Australian Indigenous Art: from ancient times to a global contemporary art movement
What a journey, what an insight into Australia’s rich cultural heritage!
Helen Robinson was our virtual guide, drawing on her knowledge and passion for Indigenous works of Art in the National Gallery of Victoria. Helen chose ten works of art to illustrate the history and diversity of Indigenous artists. The artists, men and women, were drawn from diverse parts of Australia, different tribal groups using different techniques and materials - so much more than most of us realise.
What the artists had in common was their connection to the land, weather, their spiritual traditions, song lines and their totems. The art may appear purely abstract to many non-Indigenous eyes, but Helen took time to elaborate and interpret and show that in fact Indigenous art is one of telling the stories of land, spirts, and identity. Indigenous art is now hung in major international galleries in Paris, notably the Musée du quai Branly, in New York and in private collections.
A member of the audience wrote “Great seminar. Such an informed and passionate presenter, so well-constructed and very appropriately and competently hosted by Linda Condon”
With thanks to Pam Caven for this report
If you missed this Seminar and would like to view the recording, click the 'Webinar' button below to be taken to our Public Events page where you'll find recordings of this as well as previous Seminars
Saturday Seminar-Webinar 24 April 2021
What is to be done: Political engagement and saving the planet
Barry Jones AC
Dr Barry Jones AC, Australian Living National Treasure, internationalist, politician, author, and futurist gave a provocative presentation as the speaker for U3APP’s third Saturday Seminar this year.
What is to be done?is the question that he posed in his latest book, “What is to be done: political engagement and saving the planet”
Dr Jones provided some lucid insights into core issues.
Although the i-Phone has more computer power than the first space craft to the moon in 1965, this growth in computing power has not been universally used to enhance the ways our society operates. In the 1980s Dr Jones had hoped that the digital revolution of recent decades and the great increase in the number of Australians gaining tertiary degrees would have promoted serious debate about the big issues facing our country and humanity. He now maintains that the opposite has happened. There is now a dearth of debate, and political engagement has declined. Australians are not joining political parties; and too many of our federal politicians now see Parliament as career opportunity, rather than a place for engaging with the big issues. To Dr Jones the existential future of liberal democracy is at stake. The most recent demonstration of these trends is the emergence in recent times of authoritarian world leaders.
There are however some optimistic signs. State and territory governments have demonstrated strong leadership and attention to science in their responses to COVID-19 and they are leading the way on climate change. Industry is also starting to take the lead, ahead of governments, in setting targets for reduction of carbon emissions.
What is to be done? Barry Jones explored the need for more people to fully engage in the political process, not just political party members but all of us no matter what our interests or backgrounds. Individually we can make a difference.
Marcel Colman proved adept at facilitating this seminar dealing with these big topics. There was positive audience response including one suggestion that Barry Jones be the first head of an Australian republic!
20 March 2021 - Saturday Seminar Report
It's criminal what a girl has done . . .
by Pam Caven
A Life of Crime was U3APP’s second Seminar-Webinar for 2021. Carmel Shute, Sisters in Crime co-founder along with fellow convener, Tara Mitchell, engaged in a lively conversation about the origins of Sisters in Crime and the current appetite for Australian writers of crime novels and scripts. The wave of new feminist crime writers in America, especially Sara Paretsky inspired Carmel and friends to launch Sisters in Crime in 1991. Women were no longer just characterised as femme fatales, but now as agents with purpose, sometimes murderous.
There has been an exponential growth in women crime writers and readers. Sisters in Crime has nurtured writers, created awards for them (eg Daggers and Scarlet Stilettos) and celebrated their success. At least thirty of their winners have gone on to be published. It is in part a local success story. Many of the Sisters in Crime events have been held in Port Phillip. While not all will achieve the international success of Jane Harper (The Dry) or Lyn Moriarty (Big Little Lies) or Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher series), the number of women writers of crime has greatly increased as has their reader base, and Sisters in Crime are having fun. Rigatoni or rigour mortis anyone?
20 February 2021 - Saturday Seminar Report & Reflective Piece
New Tricks or Old tricks made new for a healthy old age - developing ways to go well into the third Age
Seminar report by Pam Caven "Go positively into the Third Age"
On 20 February Dr Jane Fyfield, expert gerontologist, gave an engaging and informative first Saturday Seminar for 2021.
Jane’s topic, New Tricks or Old Tricks Made New for Healthy Old Age, was informative and entertaining and perfectly pitched for a U3APP audience.
Jane spoke about how our society can be ageist and youth oriented, and that people in the third age must fight these stereotypes; they should recognise that they are resilient.
Jane stressed that the mindset of older people needs to change and we must overcome the “tyranny of still”. The thinking that “I can still do this” or ” I can still do that” - as this is just us reinforcing the inherent ageism in our society. We should instead be celebrating what we are achieving and doing and learning.
Jane showed us that Australians are living longer, and they are healthier; which is not to say that people do not, or will not, have health issues. It is all about management of our circumstances - remaining healthy, positive in outlook, connected to family and friends, and stimulated. Take a bow U3APP!
It was a manifesto for healthy ageing from a health professional who has spent years researching the topic.
The seminar was ably facilitated by Sheila Quairney, U3APP Committee Member and Tutor of Helping you to Relax.
A recording of this Seminar will be available on the U3APP Website shortly.
Pam Caven, U3APP Committee of Management & Covid-19 Working Group
Reflective Piece by Sheila Quairney "My Third Age"
After facilitating Jane's Seminar, Sheila was inspired to put her feelings down on paper as a way of reflecting her life and what the third age means to her:
Yesterday I facilitated a presentation by a gerontologist about ageing well. The content was much as I expected - around being positive, focusing on ability, not disability and following the four commandments for a healthy old age: think, move, socialise and eat well. Yes, I thought, I do all that – cryptic crosswords for the thinking, daily walks for the moving, doing activities with friends for the socialising, and eating well (probably a bit too well sometimes).
But one of her recommendations struck a chord with me. It was something I hadn’t heard before and somehow it resonated.
She talked about not focusing on what you “still can do” but on celebrating the changes in your life that have come with age. Not the nasty stuff around aches and pains, but what you do now that you couldn’t or didn’t do in your youth.
So that got me thinking. How could I reframe my view of myself to celebrate the many changes that have happened in my Third Age?
I’ve just about got over the shock of being described as elderly by the media, especially during the past year. That can’t be me they’re talking about, can it? But at least it means I’m nearer the front of the queue for the long-awaited Covid vaccine. So maybe it’s not that bad being over 65.
Retirement is often talked about as a golden age, free from the stresses of employment, with ample time to enjoy the grandchildren and the garden.
The Third Age is a concept born in the 1970s with the establishment in France of the University of the Third Age movement, offering, as we know, study opportunities to relatively healthy and active seniors.
It became framed as a positive ageing theory for developed countries in 1987 through the work of British historian Peter Laslett. He posited that one’s life comprises four Ages. The First Age is for learning, the Second Age is for working and child rearing and the Third Age is the culmination of one’s life after retirement. With the Fourth Age comes final dependence and ultimately death.
Clearly I have embarked on my Third Age and hope to continue in it for many years to come. I’m in the novel position of no longer being the oldest person in the workplace, but often the youngest person in the room. Most people I now meet and socialise with are older than me, but what interesting and varied lives they’ve led, and what stories they have to tell.
My life has also changed enormously in the past five years since taking voluntary redundancy from my full time job. I was working with entrepreneurial students and graduates, all of course way younger than me!
Three years ago I met my partner Brian. At the age of 64 (but not quite wasting away, despite what the Beatles’ lyrics said) I moved to Australia. And now I’m in the final throes of getting a resident’s visa, just waiting on a medical which hopefully will establish that I’m fit enough to be allowed to stay.
I still do lots of the same activities I did in my Second Age – I sing, I walk, I travel, I visit the theatre. There are things I can’t do as well as I used to due to injury, such as swimming, but I’ve adapted and try to do what I can.
I’m still, very fortunately, a daughter (to a 95 year old father), a mother, a sister and a step mum, though not yet a fully fledged grandparent.
But what can I celebrate as new achievements and activities as I settle into my Third Age?
Well, clearly I am a creative writer! Being in Pat’s group at U3APP has renewed my enthusiasm for writing – I no longer have to write project reports or policy documents or instructions, but I can develop my love of the written word in other ways, like in this piece and many like it. And because I want to, not because I have to.
I’m a cyclist – having finally got back on my bike after many years of living in hilly Yorkshire in the UK, I’ve discovered the joys of cycling along the beach at daybreak. And cycling frees up my creativity too – I thought of this piece whilst pedalling along the seafront this morning.
I’m a relaxation teacher – I’ve taken the bits of my 26 year Yoga teaching career that I always enjoyed best and honed them into two weekly 30 minute U3A classes to help my peers.
I’m a student of dance - I attend a fantastic Exercise to Music class and have rediscovered the joys of moving my body to the beat. I’m not sure that I’d want to see a video of my dance moves, but in my mind, I’m creating beautiful shapes.
And finally, I am a Victorian! I love living in this tolerant, diverse, stimulating place. I love the bush and the hills and the sea. I love the food and the wine and the friendships I’ve made. I love my house in Port Melbourne and the history all around me.
I’m not quite ready to say that I’m an Australian. But I hope that one day in the not too distant future, that will be another change that I can wholeheartedly celebrate and I can live out my Third Age in this wonderful country.
Sheila Quairney, U3APP Committee of Management & Tutor
Saturday seminar 21 November 2020
Why did the Americans vote that way?
Report by Pam Caven
The world was watching the recent election of the ‘leader of the free world’. There was much at stake. It had been a chaotic 2020: impeachment trial of the President, selection of Joe Biden as the Democrat candidate and the outbreak of COVID. The battle between the Democrats and Republicans was toxic, full of vitriol and division.
Today’s U3APP seminar was for aficionados of American elections, but aren’t we all now?
John Pilbrow, PHD candidate and specialist in American election patterns gave us what Marcel Colman the facilitator referred to as a forensic account of how the various American states voted in the recent election.
He began by claiming that there has never been an election like this, nor has any former President refused to concede defeat despite the numbers.
John then went on to analyse the data comparing how States voted in 2016 and 2020 and discussed the importance of the states that flipped to the Democrats and possible future states progressively moving into the Democrat camp. He confirmed that more Americans voted than ever before. Urban areas favoured the Democrats, rural the Republicans. African American women massively favoured Joe Biden whilst the Cuban origin Latino community favoured Donald Trump. Joe Biden won the popular vote and significantly, the votes in the Electoral College.
It is not yet over, and more is to come. As John pointed out Donald Trump still commands a fanatical base of support. The USA is strongly divided along party lines. The concept of bipartisan agreement seems to be far from any reality, the votes in the Senate are unclear and in the House the Democrats have lost votes, even the media is divided – ‘fake news”?
Overall, John provided as Marcel Colman said- “ A brilliant forensic dissection of the issues”
John Pilbrow is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences at Monash. He specialises in United States politics, with a focus on presidential elections and trends, and the rhetoric and discourse conveyed by political leaders. Primarily, his research combines political science and history to explain past and present attitudes among voters and office seekers in the United States. John's PhD is centred upon electoral trends in US presidential elections and how voting differs within and among the 50 states. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Economics, both from Monash University.
Saturday Seminar-Webinar 10 October 2020
The Palace Letters and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government - why are they important today?
Presented by Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking
Australia now owns its own story
by Pam Caven
The U3A Port Phillip Webinar 'The Palace Letters and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government - why are they important today?', presented by Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking and facilitated by Emeritus Professor James Walter, was our signature event in the 2020 City of Port Phillip Seniors Festival Reimagined. U3APP is grateful for the Council’s support.
In 2016 Professor Hocking initiated legal action in the Federal Court against the National Archives of Australia, seeking the release of the secret ‘Palace Letters’ between the Queen and the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, regarding the 1975 Whitlam dismissal, which were embargoed by the Queen, potentially indefinitely.
In a land-mark decision in May 2020, the High Court of Australia ruled that the ‘Palace Letters’ are official ‘Commonwealth records’, overturning the Queen’s long-standing embargo over them and paving the way for their public release.
The High Court decision ended decades of Royal secrecy over a key aspect of the dismissal - just what the Queen knew before Kerr dismissed, without warning, the elected Whitlam Government. The Letters were released on 14 July to immense media and public interest and extensive commentary, and shed new light on the events surrounding The Dismissal. The Letters, according to Professor Hocking, reveal the complicity of the Palace via the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Martin Charteris in the dismissal of an elected Australian Government by the Queen’s representative, Sir John Kerr in 1975. The Dismissal, she maintains, has ramifications for Australians 45 years later.
Professor Hocking’s quest was a superb lesson in tenacity and adherence to documents.
Over 160 participated in the webinar and in the words of one audience member the presentation “was a ripper”- in the words of another, “What a coup for U3APP to have her as a presenter; I've enjoyed all our Saturday presentations, but this was just beyond brilliant!”
Professor Hocking’s next book The Palace Letters will be published by Scribe Publications in November 2020.
For those who missed it, the recording of this Webinar will be available on U3APP's Website in November to coincide with the publication of Professor Hocking's book.
Fishermans Bend an evolving story on our doorstep
Will COVID 19 change the way Melbournians live and work?
By Pam Caven, CoM, Working Group
The panellists in yesterday’s Q& A Webinar on Fishermans Bend agreed that it is time to shine the spotlight again on Fishermans Bend. There is a Plan, The Fishermans Bend Framework. What is now required is implementation, especially investment if the area is going to achieve its promise for new residents and jobs.
After a rocky start with some questionable developments there are now more promising signs with recent Government approvals capping the size and nature of residential developments and aligning more closely with the expectations of the Framework with respect to urban design, internal and external amenity. The importance of public transport, particularly a tram, through to the CBD was stressed.
Brendan Coates, Program Director, the Grattan Institute pointed to the early COVID period data that suggest, at least in the short term, we will see impacts on Melbourne that will have some effects on Fishermans Bend: population growth in free fall, no international visitors, no new international students, no vaccine, new ways of working - people have experienced working from home and many like it, especially young families. The latter may translate into a preference for 3 bedrooms rather than one/two-bedroom apartments and a lesser demand for office accommodation.
However, given the emerging data whether the current assumptions underpinning the Fishermans Bend planning framework hold up is yet to be seen.
The need for assertive and energetic governance of the Fishermans Bend project was highlighted if the potential of the area is to be realised and much more energetic engagement with the project is needed to maintain public confidence.
Of paramount importance is funding, Governments – Federal, State, and local need to step up and invest and if there are changes to the underlying planning assumptions, then new ways of developer contributions should be considered.
The long-term impact of COVD 19 may well be positive. Australia’s success in dealing with COVID may attract people here.
Perhaps we can revisit Fishermans Bend in 2021? The conversation goes on . . .
Fifty-five people participated in yesterday’s Webinar. If you missed it Brendan Coates slides, together with the recording of the webinar today, are now available on our website - you can access it by clicking the 'Urban Development' button below.
Art Deco Around The World
Saturday Seminar-Webinar 12 September 2020
WOW! We were taken on a magical tour of Art Deco around the World by an expert commentator, Robin Grow, President of the Art Deco & Modernism Society of Australia. The Webinar was ably facilitated by Marcel Colman.
Over 140 people were entertained and informed.
We learned that while the Art Deco movement was relatively short, 1920-1950 it was truly international. It was a style that reflected massive changes in society – inventions in electricity, film, audio and new commercial products, concrete, steel, chrome.
It was loved by Mussolini, hated by the Nazis, and promoted by Hollywood.
As we discovered through Robin’s gorgeous photos, its reach was enormous – from France to New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Tel Aviv, and Buenos Aires to name only a few of the sites that he covered.
The monuments to Art Deco were equally diverse, office blocks, apartments, banks, abattoirs, statues, and houses. They were in Robin’s vernacular “stylish” and inspiring.
Melbourne too has wonderful examples of Art Deco, a treat to explore in the future!
A footnote: If after our Saturday seminar on Art Deco around the world you are intrigued by Art Deco and Modernism, you should not miss our Holiday activity, The Glass House on Tuesday 22 September.
Pam Caven - U3APP Committee of Management & Covid Working Group
Fishermans Bend in a Post COVID world
Saturday Seminar 15 August 2020
Speakers: Janet Bolitho, Bernadene Voss, David Weston
Facilitator: Max Nankervis
Fishermans Bend – twice the size of the Melbourne CBD; eventual home to 80,000 people and providing 80,000 jobs.
It is potentially the largest urban development in Australia. The question posed to our panel was: What are the opportunities and challenges presented by Fisherman’s Bend in 2020 and into the future?
Max Nankervis, town planner and academic ably facilitated a panel of three speakers: Janet Bolitho, Members of the Fishermans Bend Development Board, Bernadene Voss, Mayor City of Port Phillip, David Weston AM, Fishermans Bend Business Forum.
Some of what we learnt -
Fishermans Bend, a site bounded by the river, the bay, and the largest Port in Australia. It has been a home to industry (World War 2), home to General Motors Holden (GMH) and Urban Renewal (2012 rezoning by the Planning Minister Matthew Guy) and a new planning framework from the Andrews Government, The Fishermans Bend Framework.
The site is a complex mosaic of precincts involving every level of government with immense challenges (90% of the land is owned by private developers), contaminated soil areas, prone to flooding, availability of sustainable public transport, but also great opportunities: proximity to the CBD, home to Melbourne University’s Engineering Department and innovative industries.
We learnt about the absolute imperative for public transport, about catalytic projects and about cloudburst technology and more…….
We also were informed that. unlike other major urban renewal projects around the world and in other parts of Australia, there is no central authority guiding or managing the overall project.
A short term timetable for the development at Fishermans Bend can be viewed here.
There is clearly an appetite for more information on the development of Fishermans Bend. A capacity crowd of 105 (not counting other people who shared a computer screen) participated in the webinar. If you missed the seminar or want to revisit it, you can find a recording on the U3APP Online Course Links .
Saturday Seminar-Webinar: 18 July 2020
Historical biography: a labour of love or a sign of madness?
Fifty five people participated in the July Saturday Seminar, Historical biography a labour of love or a sign of madness
Mary Hoban, award winning author of An Unconventional Wife, The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold took the audience through the joys and frustrations of researching and writing an historical biography of a woman who appeared on the surface to be an ordinary 19th century woman. Vivacious and fiery, Julia Sorell’s marriage to Tom Arnold in 1850 propelled her into one of the most renowned families in England and into a circle that included Lewis Carroll, George Eliot and Cardinal Newman.
Mary’s research commenced when she read about a young woman who had thrown stones at a Catholic church, and from there it took her from Tasmania to the Balliol College, Oxford.
Mary has deservedly won numerous awards for her book, reflected in the many comments made by U3A members following her seminar, best summed up by one: “Mary’s talk was totally absorbing. Writing a book is certainly not for the faint hearted – mad, dedicated, enthused or whatever”.
Pam Caven, Committee of Management, Covid-19 Working Group
Saturday Seminar-Webinar 16 May
Gardens of Lake Como
On our first Saturday Seminar since the Covid-19 Lockdown, over forty Members were transported via Webinar on Zoom to the glorious gardens that flank Lake Como in Italy.
Dr Judy Hadju, a Friend of The Royal Botanic Gardens, led us, via maps and photographs, on a tour of the gardens of Balbianello, Carlotta, Monastero and Olmo.
Judy spoke of the architecture of the villas and the history of their terraced gardens, the abundance of azaleas, rhododendrons, exotic plants, arranged in the style of English gardens, classical Italian design and the bamboo clusters of Japan.
Judy concluded with reference to some of the writers that have been inspired by this Italian beauty.
Comments from the participants included that "the online session was absolutely fabulous, informative and uplifting" and that "it was such a delight today to travel to Italy without leaving the house."
by Pam Caven
Saturday Seminar, June 20th 2020
The Art of the Russian Revolution
Dr Michael Adcock
It was a delight to re-introduce Michael to our U3APP audience again after an absence of two years; this time branching away from his French/Paris themes and introducing the part played by art in identifying and promoting the aims of the political and social revolution spreading across the Russian Empire.
As a social historian he connects the effect of history on art and how art can affect can the flow of history. As we discovered, art had a profound effect on the social upheaval in Russia leading up to the Revolution. The rapid industrialisation of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, combined with the transition from rural serfdom bred a discontent that finally concluded in 1923 with the Bolshevik establishment of the Soviet Union at the end of the Civil War.
Initially the realist style of painting would picture the hard working peasants or factory workers striving to improve the lot of the labourer. But it was the work of the leaflets and posters that gave impetus to the speechmakers’ idealism. As most peasants would have been unable to read or write, the graphic displays of the fat, greedy plutocrats denying basic human rights to the downtrodden workers became the driving force of the revolt.
Michael’s comfortable style of presentation; sometimes amusing, always interesting and often very graphic, informed an audience which, whilst having a rudimentary knowledge of the subject, may not have been aware of the severity of the privations endured by the average Russian peasant.
For those members who were unable to hear this seminar or those who did and would like further information, Michael has made both the spoken and graphic content available for distribution. Please let me know if you would like an emailed copy.
Over 60 people attended the seminar, which was conducted online as a webinar.
Michael has recently had another article on France published at https://academytravel.com.au/blog/the-architectural-gem-of-le-musee-du-petit-palais/
Volunteer Information Expo - 5 March 2020
On Thursday 5 March, and despite the wet weather, a good sized group of eager Members attended an information day about Volunteering opportunities with U3APP.
Graham Gosling, U3APP President, thanked Members for attending and spoke about the importance of Volunteering, both for the organisation and the individual. As usual our Catering Team supplied a spread of tasty sandwiches, biscuits and a cuppa.
Each of our Volunteer groups set up information 'booths' where Members could ask questions and get an idea of the best area for them to Volunteer in:-
IT & Enrolment
If you were unable to attend, but would like to find out more about where your skills can best be utilised please contact us at email@example.com
Saturday Seminar Report: 15 February 2020
Edwin Gill - Smith Family: What are the challenges for a charitable organisation in contemporary Victoria?
Report by Pam Caven Photos by Barry MacIntosh
Ed Gill, a volunteer with the Smith Family spoke at the first of our Saturday seminars for 2020.
His talk was fascinating, covering a range of issues faced by the broader charitable sector and the challenges that not for profit charitable organisations face.
He spoke about the size of the charitable sector, the dimensions of need across our community, the benefit to the overall economy, and the value of the volunteer work that goes into the sector.
He spoke clearly about sources of funding, from the public, individual benefactors, corporations or government and that the costs of running such organisations must come from the donations or grants received.
His major focus however was the work of the Smith Family. His description of how the Smith Family charity started and how it has changed with the times was very enlightening. He indicated that it is now Australia’s largest national education-oriented charity which supports disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.
With the support of success stories, he outlined the range of learning support, mentoring programs, and scholarships provided to help children in need to fit in at school, keep up with their peers, and build aspirations for a better future for themselves.
It was an inspirational start to the U3APP 2020 Saturday seminar series
Saturday Seminar: 16 November 2019
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Speaker: Bianca Friend, Development Executive
A disappointing audience of only 20+ members enjoyed an outline of this organisation, privately funded yet owning or co-controlling millions of hectares of Australia’s wilderness.
Primarily their target is to control the frightening daily loss of our unique marsupial wildlife by introduced predators such as feral cats and foxes.
The UN Global Assessment report painted a stark picture into the global biodiversity crisis – nearly one million species are at risk of extinction. Sadly Australia leads the world in mammal extinctions: 31 species have gone since European settlement and a further 56 are threatened. The AWC team is reversing the tide. Their model has allowed them to secure populations of iconic endangered species such as Bilbies, Numbats, Nail-tailed wallabies and more.
The AWC leads the way with innovation, working with indigenous groups, pastoralists and governments to deliver effective conservation. AWC now manages 29 sanctuaries covering more than 6.5 million hectares.
It was proudly pointed out that over the last 10 years around 87% of AWC’s expenditure was incurred on conversation programmes, including land acquisitions. The balance was allocated to development (fundraising) and administration.
Mark Denniston - Course Coordination Team
Festival Concerts Report
Our Seniors Festival concerts, held this year over two afternoons, allowing each group more performance time, proved most successful On Wednesday an almost full hall enjoyed music from the Choir and French in Songs both led with great gusto by David Sharples. The Ukulele group led by Minuk Richards, and new to the Concert this year, offered the audience the opportunity to sing along to the Beatles, Johnny Cash and many more - a resounding success
The Thursday afternoon event was also very well attended. We thank Geoff Parr-Smith and his Recorder consort for the informative introduction to the recorder and for the splendid range of tunes and styles they played. Our evergreen and always popular Allsorts treated the audience to a variety of folk songs and more and were followed by the breezy sound of our new Jazz group. The café style setup of the hall made for a most relaxing afternoon.
As always, thank you to Sandra Mason and her team for the magnificent refreshments on both days. Thank you also to our paparazzo Barry McIntosh for the photographs.
Awash With Colour - Art Show
Friday 23rd August
South Melbourne Community Centre
Class Facilitator - Linda Conlon
Saturday Seminar, August 17th 2019 Art Deco and Modernism
Speaker: Robin Grow, President of the Art Deco & Modernism Society
With an audience of just short of 80 members the popularity of this topic was never going to be in doubt.
Robin began by explaining the origins of Art Deco, which flourished in the optimism of the 1920s, and diminished in the economic downturn and political turmoil of the following decades. The short-lived style, nonetheless, is one of the most recognisable architectural and design movements today.
Buildings were made to look like steam-liner ships. Ships were made to look like futuristic palaces. Traditional shapes were abstracted into geometric and angular patterns. Everything was a motif for modernity and developments in technology.
The rapid expansion of Melbourne in the 1920s and 30s called for the construction of new buildings for public use. For a short few years, Art Deco became the preferred architectural style for places of political or cultural significance. And Melbourne has been blessed with many examples. Thanks to the tireless work of Robin Grow and the Art Deco Society a large number of these have become protected under heritage listings but sadly many have been lost under the banner of “progress”.
Buildings such as the Astor Cinema, the Rivoli in Camberwell, the Heidelberg Town Hall, the Meyer Emporium and Foys corner store, and the Manchester Unity building are significant highlights. On a more local front the many apartments that flourished in Elwood and St Kilda; factories in Port Melbourne like General Motors Holden’s and the Rootes assembly plant all still stand and reflect Melbourne’s adoption of the ethos of the time.
Robin’s extended photo presentation included all these and many more, all explained in detail with amusing anecdotes and fond reminiscences from the audience.
Course Co-ordination Team
Saturday Seminar 20 July 2019
A White Hot Flame
Speaker: Sue Taffe
“PARIS GARDENS IN SPRING”
Speaker: Lynsey Poore
Saturday Seminar May 2019
Despite clashing with the federal elections, 38 members attended a delightful presentation by Lynsey recalling her many trips to Paris, centred on her botanical passion.
Supported by her own photographs we were treated to descriptions of fields of golden daffodils, crocuses, peonies, tulips in seemingly every shade of the rainbow, magnolias, azaleas and more. A veritable riot of colours!
Many gardens were presented in the strict formal French layout, controlled by box hedging and often in collaboration with water in ponds, lakes and cascading canals. These contrasted with the more casual layouts with daffodils appearing en masse out of acres of grass, and trees in random plantings.
Finishing with Monet’s Garden at Giverny, again with colour, water and very informal plantings I think many of the audience were left contemplating a return to this wonderful city!
Course Coordination Team
Saturday Seminar - February 2019
Saint Mary MacKillop - a Significant Australian
In 2010 the Catholic Church publicly recognised Mary MacKillop as our first Australian saint. Mary MacKillop lived a life of service. She was a woman of action. She accomplished this in the companionship of her God and her fellow Sisters of St Joseph. With God and the Sisters of St Joseph at her side she cared for the poor, the orphans, the uneducated, the homeless, the unemployed, the aged and unmarried mothers and their babies. She worked tirelessly for the most marginalized – those that are often forgotten.
Mary accomplished these acts in a very Australian way and in doing so Mary’s service was not without obstacles. She was excommunicated, expelled from the Adelaide diocese and forced to withdraw her Sisters from both Bathurst and Queensland diocese. This presentation seeks to share Mary MacKillop’s story.
Anmaree Iaccarino presented an enlightening talk and subsequent discussion with an audience of 32 members on the extraordinary, selfless and at times unconventional contribution Mary MacKillop made to colonial Australia. She rubbed bureaucracy the wrong way, drew the ire of the bishops but with her Sisters of St Joseph never wavered in their dedication to assist those for whom life’s burden had become too great.
by Mark Denniston
Thanks, as always, to Barry McIntosh for this wonderful photography of the event and Anmaree.
New Member Welcome Party March 2019
The Hall at Mary Kehoe Centre was the scene of a lively and very congenial gathering on Friday afternoon 22 March. Almost sixty people – most of them having joined U3APP within the past twelve months – came along to a welcome party for new members. Formalities were short and sweet, which allowed plenty of time for new acquaintances to be consolidated. Everyone enjoyed the tempting finger food served by Claire Keech and her willing team of helpers. President Graham Gosling in a brief speech urged new members to consider becoming actively involved if possible – perhaps as tutors or office volunteers, or on committee – and above all to foster the spirit of community which we all enjoy.
Thanks to Barry McIntoch for this wonderful collage from the Event.
Annual General Meeting 2019
Our AGM and Christmas Luncheon was held at Mary Kehoe Centre on Saturday 1 December and attended by a large and enthusiastic group of our Members. For details of the AGM, click on the links below:
Life membership was awarded to Robyn Foy and Di Gameson.
Meritorious Service Awards were presented to Claude Miller, Pat Ryan, Maurita Harney and Serena Carmel.
And here are some photos of the Event, taken by resident photographer, Barry (Mac) McIntosh
U3A Port Phillip Christmas Party
1 December 2018
This year’s annual U3APP Christmas Party was held immediately after the U3APP Annual General Meeting on Saturday 1 December and attended by a record number of members.
Our Christmas Party provides an excellent opportunity each year for members to gather and reflect on the past year, on friendships made and maintained, on new and continued learning experiences, on special events and seminars enjoyed and much much more.
The party is also an opportunity to share plans, exchange experiences and consider course choices for the year ahead. It was particularly pleasing to see so many of our wonderful tutors in attendance and happy to give of their time. Our new Committee of Management members were also available and made themselves known to the gathering.
This year the hall was full to capacity with standing room only. The new finger food catering worked very well and allowed members to mix more easily. Thank you to Claire Keech for the early organisation and to Di Gameson and team for providing the “sumptuous” afternoon tea that our U3A does so well.
The Events and Catering teams take this opportunity to wish all of our members and tutors the compliments of the Season.
Our thanks go to resident camera-man extraordinaire, Barry McIntosh, who took these fabulous photos of the event
“Hedy & Friends” – A String Quartet Saturday Seminar 17 November 2018
Returning from an excellent and well attended concert last year, a disappointingly small audience of 30 members enjoyed an equally pleasing 40 minutes of music by this string quartet, led by Hedy Mameghan through two pieces; the first by Haydn and the second by Beethoven.
Judging by the applause at the end of each piece it was appreciated enormously by all present.
Our thanks, as always, for these photos kindly taken by our resident photographer extraordinaire, Barry (Mac) McIntosh.
The Port Phillip Seniors Festival 2018 and U3APP Concert
This year’s U3APP ‘s Senior Festival opened on 13thOctober with the Saturday Seminar address from the Hon Dr Kay Patterson the Age Discrimination Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission. Dr Patterson spoke with passion about her long time commitment to issues affecting older members of our community and how her current role has been for her a “perfect fit”. She generously gave her time and more to stay on and chat with the 70 plus members of the audience.
Numbers visiting the Art Exhibition were up on last year and the newly painted hall with hanging rails was almost as picture perfect as the Artworks. Watercolour, Artworks, Chinese Ink Painting and Life Drawing were all well represented. The group of artists who work outside of the U3APP were again represented and pleased to see their work on show. Thank you to Di Gameson, Lea Levy and Shirley Armstrong for hanging this impressive exhibition. Thanks also to Diana Stock for toasting the artists and their work at the Concert.
The Festival Concert on Thursday 18th was most successful with the Choir and Allsorts performing both separately and together to a full house. We enjoyed a selection of classical and quasi-classical music, pop, Gilbert and Sullivan, folk and traditional music. Thanks to Claire Keech and her catering team for providing the “sumptuous” afternoon tea to which we have become accustomed.
You can view photos of the U3APP events below. With thanks to Barry McIntosh for his usual wonderful camera work, and Mark Denniston for the final three photos at the Concert.
Report by Kate Anderson
On Sunday 21 October, at the "Port Phillip Writes" event, many U3APP members were honoured with Seniors' Writing Awards. Among those whose entries were read out were Jan Harper, Lois Best, Bob Croker, Wendy Butler and Roderick Waller. Award winners included Jan Harper, Toni Ladanyi, Peter Thorne, Lois Best and Bob Croker. Another of Lois's pieces was Highly Commended, as were pieces from Wendy Butler and Alex Njoo. Authors permitting, we will post their poems, fiction and non-fiction stories in our Writers' Showcase.
Congratulations also go to member Lesley Greagg, instigator of the writers competition and one of the judges, and to Kate Anderson, also on the judging panel. And just in case you think this gave U3APP members an advantage, entries are anonymous when they are judged. Lastly, congratulations to Pat Ryan, whose work with our two Writers Groups has inspired many of our members to enter the competition.
Report by Helen Vorrath
Saturday Seminar 18th August 2018
The Republic of Pleasure – La Vie Parisienne
Speaker – Mr Michael Adcock
An extraordinarily large audience of 86 members, testament to the popularity of Michael’s earlier talk on Paris and Baron Haussmann, were led through a journey of the development of late 19th century art, music and dance.
Michael contended that the frothy image of Parisian dance halls, entertainers and singers as expressed in the poster art of Toulouse-Lautrec and others was more than just the “naughty Paris” image of today. For Paris’s less affluent workers, entertainment was provided by cabarets, bistros and music halls. Bohemian lifestyles gained a different glamour. Amongst the clowns, singers and dancers was the development of a sense of modernity with serious, controversial singers such as Aristide Bruant, avant-garde writers, impressionist artists and the beginnings of modernism. All this led to Paris becoming the centre of La Belle Époque, an antidote to the memories of preceding wars and civil disruptions.
Michael populated his talk with many images of the music halls and the dancers such as La Goulue and Jane Avril, recordings of songs by Bruant and Yvette Guilbert and examples of the posters by Lautrec, the Moulin Rouge the Folies Bergere and the Can-can.
Michael has a passion for Paris and a depth of knowledge that impressed all members of his audience.
Course Co-ordination Team
Saturday Seminar July 21 2018
Vikki Petraitis: Murder on her Mind
Vikki has written over a dozen Australian true-crime books, perhaps her best known is that centred on the Frankston serial killer, Paul Denyer.
Her strong focus on the human element of crime has earned her multiple awards and accolades and it was this aspect of her work that she presented on Saturday. She is a highly entertaining speaker who handles her involvement with the Victorian Police with a professional standard that has given her close access to and respect from the Force.
Keeping her talk around three of her books - the Frankston Murders and their perpetrator, the unsolved Phillip Island murder and a biography of the legendary “old school” copper Brian “The Skull” Murphy. Interspersing the bloody details with her humorous anecdotes and asides, and always thought-provoking, Vikki kept the audience totally engrossed; at times shocked then laughing out loud.
An hour seemed to pass in a few minutes, the 42 members giving Vikki a sincere and well-deserved applause.
Course Co-ordination Team
Tutors and Volunteers Thank You Party - 25 June 2018
With thanks to Kate Anderson for Words and Barry McIntosh for Photos
The Tutors and Volunteers Party on 25thJune, with around 80 attendees, was most successful and provided an enjoyable opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
It was pleasing to see so many of our tutors in attendance this year.
Our Vice president John Craven thanked all of the tutors and volunteers for their ongoing commitment and generosity. As our membership and number of courses continue to grow so also does the percentage of members volunteering in some way. Whilst he noted that it was not possible to list individual contributors, John specifically mentioned that of Colin Jones for his many years of informing and entertaining with his “Tales of the Sea” and that of Di Gameson with her seamless catering for events over many years.
Mention also was made of the generous ongoing support given to our U3A by the City of Port Phillip. The freshly painted hall looked splendid and the balloons and glitter added to the celebratory vibe.
Finally a thank you is due to Claire Keech and her catering team for the sumptuous and calorific afternoon tea and, as always, to our photographer Barry McIntosh
Saturday Seminar: 19 May 2018
Speaker: Arnold Zable Topic: A Writer’s Journey
Arnold Zable, the acclaimed writer, novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate held a large Saturday afternoon audience spellbound as he let us into some of the secrets of a writer’s craft. He took us on a journey from Carlton, where he grew up, to the Greek Island of Ithaca, where his wife’s family were born. Arnold illustrated his talk by reading extracts from several of his novels including the best-selling Cafe Scheherazadeand the multi award winning Jewels and Ashes.
Enthusiastic members of the audience continued with questions and discussions over tea and coffee as Arnold signed copies of his novels.
A memorable afternoon at U3A Port Phillip! We are happy that Arnold has agreed to come back next year for another Saturday Seminar.
The New Members Welcome was held on 23rd March. A group of approximately 60 members of whom 35 were new members braved the Grand Prix barricades and noise to attend. Renate introduced the members of the Committee and other team members, spoke of the structure of our U3A, outlined the many roles our volunteers play and urged all new members to volunteer in some way. To read Renate's speech, please click here
Our thanks as always to Di Gameson and her catering team for the splendid refreshments and to our IT team and Office Volunteers who ensured that all new members were personally invited. Thanks also to Barry McIntosh for these wonderful photos. A good time was had by all.
Kate Anderson - Event Coordinator
Saturday Seminar 17th March 2018
Speaker: Dr. Judith Buckrich
Topic: “Acland Street – The Grand Lady of St Kilda”
In a welcome return to The Hall at MKC Judith Buckrich spoke on the history of a street fondly remembered by everyone in the audience. Recalling their childhood and youth amongst the cake shops, chocolate shops, pubs, stores, cafes and restaurants everyone seemed to have an “I remember…” moment.
Judith opened on the very early history of the area, the original inhabitants; the European “invasion”; Sir Thomas Acland owner of the schooner “The Lady of StKilda”, the former giving his name to the street, the latter to the city; and the Chinese fishermen as the Gold Rush lost its impetus. Acland Street, the first street in St Kilda together with the surrounding streets developed into a significant part of the fabric of the formulative and wealthy period of Marvellous Melbourne.
An eager collection of 40 U3A members and public continued their discussions over tea and coffee with Judith signing many copies of her book, the basis of her talk.
Mark Denniston - Course Co-ordination Team
SATURDAY SEMINAR FEBRUARY 17, 2018
“Civilising the City”: The modernisation of Paris by Napoleon lll and Baron Haussmann 1852-1870.
Speaker: Dr Michael Adcock – Historian
Michael Adcock is the History master at Melbourne Grammar School, a passionate Francophile and as an aside leads tours to Paris and France. In a well-documented talk with excellent pictorial support, Michael led the audience initially through the pre-reconstruction era with all its by-then-antiquated infrastructure, Napoleon lll’s appointment of Haussmann, the planning, and finally the execution of that plan. Interwoven throughout all this was the recording of these changes through the work of the emerging impressionist painters, early photographers and political caricaturists.
The social impact to the benefit of the bourgeoisie and the detriment of the working class was detailed, as well as the improvement in living standards. Supplying fresh water by aqueducts, the creation of a vast sewerage system and the construction of the five great railway stations, opening up access to and from the outlying countryside, serve today’s Paris well. Overriding all this were memories of the barricading of the streets in the revolt by the working classes in 1848 that ended the reign of Louis-Phillippe and led to Napoleon lll’s election and ultimate assumption of complete power as Emperor. The creation of the elegant avenues that today are admired for their beauty in fact supported his perceived need to defend the Paris of the future by enabling the rapid movement of troops across the city along these avenues to any point of conflict.
In closing Michael also included discussion of those who saw this modernisation as the destruction of a beautiful medieval city to enhance the glory of the emperor.
The audience of over 60 members, friends and others were united in their appreciation of Michael’s knowledge of this favourite city.
An excellent attendance of 89 members braved uncertain weather to be at the 14th AGM on 2 December 2017, most staying on to the lively Christmas luncheon which followed.
John Craven (Vice-President) chaired the meeting, and delivered the President’s Report prepared by Renate Mattiske. Click here to read the full account of another busy and successful year at U3APP. Kevin English presented his Financial Report, which you can also view here. The meeting then voted in favour of a motion proposed by Geoffrey Levy, which has the effect of amending two of the Association Rules.
Honorary Life Memberships were awarded to Barry McIntosh and Margaret Ireland. In addition, new Meritorious Service Awards were made to Sheila Harris, Julie Paxton and Henry Wenig.
Nominations to the Committee of Management were received from Kate Anderson, Lois Best, John Craven, Mark Denniston, Richard Edwards, Karen English, Geoffrey Levy, Renate Mattiske, Ian Shaw – and all were declared elected for the coming year.
Julie Paxton Sheila Harris Margaret Ireland Barry McIntosh (Mac)
A Wordsmith's Way
Saturday Seminar, 18 Nov 2017
Thirty-two members and others were entertained by Barry’s recollection of a five-month long circumnavigation of Australia by Subaru Forester, highlighted by his on and off-road experiences in the far north. A portfolio of photographs accompanied the talk.
Crocodiles, flooded river crossings and bulldust galore interspersed with time spent completing the third of an Australian dynastic trilogy of adventure novels which span the First, Second and a potential Third World War.
Barry’s easygoing style made for an entertaining afternoon, re-igniting this writer’s desire to see more of our country. A great deal of interest was also shown in his self-published novels.
Community Minded Women of Port Phillip
Friday 17 November 2017
The Mary Kehoe Community Centre together with the City of Port Philip hosted a commemorative celebration honouring the memories of Mary Kehoe (BEM) and Betty Day (BEM). It was acknowledged that both ladies had strong, social consciences and served many years in the service of their communities of South Melbourne and St Kilda respectively. They received the British Empire Medal (Civic) in 1981. Each subsequently had buildings named in their honour. This year was the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the ‘Middle Park Elderly Citizen’s Club’, Mary Kehoe was its founder and first President. It was also the 30th Anniversary of the Betty Day Centre. In his speech following the introduction, historian Max Nankervis stated that the building at 224 Danks Street was named in honour of Mary Kehoe and a ceremony acknowledging the naming was held at the Centre in October, 1984.
Two panels outlining a short biography of each lady and prepared by the City of Port Phillip under the supervision of Sandra Khazam, Art & Heritage Team Leader, was on display.
Special guests at the function included Councillor Katherine Copsey of Lake Ward, Max Nankervis, President of Middle Park History Group, Marie Kehoe a daughter of Mary Kehoe (her sister Kathleen, due to a minor accident was an apology), Joyce Lugg, President of the ‘Middle Park Senior Citizen’s Club’, John Craven, Vice President of U3APP (apology from the President Renate Mattiske) and Danielle Fraser, Coordinator Community Health & Service Planning for the City of Port Phillip.
Max Nankervis gave a short biography of Mary Kehoe and her community work and Councillor Katherine Copsey made a short speech to mark the occasion. They were followed by Hedy Mameghan who introduced fellow musicians of the quintet and gave a brief introduction about the Mozart Clarinet Quintet which they performed.
Their performance was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Finally afternoon tea, sponsored by the City of Port Phillip, was served by volunteers from the University of the Third Age Port Phillip.
The quintet: Bill Forrest (violin 1), Loma Henry (clarinet), Moya Cummings (violin 2), Claire Sheppard (Cello) and Hedy Mameghan (viola).
Prepared by Mike Perkal.
MAPPING PORT MELBOURNE
A study of the Yarra delta from the 1850s to today.
Presented by Margaret Bride and Janet Bolitho
Saturday Seminar, 19 August 2017
An enthusiastic audience of 50 including several visiting members of the Port Phillip Historical & Preservation Society listened to a detailed talk based on a study of the development and realignment of the Yarra, its impact on the Sandridge, Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend precincts and on the economy of Melbourne.
Janet Bolitho and Margaret Bride co-ordinated this project for the PMH&PS with a generous endowment from the Auty family, descendants of the original settlers of Port Melbourne, the family of WFE Liardet.
The landscape of Port Melbourne has been hugely changed by human intervention since white settlement. The shape and the course of the Yarra River have been changed, the swampy terrain is now covered with roads and other hard surfaces, and there is a new landmass at the mouth of the river. Through a series of maps and aerial photographs, “Mapping Port Melbourne” graphically presented these changes that were planned, some discarded and others implemented, and their effect on Melbourne’s ports.
An active Q&A ensued with recollections of life in the 1930s and 40s and discussions on future developments of our ports to enable the receipt and discharge of goods into the second half of the 21st century.
Advance Care Planning
Saturday Seminar, 17 JUNE 2017
Sharon Billings is a clinician working within the Alfred Advance Care Planning department.
Initially Sharon discussed the importance of preparing a Will, an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Enduring Medical Power of Attorney.
In each case these documents appoint people to make decisions on your behalf.
Sharon went on to explain that Advance Care Planning is a process that ensures your family and treating healthcare team understand what is important to you and how you want to be treated if you become unable to make decisions or communicate your wishes.
In conclusion she stressed that it’s never too early to detail the way you want to live at the end of your life and therefore the need to communicate the kind of care you do or don’t want for yourself. Alfred Advance Care using their wealth of experience in these matters is well placed to guide and record these decisions.
A continuous stream of questions indicated a genuine interest from the almost thirty-strong audience.
“Hedy and Friends” String Quartet
Saturday Seminar, May 2017
The Hall was almost full to bursting point as 84 members, friends and public were entertained with an afternoon of chamber music featuring a string quartet led by Hedy Mameghan on viola with Bill Forrest first violin, Moyra Cummings second violin and Claire Shephard on cello.
Selections from works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Franz Schubert were delivered with great passion, receiving warm applause from an appreciative audience. Hedy introduced each selection with an explanation if it’s construction and significance within the development of classical music in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A final encore set a “guess the composer” test for the audience, most of whom felt it was Piazzola. The correct answer was “Por un Cabeza” written in the 1930s by the Argentinian, Carlos Gardel making an interesting contrast to the preceding works.
As the friends usually play once or twice a month, enjoying making music in a home environment, the opportunity to extend their talents in an open space was relished. The volume of the final applause was their reward and capped off an entertaining afternoon.
Mark Denniston, Course Co-ordination Team
“The Political is Personal” A 20th Century Memoir
Saturday Seminar, March 2017
An audience of 40 members welcomed and were enthralled by the extraordinary life lived by this independent, determined woman which began in the mid-20th and continues today.
Judith Buckrich was born in Hungary of a communist father and a Jewish mother who had suffered and eventually escaped the Nazi terror of Auschwitz. She ended up in Australia in a society that encouraged her independence and a determination to right all political wrongs, espouse women’s liberation, marry, have a child then continue at the same time to write plays, act on stage and latterly to write books. At last count 13 published and the 14th, a history of Acland Street about to be released.
As some one said to me afterwards – “..she made me feel very inadequate. I am in awe of her energy”.
Mark Denniston - Course Co-ordination Team
“Maiden Voyage” An Australian song cycle
presented by Lorraine Milne
Saturday Seminar, February 2017
Lorraine Milne took an audience of 30 members on a journey of the development of Australia through the eyes of ordinary and outstanding women in a cycle of 13 songs, the lyrics written by Lorraine and supported by her own compositions.
Beginning with the First Fleet, through wars, emancipation, Liberation and political achievements she wove a pattern of independence and resilience that resonates today with the freedoms available to all Australians but still with all the indignities and restrictions that face our women.