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Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups

Welcome to WEA Sydney’s Discussion Group Program! The Discussion Group Program is a distance education based program with course range runs from history and literature into topics of philosophy and social sciences. Designed for group study (minimum of 6) at home or in a club or other community setting. All DGP courses listed in the WEA Sydney Discussion Group Program Catalogue are available for enrolment – so don’t miss out! Simply check the availability of your chosen course with WEA Sydney as several courses get booked quickly. Full course information can be found using the links below.

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The Grandeur of Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian civilisation has tantalised countless generations. This course is a fascinating survey of the history and society of the world of the Pharaohs, vast in wealth, technology and intellect, yet revering death and built on the forced labour of slaves. It will take you into the lives of the Egyptian people through the remarkable finds of... [More]

The World of The Venerable Bede: Anglo-Saxon And Celtic Britain

The Venerable Bede (c.673-735) was one of the leading scholars in early medieval Europe and ‘father’ of English history. He lived during one of the most vibrant periods of Anglo-Saxon civilization and played an important role in its evolving society. This society witnessed the transformation of England both religiously and socially with the spread... [More]

Sharing the World: People and other Animals

Animals are an intrinsic part of literature. From childhood to maturity, we read about rabbits in coats, lost dogs, man hunting whales and clever foxes. We share this earth with thousands of other species: we love and eat them, skin and tame them; and we write about them. In this course we explore some literary animals, our connections to them and... [More]

Eve, the Apple and Medieval Society

Medieval theologians believed the nature of Eve’s disobedience, as told in the book of Genesis, was sexual and thus viewed women as a persistent source of sexual temptation. This course examines medieval society’s attitude to sex, love, romance, marriage, courtly love and various other alternatives through authors such as Andeas Cappellanus and... [More]

Aristotle On The Happy Life

Aristotle’s Nikomachaen Ethics is a book on how to prosper in life. Bearing in mind that all of us live in communities and states, we cannot prosper alone. What I do affects others; and what others do affects me. Accordingly ethics is an issue for everyone. But although Artistotle’s work is a philosophical treatise, it is written in an easy style... [More]

Royalty & Riches, Looters & Collectors - The Wonders of the Art Museums of Today

Millions of people each year visit the major Museums of art from London to New York and from Paris to St Petersburg. But who were the individuals or families that amassed these amazing collections? What are the stories behind the masterpieces? How did major art works travel between countries as war booty from the 1500s to looted art in WWII? Some... [More]

Glories of Georgian England: Houses, Gardens, Arts and Patrons

Join our six visits to Georgian England, to see its houses and gardens, not only the houses of the grand but also those of the not-so-grand. We will look at Chippendale who made furniture and Adam who redesigned interiors. At Lady Hamilton and Wedgewood who brought Ancient Greece to the dining table. We will see how ‘Capability’ Brown sculptured... [More]

Southeast Asia: History, Culture and Australian Involvement

Southeast Asia is more important to Australia than anywhere else but most people’s knowledge of it tends to be superficial and often inaccurate. Our media focuses on Europe which is of marginal relevance to Australia and where we have no influence or importance. This course provides an introductory overview of the region which matters to us and... [More]

Possums, Power, Passion and People - Australia and the Protection of its Environment

Learn about Australia’s history that began with a European mindset that was determined to transform an ancient landscape into a typical English countryside at great costs to its environment and indigenous peoples. Why did some 19th Century citizens raise the alarm at the ‘wanton destruction’ of Australian forests? Why did some 20th Century citizens... [More]

Rebellion! Behind The Eureka Stockade

Just before dawn on the morning of December 3 1854, 296 soldiers and police descended on the sleeping inhabitants of the stockade which had been roughly thrown together on the Eureka Lead in Ballarat. Fifteen minutes later twenty-two miners lay dead and the rebellion against the authority of the Crown had been quashed. The issues which had driven... [More]