Sunshine Coast  

ADFAS Sunshine Coast welcomes you. 

ADFAS Sunshine Coast is delighted to present its Lecture Program for 2023. In 2023 we see the return of international speakers, following a three-year Covid hiatus. There are six overseas lecturers coming to the Sunshine Coast in 2023 from The Arts Society (UK), and two Australians, all experts in their fields, speaking on diverse topics with the arts and related disciplines.

ADFAS Sunshine Coast has 150 members. We are located at the heart of the Sunshine Coast tourist belt, with members drawn from across the Coast and Hinterland, Coolum to Caloundra, Kenilworth to Landsborough.  Visiting Members from other ADFAS societies are always welcome at our lectures. Lectures are held once a month, March to October on a Sunday afternoon, with members enjoying the opportunity to mingle with friends over a glass of wine or bubbles after the lectures.

Why join us?

  • To learn more about the arts in a friendly, welcoming environment with like-minded people over a glass of wine.
  • To enjoy cultural and social opportunities.
  • To promote the arts to local young people through the ADFAS Sunshine Coast Young Arts Program.


Lectures will be held at The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Lectures are on Sunday afternoons at 3.00 pm

Find full details of the 2023 program here

Annual membership
$150 includes a Special Interest Afternoon and 7 lectures
Click here to join or email Merle O’Rourke:

Guests welcome:
Guests are very welcome to attend up to three lectures in the 2023 Program.
Cost per lecture is $25 includes light refreshments served with wine

For all enquiries please email Merle O’Rourke:
Postal Address: PO Box 1592, Buderim Qld 4556
ABN: 91 792 901 750

Committee 2023
Chair: Dawne Clark
Secretary: Anne Lyons
Membership: Merle O’Rourke



​Sunday 12 March 2023
Presented by Nigel Bates
Time & Venue: 2.00pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Nigel Bates, former music administrator of the Royal Ballet and member of the Royal Opera House Orchestra for many decades, presents this Special Interest Afternoon. Nigel gives us an insider’s view of what takes place behind the scenes of the spectacular productions at the iconic Royal Opera House (ROH) in London.

Part 1: They Make No Noise

Drawing on history and on his own experiences from many performances and recordings, Nigel explains what a conductor does and seeks out answers to some puzzling questions about their role in an orchestra.

Part 2. Tiaras and Tantrums

Nigel describes backstage at the Royal Opera House and the triumphs and tribulations of working with the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet companies. He explains how world-class productions are created at the Royal Opera House.

This event takes the place of the March lecture and is included in the 2023 membership subscription.

Sunday 16 April 2023
Presented by Dr Bill Platz
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Bill Platz, head of drawing at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, is a practising artist, focussing on life-drawing. He talks about ‘lay puppets’, quite beautiful objects in their own right, and the little-known practice of using them when live models were not available. Bill also gives us an insight into his own studio practices.

Dr William (Bill) Platz, American-Australian artist, teacher and researcher, exhibits and publishes regularly in the USA, Europe and Australia. Bill’s research focusses on life drawing, portraiture and technique, and his most recent work combines realistic drawing and puppets. He lives in Brisbane and is Head of Drawing at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Bill completed his Bachelor of Fine Art and his MA in New York and his PhD in Australia.

Sunday 14 May 2023
Presented by Dr Tom Flynn
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Dr Tom Flynn looks at some exquisite Chinese porcelain stolen by British and French soldiers during the Opium Wars of the mid-1800s. He explains how these pieces arrived on the international art market, and how recently, Chinese billionaires have disrupted the market by buying them back at huge prices. Tom reveals information that may well surprise.

Dr Thomas (Tom) Flynn, UK based art historian, writer, and art consultant, holds a BA (First Class Hons) in art history and a PhD from Sussex University, and an MA in design history from the Royal College of Art. Tom publishes internationally and is the author of ‘The Body in Sculpture.’ His interests include  contemporary art, sculpture history, history of museums, art crime, issues in cultural heritage, and the history and professional practice of the Europe- an art markets.

Sunday 18 June 2023
Presented by Claudia Chan Shaw
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Join Claudia, best known as co-presenter on the ABC TV program ‘Collectors’, for an exploration of Art Deco in Sydney, a visual culture defined not only through architecture but also through graphic and interior design, the decorative arts and photography.

Sydney born Claudia Chan Shaw has a multi-faceted career from fashion designer, artist and writer, to television and radio presenter. She is co-designer and director of internationally acclaimed Australian fashion label, ‘Vivian Chan Shaw.’ Claudia presents and produces ‘Arts Friday’ on 89.7fm, is a tour leader for the Art Gallery Society NSW and leads art deco tours around the world.


Sunday 9 July 2023
Presented by Lucrezia Walker
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

‘There are no ugly women, only lazy ones,’ quipped Helena Rubinstein, the cosmetics entrepreneur whose cosmetics company made her one of the world’s richest women. She was the first self-made female millionaire. She commissioned work from avant-garde artists such as Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Her exclusive beauty salons blurred the conceptual boundaries between fashion, art, and the interior.

Lucrezia Walker studied in Venice and Perugia, and has worked in Rome. She is a lecturer at the National Gallery London, teaches the London Art History Programme for the University of North Carolina, and has 20 years’ experience leading cultural tours in major European cities. Lucrezia was previously Galleries Correspondent for “the Tablet” and Lay Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral, where she continues to serve on the Visual Arts Committee. She has written books on artists and art movements as well as ‘A Guide to Art in Paris for Studio Editions’.

Sunday 13 August 2023   
Presented by Nirvana Romell
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

The importance of Dubrovnik in European history stretches beyond its untouched walls and numerous bell towers. Nirvana explains the historical heritage of this truly unique city, not just with the passion of an art historian, but also with the insight of a native Croatian.

Nirvana Romell, a lecturer for 20 years, holds a BA in art history and an MA in English language and literature. Since arriving in the UK in 2003, she has worked as freelance lecturer, tour director, consultant and art history course presenter. Nirvana has trained staff and volunteers at galleries in Manchester and Liverpool, at Manchester University and other art and learning institutions. Nirvana organises and leads tours of exhibitions across the UK and Europe, and study tours to the Balkans, Europe and South Africa.

Sunday 17 September 2023
Presented by John Ericson
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

Norman Rockwell, a celebrated and prolific 20th century American painter and illustrator, is most famous for the cover illustrations of scenes of everyday life created for The Saturday Evening Post. Many of his paintings tell poignant stories while some make us smile. He is sometimes referred to as ‘a storyteller with a brush.’

John Ericson, formerly Director of Studies in the School of Education and lecturer at Bath University, was responsible for the professional development of teachers. He has worked widely overseas as an educational consultant and in this role has given presentations at conferences worldwide. In 2008 and 2011 John undertook extensive lecture tours in Australia and he has been a popular speaker for The Arts Society in the UK for many years. John has developed a particular interest in presentation skills, including the role of pictures in learning and the appropriate use of the Microsoft PowerPoint program.

Sunday 15 October 2023 
Presented by Ian Swankie
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs.

This lecture looks at some beautiful and varied paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Picasso, Klimt, Modigliani, Bacon and Jackson Pollock, all held together by the common thread of their extraordinary commercial value – each having sold for over $100 million. Are they really worth millions?

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral. A qualified and active freelance London guide, he leads regular tours for a number of organisations. Since 2012 he has led a weekly independent art lecture group in Richmond, West London. Ian is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, one of the City Livery Companies.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Venue:  Education Centre, Hibiscus Retirement Centre, University Drive, SIPPY DOWNS
Time:  3.00pm

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.