Historic club celebrates women

On March 8, the Kelvin Club held “Be Bold for Change” – a luncheon hosted by influential female speakers in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Organised by Kelvin Club vice president Su Baker, 100 diners, both male and female, enjoyed a lunch and an open conversation with musician Ecca Vandal, co-founder of Aubrey Management, Lynne Thornton and host Esther Anatolitis.

Guests included Melbourne Forum chair Andrea Hull AO, Lifeview CEO Madeline Gall and Film Victoria director Debra Allanson.

Ms Vandal is a successful female artist in heavily male-dominated genres such as rap and hip-hop.

She has, of course, come across competitiveness from other female artists within the music industry but she spoke of the need to include and encourage other women in what she labelled “the sisterhood”.

Ms Thornton is an entrepreneur, investor and business manager who has lived and worked in America, England and now Australia.

She spoke about women in the financial and investment sectors. According to her, many women feel that networking is not one of their stronger skills and she encouraged the ladies in the room to introduce themselves to one another.

Ms Anatolitis is the chief of Regional Arts Victoria, a successful writer, critic and curator with a particular interest in public space. Her passion for professional and social collaborations was evident as she led an interesting and open conversation between the two speakers and their audience.

Ms Baker noted the Kelvin Club’s proudly inclusive history and how it was a fitting setting for the International Women’s Day celebrations, as it was the first private social club in Melbourne to welcome women as members.

Formally incorporated on January 13, 1853, the Kelvin Club wanted to extend an invitation of membership to women in 1968 but legislation made this impossible until February 14, 1995.

The club has held a few CBD locations before finally settling into its current home in Melbourne Place.

Originally named the Fitzroy Bowling Club, it was located at the centre of Victoria Parade just east of the CBD.

In 1927 it was renamed the Kelvin Club after Lord Kelvin, a mathematical physicist and engineer. It was also during this year that the club moved to 53-55 Collins Place.

The club moved again in 1936 to 360 Little Collins St before moving to its current location in 1947.

Interested in joining? The Kelvin Club will be launching a new members drive during April with special joining opportunities for young entrepreneurs and diverse communities. Go to www.kelvinclub.com for more information.

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