The XVIII Congress of the International Association of Lyceum Clubs (IALC) was held in Melbourne in 1971. At that time the five Lyceum Clubs in Australia were all independent. However, the 1968 Rules and Regulations of the IALC stated:

Clause 16: Where there is more than one Lyceum Club in a country these clubs must form a National Federation according to the rules of federations approved by the International Central Bureau.

The matter of forming a national association according to this clause was actively discussed. Reservations were expressed, especially because all Clubs very much valued their independence and simply did not want to be part of a national association. It was realized also that costs would be incurred and that these would rise with time.

The Australian representative on the International Central Bureau of the IALC at that time was Mrs Eugenie Ballantyne, a member of The Lyceum Club in Melbourne, and she succeeded in persuading the Lyceum Clubs in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Karrakatta Club in Perth to form an association. All were insistent that it be an “Association” and not a “Federation” and so the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs (AALC) was formed in 1972/73.It was decided that it would be administered by a Secretariat which would rotate on a three year term between the Clubs.

Mrs Ballantyne was the first President, Miss Isobel Mackie was the Secretary and Mrs Enid Emmerson was the Treasurer. All were members of The Lyceum Club in Melbourne. Mrs Ruth Langley of the Lyceum Club Adelaide and Mrs Kathy Rigg of the Karrakatta Club, Perth were prominent in encouraging and working towards the formation of the AALC. Mrs Langley and Mrs Rigg both became Presidents of the AALC and Mrs Rigg also became the first Vice President representing the southern hemisphere Clubs in the IALC.

Mrs Lois Mander-Jones became President of the AALC when the Secretariat moved from The Lyceum Club Brisbane on 1 January 1990. She realized that, for the Association to have legal status, it was essential that it become incorporated. Together with the Secretary, Mrs Mary Wyness, and the Treasurer, Mrs Mary Nicholls, she drew up a draft constitution based on the requirements of the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Government of South Australia and presented it to the Clubs for comment.

After agreement by the clubs during the Triennial Conference held in Adelaide in October 1991, the final document was submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission of South Australia and The Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs Incorporated was inaugurated on 14 September 1992 with Mrs Lois Mander-Jones as Public Officer. “The” was added to the name to differentiate it from the former unincorporated association. The abbreviation, AALC, continued to be used. The first Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs Incorporated was held on 17 December 1992 with Mrs Mander-Jones in the chair.

The Secretariat moved to the Karrakatta Club Incorporated on 1 January 1993, then to The Lyceum Club in Melbourne in 1996, the Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated in 1999, The Sydney Lyceum Club Incorporated in 2002 and the Lyceum Club Adelaide Incorporated in 2005.

When the Secretariat was transferred to Brisbane in 1999, the Association was registered as an Australian Registered Body (ARBN 087 248 397) with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in order to comply with Federal Government legal requirements.

Cathryn Mittelheuser AM
March 2007

References :
Minutes of meetings of the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs and The Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs Incorporated
Conversations with Mrs Ruth Langley OAM and Mrs Lois Mander-Jones

Lyceum Clubs Incorporated Worldwide Members