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The 20th Century Heritage Society of NSW was founded in 1995, with the aim of protecting and promoting 20th Century architectural and design heritage in the state. It has attracted an impressive group of heritage practitioners, historians and specialists - united in their commitment to the conservation of our state's dwindling stock of heritage items.

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

Two key elements are fundamental to the Society:

  • A strong conservation policy, with an emphasis on architecture - but also embracing sculpture, ceramics, furniture, cinema, fashion, planes, trains, cars and ships; industrial, commercial and interior design; the decorative arts and more.

  • An ongoing educational programme covering walks, talks and social functions. You can view upcoming events on our Eventbrite page.

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 back issues available for free download.

Committee 2019

President: Roy Lumby

Chair: Roy Lumby
Hon. Secretary: Anne Higham
Hon. Treasurer/Public Officer: John Dymond
Hon. Secretary: Margo Carter

Gail Conder
Zeny Edwards
David Holden
David Rosen
Matt Stone

Strong international 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. Recently it has helped groups in Western Australia, Victoria, the Phillipines, Canada, the USA, the UK, and elswhere.

International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS) and
The World Congress on Art Deco

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 - an internationally respected expert on this important style).

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, venues for this major biennial event have included Perth in Western Australia (1993), Brighton in England (1995), and Los Angeles in the USA (1997) - when the Society's first paper was given by Roy Lumby.

The 5th Congress was held in Napier, New Zealand, in 1999 - when Roy again represented the Society on the international stage.

In 2001, it was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma; in 2003 in Cape Town; and in 2005, in New York. For 2007 ICADS chose Melbourne, our southern neighbour in the state of Victoria. In 2009 it was hosted by Montreal, Canada.

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 Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 2017.

The Congress will be held in Argentina in 2019, followed by Singapore in 2021.


Individual membership is just $65 per year, even less for concession.
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Main picture: Willoughby Incinerator, by Walter Burley Griffin and Eric Nicholls




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