Committee members – 2022-2023

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.

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, History, Opera and Bridge. She has also assisted in our Office Reception.

Her interests outside of U3A include gardening, maintaining her mudbrick house and needlework.

Regarding her role as Secretary, Cath says that she continues to enjoy the camaraderie and goodwill of the Committee. She also says: “Nillumbik U3A survived the pandemic thanks in great part to the introduction of the Gibber Gabber newsletter and the continuation of some classes via Zoom. We have a vibrant U3A which continues to grow and it’s a privilege to be part of it.

Dianne Parslow – Vice President and Course Coordinator

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 and vice president. 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

Dianne and her husband live in Lower Plenty and 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.

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, Android Phones, 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.

Nillumbik U3A is a great organisation but there is always room for improvement. My aim is for us to have rich and ever growing range of activities across the whole of Nillumbik.

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.

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.

Leanne Ipsen (co-opted)

Leanne, who lives in Research, originally joined U3A to cover for a former colleague, Brenda Smith, an art tutor with Nillumbik U3A, when she visited her family in England. She was greeted warmly by an interesting, creative group of artists.

Leanne was born in Bendigo, educated at Bendigo High then Monash University. She taught first at Wanganui Park High in Shepparton and, after a year travelled the world alone, she taught English, Drama and debating for 35 years at Eltham High School.

Art has always been Leanne’s passion but a year travelling around Australia on Long Service Leave established her more serious involvement in art – she painted most days while her husband John fished. She now has time to volunteer to tutor art and represent our art community on the Nillumbik Council Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

I am inspired by people like Guy, Diane and Judy, who give so freely of their time and expertise to nurture retired but curious and active people in our Nillumbik community.”

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.

Paul Siostrom – Treasurer

U3As provides a forum for older and retired persons to enjoy social interaction and connectedness to others as they learn, grow and develop new skills together. So, in 2016 when Paul, who lives in Watsonia, retired from full time work, joining Nillumbik U3A seemed to him to be a good way to remain active both in body and mind and to meet other people. He is now enrolled into Cryptic Crosswords, Golf for Fun (Tuesday), Life Changing Events in History and the Cards group.

Paul’s other interests include golf (which he has just returned to after a 30 year absence), AFL (he is a keen Richmond supporter), open water swimming (I’ve completed 68 open water swims), bowling (he is a member of Greensborough Bowling Club), travelling and the theatre.

As Jean Kelty recently retired from her position as Treasurer, I have accepted that role and look forward to making a contribution to the success of our organisation moving forwards.

Reg Rowsell

Reg Rowsell, who lives in Eltham, was introduced to Nillumbik U3A by his wife (Michelle), who joined our organisation after learning about it at an information session in Eltham. He says that joining was “a good decision” as he has made great friends. He speaks enthusiastically about his outings to Yarrambat Golf Course with our golfers as his “highlight of the week.

Reg’s interest in sport is clear; in his youth, he qualified to play soccer at a professional level (Chelsea FC) and he is now a supporter of Geelong FC of AFL fame. He is also a Patient Health Volunteer who gives of his time by visiting hospital patients.

Reg says that he joined the Committee this year to bring some “new blood” into our organisation. He’s especially interested in volunteering to assist in our fundraising events.

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.