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Book launch: Gita: Melbourne’s First Yoga School – 65 years of history

February 21, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Dr Carolyn Rasmussen will be launching Fay Woodhouse’s latest book, Gita: Melbourne’s First Yoga School – 65 years of history at the RHSV. This is the first published history of any yoga school in Australia and it provides a context to the development of yoga in Australia.                    

Founded in 1954 by Margrit Segesman, Gita soon became the first full-time yoga school with its permanent home in Melbourne. During the 1970s second wave of feminism, when teaching yoga offered women a viable career path, the number of Gita teachers grew.

In the 1980s new teacher training courses, a teachers’ guild and a charitable foundation were introduced. Today Gita retains its flagship teacher training course while embracing the digital world offering classes and courses across the airwaves. It has truly forged a place in Victoria’s cultural landscape.

Fay Woodhouse is a professional historian who has written widely on Australian social and political history and is the author of several entries in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and The Encyclopaedia of Melbourne. Her publications include histories of Monash and Melbourne Universities, the 150-year history of Tahbilk Wines and the 100-year history of d’Arenberg Wines. Biographies include the nineteenth century Scottish stockbreeder and pioneer pastoralist, Duncan MacGregor and the physician Leslie Latham. She has recently edited the biography of Melbourne’s first surveyor, Robert Russell and the memoirs of the businessman, Clive Smith. Fay regularly presents papers at conferences and contributes book chapters and articles to scholarly journals.

Carolyn Rasmussen is an honorary fellow at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. Carolyn does research in Australian political and social history and biography. Her dual biography of progressive politicians and activists Maurice and Doris Blackburn, The Blackburns: Private Lives, Public Ambition was published in March 2019 by MUP. She is chair of the Victorian Working Party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and is currently researching a history of Computer Science and Communication and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne.


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February 21, 2020
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV, Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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03 9326 9288