Henley Club is a private social club hidden in Rankins Lane, comprising members who are both “interesting and interested”.
Established in 2012, Henley Club was created to cater to young minds wanting to express and exchange ideas on topics such as politics, science, entrepreneurship and art.
“It was inspired by a need for the creation of a forum that would equip a multidisciplinary community of young people in Melbourne with information and networks to empower them to make a positive impact,” said member and media relations manager Emma Needham.
With over 230 members aged between 25 and 40, Henley Club has a diverse range of thinkers.
CEO of Henley Club Erica Liston told CBD News “We try to purposely bring together a wide variety of members.”
“So we invite people from corporates, entrepreneurs, artists, academics … I guess what they have in common is that they’re curious and they really want to have an impact on their community and on the organisations that they represent,” she said.
Current members are employed in varying roles from varying industries, ranging from the National Executive Director of United Nations Association of Australia, to Architects, to Junior Doctors, to Composers, to Public Speakers, to the Public Affairs Outreach Assistant of the U.S. Consulate General here in Melbourne.
“It’s for people with great ideas and for people who want more great ideas,” said Ms Liston.
“The more you can come together with creative thinkers and people from all different types of backgrounds, the more you’re going to be able to bring fresh thinking and bring that into whatever you’re doing,” she said.
As their signature event, Henley Club hosts a “conversation” once a month. Conversations are intimate, Q&A style interviews with high profile speakers in different fields.
Past conversation speakers include Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, CEO of World Vision Australia Reverend Tim Costello, Former CEO of Carlton Football Club Michael Malouf and High Commissioner of Pakistan Naela Chohan.
Henley Club also has nine working groups, led by two members, centred around different schools of thought.
The working groups focus on the areas of Arts and Culture, Domestic and International Affairs, Education and Development, Environment and Social Justice, Finance and Investment, Food and Wine, Founders and Innovators, Medicine and Health and Science and Technology.
Henley Club working groups run separate events to the clubs conversations, ranging from excursions to Art Galleries to speak with curators to presentations on possible implications of a Trump Presidency by Nuclear Proliferation experts.
The club has been operating so successfully in Melbourne that they are looking to expand to other cities around Australia.
“So what works in Melbourne might not necessarily work in Sydney or Brisbane. We recognise that those are different markets, but we want to take the best of here and potentially expand it across the country,” Ms Liston said.