Rose Seidler House (c.1950), designed by architect Harry Seidler. Photo: Matt Stone

Conserving and educating

The Society was founded in 1995, with the aim of protecting and promoting 20th Century architectural and design heritage.

We have attracted a group of dedicated heritage practitioners, historians and other specialists – united in their commitment to the conservation of a dwindling stock of heritage items.

The Society has also broadened its scope to embrace the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The Society’s President, Dr. Roy Lumby PhD, is a respected authority on the 1920s and 1930s. He  completed his Master of Architecture degree by thesis entitled: An Architecture of Business: Sydney’s Office Buildings of the 1920s and 1930s.

The fundamental elements of the Society:

  • A strong conservation policy
  • An emphasis on architecture – but also embracing sculpture, ceramics, furniture, cinema, fashion, planes, trains and cars.
  • An ongoing educational programme covering walks, talks and social functions.

A voluntary and non-profit organisation

The Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW is a non-profit organisation, run by a voluntary committee, generally meeting every two months. It publishes a regular newsletter, The News, with selected back issues available for free download.

Strong international and interstate links

The Society is in regular contact with heritage groups both interstate and overseas. It often calls on these groups for letters of support in its lobbying for protection of NSW buildings in danger of demolition or of unsympathetic renovation or modification.

The Society reciprocates by lending its support to these other groups in their efforts to conserve their own heritage and built environment. It has helped groups in Western Australia, Victoria, the Phillipines, Canada, the USA, the UK, and elswhere.

International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS) 

One of the Society’s important interactions is our regular attendance at the World Congress on Art Deco, a concept initiated by the late Barbara Baer Capitman.

The first such Congress was held in Miami in 1991. Its mission was to provide a scholarly forum for the exchange and promotion of ideas and information about Art Deco design.

Since then, Southern Hemisphere venues for this event have included Perth in Western Australia (1993); Napier in New Zealand (1999); and Melbourne (2007) in Victoria.

In 2011, the World Congress was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil followed by Havana, Cuba in 2013. In 2015 it was held in Shanghai, China, and in 2017 Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In 2019 it was held in Buenos Aires.

It was planned for Singapore in 2021, but later cancelled due to the coronavirus.  

In 2023, the World Congress was held in Miami, Florida USA. In 2025, it is planned for Paris, France.

Discover more about the Society

Read heritage articles on our Resources page or sign up for our free eNewsletter.


President: Roy Lumby
Vice President: Zeny Edwards
Hon. Secretary: Anne Higham
Hon. Treasurer
John Dymond

Committee members:
Gail Conder
David Rosen
Matt Stone
Olivia Turner

Interested in Membership?