Sunshine Coast (Buderim)

Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Sunshine Coast
PO Box 1592

ABN: 91 792 901 750

The Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers promoting the enjoyment of the arts in our local community. We provide superbly illustrated monthly presentations by experts on a wide range of subjects, such as art, history, architecture, fashion, literature, theatre and more. We are all interested in improving our knowledge of the arts.

ADFAS was founded in the United Kingdom and started in Australia in 1985. Our parent organisation is The Arts Society in the UK, formerly NADFAS. There are now 38 Australian societies in five states.

Committee 2020


Dawne Clark
Ph: 07 5448 6234

Acting Chairman until 31 March 2020:
Audrey Raymond
Ph: (07) 5456 2012

Secretary/Membership Secretary:

Brian Smith
Ph: (07) 5445 4439



Jacqui Hollis
Ph: 0400 659 875

Membership Enquiries:
Brian Smith
Ph: 07 5445 4439

Dawne Clark
Ph: 07 5448 6234

Audrey Raymond (until 31 March 2020)
Ph: 07 5456 2012 

Membership and Visitor bookings:

Programme for 2020

17 February 2020
Those Mitford Girls
Ms Susannah Fullerton

The aristocratic 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’s Love in a Cold Climate characters had a reckless upper-class Bohemianism and was determined to find life amusing at all costs. Diana became the most hated woman in Britain during World War II. Debo became a Duchess and not to be overlooked, Pamela, who once bought a stove to match the colour of her eyes. Susannah Fullerton looks at the lives and works of these unconventional sisters.

Susanna Fullerton has a BA from the University of Auckland NZ and a post-graduate degree in Victorian literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She currently teaches literature courses in Sydney and lectures at the State Library of NSW and the Art Gallery of NSW. In 2017 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for Services to Literature and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. Primarily a scientific body, it extended into the arts and Susannah was the first recipient. She has been President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for the past 18 years and has spoken about Jane Austen to many schools, community groups and adult classes.

9 March 2020
Desert Island Antiques
Mr Paul Atterbury

During his long and varied career in the world of art and antiques, Paul Atterbury, collector, writer, lecturer, exhibition curator and broadcaster, has been an expert on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow for 29 years. He has owned, handled, written and talked about tens of thousands of objects. If he were suddenly to be cast away alone on a desert island, which eight objects would he take with him? In his choice, Paul reveals much about his life, his experiences, his memories, his passions, his opinions, his Antiques Roadshow adventures and much else besides, while offering a special insight into the world of art, antiques and collecting.

Paul Atterbury, a familiar face on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow, specialises in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, Paul has many interests and enthusiasms outside this area of expertise, some of which are reflected in the lectures he offers. He lives with his wife Chrissie by the sea in Weymouth, Dorset, and they are both regular visitors to Australia. Indeed, Paul has lectured to every ADFAS society in Australia and New Zealand during previous visits.

20 April 2020
Touching the Sky: The Invention of the Skyscraper
Dr Matthew Laing

From their humble origins, skyscrapers are the architectural symbol of the 20th century and a genuine turning-point in the long and complex histories of cities, life and work. Yet the skyscraper did not happen overnight. It was the culmination of many forces – economic, industrial, technological and architectural. This lecture tells the story of the first half-century of the skyscraper era, from the 1890s to the crowning achievements of the Chrysler Building in the 1930s and the Seagram Building of the 1950s. It will explore the unique conditions that led to their development (and enduring popularity) in the United States, and the key visionaries who made them possible.

Dr Matthew Laing, lecturer and research fellow in politics at Monash University, graduated with a PhD in political history at the Australian National University. Matthew has held positions at Boston College, USA and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Matthew’s interest in United States history, politics and culture began during his early years as an intern in the US Congress. He runs annual tours to the USA through Academy Travel, gives lecture series on American culture and history at the East Melbourne Library, and delivers occasional public lectures on American subjects in a sessional capacity for other university faculties.

25 May 2020
Lost in Rules: Court Painters, Official Style and Fake News
Ms Nirvana Romell

Some of the greatest European painters often juggled two seemingly similar careers: running their own art workshops and working as court painters. While one allowed relative freedom of expression and innovation, the other imposed strict court rules on the artist’s creativity. In this lecture, Ms Romell briefly explains the history of the official style which still impacts today’s images, and then looks at how great masters like Holbein, Rubens and Velasquez had to curtail their creativity to fit within the prescribed courtly style of their period.

Nirvana Romell has a BA in History of Art and an MA in English Language and Literature. For 17 years she has lectured on three continents. Since arriving in the UK in 2003, Nirvana has worked as a freelance lecturer, public programmes consultant and tour director. She has presented art history courses and lectures, and has trained staff and volunteers at the Manchester Art Gallery, the Walker Gallery in Liverpool, University of Manchester and other art and learning institutions. She organises and presents tours of permanent and temporary exhibitions across the UK and study tours to the Balkans, Italy, Sweden and South Africa.

29 June 2020
Contemporary Textile Arts in Egypt: From the Tentmakers’ Khan to the City of the Dead
Ms Jennifer Bowker

Ms Bowker explores contemporary textile arts from all over Egypt. Her presentation covers The Tentmakers of Cairo who stitch appliqué hangings and the ground-breaking work of the Wissa Wassef tapestry school. She discusses amazing patchwork projects with the wives and daughters of the garbage collectors of the huge city of Cairo, as well as embroiderers of Upper Egypt who sew their stories into fabric.  The lecture extends to silk dyers in the dyeing khans, and how this silk is used for tassels for curtain making or spun by spinners in the long alleys of the City of the Dead.

Jennifer Bowker has been working with textiles since receiving her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from ANU, Canberra. Married to a diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Jennifer has lived for eleven years in Arab and Islamic countries. The influence of the Middle East can be seen in the subject matter of her work and in her lectures. She has held solo exhibitions in the U.K., Australia and the Middle East. Jennifer has also lectured in countries where she has travelled and is a sought-after lecturer at Quilt Conventions and Universities.

20 July 2020
Summer Palaces of the Tsars
Dr Alexey Makhrov

The royal estates in St Petersburg’s environs not only impress with their splendour but also give fascinating insights into the private life of the Romanovs. During the 18th century, inhospitable terrain was transformed into idyllic locations in Oranienbaum, Peterhof, Strelna, Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk. Peter the Great, daughter Elisabeth, Catherine the Great and their successors spared no expense in building and decorating palaces, villas and gardens. During World War II most of the estates were heavily damaged but have since been lovingly restored. The lecture represents the palaces and gardens in the environs of St Petersburg and gives an account of their past and present.

Dr Alexey Makhrov studied art history at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg and obtained a PhD in architectural history at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1998. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher of Russian art criticism of the nineteenth century at the University of Exeter, England, before moving to Switzerland in 2003. Having obtained a Master’s degree in International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, he has taught courses on art history in Zurich and Geneva. He has worked as a lecturer on cultural tours to Russia and Switzerland since 1998.

24 August 2020
John Peter Russell: Australian Artist and Friend of the Impressionists
Ms Lucrezia Walker

Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, rated the work of fellow artist, Australian John Peter Russell highly, and Matisse claims that Russell had taught him everything he knew about colour. Sculptor Rodin believed that in the future, Russell would be as famous as himself, Monet and Renoir. This did not turn out to be the case. However, during their lifetimes Russell was more successful than the unknown van Gogh. What reversed this situation? How do artists become famous? His extraordinary story rarely told, is of a life devoted to adventure, love, tragedy and art and is one worth telling.

Lucrezia Walker has lectured regularly for the National Gallery, London, teaching six-week courses, Study Days and giving lunchtime lectures. She is a regular speaker at the Royal Academy, at Tate Britain and Tate Modern. She studied in Venice and Perugia, lived and worked in Rome, and has 20 years’ experience leading cultural tours in major European cities. Lucrezia teaches the London Art History Programme for the University of North Carolina and was Galleries Correspondent for The Tablet, and Lay Canon (Visual Arts) at St Paul’s Cathedral where she continues to serve on its Visual Arts Committee. She is the author of several books on 19th and 20th century artists and art movements.

21 September 2020
And so, to bed . . . (Pepys’s Diary 20th April 1660) The History of the Bed
Mr Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski

This lecture traces the significance and use of beds from the medieval period through to the 18th century in terms of both their association with the highest level of society as expressed through the great ‘State Beds’ and also the history of their construction. The significance of beds through the ages can be judged by the prominence given to them in wills and inventories: Shakespeare, in his will, left his wife Anne ‘my second-best bed’ and modern-day audiences may be surprised to learn that in times gone by, married or single, rich or poor, one never slept alone.

\Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski has lectured on antique furniture since 1975 and has been in The Arts Society (TAS) Directory since 1982. His lectures seek to explain furniture in terms of the skills and materials employed in its design and construction and also its socio-economic significance. While studying for his first degree, Janusz worked part-time in an antiques shop, which he eventually took over as proprietor. Such was his interest in collecting that he became known as the dealer who bought but never sold. He has lectured to over 300 TAS societies including those in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, The Hague and Spain.

19 October 2020
The Book as Art: Form and Function in Creative Book Structures
Mr Dominic Riley

This lecture illustrates the potential of the book as a three-dimensional object, from pop-ups, hidden fore-edge paintings and peep-show books, to books with hidden compartments and intriguing surprises. Whatever the reason for the creation of these unusual books, playfulness and humour is always a guiding principle. Dominic Riley will show work from his favourite book artists, including examples of experimental book structures he has collected and some he has made himself as part of his interest in this creative genre. Seen together they represent over two hundred years of questioning the notion of ‘what is a book?’

Dominic Riley is an internationally renowned bookbinder, artist, lecturer and teacher. He specializes in the restoration of antiquarian books and the creation of contemporary fine bindings. He teaches his craft both in the UK and USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His prize-winning bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library, the V&A, the Grolier Club, New York and the San Francisco Public Library. He is president of the Society of Bookbinders. In 2013 he won the prestigious Sir Paul Getty award in the International Bookbinding Competition. His winning binding was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford.


6.45 pm sharp in the Drama Theatre of the Performance Centre, Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Stringybark Road, Buderim. Parking is available at the venue.


Membership Fees (9 lectures)

Single: $150; Couples: $280; Full-time Students: $40 (Membership is not transferable.)

Block Membership for Schools $160 (Conditions by arrangement with the Society)


Brian Smith

Dawne Clark


Visitors are very welcome to attend up to three (3) lectures on the annual programme. Booking is essential for visitors.

Cost per lecture is $25 and for full-time students $15. This includes light refreshments served with wine. Students please show current Student Card.

Visiting ADFAS members may attend up to three (3) lectures on the ADFAS Sunshine Coast Programme free of charge. (Visiting ADFAS members please show current Society Membership Card.

All visitors are asked to register at the Sign-In Desk by 6.30 on the evening of the lecture.

ADFAS Sunshine Coast Young Arts Programme

ADFAS is passionate about bringing the arts to young people through encouragement, support and opportunity, thereby enriching their lives.  

We particularly support those who may be disadvantaged in some way. Raffles are held at every lecture and the proceeds play a large part in making our Young Arts Programme possible. 

We therefore hope that members and supporters may also like to contribute to this programme with a donation, however small.

Some recipients of the 2019 ADFAS Sunshine Coast Young Arts Programme Grants in 2019.