About MFU

Melbourne Free University session

The Melbourne Free University provides a platform for learning, discussion and debate which is open to everyone. The MFU was established in 2010 in response to Australia’s increasingly outcome oriented education system, and aims to offer space for independent engagement with important contemporary ideas and issues.

Our convenors

Emily Foley
is a PhD candidate and casual academic at La Trobe University. Her research focuses on political parties and temporary migration. When she's not attempting to finish her thesis, she enjoys advocating within the La Trobe Casuals Network and running the SAIL program.
Gerald Roche
is an anthropologist who studies the intersection of colonialism, race, and language. His work aims to understand and confront the ongoing elimination of languages around the world, and the harms and suffering this causes.
is a fan of education for all and highly values the MFU ethos. A student of the arts who tries to help out where possible.
Jasmine Westendorf
co-founded the MFU with Aurelien Mondon and Gerhard Hoffstaedter and has been a convenor ever since. She's an academic who studies questions of war, peace and gender.
has an abiding interest in finding out what he doesn't yet know.
Melbourne Free University session

We run multi-week courses and special sessions on a range of subjects and themes -  from politics and philosophy to permaculture and poetry and beyond. These are not Q&A sessions – we believe that everyone has something important to bring to the discussion, regardless of their education, job, or experience, and hope to create a space where the community can come together to learn off one another and debate salient ideas and issues. There is no enrolment, no registration, no fee; you are free to come to any session.

Melbourne Free University manifesto

  • The Melbourne Free University combines the academic rigour of a traditional university with the open discussions of a philosophical salon.
  • The Melbourne Free University stands for radical equality: the a priori belief in universal equality and possibilities of emancipation.
  • The Melbourne Free University is free and accessible. It remains politically and economically autonomous from political parties and organisations, government, private bodies, universities and NGOs.
  • The Melbourne Free University is based on the belief that people have the responsibility to seek and engage with knowledge. Learning is an act of will and empowerment.
  • The Melbourne Free University is an alternative to the exclusive and outcome orientated education sector, enabling the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, and thereby freedom.
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