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Cultural Events

Each year, University Collections present an active program of public events, engaging the broader community with a wide range of the arts and other cultural aspects of university life. Through this work we promote university values and enhance the university experience for students, staff and the interested public.

University Collections events are free, unless otherwise indicated.

Cultural Program

Our Cultural Program for 2019 is coming soon!

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Upcoming events


University Collections are presenting a program of events for this year's SA History Festival. Please see event flier for full UC History Festival program details.

History & Heritage Tours
These tours are designed to introduce visitors to the history of the North Terrace campus and showcase hidden treasures revealing the cultural and social history of the university. Hear the fascinating story of the University of Adelaide's original campus, its founding fathers and view the portraits of past Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors from an experienced and dedicated University Collections volunteer guide.

No bookings required. Meet in front of the Mitchell Building.

Throughout the Festival tours will be run on:
Tuesday 10.30-11.30am
Thursday 2.00-3.00pm

For further information please see event flier or visit

Cultural Conversation: South Australia through the Lens of Keith Phillips
Keith Phillips (1898-1973) was a South Australian photographer and official photographer for the University of Adelaide and the Waite Institute. With a keen eye for both landscape and seascape, his photographs of trees make you feel as though you could reach out and touch their leaves or peel a piece of bark from their trunks. His photographs of streets, parks, buildings and people marvellously evoke a sense of Adelaide time and place.

Join us on Thursday 23rd May at Urrbrae House, Waite Campus, for a Conversation on Phillips led by Maria Zagala, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, Art Gallery of South Australia. Please arrive at 4.30pm for 5pm start, concluding at 6pm. To reserve your seat please visit Eventbrite.

This Conversation complements the Keith Phillips Photographic Exhibition on display at Urrbrae House 10.00 am – 4.00 pm every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 1 – 23 May 2019. Free exhibition, no bookings required. For further information on the exhibition please contact Sally Carr on 8313 7110 or and visit

For further information please see event flier or visit

Manager's Choice Guided Tours - Roseworthy Agricultural Museum
The Roseworthy Agricultural Museum showcases vintage agricultural machinery with an emphasis on the evolution of farming methods and Roseworthy Agricultural College history. There are many models including a working half-scale stripper, made by JG Ramsey of Mt Barker and first exhibited at the 1878 Paris World Fair, and a working model of a 1908 Saunderson tractor, the first tractor used in South Australia.

The Manager of the Museum would like to take you on an exclusive nitty-gritty tour of select equipment, providing demonstrations of the machinery in action and revealing how they helped shape the history of our state.

Dates & Times 
Wednesday 8th May
Sunday 19th May
Wednesday 29th May
All tours commence at 1.00pm (approx. 60 mins)

Bookings essential by phone - 8313 3086 or email -

Location - Roseworthy Agricultural Museum, the University of Adelaide Roseworthy Campus, Mudla Wirra Road, Roseworthy.

For further information please see flier or visit

Event recordings

  • Cultural Oration - Finding the next wave: Innovation and its Discontents with Greg Mackie OAM, Chief Executive Officer, History Trust of South Australia.
    You can listen to a recording of the Cultural Oration given by Greg on Thursday 13 July 2017.

  • Cultural Oration - Plants & Civilisation: Past, Present and Future by Professor Bob Hill, Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Director, Environment Institute, the University of Adelaide.
    You can listen to a recording of the Scientific Oration given by Professor Hill on Thursday 10 August 2017.

  • Cultural Conversation - Windows into other worlds with Jennifer Osborn, Research Librarian, Barr Smith Library, the University of Adelaide; In Conversation with writers Rebekah Clarkson and Lynette Washington. 
    You can listen to a recording of the Cultural Conversation with Jennifer, Rebekah and Lynette on Thursday 7th September 2017. 

  • Cultural Oration - The Myth of Saving the Children: The Impacts of Twentieth Century Half-Caste Child Assimilation by Dr Jenni Caruso, Lecturer, History Department, The University of Adelaide.
    You can listen to a recording of the Cultural Oration given by Dr Caruso on Thursday 28 June 2018.

  • Scientific Oration - Light, Life and the Universe: A Chemistry Perspective with Professor Greg Metha, Professor of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, the University of Adelaide. 
    You can listen to a recording of the Scientific Oration given by Professor Metha on Thursday 23 August 2018.

  • Cultural Conversation - Rocks from Space : Acraman Asteroid Impact on the Earth’s Evolution with Dr Vic Gostin, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow Earth Sciences, the University of Adelaide.
    You can listen to a recording of the Cultural Conversation given by Dr Gostin on Wednesday 19th September 2018.

  • Cultural Illumination - Christobel Kelly: Aldinga - Closing Reflections by Professor Catherine Speck, Art History, School of Humanities, the University of Adelaide. You can read a transcript of Professor Speck's Reflections from Wednesday 26th September 2018.
  • In November 2017, University Collections collaborated with the Department of History at the University of Adelaide in association with Wakefield Press to present Cultural Musing: Foundational Fictions in South Australia - a provocative series of public lectures that challenge established myths and narratives about South Australia’s history. The resulting publication Foundational Fictions in South Australian History edited by 
    Carolyn Collins, Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide and Paul Sendzuik,  Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide has been released. Associate Professor Sendzuik and Dr Collins were recently interviewed Ian Newton about the publication on Radio Adelaide - listen here

Program features

  • Cultural Illuminations: small, focused exhibitions relating the essence of the University - learning, research, innovation - through the arts. This program creates pathways for local, national and international artists to connect with the university.
  • Cultural Conversations: informal forums for art and culture to meet science, technology and other academic research areas. The Conversations have been a major mechanism for linking diverse disciplines within the university as well as hosting national and international speakers.
  • Cultural and Scientific Orations: a platform for leading scholars to present a lecture on their area of research.
  • Cultural Celebrations: special events acknowledging significant occasions in the life of the university community.
  • Cultural Tours: guided tours by University Collections volunteers highlighting special features of the university - artworks, collections, buildings and other items of interest.
  • Cultural Musings: collaborations with industry partners through the presentation of panel discussions, tours, lectures or symposia addressing common concerns and interests.

If you are interested in contributing to our program, wish to be informed about events or would like to attend a cultural tour, please contact us via email.

Program & event archive

For past University Collections cultural programs and events, please see our event archive.

University Collections

Room 538, Kenneth Wills Building 
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 3086