Some Information About The Club

The Club had its beginnings as a men’s club in 1894 when ‘it occurred to a Melbourne physician, Dr Henry, that there was room for a club embodying the Johnsonian definition, “an assembly of good fellows, meeting under certain conditions”, and including some special qualifications that would form a bond of sympathy between members. Professional men, including artists, teachers, musicians, writers, and thinking men of all kinds, men who had done something for their calling or for their community, were to be sought. One thing in addition was essential. Members must be fond of walking, not in the athletic sense – athleticism was rather anathema to the founder and projectors of the Club – but as a means of reasonable outdoor enjoyment that would be conducive to health, conversation and good companionship.’ Membership now includes women and men.

Over the Club’s existence there have been many notable members from the professions, academia, and public life. A few from the past include Alfred Deakin (Prime Minister), William Hughes (Prime Minister), Sir George Reid (Prime Minister, NSW Premier), Sir John Monash (WW1 General, Head of SECV), Sir Macfarlane Burnet (Nobel Laureate, Director Walter & Eliza Hall Inst of Medical Research), Sir Ian Clunies Ross (Chairman, CSIRO), Justice Sir Owen Dixon, Prof W.C. Kernot (First Professor of Engineering at Univ of Melb) , General Sir Geoff Legge (Commander 1st Div AIF at Gallipoli),  Sir Peter MacCallum (Chairman, Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria), Sir Louis Matheson (Foundation Vice Chancellor, Monash Univ), Fred McCubbin (artist), Sir George Paton (Vice Chancellor, Melb Univ), Hon George Swinburne (Minister in the Vic Parliament), and Sir George Syme (First President, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons).

Present membership is diverse and includes active and retired academics and persons from the professions, commerce, industry and the arts. 

The Club has a program of about fifteen walks a year which are “Open” activities, to which members may bring wives, husbands, partners and friends. Most walks are held on Saturdays and Sundays, several in mid-week, and most take the form of meeting for a picnic lunch followed by a walk of about 3 km up to 8 km, with occasional more strenuous walks for fit and competent walkers. The Club also holds an AGM and Dinner in June, a Spring Dinner in September or October, a Christmas Dinner in early December and a two-day residential “Uncup”, usually in April at a country centre, with three walks and an evening dinner.

Membership is by invitation and candidates must attend a walk as a guest, to ensure they meet some members and have an opportunity to see how the Club operates.

For Members, reasonable participation in Club events is expected and encouraged, but the Club appreciates that family, work and travel commitments will prevent attendance at some events. The Club has a category of Social Member for members who can no longer actively participate in our walking activities but wish to remain in contact with the Club, receive Club Newsletters, and attend some dinners.