About Jane Austen Society of Australia, Brisbane
A regional group of the Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA), situated in Sydney, this organisation is the largest literary society in Australia. There are currently 120 members of JASA Brisbane. The members are admirers of Jane Austen’s works primarily, but are also interested in her life and the era in which she lived.
JASA began in May 2002 in the format of a book club with eight members. In order to accommodate their rapidly increasing membership and the numbers of international and interstate guest speakers that were available, they soon found that they had to change the format to that of a book society. Meetings generally consist of an address from a guest speaker followed by a series of short presentations and activities ranging from formal to informal. Everyone is encouraged to participate, but it is not compulsory. Each meeting is allotted a theme by the committee. Themes can be quite specific relating to the books or more broad, relating to the author’s life, family, social position or to aspects of the Georgian era which may have helped to shape the books. JASA take one meeting every year as a study afternoon where we delve deeply into one or one particular aspect of Austen’s novels. The meetings conclude with afternoon tea.
People are often surprised to hear that JASA have enough meeting topics to last for many years to come. Some examples of past meeting themes are as follows:
Bad Girls in Austen
Jane Austen and Feminism
Entails, Estates and other subjects beyond the reach of Mrs Bennet
Letters in Jane Austen’s Novels
JASA, Brisbane’s motto is a quote from Pride & Prejudice –
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading.”
There is also a saying to which we lend our whole-hearted support –
“One can never be finished with a classic.”
The Jane Austen Society of Australia, Brisbane has 5 meetings per year, on Saturday afternoons, between February and November. Meetings are held at St Colomba’s Anglican Ministry Centre, 23 Victoria Street, Clayfield, Brisbane. There is adequate free on-street parking and good public transport options. There is an annual fee of $35 which includes membership of the society and payment for the five meetings throughout the year. They are a not-for-profit organisation.