With over 300 courses available, there’s something for everyone, from learning practical skills such as a foreign language or in an art or writing program, to discovering more about the world of the past in one of our many history courses. Our IT courses have a terrific range for those who need to brush up on their computer skills, manage a small business, keep up with the kids or web design. Learn to be a better manager, gain training qualifications, become a master public speaker – all in our Business and Training program.

Don’t miss out – join one of WEA’s Summer 2017 courses, and discover the value and quality that have kept WEA going through the 100 years of its existence in Sydney. With over 15,000 students enrolling each year, WEA represents success, interest, involvement, friendship, social outlets, health, community, all packaged with the best tutors in Sydney!

Enjoy your Summer at WEA!

Michael Newton | Executive Director

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      • A Very Plantagenet Christmas
        Immortalised by the 1968 film, A Lion in Winter, Christmas with the Plantagenets was a complicated affair. Quarrelling children, rival mistresses, and the added stress and potential social humiliation of whether you would be seated above or below the salt! From the late 12th to the 14th century, the Plantagenets would hold some of the greatest Christmas celebrations England had ever known. Come a-caroling and wassailing through the family undercurrents and complex court dynamics to a royal feast.


        • Henry II: New Interpretations, edited by Christopher Harper Bill and Nicholas Vincent (Boydell and Brewer, 2007).
        • Food and Feasts in the Middle Ages, Lynne Elliot (Crabtree Publishing Company, 2004).
        • The Plantagenets: The Kings That Made Britain, Derek Wilson (Quercus Publishing, 2014).
        • The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century, Ian Mortimer (Vintage, 2009).


        • A Lion in Winter (1968), Directed by Anthony Harvey, wth Peter O’Toole, Katherine Hepburn, and Anthony Hopkins.
        • Becket (1964), Directed by Peter Glenville. With Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and John Guilgud.
        • Ivanhoe (1982), Directed by Douglas Camfield, with Anthony Andrews, James Mason, Sam Neil and Olivia Hussey.

        By the end of this course, students should be able to:

        1. Recognise the importance of the medieval feast as a socio-political necessity as well as a religio-cultural expectation.
        2. Appreciate the significance of certain foods and rituals in the celebration of Christmas.
        3. Distinguish the differences in the way England celebrated her feasts, in comparison to Continental Europe in the Middle Ages.
      • Exploring Old Tokyo

        Comparing an Edo period map of Tokyo from 1800 with today’s city we will explore the streetscape of Tokyo’s old quarters. Referring to woodblock prints of ancient city quarters such as Nihonbashi, Yanaka, Asakusa, Ueno and Ginza, learn how to navigate these areas of Tokyo today with an eye for history and knowledge of how this great city has grown. Many other practical insights, how to travel Tokyo and enjoy its food, museums and other historic sites will be provided along the way.


        • Richard Story – A History of Modern Japan (Pelican Original, 1960)
        • John McBride – A History of Edo (course notes provided during class)
      • Habsburg Wives & Daughters

        After 467 years of Habsburg male rulers a woman was finally to lead the Habsburg dynasty: Maria Theresa. But many other Habsburg women also became queens all over Europe as the family often chose marriage rather than war to increase dynastic influence across the continent. This course will investigate the roles some of these Habsburg wives and daughters played: Catherine, Eleanor, Isabella, Marie Antoinette, Sissi and many more.


        • The Habsburg Monarchy 1490-1848: attributes of empire / Paula Sutter Fichtner. Houndmills ; New York, N.Y. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
        • The Habsburg monarchy 1809-1918: a history of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary / A.J.P. Taylor Harmondworth : Penguin in association with Hamish Hamilton, 1981, c1948
        • The making of the Habsburg monarchy, 1550-1700: an interpretation / R. J. W. Evans. Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1979
        • A history of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918 / Robert A. Kann. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974
        • The decline and fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815-1918 / Alan Sked London; New York: Longman, 1989
        • How to ruin a queen: Marie Antoinette and the diamond necklace affair / Jonathan Beckman. Da Capo Press, Boston, 2014
        • Maria Theresa / Edward Crankshaw. Longmans, London, 1969
        • The lonely empress: a biography of Elizabeth of Austria / Joan Haslip. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1965


        • Dynastic Overview: A brief look at the historical and geographic origins of the Habsburg Dynasty.
        • Austrian and Spanish Rule: Two major branches of the Habsburg family ruled over much of Europe and beyond for several centuries, while involved in the major European religious struggles of the 16th and 17th centuries.
        • Maria Theresia & Marie Antoinette: Struggles with France, Prussia, Russia and the Ottoman Empire kept the dynasty busy with constant warfare at one border or the other (or several) placing these two Habsburg ladies in the thick of it.
        • Sisi: The last empress. Immortalised by a young Romy Schneider in the 1950s

        By the end of this course, students should be able to:
        Describe the origins of one of Europe’s longest ruling dynasties.

        1. Name the various Habsburg females ruling in parts of Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.
        2. Discuss Maria Theresa’s struggle for acceptance.
        3. Evaluate Sisi’s life and impact on Austrian and Hungarian history.
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