rebels and The American Way of Death, was a communist and human rights activist.   Unity sympathised with the Nazis and worshipped Hitler. Nancy was also a writer and her characters in Love in a Cold Climate had a reckless upper-class Bohemianism and were determined to find life amusing at all costs.   Diana became the most hated woman in Britain during World War II.  Deborah, Debo to her family, was the youngest.  She was a writer, memoirist and socialite.

Susannah Fullerton, OAM, FRSN, is a passionate reader and loves to promote a love of great literature in others. For more than 25 years she has been President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, the largest literary society in this country. She is Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia and a member of the Australian Bronte Association and the NSW Dickens Society. Susannah is the author of several books about Jane Austen and also of Brief Encounters: Literary Travellers in Australia, and she has written and recorded two audio CDs. She leads popular literary tours to the UK, France, Italy, Scandinavia and the USA for Australians Studying Abroad. Susannah publishes a free monthly newsletter, ‘Notes from a Book Addict’. She has been a popular ADFAS speaker for more than 20 years.

12 July 2021
Diamonds and Pearls: The King and Queen or Gemstones
Charlotte NATTEY
Face to face Special Interest Half-Day – A&I Hall Bangalow 10am  

These two one-hour lectures FIRE AND ICE: Diamonds the King of Gemstones and PEARLS: Dewdrops of the Ocean, look at some of the myths and legends that surround them.  We will examine early diamond discoveries plus some of the famous and infamous diamonds renowned for having left a trail of murder, mystery and mayhem in their wake. Pearls which seem to appear by magic from the sea, have fascinated people for millennia and have bewitched many cultures.   From Persia to Rome, Byzantium, Europe, India and China, pearls have been used in jewellery and objects to enhance and decorate the powerful and wealthy.

Charlotte was educated in the UK and studied art and music in Florence.  She is a graduate of St. Martins School of Art, London, majoring in fashion and dress.  While living in Rome, she worked as a designer in the couture dress trade for “Fernanda Gattinoni” and was a freelance dress designer for Simonetta, Pucci and other couture houses.  She has designed for London couture fashion houses including Belinda Belville and Spectator Sports, as well as major fashion houses in Sydney. Her interests encompass the fields of decorative & fine arts, antiques, gardens, music and fashion, with a fascination for design and its influence on our lives. She is a long-standing ADFAS member, having served as a committee member, membership secretary and chairman and has been a regular lecturer for ADFAS over many years.

16 August 2021
Australian Landscapes: Glover to Olsen
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm 

It is often said that the Australian landscape – its colours, intensity of light, and the strange forms of its mountains and flora – posed unique problems for artists trained in a European tradition.  However, the history of Australian landscape painting is farmore complex.

Dr Nick Gordon holds a University Medal (2003) and PhD (2009) in history from the University of Sydney. He has taught European history at the University of Sydney (2004-2009), the history of political thought at Western Sydney University (2009-14) and architectural history at the University of NSW. He has lectured regularly on art and history topics for the Nicholson Museum, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, the WEA Sydney and Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education. Nick has led art-focused tours for Academy Travel since 2007, principally to Europe and Australia. He is also an artist and brings his deep knowledge of materials, techniques and the insights of his “artist’s eye” to his analyses of art in his lectures.

6 September 2021
The Art of Seduction
Lynne GIBSON – UK Lecturer
Live Stream lecture A&I Hall Bangalow   6pm

Seduction had been one of the enduring themes of art since Eve offered Adam an apple. Courtly love blossomed in manuscripts and miniatures of the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance offered painters an Olympian cast of amorous gods and goddesses. Puritanical Dutch and Prudish Victorians tutted over the loose morals of fallen women. Rococo artists reveled in the flirtatious fun of Fetes Galantes and Belle Epoque ‘Gay Paree’ flaunted the Femme Fatale. However, in our permissive society has the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ killed the spirit of romance? This lecture celebrates the theme of love and courtship through painting from the Age of Chivalry to the Modern Age.

 Lynne Gibson is a freelance lecturer in the History of Art, Critical and Contextual Studies, as well as in practical drawing, painting and printmaking. For many years she lectured for the universities of Sussex and Bristol where she introduced ‘Understanding Art’ to the Lifelong Learning programme and residential summer schools. She is a professional artist specialising in oil painting and etching. She has exhibited in solo and group shows at the British Museum, the Barbican and others.

4 October 2021
The Book of Kells: Its History, Myths and Wonder
Face to face lecture – A&I Hall Bangalow 6pm

Gemma Black presents a highly polished and entertaining look at Ireland’s national treasure the Book of Kells. Gemma was invited by the National Gallery of Australia to prepare and present this lecture on the calligraphy and illumination, pigments and tools therein and the background to the Book of Kells upon its highly acclaimed visit to Australia in the year 2000. Gemma worked in conjunction with Susie Bioletti (head of conservation NGA now Trinity College), on the tools and pigments component of the Book of Kells and the Art of Illumination blockbuster exhibition held at the National Gallery where over 81,000 visitors experienced this exciting event. Since then Gemma has presented this lecture, among others, to audiences throughout Australia and around the world. This one hour illustrated lecture with images taken from her original lecture, informs, educates and stimulates. It is an excellent opportunity for those interested in books, book history and calligraphy to delve further into the past and learn some of the history and the mystery of this astonishing manuscript.


22 November 2021

Annual General Meeting
A&I Hall Bangalow – 5pm


Lectures and Special Interest Days 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 Sue Brennan –

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