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Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - )

2 May 1919
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Women's Organisation
Level 4 99 Creek Street Brisbane Queensland Australia


The Lyceum Club Brisbane, founded in 1919, was directly modelled on the London Lyceum Club. It is a club for women interested in the arts, science, contemporary issues and the pursuit of lifelong learning. The club is apolitical and non-sectarian. Membership of the club is open to women who have university, conservatorium or other tertiary qualifications of a standard approved by the Management Committee; have published original work in literature, science, art or music; or have given important public service


In May 1914 a small group of women met to discuss the possibility of forming a Lyceum Club, and a letter was sent to the London Lyceum Club requesting information. The reply stated that 50 members were required to form a club. Some of the women became international members of the London Lyceum Club, including Miss Margaret Ogg, who acted as chair of the group and Miss May Paten, a writer, as secretary.

The group met on and off but it was difficult for them to reach the required number of 50 members, especially with World War I intervening. However, by 1919, they felt that there was sufficient interest to go ahead with calling for members. They placed a notice in the Brisbane Courier of Wednesday 30 April 1919, inviting interested women to attend a meeting of Brisbane members of the London Lyceum Club at the Brisbane Women's Club on Friday 2 May at 8.00 pm. The notice gave information about Lyceum.

At the meeting Margaret Ogg explained the objective of the meeting was to form a Queensland Branch of the London Lyceum Club, which would act as a common meeting ground for university graduates and the teaching, journalistic, medical, dental and legal professions. That evening all present formed themselves into a new general committee with a sub-committee nominated to draw up a constitution and rules. Miss Margaret Ogg was elected President and Miss Paten Honorary Secretary.

The annual subscription was set at 10 shillings with an entrance fee of the same amount. It was decided to meet on the first Monday of the month and this practice continues today. In those early times the meetings were held at 8.00pm, evening dress was always worn and continued to be worn for many years, certainly up to the mid 1950s. The President's chair was made in 1936 by a then well known furniture maker, Mr Gordon. Mrs Eva Robson was president at the time and the chair was in memory of Mrs Mary Munro who had preceded Mrs Robson as president.

Today the objectives of the Lyceum Club are to:

  • Associate in a non-political, non-sectarian social club, women of all nations who are interested in the advancement of literature, science, the arts and music, and who desire to promote that good feeling and comradeship which can result only from a knowledge acquired by a personal association
  • Afford to its members all the usual privileges, advantages, conveniences and accommodations of a club
  • Provide and maintain a club house or club rooms for the use of the members of the Association
  • Organise study circles on topics central to the members' interests
  • Arrange lectures, entertainment and other functions
  • Effect liaison with practising members and to encourage students of disciplines within the varied areas of interest of members
  • Affiliate, through the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs, with the International Association of Lyceum Clubs.

Sources used to compile this entry: Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated, Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated, Brisbane, 2006,; Mittelheuser, Dr Cathryn AM, Early Days of Brisbane Lyceum, Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated, Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated, Brisbane, 2006,

Related entries

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Archival resources

John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland

Lee Butterworth

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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