Sunshine Coast

ArtsNational Sunshine Coast welcomes you. 

ArtsNational 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 ArtsNational societies are always welcome at our lectures. Lectures are held once a month, March to November 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 ArtsNational Sunshine Coast Young Arts Program.


Lectures will be held at The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Lectures are on Sunday afternoons at 3.00 pm

Find full details of the 2024 program here

Annual membership
$150 for nine (9) art talks
Click here to join or email Merle O’Rourke:

Guests welcome:
Guests are very welcome to attend up to three art talks in the 2024 Program.
Cost per art talk is $25 includes wine following the art talk.
Students are also welcome – cost per art talk is $10.00.

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

Chair: Alison Bennett
Secretary: Dawne Clark
Membership: Merle O’Rourke


​Sunday 10 March 2024
Presented by: Anne Sebba
Time & Venue: 3.00pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Les Parisiennes is a story about women’s lives during the Nazi occupation including British and American women caught in Paris, as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to prison camps, couturiers, and jewellers as well as actors, night club dancers and housewives. British women worked as secret agents living clandestinely escorting downed Allied airmen from one safe house to another. The lecture opens with a magnificent circus ball at a chateau in the grounds of Versailles, many guests 

Biographer, historian, and author of eleven books Anne Sebba lectures in the US and UK, and to the National Trust, British Library, and Imperial War Museum. Formerly a Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne presents on BBC Radio and television talking about her books, including biographies on Jennie Churchill, Laura Ashley, Wallis Simpson and her latest book Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy published in 2021.

Sunday 21 April 2024
Presented by David Banney
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Leonardo and Palestrina, Picasso and Stravinsky, Debussy and Matisse – art and music are never provided in a vacuum, and the histories of art and music have run similar courses, with music always a little way behind. This talk traces the major historical movements of the last 1000 years, exploring the parallels between sound and visual images. How can we ‘hear’ perspective? How can we ‘see’ sonata form? What does Rothko sound like, and what does Philip Glass look like? And why does music always take longer to catch up?

David is one of Australia’s most highly regarded musicians, with success as a conductor, composer, string player and educator. A past winner of the ABC Young Conductor’s Award, David is Artistic Director of the Christ Church Camerata and the Newcastle Music Festival. He is Interim Music Director of Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle. David has worked with many of Australia’s leading orchestras and soloists, including the Queensland, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and Opera Queensland.

Sunday 26 May 2024
Presented by Anne Anderson
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Writer, painter, designer, printer and political activist, Morris instigated a revolt against the mass-produced, poorly designed, and badly made products that were swamping the middle-class home. Under Morris’s ethos everyday items were elevated to works of art and the remit of the artist was broadened to include both the fine and decorative arts. Above all workers were to be valued as much as their work. Work had to be meaningful, otherwise it was ‘useless toil’. Ideally objects were to be designed and made by the same man, paying careful attention to techniques and materials, as they had been in the Medieval period. This led to a revival of the Guild system and the reintroduction of craft skills and traditions.

An Arts Society lecturer since 1994 Anne was senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University and is currently Hon Associate Professor at Exeter University, a tutor for the Victoria and Albert Learning Academy, and Ceramics Consultant for Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. Anne has published on Art Deco teapots, the Pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones, and Art Nouveau architecture. She held various fellowships and has curated national exhibitions, the most recent Beyond the Brotherhood; the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy (2019-20).

Sunday 30 June 2024
Presented by Geoffrey Edwards
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

In this illustrated talk the ancient and remarkable history of glass as an art form is traced with reference to works in major public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The lecture also refers to glass-related imagery and symbolism in the visual arts, film and literature – a tradition that ranges in time and type from biblical allusion and Chaucerian dream visions of glass temples through to the novels of Daphne du Maurier, the films of Orson Wells, the poetry of Les Murray and recent science fiction.

Geoffrey Edwards was Director of the Geelong Art Gallery, one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional galleries. Prior to this appointment, he held Senior Curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Victoria where he was in charge of the collections of International and Australian sculpture and Melbourne’s celebrated holdings of ancient, antique and modern glass. He is the author of various monographs, numerous exhibition catalogues and contributes to journals in Australia, Japan, Britain and America.


Sunday 21 July 2024
Presented by Daniel Evans
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Caravaggio was a violent bully with a massive ego, yet the most gifted painter of his generation. He offended as easily as he wowed with his works. Scandal followed him everywhere he went or fled to. His paintings have cinematic compositions with intensely visceral details, as he developed a pioneering style that would inspire a European stylistic following, and change Baroque painting forever. His tragic end and eventual downfall is the stuff of a great film not yet made and this lecture aims to bring his colourful character to life.

Dan Evans, an educationalist with a passion for European art and architecture. He teaches History and A Level History of Art at Cheltenham College, a full boarding independent school established in 1841Dan has been lecturing since 2001, and spent 9 years working as a senior lecturer and tour guide for Art History Abroad and he was once voted the British winner of the World Guide of the Year Awards. 

Sunday 18 August 2024
Presented by Lynne Gibson
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

In this beautifully illustrated lecture we will discover the drawing techniques of the Great Masters. Can you spot bracelet shading, cross-hatching, stippling or stumping? Drawing plays a key role in artist’s training. Whilst some of the earliest drawings made by man survive in the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, most extant drawings date from the late Medieval period. These take the form of model books for use in a busy workshop. Model books would be replaced with more personal sketch books, hand-made rag paper by machine-made sheets, metal point with the modern pencil. But charcoal, as used at Chauvet, still remains popular today.

Lynne Gibson is a freelance lecturer in History of Art, and in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking. She has worked at the Universities of Sussex and Bristol and has conducted lectures, courses and guided tours for organisations including Art Galleries and Museums, The Art Fund, The National Trust and The Arts Society. She is a professional artist specializing in oil painting and etching, has been exhibited widely and her work used in a range of publications.

Sunday 15 September 2024
Presented by Timothy Walker
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

Mankind has exploited the medicinal properties of plants for thousands of years, yet the role of plants in modern medicine is still considered to be peripheral by many people. This talk attempts to put the record straight and to show that plant products are used every day by all of us to relieve pain and suffering, to heal wounds and cure diseases. This is a talk with a very wide appeal and relevance. 

From 1988 to 2014 Timothy Walker was the Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden.  Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators talk about them in the same way as museum curators do. Gardens are often thought of a place where science and art meet on equal terms and Timothy’s lectures investigate this relationship.  Since 2014, he has taught Plant Biology at Somerville College Oxford. 

Sunday 13 October 2024
Presented by Dr Michael Marendy
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

During the latter part of the 19th century, retailing underwent enormous change. Small, over-crowded drapery stores were transformed into multi-storey department stores. Services expanded from dress-making, millinery and tailoring to underwear, dress fabrics, shoes, and other accessories, services an individual dress-maker could not provide. This lecture will discuss the growth of the Australian department store and the services it offered.

Dr Michael Marendy’s work has been in clothing design and fashion education, textile conservation, and museum curatorship. For 15 years he taught in the TAFE and university sectors, and worked as a clothing designer and textile conservator. He studied in Australia, Canada, and England. His PhD from Griffith University focused on the women involved in the custom-made clothing trade in colonial Brisbane, and why museums collect, preserve and exhibit their clothing objects. Michael audited the Queensland Museum’s costume and textile collection. He has lectured extensively on conservation and dress history, and conducted conservation workshops throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Sunday 3 November 2024
Presented by Deborah Jenner
Time & Venue: 3.00 pm, The University of the Sunshine Coast (Uni SC), Sippy Downs Campus, Lecture Theatres 1 or 2.

This lecture focusses on private homes constructed with local materials to harmonise with their magnificent natural landscapes. Wright’s architectural designs are site-specific. Ecologically ahead of their times, they exploit local materials and provide shelter from local weather. From Falling Water, a millionaire’s residential retreat in Pennsylvania, to affordable – even prefab – urban housing in Milwaukee, each construction is married to its unique setting. His all-on-one-level Prairie houses spread out over Mid-West farmland, while the ascending spiral ramp in the Guggenheim Museum in New York completely redefined gallery spaces.

Deborah Jenner, American-born art historian and member of College Arts Association has resided in Paris since 1990. She has worked at the Ecole du Louvre, the Sorbonne, the Catholic Institute, and the British Council. Her Doctorate thesis proved non-western influences in Georgia O’Keeffe’s art. Deborah’s publications include catalogue essays for Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou, scholarly papers and gallery critiques. She gives public talks, guided walks and museum tours for ex-pat organisations and study-abroad programs

ArtsNational Sunshine Coast Young Arts Programme

Through the Young Arts Program ArtsNational societies offer opportunities to students, young artists, and
performers in their local area, through grants to individuals, schools and community-based groups. This helps young people to discover and develop their abilities, participate and appreciate the arts by being involved in a variety of ways.

Each month members purchase raffle tickets, the money raised going to fund our Young Arts Program. In 2023/2024 ArtsNational Sunshine Coast is continuing to support local young people.We have chosen to support the Chancellor State College‘s Junior Choir by funding the Choir’s participation in the Regional and State Music Eisteddfods
The school’s Arts Program enables students through Dance, Drama, Media, Music, and Visual Art to express and communicate what it is to be human, and develop, share, and pass on understandings of themselves, our histories, our cultures. The Arts are integrated into Units of Work across all year levels. Specialist Music teachers deliver class lessons for all Preparatory to Year 6 classes and students can be a part of an Instrumental Music program including strings, brass, woodwind, and choir.

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