These are some of the world’s most exclusive private member clubs that have a private club membership. To become a member is difficult. The only way to join is by invitation which most times needs to be seconded by two members and some up to five.
Some are women only; others are men only but most cater to both sexes. It’s what happens behind closed doors that everyone wants to know about.
These clubs are exempt from member discrimination laws as these laws apply only to institutions on Crown land.
A women’s only club that has a history of over 100 years. It was established in 1903 exclusively for women’s social and non-political purposes. It sits at 81 Collins Street right next to the Athenaeum Club which is a male only club. New members are nominated by existing members and approved by the committee after a review process.
The Athenaeum Club
This is one of Australia’s oldest clubs which was founded in 1868. It is an all male club with a 140 year history. Inside the club are reading rooms and games rooms where members can play billiards or snooker. They also have accommodation for members to stay overnight and a dining room. A famous member is billionaire Lindsay Fox. The club is located at 87 Collins Street.
The Australian Club – Melbourne
In 1878 this exclusive club was established with the purpose of being a place for Victorian business men to network and a place for them to stay when in town. Membership is only available if you know someone who is a member.
The building the club is housed in has luxurious accommodation, five star dining and events with high powered members, guests and speakers. They also have associations with some very high powered clubs interstate and overseas. Located at 100 Williams St.
The Australian Club – Sydney
Founded in 1838 this club has gone on to become the most exclusive private club in Australia. This is also the oldest men’s only club in the southern hemisphere. Its home is at 165 Macquarie Street in Sydney.
Members include one of Australia’s wealthiest men James Packer, past Prime Minister John Howard and politician Andrew Peacock. Former members have included Australia’s first Prime Minister Sir Edmond Barton, poet Banjo Paterson and billionaire Kerry Packer.
The Lyceum Club
This is a very exclusive women’s only club based in Melbourne which was established in 1912 and modelled on the Lyceum clubs of England.
Membership is restricted to women who have distinguished themselves in art, music, literature, philanthropy or public service.
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch is a member who supports over 100 charities every year. Its purpose is to advance the status of women in professional life.
The Melbourne Club
This is the most prestigious club in Australia. It is a very secretive gentleman’s club with a strong code of silence whose members are the elite in business and politics. It was established in 1838 and since that time has had some of the most powerful people of Australian society as members.
There are over 1000 listed and membership is over AUS$1500 with additional monthly service fees. They have moved to a heritage listed building which is very unassuming on the outside but the running of the country is happening on the inside.
Melbourne Savage Club
The club was founded in 1894 with appreciation of music, art, drama, science and literature being their main focus.
The unusual club name for a group of gentleman comes from the eighteenth century poet Richard Savage, as well as being a wry double-entendre on the spirited nature of its founding members. Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies served as President for over fifteen years. Located at 12 Bank Place.
The Western Australian Club
This club was formed in 1893 by the leading citizens of WA to create a meeting place for men who were working for the betterment and growth of the Swan River Region. Over the years it has developed and grown and now allows women as members.
It’s diverse membership includes industry pioneers, business leaders, professionals and distinguished representatives from the services, academic and religious communities.