Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Melbourne
PO Box 931
Hawthorn VIC 3122

The Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society of Melbourne Inc was established in 1987 and is the third oldest member of the national Association of ADFAS. In 2017 we celebrated our 30th Anniversary. We are a non-profit organisation with aims to cultivate and study the decorative and fine arts; and promote aesthetic education, and the preservation of our national artistic heritage.

ADFAS Melbourne presents a yearly programme of illustrated lectures on various aspects of The Arts which develop deeper understanding of art history and contemporary movements, all within a stimulating and friendly atmosphere. Topics range from: art history, architecture, ceramics, dance, drama, design, garden design, music, painting, textiles, and much more.

All lecturers are chosen for their communication skills, specialist knowledge and experience in their field. Each year we present six international NADFAS lecturers plus three outstanding Australian lecturers.

Additional events such as visits to galleries, exhibitions, historic houses and gardens are arranged during the yearThese deepen our local knowledge and are usually concluded by a convivial lunch.

Members also receive monthly newsletters featuring cultural events & opportunities in and around Melbourne plus reviews and member contributions.

ADFAS Melbourne supports youth arts projects which enable young people to participate in The Arts who otherwise might not be able to do so. Our current Young Arts grant recipients include: the ‘Pizzicato Effect’ (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s youth program); the Youth Opera Program (VOYCE) of the Victorian Opera; and Polyglot Theatre.

Our Philanthropy Fund is used to support local & national artists and noteworthy art projects by means of grants, scholarships and awards. In recent years, these have included: donations to the National Gallery of Victoria, the Buda Silversmith ‘Excellence in Design and Craftsmanship’ award, the Boer War Memorial in Canberra, and Shoestring Opera.

ADFAS Melbourne is ‘twinned’ with the Limpsfield Decorative & Fine Arts Society in Surrey, England. Exchange visits have been momentous and considerably enrich the experience of being an ADFAS member.


Committee 2018

Anne Prior
Ph: 0402 240 354

Judith Smith
Ph: 0428 716 921

Jan Heale
Ph: (03) 9580 8892

Alastair Thompson
Ph: (03) 9809 2031


Membership Secretary:
Veronica Rickard
Mobile: 0408 113 669
Home: 03 9497 2032

Committee Members
Barbara Pearce
Deborah Unkles
Janice Kent-Mackenzie – Newsletter Editor
Julie Thompson
Maggie Milsom
Dr Richard King
Veronica Rickard

Programme for 2018

Lee Miller & Picasso
28th February 2018
Mr Anthony Penrose *

The relationship between Lee Miller and Picasso began during an enchanted summer holiday on the Côte d’Azur in 1937 and lasted until Picasso’s death in 1973.


New Horizons
21st March 2018
Mr Paul Atterbury *

During the reign of Queen Victoria, 11 million people left Britain for distant lands. Remarkable paintings tell the stories of leaving home, and the often painful experience of coming to terms with a new world.

Jewel of the Crown: Sainte Chapelle in Paris
16th May 2018
Ms Nicole Mezey *

The Sainte Chapelle is a gem of beauty and technical innovation in the heart of Paris – possibly the most perfect surviving medieval ensemble – was designed as a life-size reliquary, including the Crown of Thorns.

Stumpwork Embroidery of the Stuart Era: Politics, Religion & Morals
13th June 2018
Ms Alison Cole

The domestic embroidery of the upper classes in the Stuart era reflect this period of English history – showing political allegiances, the latest scientific advances, role models and female virtues.

Pompeii: Digging Deeper with the Muddy Archaeologist
11th July 2018
Ms Gillian Hovell *

A deep insight into the art found in the homes and streets of Pompeii reveal a thoroughly modern world – one full of material goods and works of artistry and craftsmanship amidst the everyday life of the citizenry.

The Vienna Succession: 1918-2018: Gustave Klimt & Egon Schiele
15th August 2018
Ms Anne Anderson*

One hundred years ago the famous Secession Paintings by Klimt and Schiele shocked and dismayed the Viennese. They were accused of creating pornography and dragging art down into the gutter.

Pots & Frocks: The World of Grayson Perry
12th September 2018
Mr Ian Swankie*

This talk will examine the ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints of the often controversial Grayson Perry RA – his exciting & thought-provoking exhibitions, and reveals the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera: The Golden Age of Mexican Painting
17th October 2018
Ms Chloe Sayer*

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 swept away the old régime and banished European influence in the arts. Kahlo and Rivera helped shape Mexico’s 20th C cultural identity, making Mexico a magnet for the rest of the world.


Carrick Hill – A collection to ‘live in’
14th November 2018
Mr Richard Heathcote

Carrick Hill contains the oldest interior in Australia and the most significant collection of British modern art in the country. How did a newly-married couple accomplish this during stuffy interwar Australia?

Venue and Time

Lectures are presented in the Theatrette of the University of Melbourne’s Hawthorn Campus, 442 Auburn Rd HAWTHORN VIC 3122

Ample covered parking (accessed via Robinson Rd) is located directly underneath the building.  
A short staircase leads up to Auburn Rd. Disabled entry into the building is via: an internal elevator to the carpark, or ramps into the building on Auburn Rd and Woodburn Ave.

Lectures commence at 8pm SHARP, and are one hour long with a short Q & A. This is followed by fellowship and conversation over a generous light supper and a glass of well-chosen wine. As well as being an excellent way to meet other people interested in The Arts, there is opportunity to talk with the visiting lecturer and the Committee.


Guests are most welcome to attend – however prior registration with the Membership Secretary is required. Allison Waddell 03 9499 7221

Guest fees are $30 per person / Members of other ADFAS Societies $20 / Full-time Students $5 / Secondary Students (in uniform) Free.

Membership is:  $180 per person / $340 per couple. The joining fee is $30 person. A pro rata discounted membership is available to New Members who join mid-year. The Committee hosts a special ‘New Members Welcome’ evening each February.

The cost of attending all 9 lectures is included in the membership subscription. Admission to lectures is strictly by Name Badge.  
These plus the official Program Cards are made available for collection on meeting nights.

Those who choose to receive their newsletters and other communications via post are required to pay a surcharge of $25.

Additional events such as excursions, tours and art classes do attract an extra charge. These fees are designed to cover the Society’s costs plus raise a small amount towards our Philanthropy Fund.

Members who introduce a new member into the Society receive a Free Guest Pass to use during the year.

ADFAS Melbourne has four sister ADFAS Societies in Victoria: Central Victoria (Kyneton), Geelong, Morning Peninsula and Yarra (Caulfield) – each with its own distinct lecture and activity program.  Your subscription enables you to visit any of these at a discounted rate.

For more information please contact our Membership Secretary: Allison Waddell 03 9499 7221

Melbourne Newsletters

October newsletter

Dear Friends of ADFAS Melbourne Inc Please find attached for your enjoyment our October Newsletter. Once you have heard the forthcoming lecture on Frida Kahlo & Diego Riviera, in December you may like to visit the Bendigo Art Gallery for the exhibition...

March Newsletter (Melbourne)

Dear Friends and Supporters Welcome to the ADFAS Melbourne March Newsletter. Should you like to attend any lecture please advise our Membership Secretary by the Monday...

Melbourne December

Following the AGM last month in November, this newsletter is dedicated to introducing our Committee for 2018. On behalf of the Committee of ADFAS Melbourne.. may I wish each and every one of you a safe and joyous Holiday Season! We look forward a prosperous New Year...