2020 Christmas Luncheon

2020 ESU & BAC Christmas Luncheon


The ESU & BAC Christmas Luncheon will be held at the Irish pub 'The Last Jar Hotel' on 19th December.

2020 has been an challenging year so we invite all ESU and BAC members to help celebrate the Festive Season.

Read More for further details.....

ESU Newsletter - November 2020



       The English-Speaking Union



                                    NOVEMBER 2020

While in COVID lockdown the ESU has been busy continuing to working on a number of projects. We hope that our members have kept safe and healthy throughout this time. We understand that for many it has been difficult to endure especially with the inability to physically meet with loved ones and friends. It is encouraging to see the Victorian Government begin to easing restrictions and that we can continue get back to some semblance of normality over coming weeks.

This newsletter contains the following news. Choose 'Read More' to see the full version. 

  1. Old English Interactions – Online Course Update (Page 1)
  2. 2020 ESU Annual General Meeting Notice (Page 1)
  3. ESU House – Kitchen Update (Page 2)
  4. The Institute of Australian Culture website (Page 2)
  5. Selected tales of Price Warung (Page 2)
  6. ESU Awards Program –Minor and Major Grants (Page 3)
  7. Sir Owen Dixon Library – New additions  (Page 3)
  8. Peter Ridd – High Court Appeal Update  (Page 3)
  9. Riders of Time – Mabel Brookes (Page 4)
  10. British Australian Community News (Page 5)
  11. AEC Submission – William Watt (Page 5)
  12. Senate Inquiry - ‘Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy’ (Page 6)
  13. Remembrance Day (Page 6)


Update - Dr. Peter Ridd High Court Appeal

UPDATE – Dr Ridd’s High Court Appeal






The High Court has agreed to hear argument in February 2021 about why Dr Peter Ridd should be given leave to appeal the decision of the Federal Court that upheld James Cook University’s decision to dismiss him.  

This hearing is a positive step in legal proceedings. Had the High Court decided not to hear arguments about whether to allow the appeal, Dr Ridd’s case would have come to a premature end..............

AGM Reminder

All members are reminded that the 2020 Annual General Meeting of The English-Speaking Union (Victoria Branch) is scheduled for Saturday 14th November commencing at 2:00pm (via video conference).

Australian Electoral Commission Submission - William Watt


The ESU proposes that the new Commonwealth electoral division, to be established in Victoria as an outcome of the redistribution of electoral boundaries, be named in recognition of William Alexander Watt. 

All ESU members and interested parties are encouraged to support this submission by posting a public comment by 6pm on Friday 30th October 2020 on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website at https://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2021/vic/comments-suggestions.htm.

The full submission can be viewed at William Watt AEC Submission    


ESU Victoria Annual General Meeting

The English-Speaking Union (Victoria Branch) has scheduled the 2020 Annual General Meeting to be held on Saturday 14th November commencing at 2:00pm (via video conference). In accordnace with the Constitution, Meeting Notice & Agenda and Proxy Form have been duly dsitributed to members. 

All members are encouraged to attend to ensure that a quorum is present at the meeting. A member however may appoint a proxy by submitting a completed Proxy Form by 5:00pm Wednesday 11 November.

Further to Call for Nominations dated 5 October, a nomination has been lodged by Margaret Birtley for the vacant Council position. As there has been a single nomination submitted there will be no requirement to hold an election at the AGM.

Login details for the meeting can be found in the Meeting Notice. 

Letter of Support for Dr. Peter Ridd

On behalf of the English-Speaking Union Victoria Branch, I applaud you on your resilience and exemplary spirit in fighting for the principles of freedom of speech and intellectual freedom of inquiry. These fundamental principles align with our values; we strongly believe they are a key foundation stone of our democracy and of our universities in particular.

We have donated $1,000 to your GoFundMe campaign to assist with legal costs in your pending appeal in the High Court of Australia.  

Thank you for providing the opportunity to support this important defence of academic freedom.

Centennial History Book Launch

Launch of the centennial history on Saturday 30 November 2019 (by Margaret Birtley AM)

I am pleased that the ESU Victoria Branch is recognising the value of its own history, and am delighted to have been invited by the ESU to launch the centennial history of our illustrious organisation.

In Bonds of Comradeship: The English-Speaking Union Victoria Branch 1919-2019 is the title of this new work. The book has fourteen chapters and four appendices. Its length is substantial – about 120,000 words – and can be compared to a PhD thesis or a long novel.