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Eileen Mackley AM is retiring following an 8 year term as VAS President

Eileen Mackley AM VAS FVAS is retiring as the President of the Victorian Artists Society after a period of eight years leading the Society, including four years managing the $2.5 million total restoration of the Heritage Victoria National Trust Listed building.

For the past eight years Eileen has led the Victorian Artists Society, along with Council members, on a period of major reform to ensure that VAS remains a special place for current and future artists, as it has been for over 150 years. 

We have chosen just a few of the very special moments in the eight year journey to provide members and supporters of the Society the opportunity to capture the spirit and some of the great achievements during Eileen’s time as President of the Victorian Artists Society.  

Ron Smith HON FVAS, VAS Councillor Communications
Shirley Baynes-Smith, Editor, VAS Newsletters

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At the recent opening of the VAS Mavis Little Artist of the Year Exhibition, Victorian Artists Society President, Eileen Mackley AM was presented with this watercolour painting by VAS Artist Julian Bruere, in recognition of her 8 year period at the helm of the Society.


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Watercolour painting of the Victorian Artists Society by VAS Artist Julian Bruere VAS FVAS


The restoration of the Victorian Artists Society

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Scaffold on the facade of the VAS building enabling the building workers access to restore the facade.

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Restoration works being undertaken on the upper galleries of the Victorian Artists Society.

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Eileen Mackley AM standing in front of the proposed lift well.

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Builders restoring the walls in the Eileen Mackley Members' Room.


Victorian Artists Society Visits Parliament House 22 March 2017

The Victorian Parliament saw one of the quietest demonstrations in its history when members of the Victorian Artists Society took to the famous steps to paint and sketch the historic building and streetscapes of Melbourne. 

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Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Hon Martin Foley MP (centre) joins members of the Victorian Artists' Society at Parliament House following the painting session.
Left: Ron Smith; Ted Dansey; Victorian Artists' Society President, Eileen Mackley; Barbara McManus; Liz Moore Golding; Julian Bruere, and in front model Anne Scott Pendlebury. 


Sir Arthur Streeton's 150th Birthday Celebrations held on 7 April 2017 at the
Victorian Artists Society

The Friday Group of Painters with model Jack fill the studio with voices.
It was a case of a birthday cake amongst the easels, the palettes and brushes as Artists at the Victorian Artists Society celebrated the 150th birthday of one of the Society's most famous artists,
Sir Arthur Streeton.


The Hon. Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning visits the Victorian Artists Society

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The Hon. Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning inspects the final stages of the $2.5 million heritage restoration of the Victorian Artists Society on 11 August 2019.
Left: Architect Rosa Luz Chiari; The Hon. Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning; 
Eileen Mackley AM, President of the Victorian Artists Society, and Ron Smith, VAS Councillor inspecting the heritage restoration.


Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC, officially launched the Victorian Artists Society’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations on
11 March 2020.

The 150th celebrations of the Victorian Artists Society coincided with the completion of a major $2.5 million heritage restoration of the Heritage Victoria National Trust Listed building over the past four years by the Society under the guidance of its President, Eileen Mackley AM. 

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Members of the Victorian Artists Society Council with Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC.
 
1st row left: Eileen Mackley AM, President of the Victorian Artists Society; Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC; Ron Smith, Council Member.

2nd row left: Hylton Mackley AM, Council Member; Maxine Wain, Council Member; Meg Davoren-Honey OAM, Council Member.

3rd row left: Rachel Robertson, Council Member; John Hurle, Council Member; Rosemary Noble, Council Member; Radmila Hardi, Council Member; Sue Ireland, Council Member.

4th row left: Fred Toumayan, Council Member; Bruce Baldey, Council Member.


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Left: Dr Noel Waite AO, VAS Council Member 2006, President 2008-2010, with VAS President Eileen Mackley AM at the Victorian Artists Society.

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Launch of the book 150 Victorian Artists Society 1870-2020 Celebrating 150 Years
Left: Rosemary Noble, Book Editor; Anne Scott Pendlebury, VAS Member, and VAS President Eileen Mackley AM.

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Eileen Mackley AM VAS FVAS, President of the Victorian Artists Society with her husband Hylton Mackley AM, Treasurer of the Victorian Artists Society on the historic staircase.


The Victorian Artists Society - VAS GALLERY

430 Albert Street, East Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9662 1484

Gallery Viewing Hours

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.

All Enquiries:

Victorian Artists Society Office - (03) 9662 1484

Media Enquiries:

Ron Smith OAM Hon FVAS, Victorian Artists Society - Mobile: 0417 329 201

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Acknowledgment of traditional owners.

We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.