Postal Address:

ADFAS Newcastle
PO Box 531

For more information about ADFAS Newcastle, please visit our website

ABN:    42 374 836 979

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

ADFAS Newcastle provides for its nearly 200 members a programme of nine illustrated early evening lectures – one digital and eight in-person. In 2021 the eight in-person lectures will be given by Australian lecturers. Lectures explore all aspects of the arts: music, theatre, literature, painting, sculpture, domestic and public design and architecture.Lectures (while Covid restrictions are in place) will take place on Monday evenings in Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle commencing at 6.30 pm. A Special Interest Morning will be held at The Newcastle Club in February 2021.

Committee 2021

Judy Wotton
Ph: 0404 833 773

Cathy Tate
Ph: 0411 323 866

Kathy Heinrich
Ph: 0455 333 021


Penelope Britz
Ph: 0412 665 225

Membership Secretary:
Robyn Traill
Ph: 0411 404 976

Membership Enquiries: or membership secretary


During 2021, we will have eight lectures which will be held in Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle. We have entered into a hiring agreement with Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle which covers all the Covid-19 Safe Return to Church framework which complies with all the Public Health requirements.

February 2021
Lecture: Pots and Frocks
Lecturer: Ian Swankie

Best known for his outlandish appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry is now a core part of the art establishment, a Turner Prize winner, Royal Academician, popular broadcaster and colourful character. He’s possibly one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists. His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he tackles difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way and holds a mirror up to society.

Ian Swankie

A Londoner with a passion for art and architecture, Ian is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives tours around each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Since 2012 he has led a popular weekly independent art lecture group in his home town of Richmond in West London.

Special Interest Morning (SIM)
22 February 2021
Lecture: Wallpaper Symmetry
Lecturer: Dr David Banney
In-person lecture

Aside from its beauty, the Alhambra Palace is actually a bit of an encyclopaedia of symmetry. For example, unbeknownst (presumably) to the artists of the time, they have included all of the 17 possible categories of ‘wallpaper symmetry’ (ie tessellations) in the mosaics that festoon the walls. Included in this lecture are some of the fascinating aspects of the means of design and construction, and the religious imperatives behind geometry in Islamic Art. 

Dr David Banney

A past winner of the ABC Young Conductor of the Year Award, David has conducted many of Australia’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Queensland Symphony, Queensland Philharmonic, Opera Queensland, Queensland Ballet, Adelaide Symphony, West Australian Symphony, Queensland Youth Symphony and Sydney Youth Philharmonic. David is a researcher in the area of symmetry and symmetry breaking in music, and his output has included collaborations with scientists including Giuseppe Caglioti (Politecnico di Milano) and Roger Smith (Hunter Medical Research Institute). 

15 March 2021
Lecture: Frayed at the Edges
Lecturer: Julian Bickersteth
In-person lecture

Julian Bickersteth has spent the last 30 years conserving some of Australia’s great collections and icons as well as working on international sites such as the historic huts of Antarctica. This wide ranging and heavily illustrated lecture will tell the stories behind some of these projects and also discuss more broadly some of the challenges of art conservation.

Julian Bickersteth

Julian Bickersteth is the CEO of International Conservation Services which he founded in 1988.  He read Theology at Oxford, trained as a furniture conservator and moved to Australia to join the Powerhouse Museum in 1983. He is also currently President of the International Institute for Conservation.

26 April 2021
Lecture: Four Women: Artists at the Venice Biennale
Lecturer: Julie Ewington
In-person lecture

Simryn Gill (2013), Fiona Hall (2015), Tracey Moffet (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 mean to ‘represent’ one’s country in an art exhibition? Why is it that the recently selected artists are women?

Julie Ewington

Julie Ewington is a writer, curator and broadcaster based in Sydney. An authority on contemporary Australian art, especially art by women, and contemporary art from Southeast Asia, she has held both academic and curatorial positions, always focusing on contemporary art. Her interests extend from feminism to cosmopolitanism, from installation to jewellery, from museum projects to cultural resistance. In 2014, Julie received the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Award to honour her achievements as a curator, writer, and advocate for the visual arts.


31 May 2021
Lecture: Response to Place: Art and the Environment  – The Artwork of Turpin + Crawford Studio
Lecturer: Jennifer Turpin
In-person lecture

A journey through the kinetic environmental artworks of Australian public artists Jennifer Turpin + Michaelie Crawford through videos and images of their environmentally responsive artworks. Playful, contemplative or mesmerizing the artworks will show how nature’s elemental energies can activate and transform the everyday life in our cities and towns.

Jennifer Turpin

Jennifer Turpin is a public artist with 20 years’ experience creating kinetic installations engaging water, wind and light as sculptural media. She creates dynamic site-specific kinetic artworks at the interface of art, science, nature and the built environment. Activated by nature’s elemental energies, her artworks are rhythmic, responsive and transformative ‘performances’ in the everyday life of the city. At once puzzling, playful, mesmerising and contemplative, the artworks make visible the invisible and highlight the elemental energies of nature.

28 June 2021
Lecture: Norman Magnificence in Sicily
Lecturer: Kathleen Olive
In-person lecture

It is often assumed that the art and architecture of Norman southern Italy should be strongly tied to the invaders’ own French or adopted Italian influences. In this lecture, Kathleen investigates the Islamic and Byzantine models for Sicily’s imposing monuments. Considering Palermo’s glittering Palatine Chapel, for example, or Cefalu’s imposing cathedra,l we uncover the values and taste of the Normans in Sicily.

Kathleen Olive

Kathleen lived and studied in Italy for a number of years, and then taught Italian language, literature and history at the University of Sydney. Kathleen has a research interest in fifteenth-century Italy, particularly through paleography and documentary editing. She has worked on editions of plays written by sixteenth-century Tuscan nuns, and her PhD was an edition of the Codex Rustici, a celebrated fifteenth-century commonplace book compiled by a Florentine artisan.

26 July 2021
Lecture: Patterns Inform Placemaking
Lecturer: Peter Stutchbury
In-person lecture

Placemaking begins with an understanding of ‘place’ – place is a composition of climatic and or human factors that respond to land conditions. A Place has an undercurrent and an overlay and is defined by human understanding – Making is the physical act of formation, primarily defined by culture and comfort.

Peter Stutchbury

Peter is well known in Australia for his innovative approach to sustainability and design within the practice of Architecture. Peter Stutchbury has directed his own practice since 1981. Since 1995 his firm has won 47 AIA awards including 13 at National level. He has lectured and taught in over 20 countries, participating in four international juries. In 2004 Peter was awarded the University of Newcastle Convocation medal and has being a professor there since 1999.

30 August 2021
Lecture: Literary England
Lecturer: Susannah Fullerton
In-person lecture

Discover the ‘England of English Literature’ and join Susannah Fullerton as she reveals her ‘Top Ten’ places in England that are connected with writers and great works of literature. You will visit a library, houses large and small, churches, a graveyard and an ancient charitable institution. You will travel from the gentle countryside of southern England, up to more dramatic northern landscapes. 

Susannah Fullerton

Susannah Fullerton, OAM FRS, has been President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for over 20 years. She is also Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia, a founding member of the NSW Dickens Society and of the Australian Bronte Association, and a member of the Dylan Thomas Society of Australia and of the Sydney Passengers Sherlock Holmes Society. She lectures regularly at the Art Gallery of NSW, at the State Library of NSW and at conferences, schools and libraries.

27 September 2021
Lecture: Four Who Went to War
Lecturer: Gavin Fry
In-person lecture

This lecture looks at the first four Australian artists commissioned as Official War Artists in World War II. 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. They were very different characters, each with their own approach to a great artistic challenge. The lecture discusses the way in which they were selected, their experiences at the front and the work they produced.

Gavin Fry

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 a large number of 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 designs and publishes books on behalf of other writers and artists.


1 November 2021
Lecture: Venice the Perfect Setting for Love, Sex and Death
Lecturer: Ron Ramsey
In-person lecture

Whilst known as La Serenissima, Venice can be anything but. A city simply like no other, it continues to fascinate and draw to it an audience ready to be immersed in its many offerings. Whilst some read its sinking back into the sea as a metaphor for death and its ultimate demise, others see Venice as a resilient and romantic escape. This talk explores the carnal more than the Carnevale and cites examples of the colourful characters who have been drawn to it for love, sex and or to die.

Ron Ramsey

Ramsey’s wealth of experience in art museums across three decades includes three years at the National Gallery of Victoria, 14 years at the National Gallery of Australia and seven years as Director of the Newcastle Art Gallery from 2007 to 2014. He was Australia’s Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC from 2004 to 2007 and most recently, Development Manager of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne.

Venue and Time of Lectures

Our usual venue, Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, is currently unavailable, as such lectures in 2021 will be held in Christ Church Cathedral, Church St, Newcastle until further notice.
Lectures commence promptly at 6.30 pm and are followed by, subject to COVID-19 restrictions, a light supper and a glass of wine.

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


$20 per lecture
Members of other ADFAS Societies: $5
RSVP appreciated:
Contact Richard Jennings  0402 149 480 or


New members are welcome.

Annual membership $170
Annual Subscriptions due: 30 November
$85 after the 5th lecture
Students: Annual membership $35

All Membership Enquiries

Membership Secretary: Mrs Robyn Traill
Ph: 0411 404 976