There are a numbers of art societies in Melbourne and Victoria. Mostly regional (e.g. Heidelberg, Malvern) sometimes stylistic (Contemporary Art Society). Local Art Societies are typically not-for-profit and welcome members young and old. I have listed a few below.
Art Societies create an arts community with activities including painting excursions (en plein air landscape painting), indoor workshops or classes which may include still life and portrait painting. They also arrange exhibitions of members works, on their own premises or elsewhere. The Heidelberg Art Society has an ongoing exhibition of artworks in the Warringal Shopping Centre (behind the Austin Hospital). Here you will meet artists who are more than willing to have a chat and discuss how they work with their mediums – last week I discovered scratch boards for the first time. Some beautiful, small works of ink on scratchboard depicting Australian native animals. Very finely details birds with character. This amid landscapes and still lives in water colour, acrylic or oil. Other societies have annual exhibitions. Art Societies provide an opportunity to purchase art outside of the professional gallery markets.