Committee members – 2021-2022

Cath Bauman – Secretary

Cath, who lives in Montmorency, joined our U3A in 2018, and has since participated in a number of classes including Tai Chi and History. She has also assisted in our Office Reception.

In 2020, she is focussing on Opera and the Walking Group as well as “learning bridge with Lucille.” Her interests outside of U3A include gardening, maintaining her mudbrick house and, due to the recent lockdown, she has also discovered some needlework canvases that need finishing.

Regarding her role as our Secretary, Cath says “taking on the Secretary role for the past two years has challenged my relationship with my Mac computer but we’re on friendlier terms now.

I have enjoyed the camaraderie and goodwill of the Committee and I think we are all getting used to having meetings via Zoom. I really enjoy the challenges and mental stimulation that the various classes offer and, to show my appreciation, have volunteered to help where needed.

Cathy Romeo

Cathy, who lives in Eltham, joined our U3A in 2019 soon after she stopped working and when, she says, she “finally had free time to follow personal interests.” She “wanted to explore different activities and to make connections in (her) local community.

Cathy has attended, and is enthusiastic about, several of our recent ‘one-off’ classes including Eltham Cemetery Tour, You and Your Medicines, Social Justice, Disease and Medicine in Shakespeare, and Music for Health and Wellbeing.

She says that she has a particular interest in yoga and art and also loves bushwalking and gardening.

Of our committee membership, Cathy says: “I have appreciated being able to participate in U3A activities and am very grateful to the tutors who put so much effort into making the classes interesting for us all. An organisation can only be as strong as its members and their contributions, so I wanted to give back by contributing in some way.

Cathy is looking forward to assisting in any way that she can, with perhaps a leaning towards publicity and marketing.

Dianne Parslow – Vice President and Course Coordinator

Dianne, who lives in Lower Plenty, joined our U3A in 2017 to learn Tai Chi and almost immediately volunteered to assist with administration. She helped to set up the Book Swap at the Old Eltham Courthouse and then started to work in the Office. From there, she joined our Committee. As our Course Coordinator, Dianne finds that our steadily increasing enrolments generate a lot of work, but still finds time to occasionally help our Office team.

Dianne’s interests include travel, reading, writing and gardening.

Why did Dianne re-nominate for the committee? “I think that U3A is a great organisation and I felt I had useful skills to help. I enjoy meeting people while working in the Office and my work there helps my me to understand more about how the organisation works.

With Covid-19, 2020 is a challenging year, but it’s great to see about half of our classes are still operating electronically. I hope to see all our members re-joining in 2021 but who knows what the future holds?

Guy Palmer – President

Guy, who lives in Eltham, joined our U3A in 2013. Since joining, he has taught a variety of subjects (including History of Art, Veggie Growing, Evolutionary Theory, Website Development, Quantum Mechanics and the Politics of Social Justice) before joining the Committee in 2016.

He adds “I arrived in Australia in 2007 from the UK, having pursued careers in management consultancy and political research, and moved to Nillumbik in 2012. I am active in the local food movement, including writing a weekly newsletter, involvement in Incredible Edible Eltham and being webmaster of Local Food Connect.Watch this video, where Guy talks about his veggie patch and orchard.

During 2020/21, my main priorities for the U3A will be recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and resolving the issues with the re-location of our headquarters.

Jean Kelty – Treasurer

Jean, who lives in Eltham, joined our U3A in 2020. She retired in 2012 from her work as an accountant and has since then enjoyed many cruises and trips abroad, particularly in Europe and China.

Jean joined our Travel Trips, Tips and Tales group in Term 1. Her other interests include cooking, reading, movies, lunching and gardening.

In her new role on our committee, Jean will be working with our Assistant Treasurer, Thais Venn and, she says, they are planning to job-share their roles so that each will have time to pursue other interests (like travel). She says that she is “looking forward to working with Thais and, as a team, managing the organisation’s finances, becoming involved in future projects and contributing ideas on a range of topics within regular committee meetings.

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John King

John, who lives in Greensborough, joined our U3A at the beginning of 2020 following a decision to “get out of the house more, meet some interesting people and learn more about some of the issues and activities that [he is] interested in.

John has attended our classes in Jazz Appreciation, Wine Appreciation, Climate Change and Renewable Energy. Jazz has always been a great love of his and, as a retired academic economist, he has been involved in several informal groups discussing the consequences of global warming. His other interests include bushwalking and reading (especially history, politics and crime fiction).

He says that “From 2021, I hope to continue with Jazz Appreciation and to enrol in a couple of current affairs classes on issues like climate change, increasing inequality and the possible long-term social and economic consequences of Covid-19. In the course of my brief class membership, I have found U3A to be everything that I had hoped it would be and am very happy to make a small contribution to its activities.

Karen Redrup

Karen, who lives in Montmorency, is a registered nurse and midwife as well as an experienced organiser who has held several managerial roles within the health industry. So, when she joined our U3A in early 2019, she opted to volunteer her skills and ticked the ‘help in the Office’ box. We were very pleased to welcome her and appreciated her regular appearances (once a fortnight during 2019) at the Courthouse Office. Over time, Karen has then taken on greater responsibilities and has now joined the Committee as a co-oped member.

It’s interesting to discover the many reasons why our members join this organisation. Karen says that her first knowledge of the U3A movement came from a loved uncle who highly recommended all that it had to offer. When she and her husband moved to Melbourne in mid 2018 to join their multi-generational family in Montmorency, she decided to create some ‘me time’. She remembered her uncle’s advice and thus joined our U3A.

Karen says that she is “currently enrolled into the Japanese class, craft and book club groups and I’m just about to take up Tai Chi,” so her involvement is now diverse. She lists reading, cooking and art as other interests.

Karen is looking forward to developing fresh systems to suit our new Office location at Eltham Central Pavilion and also to interacting with our membership. She is excited to be part of a change which will “give us an opportunity to improve the Office and Reception facilities and to benefit all our members, especially our wonderful volunteers.

Les Smith

Les Smith, who lives in Research, joined our U3A in 2016 “to participate in the variety of classes and activities that we offer.” So far, he has joined the Bridge, Walking, Tennis, Bowls and Golf groups. He’s also enjoyed the classes of Andrew Leopold, Jane Davies and Carole Waldron.

Les was an engineer in the Royal Australian Navy so his interests in marine engineering and historical naval literature are, perhaps, predictable. But his other interests are eclectic as they include gardening, furniture restoration and painting miniature toy soldiers (particularly of the Napoleonic and Zulu wars).

Les nominated for our Committee because, he says, “I have enjoyed all of the activities past and present that I have participated in. With all of the restrictions we are facing as a result of Covid-19, it is difficult to predict when things will return to normal but, when that happens, I hope to contribute in a meaningful way to the management of Nillumbik U3A.

Martin Winfield

Martin, who lives in Montmorency, joined our U3A in 2019 after hearing about the organisation from a friend in the UK. He says that he was seeking to fill the gap in his life after retirement with “learning, friendship and a way to contribute to the community.

Martin first enrolled into our Golf and Mindfulness classes before joining the beginners’ Tai Chi class.

Away from the U3A, Martin enjoys walking, reading, going to the gym, swimming laps, music and watching sport – especially his beloved Collingwood Football Club and the Moto Grand Prix! He also has an interest in, and fascination of, politics.

Why did Martin nominate for our Committee? He says that he “nominated for the Committee as it’s the best way I can currently contribute to the organisation. I look forward to being part of a bright future for the U3A in Nillumbik.

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.

Thais Venn – Assistant Treasurer

Thais, who lives in Eltham, joined our U3A in 2019. Following her retirement from work some years ago, she “travelled extensively throughout Australia” before deciding to become involved in local interests. Her first class was Tai Chi, something which, she says, she “always wanted to try.” Then in 2020 she enrolled in the Walking and Line Dancing groups and the Climate Change seminar. She has a general interest in native plants and animals and her other hobbies – bushwalking, rogaining, kayaking and travel – complement those interests.

Of her role in the NU3A committee she says, “U3A provides an easy and comfortable environment for people to pursue their interests in a wide variety of activities, to make friends and to improve their skills and knowledge. I have been on the committees of two volunteer clubs and know how essential it is for members to contribute in some way to the running of these organisations. I am sure as Assistant Treasurer I will learn much from my role and hope that I can make a contribution in return.