Molonglo Plains (Queanbeyan)

ArtsNational Molonglo Plains welcomes you.

ArtsNational Molonglo Plains serves rural and regional members in and around the ACT who prefer daytime lectures. We offer a stimulating illustrated lecture program from UK and Australian lecturers on a wide range of subjects relating to visual, creative, decorative and performance arts. All lectures are followed by a convivial afternoon tea. Our society also provides membership outings and events, and is a strong supporter of local Young Arts programs.

Chair: Lindy Ross   Email:
Treasurer: Lydia Melnikoff
Secretary: Susie Ryrie
Membership: Jessica Cameron   Ph: 0424 229 569


ArtsNational Molonglo Plains lectures are held in the auditorium at the C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan NSW 2620.  Entry is from the rear, via the Rutledge Car Park.

Lectures are on Thursdays, begin at 2pm and are followed by afternoon tea.

Annual membership
$180 single
$340 double
Click here to join

Guests welcome:
Visitors are very welcome to attend.  To register beforehand, and for any enquiries, please email the Membership Secretary at:

Visitor Fees

Non-member $30  
Member of other ArtsNational Society $25 Proof of membership required.
Guest of ABSENT Molonglo Plains member $25 Members who are unable to attend a lecture may temporarily lend their Membership Badge to a family member or friend.

Payment made be made at the venue, by card or cash.  Visitor gift vouchers are also available – please email the Membership Secretary for further information.

Contact and Membership Enquiries:
Membership enquiries please email
All other enquiries please email
Postal Address: PO Box 1005 Queanbeyan NSW 2620
ABN: 23 803 895 180


Thursday 22 February 2024
Presented by Claire Blatherwick
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

This talk deals with the fascinating story of a diamond mine in South Africa which remains the source of the largest piece of diamond rough in history. From the creation of diamonds deep within the earth’s crust to images taken by the speaker as she travelled 750m underground to examine the workings of the mine and of course a look at some of the famous diamonds it has produced, this talk gives a behind the scenes look at something most of us only ever see in shops.

Clare is an independent jewelry consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. She spent 10 years as Head of Jewelry for Bonhams in Scotland, which involved travelling internationally searching for unique jewels to auction. Clare has a passion for the historical aspect of jewelry and lectures widely on this in both the U.K and the U.S Clare is also a member of the Society of Jewelry Historians.

Thursday 21 March 2024
Presented by Sharon Field
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

An oversized artwork can provide a unique platform for making a statement, commanding attention and transforming a space. Large scale works provide opportunities for an immersive experience and a unique visual impact for the viewer, and allows the artist to explore themes, details and intricacies not achievable on a small canvas. We will explore what has driven some Australian and international artists to create oversized artworks. You will also be given a unique opportunity to examine first hand an original oversized work – a 20 metre, handpainted, still evolving scroll. What is the message behind this work called “3000 days … and counting …”?

Sharon Field’s art career began in 2009 after careers in educational and the Australian Public Service. She has lived and worked in different countries in the Pacific and south eastern Africa.Her art has won a number of awards and has been exhibited in Australia, England and the United States. She is on the Board of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Sharon has held 11 solo exhibitions and has participated in many group exhibitions in Australia and overseas.

Thursday 18 April 2024
Presented by Susannah Fullerton
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

The diary of Samuel Pepys has long been considered the greatest diary in the English language. Historians have found it invaluable, but it is also a superb work of literature and the record of an extraordinary man.
Founder of the modern Navy, President of the Royal Society, MP, author of books on the navy, talented musician and lover of a very large number of women, Samuel Pepys delighted in many aspects of Restoration London and recorded them all in his diary.
“And so to bed …”, Susannah’s talk on Pepys, tells of his experience of the Plague and the Great Fire, his constant womanising, his theatre-going and his dinners.

Susannah has been passionate about literature for as long as she can remember. In 2017 she was awarded an OAM for services to literature and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, the first time the honour had been given for literature. Susannah currently teaches literature courses in Sydney and lectures regularly at the State Library of NSW and the Art Gallery of NSW and also leads literary tours to the UK, France and the USA.

Thursday 9 May 2024
Presented by Roger Mendham
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

The earliest cars were purely functional and lacked even the most basic of passenger comforts, such as doors or even windscreens to protect passengers from the elements. However, progress was rapid and by the mid1920s we entered a golden age of the automobile. The Art Deco movement influenced designs and the ‘Great Gatsby era’ included some of the most famous and fabulous cars ever built. This period was followed by the Streamline Moderne influenced cars of the 1930s and 40s. This talk covers some of the most beautiful cars ever built, from the earliest ‘horseless carriages’ to the supercars of the 21st century.

A keen and accomplished photographer Roger has gained Distinctions from the Royal Photographic Society and is currently the President of the Surrey Photographic Association. He is a scientist by background. With his focus on the visual aspects of art he has studied the evolution of photography from its earliest days in the early 1800s to becoming a major art form in the late 20th and now 21st centuries.

Wednesday 5 June 2024
Presented by Claudia Chan Shaw
Venue & Time: 10 – 12:30pm C3 Auditorium, 116 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan.

Back by popular demand, fashion designer, author and TV and radio presenter Claudia Chan Shaw is perhaps best known for her popular TV programs ‘Collectors’ and her subsequent book ‘Collectomania’. She leads the ‘Art Deco to Art Now’ tours to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Miami, Cuba and New York, sharing her love of Art Deco, history, art and design.

Two one-hour talks around a delicious morning tea.

Lecture 1: Beyond the Little Black Dress –Chanel
Fashion is what’s in vogue, the latest trend. Fashion is ever changing. Yet 100 years on, the designs and ideas created by Coco Chanel are just as relevant today. We have Chanel to thank for popularising the Little Black Dress, championing pants for women, and creating the first designer branded fragrance. Join Claudia Chan Shaw to discover Chanel’s influence and the legacy of the Little Black Dress, showing that, as Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains.”

Lecture 2: Florence Broadhurst: the Enigmatic Design Legend
Now a global phenomenon, Florence Broadhurst’s vibrant wallpaper designs had all but been forgotten until her original silk printing screens were discovered languishing in a dusty warehouse. During her life she was the queen of reinvention, passing herself off as a French couturier and an English aristocrat. She returned home to Australia to revolutionise the design industry of Sydney in the 60s and 70s, only to have it all come to a terrible end.

Members $50, non-members $55

Thursday 6 June 2024
Presented by Claudia Chan Shaw
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

At the end of the First World War, New York emerged as one of the world’s great cities. This was the Machine Age. Manhattan found its expression in skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and movie palaces. In the late 1920s, through the 30s and into the 40s, the glories of the past inspired the fantasies of the future, in the explosion of exotic modern styles we now call Art Deco. In this lecture Claudia Chan Shaw explores not only the city’s celebrated Art Deco skyscrapers, but the paintings, sculptures, murals and mosaics and their creators, and the influences behind this global movement.

Back by popular demand, fashion designer, author and TV and radio presenter Claudia Chan Shaw is perhaps best known for her popular TV programs ‘Collectors’ and her subsequent book ‘Collectomania’. She leads the ‘Art Deco to Art Now’ tours to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Miami, Cuba and New York, sharing her love of Art Deco, history, art and design.

Thursday 11 July 2024
Presented by Vivienne Lawes
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

The mass migration of the French Protestant Huguenots in the 16th and 17th centuries impacted the arts, the military and finance sectors of the countries to which they fled following Catholic persecution in their homeland. This lecture focuses on three areas of the arts impacted by the migration: the silk weaving industry; the silversmiths and ceramicists introducing Rococo style into Britain; and the baroque style of the great Huguenot designer, Daniel Marot, who worked for William and Mary at Hampton CourtWe see how the artistic works of the Huguenots changed material culture and became integrated into British national identity.  

An art historian, art market analyst and curator/ writer, Viv Lawes combines a hands-on career in the art business with research and teaching in Higher Education at several London-based universities. Her courses include The Art Market, History of Western Art and Design 1350-1970, and Asian Art. Viv has curated numerous exhibitions of Southeast Asian contemporary art in London and Singapore. She writes for many publications and private clients, for both academic and general readership.

Thursday 8 August 2024
Presented by Andrew Hopkins
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

The temple of Dendur occupies the west wing of this museum, which was specially built to house this new arrival, gifted by Egypt to the United States in 1967 during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Another wing displays the celebrated early Italian Renaissance collection of Robert Lehman, scion of the now demised investment bank, while its expressionist holdings are one of the best in the world. Jayne Wrightsman donated all her fabulous Louis XIV furniture and bequeathed $80 million dollars for further acquisitions. Countless other grandees of old and new New York society donated their prized possessions and paintings and this talk examines how the Met, from its founding in 1870, was and remains the greatest and grandest museum in America.

Previously Assistant Director of the British School at Rome from 1998 to 2002 and since 2004 Professor at the University of L’Aquila. Part of his PhD was awarded the Essay Medal of 1996 by the Society of Architectural Historians (GB). Andrew Hopkins was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti in Florence in 2003-2004, and in 2009 was the Paul Mellon Senior Visiting Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Thursday 19 September 2024
Presented by Alan Read
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

In the two centuries since they were removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, the meaning and significance of the ‘Elgin marbles’ has changed dramatically. From architectural decoration to disputed cultural objects this lecture looks at the response to them over their time in Britain, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution of the marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Alan holds a master’s and first-class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College, London. He is a gallery guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and for Frieze Masters and regularly lectures at the National Portrait Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Plymouth City Art Gallery, and other galleries in the UK. He also works as a London Blue Badge Guide and a City of London Guide.

Thursday 17 October 2024
Presented by Andrew Spira
Venue & Time: C3 Church, 116 Monaro St, Queanbeyan, 2pm

We take it for granted that we are free to enjoy whatever appeals to us. But this hasn’t always been the case. Before the 18th century many of life’s pleasures had to be justified on account of their moral value. This illustrated talk will explain how it was not until 18th century that it became acceptable to enjoy the pleasures of life for their own sake, in luxury goods and otherwise – sometimes to scandalous effect. It will focus on the golden age of French art and interiors, exploring how new sensibilities among the Parisian nobility required a new style of living, a development that gave rise to some of the most delicious and fanciful pieces of furniture and porcelain ever made.

Andrew studied at the Courtauld Institute and Kings College, London. For several years, he worked at the Temple Gallery, London and as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum where he worked on the British Galleries and for the Silver, Metalwork and Jewellery Department. Besides lecturing on a wide range of subjects, he has taken numerous groups on cultural visits to Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Romania, Crete, Turkey, Tunisia and all over Europe.

Thursday 14 November 2024
Presented by Pieter de Vries
Venue & Time: 10 – 12:30pm C3 Auditorium, 116 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan.

Sydney filmmaker Pieter de Vries is one of the leading documentary cinematographers in the world. His career has seen him filming the Red Army in China, rats in the sewers of NY and the wreck of the Titanic with James Cameron. His numerous awards have included Cinematographer of the Year and an Emmy nomination. His work has featured on NBC, BBC, History, Discovery and National Geographic channels as well as on ABC TV.

Two one-hour talks around a delicious morning tea.

Lecture 1: On the Wild Side with David Attenborough and National Geographic
Pieter reveals how he captures amazing images for the documentaries of David Attenborough and National Geographic. Pelicans, Macaques, the Cassowary and boxing Kangaroos are featured and supported by his amusing behind-the-scenes stories.

Lecture 2: Journey to the Titanic with James Cameron
In this lecture Pieter will screen his work with James Cameron, featuring an extraordinary journey 12,500 feet below the ocean. You’ll see exceptional imagery of Titanic using pioneering camera and lighting equipment supported by many behind-the-scenes stories.

Members $50, non-members $55

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