ADFAS-cinating & Fabulous

Image source: Contributed

Are you wishing to stay connected or become connected to the arts? Cleo Lilai discovers a local group connecting people to the fine arts – and each other.

If, like me, you are tired of watching videos online, are craving human interaction and love everything to do with the arts from music, acting and dancing; to writing, performing and the secrets of ancient history, then ADFAS is for you! What is ADFAS? It is short for Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS), a not-for-profit organisation with 38 societies and 6,500 members across Australia.

The Noosa society has 133 members and is run by volunteers who help deliver fascinating lectures by guest speakers who are experts on topics ranging from Oliver Wilde and Jane Austen to the Tentmakers of Old Cairo – and everything in between! The group celebrated its tenth anniversary in February and has eight fascinating lectures planned for 2021. 

With international travel still a world away, the guest speakers can transport you to another place in time with captivating talks about people or moments in history; their own achievements in the world of art; or experiencing something so mesmerising, so passionate that it really ignites that spark within.

ADFAS Noosa Chair Denise Turkington said it was as much about expanding your mind and arts appreciation as connecting with likeminded people.

“All our talks include social time over a glass of wine and canapes; and we often host excursions to places like GOMA and we have lots of fun.”

ADFAS started more than 50 years ago in the UK and first appeared in Australia over 30 years ago. You can subscribe to an annual membership or attend any event as a visitor. 

During COVID, lectures were held online however they are now returning to St Mary’s Church in Tewantin. Raffles and ticket sales contribute to the Young Artists Program which allows local artists to follow their dreams. 

One such recipient is local dancer Alfie Shacklock who is 16-years-old. For the past four years, ADFAS Noosa helped Alfie follow his dream of studying dance in New York and London and this year he will perform in Covent Garden in London as part of the Royal Ballet Upper School. The group also contribute to the Patricia Roberston Fund to recognise and reward those working in the field of Conservation of Cultural Material.

The sole sole focus of this fascinating group is to connect people to the arts and with each other, and where can you get that by sitting behind a screen?

If you’re still looking for a reason to join ADFAS, I can give you three off the top of my head: you’ll make new friends; have an amazing experience learning something new; and expand your mind. 


The Art Of Competition & Victory in Ancient Greece, 10 April 2021. Professor Alastair Blanshard will explore how competition in sport, politics, drama, music and war were celebrated and captured in Greek Art. 

Aboriginal Art from Rock Art to Today, 22 May 2021. Sally Butler will explore how modern Aboriginal art is connected to visual traditions, including rock art created thousands of years ago.

Exploring Turner, 12 June 2021. Robert Ketton will talk about the life and times of JMW Turner while Catherine Ketton will provide provide a live example of Turner’s painting style.

All lectures start at 3.45 pm at St Mary’s Church, 17 William Street, Tewantin. 
Tickets start at $20. Bookings Essential.

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