Select Society

Postal Address:

Post Office Box 481

ABN: 88 077 121 951

adfas-art-of-livingADFAS Noosa offers a monthly Saturday afternoon program of eight illustrated lectures from March to October for its members and guests.  The lectures are presented by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields. After the lectures members and guests meet for a glass of wine, finger food and good company.

New members are always welcome.  Our Membership Secretary, Sharon Hyde, will happily respond to all enquiries.

Special Events, tours to galleries, exhibitions and places of interest are also arranged throughout the year.

During the year we raise funds for our Young Arts development program through events, donations and raffles. We also offer popular excursions to exhibitions and cultural and historic places of interest.


ADFAS Noosa Inc
PO Box 481
Noosa Heads QLD 4567

Committee 2019 
Chairman: Denise Turkington
0420 907 900

Honorary Secretary: Jan Collins
0417 497 021 

Membership Secretary: Joan Trusler
0436 323 776

Programme for 2019

Saturday 9 March

Paul Bahn (The Arts Society)

What Really Happened on Easter Island

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is the most isolated, permanently inhabited land on the planet, home to an extraordinary Stone Age culture that produced hundreds of sophisticated coastal stone platforms, more than a thousand enormous stone statues, the richest rock art in the Pacific, and a unique writing system.  This talk will provide an introduction to the discovery of this culture and its principal features; and what archaeology, oral traditions and, more recently, palaeobotanical evidence have combined to teach us about the island’s cultural rise and decline.

Paul studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and completed his PhD thesis in 1979 on the prehistory of the French Pyrenees.  He has held post-doctoral fellowships at Liverpool and London, plus a J. Paul Getty postdoctoral fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. For eight years in the 1990s Paul was Vice-President of the Australian Rock Art Association. His main research interest is prehistoric art, especially rock art of the world.  Paul led the team which, at his instigation, searched for and discovered the first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags, UK in 2003.

Saturday 6 April

Philip Bailey (Australia)

Yehudi Menuhin:  Prodigy and Phenomenon

Philip was Yehudi Menuhin’s personal assistant for two decades performing a host of duties associated with the touring artist and his two remarkable musician sisters Hephzibah and Yaltah. This close association has given Philip unique insights into the lives of these extraordinary musicians and their families. Several related topics are explored:  the precious violins, the architecture and furnishings of the various Menuhin residences; concert halls and their acoustics; yoga and its role in extending a career threatened by a tremor in Yehudi’s right hand; and the role played by a group of formidable women in supporting his quest to change the world for the better.

Saturday 18 May

Chloë Sayer (The Arts Society)

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera:  The Golden Age of Mexican Painting

Kahlo and Rivera helped shape the cultural identity of 20th century Mexico making it a magnet for the rest of the world. The Mexican mural movement, born during the 1920s, produced some of the greatest public art of the last century. Rivera’s panoramic images adorn public buildings, combining social criticism with a faith in human progress. Arguably Mexico’s most original painter, Kahlo made herself the principal theme of her art.  Their volatile marriage and the turbulent times they lived through are the subject of numerous publications and films.

Chloë is an independent scholar, author and curator, specialising in the art and culture of Latin America. In 2016 the Mexican Government awarded her the prestigious Ohtli medal for her commitment to Mexican culture.

Saturday 22 June

Robert Ketton (Australia)

Speak the Speech I Pray You

A great speech has the power to engage, inspire and stimulate. Robert will explore what makes a speech memorable illustrating his lecture with performance and readings. Why is it that some speeches have been credited with changing the course of history? What is it that elevates some speeches from the mundane to the eloquent? Robert takes a forensic look at why words can galvanise people to take action.

In 1976 Robert was appointed as a Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba retiring as senior lecturer in acting in 2009.  Since that time he has worked for GP Connections, established ‘Floodlight’ to help with flood relief in Toowoomba and is a communication consultant, MC and public speaker.  He is a published author.

Saturday 20 July

Vivienne Lawes (The Arts Society)

The Honourable East India Company:  East-West Trade 1600-1800, Chinese Export and Chinoiserie

Viv will explain how the East India Company developed its methods of trade and facilitated the exchange of ideas between East and West.  She will focus on textile design but will include wallpaper, porcelain and furniture, as well as the vast commercial trade in spices and tea. She will show how the Company sent out textile patterns to be copied by the local weavers and dyers, paving the way for the production of chintz – now considered to be a classic expression of English style. The lecture then turns to the 18th century and the trade with Imperial China:  painted silks, furniture, porcelain and the practice of chinoiserie.


Viv studied History/History of Art for her BA (Hons) at York University, followed by an MA in Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute, London. She leads the Modern and Contemporary Unit of the East Asian Art Semester Program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and teaches the History of Western Design at the City & Guilds of London Art School.  She also teaches at the University of the Arts London and L’Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA), London.  

Saturday 24 August

Leslie Primo (The Arts Society)

Gender and the Body: Kept Behind Curtains, the Story of the Nude

The nude is still seen as the pinnacle of creative artistic perfection but throughout the course of art history the notion of the perfect body and consequently gender has been constantly reshaped and redefined.  This lecture will look at the continuing fascination with representation of the body in sculpture and in painting across the ages, and will encompass iconic works by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Bernini, Degas, Renoir and Velazquez, to name but a few.

Leslie holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London.  He specialised in early Medieval and Renaissance studies.

Saturday 21 September

Christopher Bradley (The Arts Society)

The Magnificence of Persia – The Art of Isfahan, Shiraz and Ancient Persepolis

Many Persian art forms predate the Arab conquest, but as their peak was reached within the Islamic era, religious influences are common.  Calligraphy, geometrical patterns and Islamic architecture combined to reach unparalleled heights in the 17th century in a series of highly decorated palaces and mosques in Isfahan. The greatest Persian site from the pre-Islamic period is at Persepolis, whose bas-reliefs are a unique blend of styles from all over the Achaemenid Empire, including Egypt, Greece and India.

Christopher is an expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.  He is the writer and photographer of numerous guidebooks and many of his photographs are held in libraries including the Royal Geographical Society, of which he is a Fellow. He has worked as cameraman and producer for National Geographic, the BBC and Channel 4.

Saturday 19 October

Marilyn Elm (Independent)

‘Less is More’ – in the Garden

Whilst the Arts and Crafts garden remained a strong tradition, particularly in Britain, a new force in art and design was emerging in Europe and the Americas during the 20thC. This was to revolutionise the whole approach to garden and landscape design. This colourfully presented talk explores the catalysts for the ‘modernist’ style that has found expression in garden making around the world ever since.

Marilyn is a qualified landscape architect and interior designer who has been involved with art and design for over 40 years. She is an experienced course leader in garden and landscape design and history, and a freelance lecturer and speaker for a variety of organisations, universities and specialist groups, including the National Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society. She is a tour leader and broadcaster and a founder member of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust and a member of the Garden Media Guild.


SPECIAL EVENT The Garden: An Art Form

Sunday 20 October

A Garden Party with Marilyn Elm

Commencing with guided walks with Friends of the Noosa Botanic Gardens followed by lunch and lectures at Cooroy Memorial Hall

10am       Meet at Noosa Botanic Gardens for coffee and to enjoy the beautiful gardens and guided walks

12 noon   Lunch at Cooroy Memorial Hall with presentations by Marilyn Elm before and after lunch

The Garden:  An Art Form                    

Throughout history, garden making has reflected and responded to the artistic trends of the day, sitting alongside developments within architecture, interior design, fashion and the fine and minor arts. Its own art form has found expression in the choice of layout, materials, ornamentation, buildings and planting design, and the creative interplay between space, composition, colour, texture and form. This talk/study day examines that expression, tracing some of the notable artistic developments in mainly English gardens up to the present day

Marilyn Elm is a qualified landscape architect and interior designer who has been involved with art and design for over 40 years. Her expanded profile can be seen with details of her Saturday lecture on 19 October.

Bookings open 1 August

Contact: Gail Thoms         0409 480 859

Costs to be advised:


Saturday, 23 November

AGM and Christmas Function

Presentation on ‘Antarctica’ by Julian Bickersteth

Julian Bickersteth read theology at Oxford before training as a furniture conservator. Julian has always been interested in the wider context of conservation, and as well as being  President of ADFAS, he is Vice President of IIC ( the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works), Chairman of The David Roche Foundation in Adelaide, a trustee of Eryldene Historic House in Sydney, and President of the International Polar Heritage Committee of ICOMOS.


Julian Bickersteth has been the technical conservation adviser for the Antarctic Heritage Trust of New Zealand’s long term program of conservation of the historic huts of the explorers, particularly Scott and Shackleton. Julian’s talk will describe the challenges of conserving artifacts in Antarctica within the context of the extraordinary stories of this heroic era of exploration.


Wednesday 10 April New Members’ Morning Tea
July/August Excursion to Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane – exhibitions of works of Margaret Olley and Ben Quilty
Sunday 20th October A Garden Party with Marilyn Elm commencing with guided walks with Friends of the Noosa Botanic Gardens followed by lunch and lectures at Cooroy Memorial Hall
Tuesday 29 October Members’ Lunch
Saturday 23 November

Annual General Meeting and Christmas Function

Presentation on ‘Antarctica’ by Julian Bickersteth


When and where do we meet?

3.45 pm for a 4.00 pm start St Mary’s Church, 17 William Street, Tewantin

Who can join?

Anyone is welcome.  You do not have to be an art expert, few of us are!

Why should I join?

  • Experience world-class lectures in a welcoming environment
  • Enjoy new friendships and fellowship
  • Join excursions to places and events of artistic or architectural interest
  • Join tours with ADFAS lecturers
  • Contribute to local Young Arts projects and artists
  • Receive the annual national magazine Artlife


Annual Membership Subscription

$150 per person

$270 per couple


Visitors are always welcome by pre-arrangement with the Membership Secretary 0436 323 776

Fee for Visitors $25  and other ADFAS Society members $20.