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Postal Address:

ADFAS Melbourne
PO Box 931
Hawthorn VIC 3122

ABN:  36 971 725 705

The Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society of Melbourne Inc was established in 1987 and is the third oldest member of the Association of ADFAS. We are a non-profit organisation which aims to cultivate and study the decorative and fine arts, 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 designed to develop deeper understanding of art history and contemporary movements, all within a stimulating and friendly atmosphere. Topics range over: art history, architecture, ceramics, dance, drama, design, garden design, music, painting, textiles, and much more.

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

Published a week prior to each Lecture. Member contributions are most welcome! This could be in the form of information regarding a forthcoming event, a review, a travel log or critique of any aspect of The Arts.
Melbourne is a virtual treasure house of artistic gems. Three (or more) excursions for members are organised each year. Member suggestions for destinations (and/or guides/speakers) are most welcome. Any surplus funds raised through Excursion fees go towards our Young Arts projects..

Funds are raised to support noteworthy projects locally and nationally such as the Patricia Robinson Fund dedicated to the conservation of cultural and artistic materials. Funds are primarily raised through annual donation.

In 2019 ADFAS Melbourne is supporting two professionally administered endeavours fostering artistic and musical education for young people who otherwise might lack access to The Arts:
Pizzicato Effect
Polyglot Theatre

Committee 2019

Anne Prior 0402 240 354

Vice-Chairman & Catering
Judith Smith 0428 716 921

Julie Thompson 0408 008 236

Alastair Thompson 0418 295 897

Membership Secretary
Veronica Rickard 0408 113 669

General Committee

Allison Waddell

Deborah Unkles

Newsletter Editor
Janice Kent-Mackenzie

Young Arts
Maggie Milson

Wine Master
Richard King
Pamela Hartmann

Email Contact:

Programme for 2019

19th February
Ms Hilary Kay *
Fakes & Forgeries

Be a witness to the devious world of the master forger as we examine objects that fooled the experts – from a Botticelli to a bottle of gin.

2nd April
Mr Geoffrey Edwards
Eugene Von Guerard: the quest for his masterpiece

Just four years after this great Colonial artist arrived in Australia he painted ‘View of Geelong’ – a triumph of the German Romantic style. We trace its acquisition by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the hair-raising campaign to secure it for the Geelong Art Gallery.

14th May
Mr Martin Heard *
The Gardens of Impressionism

Monet’s love for painting and gardening were shared by his artist friends and fellow Impressionists:
Frédéric Bazille, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and in particular, Gustave Caillebotte.

11th June
Dr Matthew Martin
The Politics of Porcelain in 18th Century France

The porcelain products of the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres as well as being objects of refined artistry and technical sophistication played an essential role in the statecraft of the Ancien Régime of France.

9th July
Ms Rosalind Whyte *
Breeches, Bonnets & Bags

From the Middle Ages, Sumptuary Laws in England prescribed what one could wear according to social status. We have fun exploring the wildest extremes of fashion through the ages.

13th August
Ms Sue Rollin *
Secrets of the Serail

We explore the secret court life and ceremony of the Serail within Ottoman Palaces along the Bosphorus. Here the Queen Mother reigned supreme over the harem within magical gardens, and amidst sumptuous costumes, jewels, ceramics and other treasures.

10 September
Mr Anthony Russell *
The Power & Glory of England’s Country Houses

This journey through history examines the origin and role of ‘living’ stately homes of England. Do these examples of grandeur and beauty have a new role in a changing society? How are they to survive and evolve?

8th October
Dr Tom Duncan *
Deadly Art Patron Rivals

Charles I wanted a court to rival the great courts of Europe and challenged the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Arundel to outmatch him, and each other, in pursuit of the finest in visual arts.


12th November
Ms Susannah Fullerton OAM
The Importance of Being Oscar

“Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious” declared the young Oscar Wilde.
He proved to be both! We bring to life his extraordinary genius as raconteur, writer, and coiner of epigrams… and his fall from fame and tragic demise.


  • University of Melbourne’s Hawthorn Campus – 442 Auburn Rd   HAWTHORN VIC 3122
  • During 2019 all Lectures will be held on a TUESDAY evening.  
  • Lectures commence at 8pm SHARP, are one hour, plus a short Q & A.
  • Lectures are followed a generous light supper with a glass of well-chosen wine



  • Ample covered parking (accessed via Robinson Rd) is located directly underneath the building
    Drive all the way to the end.  A short staircase leads up to Auburn Rd
  • Disabled parking spaces are located midway along on the Left – next to an elevator into the building
  • Wheelchair ramps into the building are located on both Auburn Rd and Woodburn Ave



  • Guests are most welcome! Prior registration is required  
  • Guest fees: $30 per person / ADFAS Members (other Societies) $20



  • Membership is:  $180 per person / $340 per couple.  The once-off joining fee is $30 person
  • Pro-rata discounted membership is available to New Members who join mid-year
  • ‘New Members Welcome’ evenings are held each February and July
  • Notices, Newsletters and AGM papers are sent to members is via email
  • Excursions, tours and art classes are extra, and raise money towards our Philanthropy Fund
  • Introduce a new member into the Society and receive a Free Guest Pass



  • Name Badges must be worn for entry into the lectures
  • Name Badges plus Program Cards are available at the first meeting night of the year
  • Signed Program Cards give entry as a visitor to other ADFAS societies throughout Australia, and The Arts Society lectures across the United Kingdom and Western Europe



  • Each ADFAS Society in Australia has its own distinct lecture and activity program.
    Members are encouraged to visit them – and other ADFAS societies across Australia.

Other ADFAS Societies in Victoria are:

    • Central Victoria (Kyneton)
    • Geelong
    • Morning Peninsula
    • Yarra (Caulfield)