Engage with us

The Royal Society of New South Wales is an inclusive learned institution that encompasses a vibrant and diverse community of people who are dedicated to ideas that matter, drawing together individuals from a wide range of disciplines and knowledge.  The Society, which is the oldest learned society in the Southern Hemisphere, creates a focus for sharing and applying expertise to deliver an independent and authoritative voice.

The work of the Society is based on a vision of “enriching lives through knowledge and inquiry”  and active participation in its works and activities is open to all and strongly encouraged.  Outlined below, there are a number of ways in which you can engage with, contribute to, and support the work of the Society.

Attend an event

The public face of the Society is its events program (see also previous and scheduled events).  These comprise monthly meetings from Sydney (6 face-to-face lectures held bi-monthly in the State Library of NSW, and 4 or 5 online lectures as Zoom webinars), named lectures that are associated with the Society’s awards and presented by award winners, a regular program of lectures from all three branches—in the Hunter region, the Southern Highlands, and Western NSW, as well as the Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation Ceremony. These events are open to all.  In addition, there are various special events that include the annual Forum conducted by the Society and the Learned Academies, and the Ideas@theHouse series of lectures, both of which are held at Government House Sydney, and which are open only to Society members by invitation.  The majority of the lectures and events conducted by the Society are recorded and made available on its YouTube channel and through the presentations and forums link in the publishing menu.

Join the Society

A great way to contribute to the work of the Society is to join as a Member or Fellow.  Indeed, many members have chosen to join after attending a Society event and potential members are encouraged to attend an event to engage with what the Society has to offer and its values.  Applications for membership are particularly sought from young people, women, and other underrepresented groups.  The benefits of joining, the categories of membership, and how to join the Society are outlined on the preceding linked pages. The Fellowship category of membership recognises the substantial contribution made by members of the Society who are acknowledged leaders in their fields of expertise and knowledge. Fellows are entitled to use the FRSN post-nominal, gazetted by the NSW Government. 


The Society is a volunteer organisation, reliant on its members to organise and administer its operations and program of activities.  The bulk of this work is undertaken within the Society’s Committees, overseen by the Council.  If you would like to contribute to the work of the Society in a deeper way, please consider offering your services as a member of a committee or standing for election as an office-bearer or member of Council, or as an office-bearer or member of one of theBranch Committees. 

 Consider giving

The Society is a registered charity and very much welcomes your support though donations and bequests.  Donations to the Society's Library and Scholarship Funds are tax-deductible. Respectively, these support important work that includes the classification and restoration of the Society’s substantial library holdings, and the acknowledgment of excellence and encouragement of outstanding young researchers in NSW and the ACT. Since its inception, the Society has benefited greatly from bequests from its members and other benefactors. You may care to consider leaving a legacy to the future by remembering the Society in your will.


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