Sep 082021

Our once-off talks

Every fortnight during term time, we organise for someone to give a presentation to which any of our members can attend. Thanks for Cath Bauman and Pam Griffith for organising. Here are the talks over the past couple of years.

Jul 282021

On 28th July, Louis Roller, from Monash University, gave a talk on Zoom about human smiles, their function and the various meanings given to different types of smiles.

Among humans, a smile expresses delight, sociability, happiness, joy or amusement. It is distinct from a similar, but usually involuntary, expression of anxiety known as a grimace.

Although cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world, there are large differences among different cultures, religions and societies, with some using smiles to convey confusion or embarrassment.

Click here to view/download Louis’ slides (all 120 of them!).

May 112021

On 11th May, U3A member June Rushton gave a talk about what it was like being the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, living variously at Bruny Island, Swan Island, Cape Sorrell, Wilsons Promontory, Cape Otway and Cape Nelson. Everyone who attended found it very interesting.

Mar 312021

On 31st March, U3A members Kelvin and Beverly Spiller gave a presentation on understanding your own and others’ personal preferences for how information is taken in and decisions are made, and how to think about how others interact with you, you with them and they with one another.

Mar 172021

On 17th March, Jim Connor, from the Eltham Historical Society, gave a talk on some of the notable Eltham ‘pioneers’, both during the early days and in later times. One dictionary definition of a pioneer is a colonist, explorer or settler of a new land or region, an innovator or developer of something new. Many people in many ways contributed to the establishment of the area we know as Eltham and their pioneering activities helped develop the town and the region.

Nov 302020

Melinda Clarke, who is driving force behind The Melbourne Map website, which includes illustrated maps of Melbourne in both 1991 and 2019, discussed how the illustrated maps were produced. She explained the project, beginning with the idea’s conception and publication of the first illustrated map back in 1991. She shared the trials and tribulations of bringing the project to fruition from research, design, crowd funding, publishing and product development.

2019 map of Melbourne 1991 map of Melbourne
Oct 272020

On 27th October, Fiona Malcolm, who works for Melbourne Athenaeum Library, ran a session on what crime novel would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island. She kicked things off with some of her ‘must take’ and most re-read crime novels before asking the audience for their suggestions.

Here are Fiona’s own suggestions.

They ‘select themselves’ Connelly, Michael The Poet
Christie, Agatha And Then There Were None OR Murder On The Orient Express
Tracy, P.J. Want to Play? (apa Monkeewrench)
Locke, Attica Bluebird, Bluebird
Dostoevsky, Fyodor Crime And Punishment
Almost made it Barton, Fiona The Widow
Berna, Paul A Hundred Million Francs
Blyton, Enid Five Go To Billycock Hill
Bolton, Sharon Little Black lies
Clark, Douglas The Gimmel Flask OR Golden Rain
Flynn, Gillian Sharp Objects
French, Tana In The Woods
Griffiths, Elly The Stranger Diaries
Lippman, Laura Sunburn
McGown, Jill Murders Of Mrs Austin & Mrs Beale
McIlvanney, William Laidlaw
Neel, Janet Death’s Bright Angel OR Death On Site
Sayers, Dorothy L. Gaudy Night OR Nine Tailors
The series Grafton, Sue The Alphabet series
Muller, Marcia Sharon McCone series
Rankin, Ian Rebus series
The Aussies Cleary, Jon Scobie Malone series
Disher, Garry Dragon Man
Downes, Anna No Safe Place
Kovacic, Katherine Portrait Of Molly Dean
Maloney, Shane Stiff
Oct 132020

On 13th October, Louis Roller discussed his journey from hunted untermensch to successful academic. Louis was born in Paris of Jewish parents three months before the fall of Paris to the Nazis. Despite life-threatening events and many near-misses, Louis survived the holocaust and arrived in Australia in 1947. He was the first refugee seen at the primary school he went to, had no English and was highly traumatised. Despite all this, Louis has managed to have a successful academic career in pharmacy and medicine.

Aug 242020

On 18th August, Jim Connor, from the Eltham Historical Society, gave a talk via Zoom on the history of using earth to create various types of structures, extending from early days up to the more recent use of mud bricks for housing in Eltham and the surrounding area. Around 30 of our members attended.

Aug 042020

On 4th August, Zara Thompson, who is a registered Music Therapist working with children and adults with disabilities and people seeking asylum, gave a talk about music therapy and ageing. It started with an overview of how and why music can be useful to health and wellbeing and finished with some experiential music activities to demonstrate how music can impact mood and physical health.

Mar 242020

Dianne Parslow was planning to run a few training sessions on Powerpoint but the coronavirus got in the way. So she has turned her session into a little online course. Just follow these instructions. When you have completed Part I of the instructions, you should have something that looks like this powerpoint presentation.

For some further tips, read this powerpoint presentation, remembering to select 'slide show' to show all aspects of this demonstration. Dianne is happy to give individual help via email ( or phone (0434 986 424).