The Lyceum Club Melbourne

A Melbourne laneway hidden gem

A place to forge and sustain lifelong friendships

Dedicated to culture, art and learning

Established in 1912

The Lyceum Club Melbourne

The Melbourne Lyceum Club has a long and proud history of contributing to the cultural life of Melbourne. Since its founding in 1912 the aim of the Lyceum Club has been to provide generations of women with a safe and comfortable place to meet in the city, to forge and sustain friendships and to engage in intellectual and cultural pursuits in an apolitical, non-sectarian, warm and welcoming environment.

The Club has been highly influential in the lives of generations of Victorian women. Early Club members were some of the first female graduates from The University of Melbourne, as well as distinguished artists, writers and contributors to our society.

The Club currently hosts over 70 different circles of interest, monthly club lunches and dinners and special events throughout the year, often with distinguished speakers.

Membership is open to women with university qualifications, women who have distinguished themselves in art, science, medicine, music, or literature or who have taken a prominent part in education and women who have rendered important public service.

Ridgway Place Melbourne VIC 3000

Interstate and overseas

The Lyceum Club is a member of the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs Incorporated (AALC) which is a member of the International Association of Lyceum Clubs (IALC).  Accommodation is available at reciprocal clubs worldwide.

Brief History of The Lyceum Club Melbourne

Elegant oasis

Dramatic windows bathe the dining room with natural light.

Superb meals

Members and guests experience exquisite meals prepared by our Head Chef and team in a relaxed atmosphere.

Club Dining

Our dining room is an elegant and refined architecturally award-winning space for members and guests to enjoy.

Function rooms

Our stylish and versatile event space is perfect for personal and professional occasions.

Founded in 1912

The Lyceum Club in Melbourne was founded in 1912 by a group of educated women, following enthusiastic support at a public meeting. Its model was the London Lyceum Club, created in 1904, whose aims were to provide women members with congenial surroundings and the promotion of lifelong learning.

March 1912

In Melbourne the Lyceum Club’s foundation meeting in March 1912 numbered 25 women in a rented room on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets. As described in ‘Circles of Friendship’ (Janette Bomford, 2012) the new club ‘would provide generations of their sisters with a safe and comfortable place to meet in the city, to forge and sustain friendships and to engage in intellectual and cultural pursuits’. Membership, then and now, is open to ‘women connected with or distinguished in literature, science, education, music or art, philanthropy, journalism, social or public service and the learned professions’.

1913 International admission

In 1913 the Club was admitted to the International Association of Lyceum Clubs, which holds a Congress every three years. Ours is the largest and most active Lyceum Club in the world.

1915 Circles of friendship

In 1915 the Club’s first discussion group or Circle was formed and these special interest Circles (now numbering 60) are considered the lifeblood of the Club.

1947 Membership limit raised

Membership numbers steadily increased and the Club moved four times to ever-larger rented premises. In 1947 the membership limit was raised to 1200 to ‘absorb a long and patient waiting list’

1957 A new club built

In 1957 members made the bold decision to build their own club in Ridgway Place.

2018 Award winning renovation

In 2018 an additional award-winning floor was added to accommodate the many activities offered to our 1400+ members.

The Lyceum Club acknowledges the land and Songlines of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge and pay respect to their Elders, past and present.