Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Newcastle
PO Box 531


ABN:    42 374 836 979

Members and guests have been enjoying ADFAS lectures in Newcastle for over 30 years.

ADFAS Newcastle provides for its more than 200 members a yearly programme of nine illustrated early evening lectures given by accredited and expert lecturers from Australia and overseas, delivered in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Lectures explore all aspects of the arts: music, theatre, literature, painting, sculpture, domestic and public design and architecture, ranging from the earliest civilisations to the avant-garde, and from the familiar to the totally unexpected.

Lectures take place on Monday evenings in the Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts (HSPA), Broadmeadow, commencing at 6.30. This is a well-equipped modern theatre; parking is available on the campus and in Cameron Street. After the lecture we enjoy light refreshments, a glass of wine and a chance to compare notes with old and new friends, making the evening a congenial and convivial interlude. Two Special Interest Mornings held at The Newcastle Club enable members and guests to explore a topic in more depth, and enjoy morning tea in an elegant setting.

For more information about ADFAS Newcastle, forthcoming lectures, newsletters, news of other activities, to become a member or come as a guest, please visit our website

Committee 2020

Judy Wotton
Ph: 0404 833 773

Cathy Tate
Ph: 0411 323 866

Kathy Heinrich
Ph: 0455 333 021

Click here to view ADFAS Newcastle website


Penelope Britz
Ph: 0412 665 225

Membership Secretary:
Robyn Traill
Ph: 0411 404 976

Membership Enquiries: or membership secretary

Programme for 2020

24 February 2020
The Future of Teaching and Learning
The Newcastle Lecture

Do students still go to school to watch their teachers work?
In the ‘new school’ era we are heading towards, schools will be learning centres, with student engagement and personalised approaches focusing on individual needs. Emerging technologies will bring new ways of exploring and mastering ideas and knowledge. How can schools create the learning environments that empower every child for success and embrace the culture and expectations of the community?  

23 March 2020
A Tale of Two Barbaras: Barbara Hepworth and Barbara Tribe
Catherine WALLACE

These two sculptors made Cornwall their home for much of their lives and worked and taught there. Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903 – 1975) was a leader in the modernist movement in British art. Australian Barbara Tribe (1913 – 2000) studied with Raynor Hoff (ANZAC Memorial, Sydney), and later travelled to England. Notable are her 1943 portrait busts of Australian airmen. What drove the similarities and differences in the work of these two pioneering female artists of the 20th century?

20 April 2020
Four Women: Artists at the Venice Biennale

Simryn Gill (2013), Fiona Hall (2015), Tracey Moffit (2017) and Angelica Mesiti (2019) have been shown in the Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. As well as tracing their sophisticated practices, we ask what is the significance and the outcome of this hotly-contested opportunity in Venice? What does it means to ‘represent’ one’s country in an art exhibition? And why is it that the recently selected artists are women?

1 June 2020
Phrases and Sayings – the Etymology of the City of London

The English language is rich in idioms, phrases and sayings which are part of everyday speech yet seldom do we consider their original meanings. This is an exploration of historical etymology, often traceable to the City of London. Even if you have to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ and it’s ‘raining cats and dogs’ you’d be ‘barking mad’ to miss this lecture.

Special interest morning:
Sculptures of the Parthenon – How Lord Elgin gained and lost his marbles

29 June 2020
The Life Cycle of the Artist in Renaissance Italy
Kathleen OLIVE

Renaissance artists and artisans started very young. As their skills and reputations grew, they could become highly sought after and well remunerated. What qualities were required to reach the dizzying heights of innovation described Giorgio Vasari in his celebrated Lives? Kathleen explores the career of a Renaissance artist –- from the early stages of education, through to maturity – paying particular attention to artists’ writings and to their self-portraits.

27 July 2020
Gilded Splendour – Couture embroidery

Tucked away in the attic workshops of Paris, a hidden trade has existed for the last 160 years with very little publicity.  Haute couture embroidery studios have produced stunning hand worked embellishment for high class dressmakers since the 1850s.  This lecture delves into the history of just some of these establishments, some British embroiderers, and how the art of embroidery still occupies an important place in the fashion industry  of today.

31 August 2020
Packing Up the Nation
Caroline SHENTON

The gripping and sometimes hilarious story of how a band of heroic curators and eccentric custodians saved Britain’s national heritage during its Darkest Hour. As Hitler’s forces gathered on the other side of the Channel, men and women from London’s national museums, galleries and archives forged extraordinary plans. These unlikely heroes packed up their great treasures and dispatched them throughout the country on a series of secret wartime adventures.

Special Interest Morning: The Houses of Parliament: The Making of a British Icon

28 September 2020
The Age of Jazz

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. Drawing on his experience as musicologist and gigging musician, Sandy sheds light on jazz from the inside, from early pre-impressions by Maurice Ravel and the very earliest jazz recordings through to classics by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and the dawn of the Swing Era.

2 November 2020
Urban Noir: Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

Hopper’s paintings display loneliness and alienation in urban life.  In Nighthawks, 1942, we are given very few clues. Do these people know each other? It is the inexplicable quality of this scene which has made it so intriguing to generations of viewers, and has turned Nighthawks into one of the iconic images of 20th century urban life.  What is the background to Hopper’s masterpiece and why is it so lastingly fascinating? 


1 June 2020
Sculptures of the Parthenon or How Lord Elgin gained and lost his marbles
10am, The Newcastle Club,
Newcomen St, Newcastle

In the two centuries since they were removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, the meaning and significance of the ‘Elgin marbles’ has changed dramatically. From architectural decoration to disputed cultural objects this lecture looks at the response to them over their time in Britain, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution of the marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. 

31 August 2020
The Houses of Parliament: The Making of a British Icon
Caroline SHENTON
10 am, The Newcastle Club,
Newcomen St, Newcastle

In the early evening of 16 October 1834, to the horror of bystanders, a huge conflagration destroyed Parliament’s glorious old buildings and their contents. Based on the acclaimed book of the same name, this talk takes the audience through the gripping hour-by-hour story of the fire through contemporary depictions of the disaster by Turner, William Heath and others.

THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT are now destined for a multi-billion pound restoration.  Overcoming practical challenges, battling MPs and royalty, managing the difficult genius of his partner Pugin, fending off the mad schemes of a host of crackpot inventors and busybodies, and coming in three times over budget and twenty-four years behind schedule, this is the story of how architect Charles Barry created the most famous building in Britain.

Venue and Time of Lectures

The Hunter Theatre,
Hunter School of the Performing Arts
Lambton Road, Broadmeadow NSW 2292
(entry from Cameron St at the western end of the school campus)

Time: Lectures commence at 6.30 pm

Venue and Time of Special Interest Mornings

The Newcastle Club,
Newcomen St, Newcastle
Time: 10 am – 12 pm.
Morning tea included, $50.

Bookings essential. RSVP to


Visitors are always welcome.
Please let us know if you are visiting or, if you are a member, bringing guests.
Email to or phone to any Committee member.

Guest: $20
Student guest: $15
Member of another ADFAS group: $5
Each year a non-member may attend up to three lectures as a guest.


New members are welcome.

Annual membership: $170
Membership if paid after the 30 July: $85
Student annual membership: $85
Student annual membership if paid after 30 July: $40
The membership year runs from 1 December to 30 November. Individuals may join anytime.
(A student is 25 and under and attends school, university or TAFE full-time)

All Membership Enquiries

Membership Secretary: Mrs Robyn Traill
Ph: 0411 404 976
Download a membership form:
See our Facebook Page – 
ADFAS Newcastle

Newcastle Newsletters

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.