Committee members – 2023-2024

Ann Madigan (co-opted)

Ann has lived in Eltham for 27 years and joined Nillumbik U3A in 2021.  Prior to retiring, she worked as an organisational development consultant in the corporate and education sectors. Her interests include yoga, walking, reading, gardening and history.

After retiring, I wanted to keep my brain active and engaged in a social setting so, among other things, I started Spanish classes with Nillumbik U3A. It’s a lot of fun, so last year I added Italian classes, just to make things more interesting. Joining the committee in 2024 gives me an opportunity to support this valuable organisation and the people who do a great job running it”.

Brian Jones

Brian has lived in Hurstbridge / Cottles Bridge for 25 years and retired from full-time employment in 2018. Now, when people ask him what he does to keep busy during retirement, he answers, “anything I want to“.

He joined Nillumbik U3A in 2022, primarily to play golf, “a game I enjoy immensely although my scorecard shows no sign of significant improvement. Since starting to play regularly, I have lost six kilograms in weight – and about 30 golf balls!

He is passionate about obtaining services and support for the Hurstbridge Community and currently runs the local Men’s Shed, which has been in operation since 2005. By working pro-actively with Nillumbik Council, they have a new ‘build shed’ coming in 2023 so that they can expand our membership and invite women to join and use the facilities.

I decided to join the committee to try to achieve new U3A classes for Hurstbridge and to attempt to reverse the decline in our local Hurstbridge U3A membership.

Carole Meade

Carole, who lives in Diamond Creek, has been a member of Nillumbik U3A since 2020, having joined after retiring from teaching. She had decided then to participate in a Tai Chi class and a neighbour suggested Nillumbik U3A as a possible provider.

I like to think I am a ‘people person’. I was a teacher and I loved teaching, no matter who it involved. All were very rewarding.

Carole’s main interests are keeping active, crafts, gardening and, of course, my family, especially my grandchildren.

Oh yes, another ‘main interest’ is our U3A. “It’s a great organisation which offers much more than its courses to our many members. One important ‘extra’ is the opportunity for them to socialise. I believe, as we age, it is even more important that we stay connected to others and can spend time enjoying their company.

I believe an organisation supported by volunteers can only operate efficiently if its members are prepared to put in their time and effort and so, as a Nillumbik U3A member, I’m keen to help out in the best ways that I can.

David Draffin (co-opted)

David retired after 50 years of employment as a primary school educator, an IT consultant and an emergency management coordinator in 2019. After living in Ballarat for 35 years, it was time to move closer to family so he took up residence in the Leith Park retirement village located in St Helena.

He lived in Montmorency earlier in his life, attending Eltham High School and Coburg Teachers college before branching out into rural Victoria, so he is no stranger to this area. Playing cricket for Lower Plenty and baseball for Montmorency were his adolescent passions alongside reading and any other sport that presented itself. Today he is a member of the Hurstbridge Bowling Club and the Diamond Valley Archery Club.

Now his goal in life is to connect with his new community and make a positive difference wherever he can.

Dennis Smith

Dennis, who lives in Eltham, joined Nillumbik U3A in 2021. Since then he has actively participated in two groups: Card Playing and Bike Riding. Dennis says he is “into riding” and enjoys discovering our local trails and tracks.

He retired a few years ago, having been in the Fire Protection and Building Services industry for many years.

I have lived in Eltham almost 20 years and, with family close by, I love the area. Now I aim to help out at our U3A and to be involved in its activities.

Dianne Parslow – President

Dianne, who lives in Lower Plenty, joined our U3A in 2017 to learn Tai Chi. She also tried a few other classes, but had to cut back on her classes when she became course coordinator. She now does Gentle Walking Group, a book group and Tai Chi. Dianne has also worked in the office and on the book swap at the Old Eltham Courthouse.

As Course Coordinator, Dianne is always on the lookout for new tutors and possible new venues for our wide range of classes, as well as other people to help with various timetable issues as our organisation continues to grow. If you would like to help or have any ideas you can contact her at

As President, Dianne is now on the lookout for new committee members as well.

Dianne and her husband enjoy gardening. In retirement, they have travelled widely around Australia in their caravan and also overseas. Stories from many of their travels can be seen on our website.

Dianne is also a biography writer and Board member with Beyond Words.

Karen Redrup

Karen, who lives in Montmorency, is a former nurse midwife.

She volunteered to assist in the office when she joined U3A in 2019 and has been our Office Manager since 2021, when she also joined the committee. Her main reason for joining Nillumbik U3A was to meet people and make friends having only moved to Melbourne in 2018. She says that the U3A has more than met those needs.

Karen is engaged in our Art and Craft classes, the Tai Chi group and the Dining Out group. She is also the group leader for the Fourth Monday Film Discussion Group. As a committee member she is the office representative and oversees membership and enrolment processes, the asset management process and participates in the art selection for display in our office space in the Eltham Pavilion.

Margaret Schooneveldt

Margaret has lived in Plenty for about 15 years. She retired in 2019 from a career in Finance and Risk Management and then, in 2020, she joined our U3A. She says she, “wanted to meet new people and to develop new skills.

She hasn’t had time to enrol in any courses yet as she has been busier with grandkids and tennis than she expected to be. She lists walking, riding and reading amongst her pastimes and these are interests which align quite well with our range of courses on offer.

Why did Margaret nominate to our U3A Committee? She says, “I have always been passionate about supporting the community and have served on a number of committees in various roles over the past 30 years. I see U3A as a place that I can learn and develop new skills, meet new people and continue to give back to the community. I believe we can always continue to learn and grow.

Milena Gojanovic

Milena, who lives in Eltham, joined Nillumbik U3A in 2023 primarily because she wanted to learn Spanish.

She is a keen walker, lately she has have been doing Nordic walking too. She also likes reading, gardening, playing tennis, bike riding and being active.

I worked full time before retirement and didn’t feel like suddenly coming to a halt, so was looking for an opportunity to keep going, but at a slower and not very stressful pace. I thought that both this organisation and a role on its Committee could give me that. I feel that I can contribute to the U3A and I am happy to be part of it. I also enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunity to meet new people with interesting backgrounds.

Pam Griffith

Pam, who lives in Wattle Glen, joined our U3A in 2011. Her interests include history and the arts, mahjong, mind games and bush walking. She lists a total of 18 courses that she has undertaken within our U3A! Pam even finds time to coordinate the Third Tuesday Film Discussion Group and the Gentle Walking Group and to help in Reception.

Of the U3A, she says “I have enjoyed my involvement with Nillumbik U3A and benefitted from attending many classes and I wish to give something back. I would like to see the U3A continue to play an important role in the community and hopefully expand the range of classes on offer.

Rob Glanvill

Rob moved to Eltham in 2018 and joined our U3A to continue learning and, at the same time, to find ways to give back to the community as he reaches retirement. He is now happy to be free to take on more responsibility in our decision making processes.

Viticulture is one of Rob’s major interests, so learning more about the basics of wine appreciation in the U3A’s Introduction to Wine course has provided him with great information. He is also interested in the theatre, reading, walking for fitness and Rugby Union; three of these interests are also catered for by our U3A, but not Rugby Union!

I have a strong desire to contribute to the community and to give back for all the time during my working life that the community has supported me and provided facilities and other assistance. I think that Nillumbik U3A is a strong group and hope that I can in some way assist to further that progress.