Jul 262022
 

Our guest speakers

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

  • Alan Cuthbertson: Climate change and Extinction Rebellion.
  • Brenda Fitzpatrick: Unlikely heroes in unlikely places.
  • Brian Devenish: Worldwide scamming.
  • Catherine Blakey: Tactics for hearing impaired people.
  • Dianne Parslow: Powerpoint.
  • Fiona Malcolm: Children’s books.
  • Fiona Malcolm: Desert island crime fiction.
  • Fiona Malcolm: Railway murders.
  • Fiona Malcolm: Rural noir – before and after The Dry.
  • Gaby Seymour: Maintaining bone health as you age.
  • Gillian Essex: Grandmothers for Refugees.
  • Graham Parslow: Vintage radio.
  • Greg Papworth: Still worried about Covid?.
  • Guy Palmer: A history of modern art.
  • Guy Palmer: Poverty.
  • Guy Palmer: Social exclusion.
  • Guy Palmer: Ten interesting animals.
  • Guy Palmer: The best painting of the last 150 years.
  • Guy Palmer: Why ants work together in colonies.
  • Jim Connor: Eltham’s muddy history.
  • Aug 242022
     

    On 24th August, Nick Szwed gave a talk entitled back to the USSR to a sellout crowd. The talk covered: the origin of Slavic peoples, the Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians; how they live today – where Nick’s parents were born; Nick’s parents’ journey from Belarus to Australia; the breakup of the USSR – a missed opportunity; the dictator of Belarus vs people wanting democracy; Kazakhstan and Ukraine; and Putin’s plan to go back to the USSR.

        

    Aug 102022
     

    On 10th August, Terry Beaton, current Nillumbik U3A member and erstwhile curator at Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum on the Burma Railway, gave a talk on the Burma Railway to a packed audience of our members. He talked about the history and cost of the infamous ‘Burma to Siam Rail Link’ built by multi-national POWs and forced Asian slave labour for the Japanese invasion of India during WW2.

      

    After the talk, Terry presented a spike from the railway to Nancie Marchbank, whose father was on the railway during WW2. In response, Nancie wrote the following: “I recently attended the presentation from Terry Beaton on the Thai/Burma Railway. Not only was this extremely interesting but it meant a lot to me as my father was on the railway during the Second World War. Dad would never talk about the war or his internment at all. I travelled to Hellfire Pass about 12 years ago but listening to Terry I learnt a lot more. In addition, Terry gave me a genuine POW-made dog spike from the Railway. It was made in Japanese workshops between 1942-45. Terry found the spike in 2000 at Wampo Viaduct. I sincerely thank Terry for this gift and hope that he knows how much it will mean to me and my family.

    Jul 272022
     

    On 27th July, Nillumbik U3A member Brenda Fitzpatrick gave a talk to a packed audience about the many unlikely heroes that she has met in unlikely places during her work for an international humanitarian agency, writing and speaking about human rights – especially about women and girls in war – and reporting on humanitarian needs in places of conflict and disasters. Her book, Tactical Rape in War and Conflict (2016) was about the use of rape as a deliberate tactic of war and how this is a serious human rights issue that needs to be addressed as a threat to human and international security. Her more recent novel, Gwennie’s Girl (2019) was her first foray into fiction and used stories that she heard and experienced.

    Jun 222022
     

    On Wednesday, 22nd June, Gabby Seymour, who is a physiotherapist based in Eltham, provided an educative and practical session on maintaining bone health as you age. She demonstrated practical balance exercises that you can do at home to maintain bone health, mobility, balance and prevent falls.

    May 112022
     

    On Wednesday, 11th May, Brian Devenish gave a talk on worldwide scamming. One of his main suggestions was that you shouldn’t buy directly from social media.

    May 062022
     

    On Friday, 6th May, newly retired doctor, Greg Papworth, met with some of our members to discuss any concerns, questions or issues that they had about the current situation. One of his main messages was that our members should make sure to get their flu vaccine this Winter: because of all the lockdowns, there have been only minimal numbers of flu cases over the last two years and this will have lowered the average immunity in the population which, in turn, is likely to mean that we will have a bad flu season this year.

    Mar 022022
     

    On 2nd March, Gillian Essex and Janine Laurence, from the Jagajaga branch of Grandmothers for Refugees (G4R), discussed the history of the movement, the issues facing refugees in Australia today, and the role of G4R in advocating for them.

    (G4R) is a grassroots movement that has evolved from Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children. With a large membership base across both the suburbs of Melbourne and in regional Victoria, G4R’s focus is the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. Being a grandmother is not a pre-requisite for becoming involved, as G4R also welcomes the support of ‘friends of grandmothers’, affectionally known as FROGS. G4R also collaborates at times with other like-minded groups. In addition to their advocacy role, many grandmothers – either individually or collectively at branch level – provide direct support to refugees and people seeking asylum.

    Feb 162022
     

    On 16th February, Graham Parslow, who is the president of the Historical Radio Society of Australia, gave around 20 of us a presentation on 150 years of radio, from scientific curiosity to mature technology.

    Radios from the 20th century were illustrated by examples from Graham’s collection of 600 radios. It is likely that you grew up at a time when radio was a major home entertainment and fondly recollect that radio and the times your family spent by it in the kitchen or lounge. Radios are now highly collectable for their beauty and their technology, with the cabinets reflecting the tastes of society spanning art-deco to modern minimalist.

    Dec 012021
     

    On 1st December, Catherine Blakey discussed communication and hearing tactics for hearing impaired people and their family, friends and colleagues.

    As a person with a lifelong hearing loss, and as a hearing aid user for 60 years, Catherine has developed many hearing tactics. Hearing tactics are assertive approaches towards communication that you can actively use to improve your social interaction and communication in the environment. You can take charge of some situations to best suit your needs. This helps family and friends to send, receive and understand the message.

    Read Catherine’s advice on this subject for our classes.

    Nov 172021
     

    On 17th November, a full house at Eltham Central Pavilion voted on the best painting of the last 150 years.

    The eventual winner was Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s The luncheon of the boating party (1881).

    The runner up was Frederick McCubbin’s The pioneer (1904).

    The following painters were represented in the competition: Bazille, Bouguereau, Braque, Caillebotte, Cezanne, Chagall, Church, Dali, De Chirico, De Kooning, Degas, Derain, Dobell, Ernst, Gauguin, Gorky, Gris, Hamilton, Harris, Heysen, Hockney, Hopper, Johns, Kahlo, Kandinsky, Kinkade, Kirchner, Klee, Klimt, Leger, Lichtenstein, Lowry, Magritte, Manet, Marc, Matisse, McCubbin, Miro, Modigliani, Mondrian, Monet, Munch, Namatjira, Newman, Nolan, Nolde, O’Keefe, Palmer, Picasso, Pissarro, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Renoir, Richter, Robinson, Rockwell, Rothko, Rousseau, Schiele, Seurat, Shishkin, Sisley, Smart, Tanguy, Thiebaud, Toulouse-Lautrec, Turton, Van Gogh, Vlaminck, Warhol, Waterhouse, Whiteley and Wood.

    Nov 032021
     

    Mercy Ships is a global organisation which brings hope and healing to communities who need it most. It uses floating hospitals to provide medical care to those in desperate need of surgery and medical treatment.

    This talk was given by Tammy Shepherd. Tammy is a hospital-based physiotherapist whose good education and economic stability has allowed her to volunteer extensively with Mercy Ships and elsewhere. Her husband and adult children are supportive of her service to the African people via both Mercy Ships and mentoring local physios in a hospital in Congo.

    Oct 202021
     

    On 20th October, Louis Roller, from Monash University, gave a talk on Zoom about the placebo-nocebo conundrum.

    The placebo-nocebo conundrum is about the effect that inactive substances can have on individuals. The term ‘placebo’ comes from the Latin placare, meaning to please, while the term ‘nocebo’, or nocere, means the opposite. This talk discussed the implications of the placebo/nocebo effect in medicines, how they work and their use in clinical trials. It also looked at evidence of the actual existence of the placebo and the mindset required for its effects.

    Click here to view/download Louis’ handout.

    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 (dianneparslow@gmail.com) or phone (0434 986 424).