The Jane Austen Society of Australia

On 18th July 1817, Jane Austen died in the arms of her sister Cassandra “I have lost such a treasure”, Cassandra wrote of her loss, “such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed.” Cassandra had lost sister and friend, but the world had lost its greatest novelist – far, far too early! 2017 marks the anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. All over the world, people are marking the occasion and celebrating the talent and genius of Jane Austen. Exhibitions, talks, performances, discussions, church services are all being planned in order to commemorate Jane Austen and her legacy.

The Jane Austen Society of Australia is a member-based association founded in 1989 to bring together lovers and admirers of Jane Austen in this part of the world. We number academics and scholars amongst our members, but we are mostly enthusiastic amateurs who meet to discuss the genius of Austen and to explore the era that gave rise to her.

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Although based in Sydney, we have members in all states of Australia and overseas, and we warmly welcome visitors to our events.

We produce regular publications, have a member’s library, and sell Austen-inspired items through our Regency Fair stall at meetings.

Find out more about becoming a member of JASA, or read the latest updates from JASA’s Facebook page here.

A message from our JASA President regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dear JASA members,

The Australian government is now imposing restrictions on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people due to concerns about COVID-19. The JASA committee has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel some of our upcoming events.

We have already announced that we are cancelling the Study Day this Saturday 21 March, and the committee has now reluctantly decided that:

  • The regular JASA meeting in Sydney to be held on 18 April is cancelled
  • JASA’s Weekend conference in Canberra in July on International Jane Austen is cancelled.

At this stage we have not made a decision about JASA’s June meeting – we are monitoring the situation closely and will let you know our decision closer to the date.

Even though we haven’t cancelled the June meeting, we needed to make a decision now about the July Weekend Conference as we are required to prepay the venue well in advance. There have been very few bookings since February, and we don’t expect any more over the next month. This takes us up to our deadline for cancelling without penalty. As we have not met the minimum number we need for the event to break even, we have made the decision to cancel now for the certainty of everyone.

What do you need to do?

If you booked for the Study Day we have already contacted you directly.

If you have booked and paid for the Weekend Conference, you will be refunded by cheque. PLEASE don’t contact our Treasurer as there is a huge amount of work to do at the moment. Your refund will be sent to you in due course but, because of the volume of work involved, it may be a slow process.

If you have booked accommodation for the conference, you will need to cancel that directly yourself.

Your membership

If you have not renewed your membership yet, we encourage you to do so. Your membership fee covers the cost of our publications, JASA Chronicle, Sensibilities, and Practicalities, as well as running costs such as insurance. Your continued support as a member will help us through these difficult and extraordinary times. We hope to send you some informal JASA newsletters over the next few months, keeping you posted as to interesting new books and news in the Jane Austen world, and of course you will receive JASA’s wonderful publications in June if you are a current member. As all our events are planned and costed so that they stand on their own two feet, the cancellation of our meetings and events doesn’t change the value you get from your membership fee, even though there will be fewer opportunities for in-person enjoyment. We have already contacted our speakers and hope much of our programme will be able to run in 2021 instead.

In the current situation we need to care for the safety and wellbeing of our members and their families. As Jane Austen wrote in Emma, “Where health is at stake, nothing else should be considered.”

Over the next few months, you will probably be much at home. What better therapy could there be in these stressful times than reading a Jane Austen novel? Enjoy a domestic pleasure in her novels and we hope that soon we can all share our joy in her works in a more social way.

Stay well, everyone! With best wishes,

Susannah Fullerton


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Jane Austen Society of Australia

Non-profit organisation

We are a volunteer membership association run by Jane Austen lovers for Jane Austen fans. We have around 500 members in Australia and overseas - come and join us at a meeting in Sydney, or catch up with one of our groups around Australia.

Woodhouse Bulletin - The latest update from JASA.

Stay at home and read Jane.

10 Virtual Tours for Jane Austen Lovers.

What Jane Austen can teach us about staying home.