Courses Descriptions 2023


Click any of the 12 themed links immediately below to go to the course descriptions for that theme. The number in brackets after each theme is the number of courses within that theme.

1. Active Classes (ACT)Back to top
Ladies Badminton (ACT12a)

Northern Ladies Badminton Association are a volunteer group of ladies who have been playing social and competition badminton since 1973. Monday afternoons is a social/coaching clinic for new members. Afternoon tea is provided afterwards for those who would like to stay.  Age and experience no limit. The cost is free for the first visit and $5 for the next sessions. All equipment is supplied initially but you need to wear appropriate footwear. For more information, please contact Michelle Rowsell by phone (0417 669 269) or email (

When: Mondays, 1-3pm; starting 1st May
Where: Diamond Creek Community Centre
Leader: Michelle Rowsell

A Simple Introduction to Ballroom Dancing (ACT13a)

In this class you will learn some basic dance steps in various styles. Then the class will develop some simple routines which can be used at a dinner dance, a big band night or other unstructured music events. Ideally participants should have leather-soled shoes and, if possible, go with a partner.

This class will run for term 2 and 3 only.

When: Fridays, 1.30-3pm; starting 5th May
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Peter Griffiths

Golf for Fun – 9 Holes (ACT01a and ACT01b)

Social golf for fun and fitness. 9 holes. BYO golf clubs. Green fees apply.

When: 9.30am-noon, Fridays (ACT01b) and Tuesdays (ACT01a)
Where: Yarrambat Golf Club
Leader: Alan Clayton, Martin Winfield

Golf Workshop for Beginners (ACT02b)

Golf is one of the few games which can be played and enjoyed until you are really old. The only ability required is walking, because golf is essentially walking. So, if you want to play golf well, you need to start by learning some of the basics of golf. This course of workshops are designed for: (1) those who have never played golf before and want to take up this game now; and (2) those who are currently playing golf but have never been taught, and so they are playing games that make them unhappy. There will be 5 workshops of 2 hours duration each, to be followed by an actual 9 hole game of golf guided by the teacher.

Workshops are provided free-of-charge to members of U3A but the participants are expected to provide their own equipment, golf balls, and pay for the greens whenever it is necessary. Some golf clubs are now available for renting and those interested should contact Abe by email (

When: Wednesdays, 1-3pm; not running in term 2 but will return later in the year.
Where: Plenty Views Golf Park
Leader: Abe Kelabora, Accredited Community Golf Instructor

Line Dancing (ACT11a)

Line dancing is a great way to keep physically fit whilst also exercising your mind and you don’t need a partner so anyone can join in. This class will start with beginner level dances and progress to more complex routines as members become more familiar with the steps. Various styles of dancing and music will be included, not just country bootscootin’. Comfortable, closed-in shoes are recommended.

For more information, please contact Elaine Batemen on 0415 191 294.

When: Tuesdays, 12.30-1.30pm; starting 7th February – cancelled for term 2
Where: Eltham North Scout Hall
Leader: Elaine Bateman, Sue Brenkovich

Local Bicycle Track Cycling (ACT10a)

Using off-road, shared path routes to cycle for about 1½ to two hours from Eltham. Since the routes are shared with other users, speeds will generally be limited to about 12-18 km/hr. Electric bikes are welcome. Coffee at the end of the ride is optional.

When: Thursdays, starting 9am; starting 4th May in term 2
Where: Eltham Library
Leader: John Arneaud

Social Tennis (ACT03a)

Go and enjoy a social hit of tennis. Take a racquet and wear appropriate tennis footwear e.g. no ripple sole shoes. All abilities welcome.

When: Thursdays, 9.15-11.15am; starting 9th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Centre
Leader: Ankie Box, Pam Griffith

Strength Class (ACT09a)

This is an all abilities strength, conditioning and stretch exercise class which caters for all levels of fitness. It will focus on improving muscle strength, bone density, pelvic floor, cardio fitness and balance. Exercises can be adapted for people wanting to use a chair. Floor work will be included for those wishing to have a go.

Please speak with Deb prior to the class if you have any injuries or concerns. Deb will be mindful to provide alternative exercise options when needed.

When: Wednesdays, 1-2pm; starting 8th February
Where: Hurstbridge Football Club
Leader: Karina Chapman (Aligned Leisure), Laraine Hussey

Table Tennis (ACT04a)

If you would like to play social games of table tennis, this is the class for you. There will be no teaching, no competition, just having a good time.

When: Wednesdays, 1.30-3pm; starting 8th February
Where: Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre
Leader: Veronica Petersen, Tony Lee

Try Lawn Bowls (ACT05a)

This class is for beginners and others who want to try out bowls. U3A players new to the group will pay no extra fee for the term but returning U3A players will be required to pay $4 a week green fee to the bowls club. U3A players who are also EBC Club members will pay no extra fee.

When: Fridays, 10.30am-noon; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Bowling Club
Leader: Ros Camera

Slow and Steady Walking Group (ACT06a)

Are you happy moving at a slow and steady pace? This group is best suited for those getting into (or back into) walking trails, those with some limitations that don’t allow them to go full throttle or those who just prefer to take it slow and steady and enjoy the scenery. BYO chair and morning tea.

When: Fridays, 10-11.30am; 1 hour walking followed by BYO morning tea and chat; starting 10th February
Where: various walking tracks, gentle gradient and mostly sealed
Leaders: Suzanne Teese, Aileen Jones, Suzanne McNally

Gentle Walking Group (ACT07a)

This group is for anyone interested in joining a group of slower walkers who can enjoy the outdoors in the safety and security of others. Walks will take place in a variety of places on flat, well-made tracks away from the sound of traffic and will be around an hour duration, followed by coffee and chat, either BYO or at a nearby café. Various locations between Hurstbridge and Westerfolds Park.

When: Mondays, 9.30-11am
Where: various
Leader: Pam Griffith, Val Wilkie

Walking Group, Local (ACT08a)

A great way to start the week. You are invited to join our friendly walking group on Monday mornings. Get to know our district, discover some new areas and work at our fitness at the same time. Walks usually last for an hour to 90 minutes, followed by a visit to a nearby café. Any suggestions for new walks are welcome.

When: Mondays, 9.30-11.30am
Where: various
Leader: Kay Bichard, Graham Clarke, Karen Coulson, Sue Bowles and Gillian Essex

2. Art and Craft (ART)Back to top
Acquiring Art Skills (ART01a)

This is the continuation of our previous art class titled Painting and Drawing, and will initially be led by tutor Brenda Smith. It will appeal to those who wish to learn the basics of pencil and fineliner drawing, painting in a range of mediums such as watercolour, acrylics and oil. Guest tutors will provide focussed sessions – Dennis Smedley on perspective, Judy Vizzari on life drawing, Leanne Ipsen on acrylic painting, Colleen Hall on oil painting and Rachel Brak will offer occasional guided visits to Heidi Gallery of Modern Art.

When: Thursdays, 11am-1pm; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Brenda Smith, Leanne Ipsen, Joan Dennison

Applying Art Skills (ART02a)

This is a class for those who have been part of our Painting and Drawing Group previously and plus those with some art experience who wish to sketch and paint with the company and inspiration of others but without specific tuition. There will be occasional sessions organised in pen and ink, lino cuts and printing, en plein air painting sessions, visits to galleries such as sketching at the National Gallery or visiting local galleries including TarraWarra.

When: Thursdays, 2-4pm; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Leanne Ipsen

Art (ART03a)

This class is practical drawing, painting and collage are backed by a general introduction to all aspects of art appreciation, and complemented by occasional visits to galleries, film and theatre.

When: Wednesdays, 1.30-3.30pm; starting 8th February
Where: Allwood House, Hurstbridge
Leader: Valerie Osborne, Lorraine Hussey

Craft, Conversation and Afternoon Tea (ART04a)

Do you have any unfinished projects? Would you like to create something new and make friends & contacts along the way? Go and join our friendly, social group whose members happily share ideas, skills, work on their own craft projects or begin something new with the support of others. Enjoy a chat and afternoon tea along the way.

When: Fridays, 1.30-3.30pm; starting 10th February
Where: Hurstbridge Bowling Club
Leader: Cheryl Winstanley, Karen Redrup

A Beginners Class in Patchwork (ART08a)

This class is held in conjunction with North of The Yarra Quilters.

Learn the basic building blocks of patchwork and create your own heirloom master piece!  9 Patch, Post and Rail, Log Cabin and Hexagons – all will be revealed. This class is hands on and, upon completion, you will have created a lap quilt, table runner, place mat or bag – the choice is yours.

The ladies of NOTYQ will be there to assist and encourage you as you experience the joy of patchworking. The class size will be limited to 10 people. Participants will need to bring their own materials and sewing machine (or sew by hand). View/download a full list of the class requirements.

When: Thursdays, 10.30am-noon; starting 4th May
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens
Leader: Dianne Bannister

Pot Painting (ART06a)

Pot painting can be more than hobby to keep your mind off stress and it can also be an excellent way to add colour and creativity to your home. Traditional pot painting can be done at a professional level or just for fun. All you need to do is grab a paintbrush and create your favourite designs on flowerpots in your home garden or patio. We will supply not only the paint, pots, and craft supplies but the essentials to create your own pot design. You get to take home your own designed pot ready to put a plant in.   All materials will be supplied.

Maximum of 30 participants but will repeat this class if there is more interest.

When: Wednesdays, 10-11.30am; 6 sessions on May 3, 10, 24, 31, June 7 and 21 (no session on May 17 and June 14)
Where: Bunnings at Eltham
Leader: Lisa Attrill

Using Power Tools (ART07a)

A Bunnings’ expert team member will run interactive workshops on all things involving power tools and garden power tools to give you all the information you need to get your D.I.Y. projects off to a good start.  All materials will be supplied.

Wed 10th May: Make your own serving board.
Wed 24th May: Make your own clothes hook.
Wed 31st May: Make your own black board.

Maximum of 30 participants but will repeat this class if there is more interest

When: Wednesdays, 1.30-3pm; 3 sessions only on 10th; 24th and 31st May
Where: Bunnings at Eltham
Leader: Lisa Attrill

Zentangles and Mandala (ART05a)

Zentangles – an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing repeated, structured contained patterns. Mandala – there are many definitions, but they are usually circular, colourful, detailed geometric patterns or designs. This class is an exciting, relaxing and addictive pastime which awakens the artist within you, even if you can’t draw. Before you know it, you are creating wonderful unique patterns like fine lacework or bold interpretations of your unique expression. The journey begins but has no end to possibility. This is a collaborative group with all members sharing experiences and learning.

Requirements: an un-lined notebook, black pens of various thickness, pencil, eraser, ruler and compass. Coloured pens and pencils are optional, but useful. More details to be given upon enrolment.

When: Tuesdays, 1-3pm; starting 7th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Gayle Considine, Roma O’Callaghan, Terry Spottiswood

3. Book Groups (BKG)Back to top
PagebyPage Book Group (BKG06a)

Read and discuss books in a friendly, relaxed space. You will read a new book each month, supplied by the Eltham library.

When: Mondays, 1-2.30pm; monthly on the 3rd Monday, including school holidays; starting 20th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Denise Ferguson

2nd Tuesday Book Group (BKG01a)

The Second Tuesday Book Group meets once a month, including during school holidays. Books are supplied by the library but there is an opportunity for discussion and/or reading of other books.

When: Tuesdays, 10.15am-12.15pm; monthly on the 2nd Tuesday; starting 14th February
Where: Private home
Leader: Susan Lloyd

Last Tuesday Book Club (BKG02a)

A different book will be read and discussed each month. The Eltham Library will provide the books.

When: Tuesdays, 2-3.30pm; monthly on the last Tuesday; starting 28th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: April Edwards

Last Wednesday Book Club (BKG03a)

A different book will be read and discussed each month. The Eltham Library will provide the books.

When: Wednesdays, 2-3.30pm; monthly on the last Wednesday; starting 22nd February
Where: Eltham Library
Leader: Wendy Haszler

3rd Thursday Book Group (BKG04a)

The Third Thursday Book Group will read and discuss a different book each month. The Eltham Library will provide the books. The course will run each month February to December, including school holidays.

When: Thursdays, 1.30-3pm; monthly on the 3rd Thursday; starting 16th February
Where: Shillinglaw Cottage
Leader: Laraine Hussey

Books @ Bridges (BKG05a)

Join them in the pleasant surrounds of Hurstbridge to have a coffee and chat about the book of the month. Books will be provided by the library via the Hurstbridge Hub. They are a friendly small group looking for new members.

When: Thursdays, 3-4.30pm; monthly on the 1st Thursday; starting 2nd February
Where: Bridges, Hurstbridge
Leader: Chris Raverty

4. Brain Activities (BAC)Back to top
Card Afternoon (BAC01a)

The aim of the class is to enjoy playing cards with pleasant company. Beginners, experienced but rusty, and regular players are all welcome. So far they have played 500, Solo, and Bolivia (a form of Canasta) but are also open to other suggestions.

When: Fridays, 1.30-3.30pm; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion terms 1 and 4; Lower Eltham Cricket Club terms 2 and 3.
Leader: Walter Delaney, Mike Rich

Cards at Panton Hill (BAC10a)

Have fun together socially while playing various card games and exercise your brain. They will cover a variety of card games, including canasta (+ bolivia), 500, bridge and skip bo and will also be open to other suggestions.

When: Mondays, 12.30-3pm; starting 6th February
Where: Panton Hill Tennis Club
Leader: Ankie Box, Maureen Meaney

Cryptic Crosswords (BAC02a)

In this course, participants will explore and practise the art of cryptic crosswords. For beginners, you will start with the basics, learning how to recognise and unravel the different types of clues and work towards being able to solve The Age puzzle. For those with a bit more experience who’d like to improve their skills, or for competent solvers who’d like to solve together with others, all levels of puzzles and solving assistance can be provided.

When: Mondays, 2.30-4pm; starting 7th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Margaret Deakes, Linda Grigg

Mahjong – Morning (BAC03a)

This group will provide a relaxed environment where participants can play the game with people of similar interest and ability. During Term 1, beginners will be welcomed to join the group and will be provided with guidance through (Western) rules and helped to become familiar with this style of Mahjong. During Terms 2, 3 and 4, this individual assistance will not be available.

When: Tuesdays, 10am-noon; starting 7th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Maree Papworth

Mahjong – Afternoon (BAC04a)

Join the fun and play Mahjong, a game that originated in China during the nineteenth century. It is a commonly played game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance. They use the book The Mahjong Player’s Companion by Thompson and Maloney for their rules. Any players with a knowledge of Mahjong are welcome. Those new to Mahjong should complete a full term of Morning (Beginners) Classes (see above) before being considered for the more advanced Afternoon Mahjong Group.

When: Tuesdays, 1-4pm; starting 7th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Lyn Frazer

Mind Games (BAC05a)

The group enjoys an extensive range of activities aimed to keep the mind alert. A stimulating assortment of board games, card games, quizzes and puzzles are undertaken in both small and full group activities and always with considerable social interaction.

When: Tuesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 7th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Centre
Leader: Maureen Meaney

Thinking Bridge (BAC06a)

This course designed for players who feel their play is not improving. You will look at more advanced plays and use of deduction and inference in ‘reading the cards’. A prerequisite for the course is that participants have played competitive duplicate.

When: Wednesdays, 11.15am-1.15pm; starting 8th February
Where: Diamond Creek Living and Learning Centre
Leader: Lucille Sadler

Trivia and Other Pursuits (BAC07a)

Ever thought of having fun and increasing your general knowledge at the same time? Trivia and Other Pursuits will afford you that opportunity! It’s all about having fun in an entertaining and non-judgmental setting. Possible (emphasis on possible) games may include: ‘who am I?’ ‘what am I?’, hangman, charades, Nillumbik trivia, ‘who wants to be a millionaire? Millionaire Hot Seat’, ‘who’s who in the movies’ and ‘who’s who in politics’. Members will be able to ‘work’ in teams as well as providing their own resources. Look, it’s all about a bit of fun with the spin-off of keeping our minds in mint condition.

When: Thursdays, 3-4.30pm; start 9th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Noel Butterfield

5. Discussion groups (DGP)Back to top
Discussion Group – Current Affairs (DGP01a)

We live in interesting times and are constantly confronted with issues and events which concern, disturb, infuriate or even amuse us. These issues and events can be both local or international, and can be complex and ongoing or over within the 24 hour news cycle. This course aims at informed discussion, with research and background to each topic usually prepared by the course leader, and presented using visual material taken from a variety of internet sources, before discussion. The group is also encouraged to suggest topics that they are either passionate about or wish to gain a greater understanding of.

When: Thursdays, 1.15-2.45pm; starting 9th February
Where: Allwood House, Hurstbridge
Leader: Brian McLean

Discussion Group – Current Affairs 2 (DGP02a)

This is a current affairs discussion group covering group discussion of events, issues, and people in the news. This subject matter will include issues of social, economic and the broad political sphere locally and internationally.

When: Wednesdays, 2-3.30pm; starting 8th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Alan Clayton, Mike Payne

Environmental Discussion Group – Monthly (DGP03a)

Life on our planet is in crisis due to the lifestyles of humans. In this discussion group, you will examine all the issues – from global warming, to species extinction, to overpopulation and more – impacting on our world, how we got there and what we can do to help restore the natural balance.

When: Wednesdays, 10-11.30am; monthly on the 4th Wednesday; starting 22nd February
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre
Leader: Margit Alm

First Nations Discussion Group (DGP04a)

This is a discussion based class that aims to deepen our understanding of the traditional cultures of First Nations people in Australia. We also explore contemporary issues relating to reconciliation. A mix of videos, guest speakers and contributions from class members is used. New members are welcome, with no previous knowledge required. The class will finish at 3.30pm after discussions and speakers; 4.30 on film days.

When: Mondays, 2-3.30 or 4.30pm; starting on 6th February
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre
Leader: Jan Aitken, Gillian Essex, Jan Mackenzie, Helen Bostock

Feel Good Flicks: First Tuesday Film Discussion Group (DGP08a)

This group meets to watch and discuss the movies that make them happy. There will be a focus on light hearted, bittersweet or musical films that may be from either the golden age of cinema or recent productions. You can then discuss what you have seen and plan for the next month as a group.

Occasional outings to the cinema may also be arranged which may be at times other than the usual meeting time.

When: Tuesdays, 4.30-6.30 or 7pm; monthly on the 1st Tuesday; starting 7th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Karen Redrup

Out of the Comfort Zone: Third Tuesday Film Discussion Group (DGP09a)

This group meets to watch and discuss films (which could be dramas or documentaries) that challenge your understanding of the world or introduce you to concepts or cultures that may be new to you. Some of these films may be provocative and an open mind and willingness to discuss issues respectfully and thoughtfully is a must.

Occasional outings to the cinema may also be arranged which may be at times other than the usual meeting time.

When: Tuesdays, 4.30-6.30 or 7pm; monthly on the 3rd Tuesday; starting 21st February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Karen Redrup

Guest Speakers (DGP06a)

A range of guest speakers will be invited to provide a presentation, followed by questions and coffee. You can enrol in the series and go every time or just register (via the office) and go when the topic is of particular interest to you. The topics will be announced to all members via the U3A newsletter.

When: Wednesdays, 9.30-11.30am; alternate weeks, starting 2nd week of each term
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Pam Griffith, Cath Bauman

Philosophy Now (DGP07a)

The course does not require any prior knowledge as discussion material will be provided. The format will be questions included in prior circulated notes on various topics. The course material will be taken principally from Philosophy Now and include a wide range of subjects and philosophers from the ancient Greeks to Machiavelli, Spinoza and those in modernity.

Consequently topics can cover a wide spectrum of discussions as to how we see ourselves, existentialism, living the good life and finding meaning in life. The format will be relaxed and friendly and on a fortnightly basis to ensure that there is plenty of time to read the material circulated beforehand and to facilitate discussions on the questions raised.

When: Thursdays, 3.30-5pm; starting fortnightly from 16th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Lindsay Byrnes

6. Food and Wine (FDW)Back to top
Dining Out (FDW01a)

Purpose: for any U3A members (family or friends) to gather together over a meal at a different local venue each month in the Diamond Creek, Eltham, Greensborough and Templestowe areas.

Cost: they try to find venues that will provide menus around $45-50 for two courses. Hopefully BYO.

When: Wednesdays, 7-8.30pm; monthly on the last Wednesday; starting 22nd February
Where: various
Leader: Madeleine Jackson, Keith Jackson

Luncheon Group (FDW02a)

They are a social group where members can get to know each other and enjoy conversation over lunch. In addition, they will explore a variety of eating venues during the year in outer Nillumbik.

When: Fridays, 12-2pm; monthly on the 2nd Friday; starting 10th February
Where: various
Leader: Val Sandeman, Carole Maher

Wine Appreciation – Introduction (FDW03b)

This course will be a happy/tasty/educational blend of art and science, a repeat of the introductory course run previously.

You will discuss different wine styles and how they are made. Back to basics, you will look at what you taste and smell in wine and what ‘balance’ means in quality wine. You will smell and taste basic wine components and educate your palate as you learn to appreciate the magic of wine composition. The great thing is that no one is ever wrong in what they say about wine – we each appreciate different facets – but one session will be spent on wine faults. Each week, you will share 4 bottles. Participants will be rostered, under Karen’s direction, to bring the wines.

Many people who take this class want to continue to more advanced wine studies. Karen’s two other continuing classes are full and unlikely to have places for newcomers so she encourages participants in this Intro class to subsequently form their own advanced classes for wine and food matching and winery visits. Karen is happy to advise.

When: Mondays, not running in term 2 but will return later in the year
Where: private residence, Yarrambat
Leader: Karen Coulston

All Things Wine & Food (FDW04a) – note prerequisite

You are what you eat, eat well. The title is deliberately vague. Do you know the difference between a Bordeaux and a Claret. You may explore why you prefer cold over hot smoked salmon. Where is the rat in ratatouille? The class will sometimes tour and taste at a Winery, on occasion having lunch at that Winery. Picnics in the wide open air may include a billabong or a place by a river. It is about food and wine and how it is made, mostly lunch but will also be occasionally a special dinner. You may be underground in a wine cellar or seated at your dining table for a more formal lunch. Food and wine matching will be a focus and Karen Coulston has agreed to offer her expertise. You will need to also have completed Karen’s Wine Appreciation – Introduction (TAS10/FDW03) as a requirement for this group.

When: Wednesdays 12-2pm; monthly on the 4th Wednesday; starting 25th January
Where: various
Leader: Dave Chambers

The Beer Group (FDW10a)

W.C. Fields said, “Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I will have another beer.

‘The Beer Group’ will learn about, and produce, beer of different types with an emphasis on the exotic. It may interest you to know that the cost of your brew will be typically in the range of less than $2 per 375ml bottle. And yes, they will recycle the bottles to save both money and the environment. It will be your call as to what you would like to brew this month or the next. Perhaps you prefer the dark lagers like Guinness, or just go for it and try all.

It will be fun, social butterfly or not, all will enjoy the lunches, the beer making and camaraderie. Numbers will be limited at the start of the venture so that the group can find its feet. When they say you will be making beer, it is more correct to say that they will facilitate a beer factory for this purpose. If you are already a beer maker, you are welcome to join them and see how others produce their liquid amber. The Beer Group will meet once a month at venues for beer making, lectures and or lunch and tastings.

When: Fridays noon-2pm; monthly on the 3rd Friday; starting 16th June
Where: various
Leader: Dave Chambers, Neil Parkin

The Grape Escape (FDW05a) – note prerequisite

Their aim is to continue to increase your knowledge of wine and winemaking. They will be planning to visit both boutique and larger wineries. Day trips using a community bus will allow them to include some of the regional wine areas. We also do have wine merchants in our local area who are happy to share their knowledge, so some tastings will be organised with them. A focus of the group is food pairing, which could include lunches, dinners, picnics, markets and a variety of restaurants. By visiting various wine production areas, you will be able to learn how the environment (soil, sun, rain and terrain) affects the grapes and the flavours and types of wine. You will need to also have completed Karen’s Wine Appreciation – Introduction (TAS10/FDW03) as a requirement for this group.

Life is too short to drink bad wine.

When: Fridays – time will vary depending on venue; monthly on the 3rd  Friday; starting 17th February
Where: various
Leader: Patricia Butcher, Cath Bauman

Wine and Food Lunch Group (FDW06a) – note prerequisite

This is an ongoing wine appreciation group which has evolved into wine and food matching around the lunch table. They plan their meals carefully with thought to the proposed theme. The table is usually fully booked but if you want to join the waiting list you are required to have attended Karen’s Wine Appreciation – Introduction (TAS10/FDW03) class previously.

When: Tuesdays, 12.30-2.30pm; monthly on the 3rd Tuesday; starting 21st February
Where: private residence, Yarrambat
Leader: Karen Coulston

Wine Tour Group (FDW07a) – note prerequisite

This is an ongoing wine appreciation group which has evolved into a winery tour group. They take the community bus to different wine regions, usually making a cultural or environmental visit before visiting two wineries for lunch and wine tastings. The bus is usually full but if you want to join the waiting list you are required to have attended Karen’s Wine Appreciation – Introduction (TAS10/FDW03) class previously.

When: Thursdays, starting 9am and for the full day; monthly on the 3rd Thursday; starting 16th February
Where: various
Leader: Karen Coulston

7. History (HST)Back to top
Family History Workshop (HST01a)

Would you like to find out how to start tracing your family history? Have you fallen victim to those ancestry ads on TV, got some information on your family tree but now come to a brick wall? Do you have a World War I soldier in the family and want to find out details of their service? Are there a collection of interesting family stories you’d like to find the truth about? Or would you just like to exchange ideas about researching your family history with other people who have the same ‘bug’? Or develop family history research skills? If so, come along and you can workshop through all of the above, learn how to get the best from online databases such as Ancestry and where to find free online family history resources.

When: Thursdays, 9.45-11.15am; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Jane Davies

Eyam – Plague Village and The Sinking & Raising of the ‘Mary Rose’ (HST04a and HST04b)

Eyam – Plague Village (4 weeks). In 1665, a bale of cloth sent from plague ridden London arrived in the small Derbyshire village of Eyam. In the bale of damp cloth were plague fleas. George Viccars, a tailor’s assistant, hung the cloth up to dry. He became the first of the 260 plague victims in the village; 1000s more in neighbouring settlements were saved by the Eyam villagers decision to bravely quarantine themselves.

The Sinking & Raising of the ‘Mary Rose’ (4 weeks). In 1545, while fighting French galleys in the English Channel, Henry VIII’s ship Mary Rose suddenly heeled over and rapidly sank. The crew was powerless and scrambled madly for the upper deck. Out of a crew of at least 400, fewer than 35 escaped. What happened? The wreck was raised in 1982, revealing the fascinating story of the crew.

Leader: Jane Davies

Note that this class will be repeated twice a week to allow more people to attend; please ensure that you enrol in the correct class on either Monday or Thursday and then attend that class.

When: Mondays, 10-11.30am; Term 2 only; starting 1st May
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Class code: HST04a


When: Thursdays, 11.30am-1pm; Term 2 only; starting 4th May
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Class code: HST04b

8. Languages (LAN)Back to top
French – Post Beginners (LAN19a)

This course will suit people who have studied French for 2 years at school. The aim will be to get students to a standard where they will be able, if on holiday in France, to understand simple spoken French and to be able to make themselves understood in shops, hotels, etc. The course will be done with the aid of a BBC studies book.

When: Wednesdays, 2-3.30pm; Note that the class does not begin until 1st March
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Damien L’Huillier

French – Café and Chat (LAN23a)

This is an opportunity to practice French conversation over a cup of coffee.

When: Thursdays, 9-10.30am; starting 9th February
Where: Allwood House, Hurstbridge
Leader: Eve Scopes

French – Intermediate Conversation Tuesday (LAN17a)

This course is for students who have completed some years of U3A French or are at that level wishing to strengthen their conversational use of the language.

When: Tuesdays, 2-3.30pm; starting 7th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Lucille Sadler

French – Intermediate Friday (LAN18a)

This class aims to increase your comprehension of French, both spoken and written. Each class will have a short grammar refresh followed by at least two other activities from the following: listening to native speakers, watching video clips, reading from many different sources (classic literature, modern novels, newspapers, magazines), French songs (ranging from opera to rap and everything in between), the occasional short dictation, and puzzles in French (crossword, trivia).

When: Fridays, 1-2.30pm; starting 10th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Lucille Sadler

Classical Greek(LAN22a)

This class is for anyone interested in learning to read Classical Greek, especially that of the first century. You will be gently introduced to the language and its grammar. Stories will be taken from the New Testament (no religion, no interpretation, just reading the texts), from Josephus and from the earlier Aesop, all stories most people may be familiar with. If you have never tried something new, now is the time.

When: Thursdays, noon-1pm; starting 9th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

Modern Greek – Post Beginners (LAN21a)

This class will introduce you to the Modern Greek language. Greece is said to be the birthplace of the Western Civilization. Many English words have Greek roots, for example, ego, which comes from the Greek word εγώ (meaning I), and biology from the Greek words βίος (meaning life) and λόγια (meaning words) -> βιολογία. You will learn to speak and read basic Greek in a fun environment — helpful if you plan to travel to Greece one day. Otherwise, just join for the pure pleasure of it.

When: Mondays, 11am-12.30pm; starting 6th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Jan Taylor

Italian for Absolute Beginners (LAN24a)

If you like the sound of Italian and would like to learn to say more than “ciao!”, go along and learn the basics in a friendly, informal group. They will focus on speaking, building vocabulary to enable conversation on some common topics.

When: Thursdays, noon-1.30pm; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Living and Learning – Training room
Leader: Lyn Comar

Spoken Italian (LAN28a)

This course will suit people who have either completed studying, or are still studying, Italian. You will be listening to native (Italian speakers), watching video clips, reading from many different sources, dictation and conversation between ourselves, and occasional guests.

When: Mondays, 12.00-1.30pm; starting 6th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Bill Naim, Judy Zapparoni, Terry Spottiswood

Italian (LAN11a)

This course will suit people who have studied or experienced some Italian at school or through friends. The aim is to allow students who, if on holidays in Italy, will reasonably understand and speak the language. This course uses the aid of “Italian made simple” by Cristina Mazzoni.

You many need to purchase some texts.

When: Fridays, 2.45-4.15pm; starting 10th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Bill Naim, Judy Zapparoni, Terry Spottiswood

Latin for Beginners (LAN15a)

Go and join other people who are re-living Latin. Explore Roman culture, and learn and enjoy the language. At least 10 participants are needed so that they can enjoy learning and exchanging Roman cultural ideas.

When: Thursdays, 10-11am; starting 9th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

Latin – Intermediate (LAN20a)

This is an introductory course for the many of our members who want to gain an understanding of the language that has been used down the centuries in our early educational and legal institutes. It will prepare students to join the more advanced Latin classes that John also offers.

When: Thursdays, 11am-noon; starting 9th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

Reading Latin Poetry (LAN26a)

You will focus on reading of some of Propertius’s poems and sections of  Aeneid Book IV. Some relevant grammar and brief translations into Latin will be included. At least two years of Latin study, including reasonable understanding of the main declensions, conjugations and syntax, will be required for this course.

When: Mondays, 2-3.30pm; starting 6th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Mary-Anne Anderson

Basic Spanish (LAN12a)

!Hola! Did you know that Spanish is the official language in 31 countries and approximately 567 million people speak Spanish as their first or native language, making it second only to Mandarin Chinese (and above English) in terms of its number of native speakers worldwide? In this course, you will learn a basic vocabulary and understand simple phrases – e.g. saying hello and goodbye, introducing yourself, telling the time, etc.

The recommended textbook for this course is Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary.

When: Tuesdays, 10am-noon; starting 7th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Vincent Schultz, Joe Barker

Spanish – Post beginners (LAN27a)

This class aims to increase your comprehension of Spanish. Each class will have a short grammar refresh followed by at least two other activities from the following: listening to native speakers, watching video clips, and reading from many different sources.

The course will use online systems that are designed to provide you with the ability to use and understand familiar Spanish expressions and phrases in order to satisfy simple daily needs. Grammatical themes will complement the acquired vocabulary and provide a framework for further verbal skills development.

It is not a conversational Spanish class.

When: Tuesdays, noon-1.30pm; starting 7th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Joe Barker

Spanish – Advanced Conversation (LAN05a)

!Hola amigos! Spanish is the official language in 22 countries and approximately 470 million people speak Spanish as a native language, making it second only to Mandarin Chinese (and above English) in terms of its number of native speakers worldwide. Are you planning a trip to Mexico, Spain or Machu Picchu in Peru? Join our class Spanish Intermediate, learn beyond the basics and language skills to enjoy even more your holiday and also become familiar with the rich and vibrant culture of Spain and Latin America.

The recommended textbook for this course is Easy Spanish Step-By-Step by B. Bregstein – McGraw-Hill.

When: Thursdays, 9-10.30am; starting 9th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Carlos Serrano

9. Literature (LIT)Back to top
Ancient Studies: Journeys (LIT32a)

Gilgamesh, Agamemnon (Aeschylus), The Aeneid (Virgil), Beowulf.

During the year we will read, in translation, these foundation literary works. As well as appreciating these texts as literature and myth, we will also explore their societies and civilisations.

When: Mondays at 11am-12.30pm; starting 6th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Carole Waldron

Collaborative Writers’ Workshop (LIT24a)

Are you looking for a class to improve your creative writing skills? This class does just that and in a relaxed and friendly environment. In each class, they will workshop submitted pieces and provide constructive directions and ideas for improvement. OK, they laugh a lot as well, and sometimes they cry, but that is also the point — they trust and respect each other. It doesn’t matter where you feel you are in the journey of writing, just beginning, experienced or somewhere in between, because you will find insights offered into style, structure, content and presentation. Did we mention that they laugh a lot?

When: Fridays, 9-11am; starting 10th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Susan Lloyd, April Edwards

Hurstbridge Creative Writing Group (LIT17a)

Being able to express yourself using written expression is a skill or gift that exposes you to a wonderful form of artistic expression. Releasing your inner writer allows you so many options. You can record family history for future generations, you can reveal inner feelings via a character within your story or simply create options using your world of imagination to paint stories with words. It is a skill as well, a skill that requires additional knowledge, such as the correct use of punctuation or grammar.

This is a collaborative and eclectic group of people each with their own skills and abilities which, when combined, create a safe learning, stimulating and supportive environment for all levels of writing ability and interests. Go along and join in the fun, laughter and sometime tears, you will be very welcome.

When: Fridays, 10am-noon; starting 11th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Centre
Leader: June Rushton, Eileen Goodall

U3A Writing Workshop (LIT35a)

This group aims to encourage and support your writing, whatever the genre. Group members work to develop skills, discuss technical issues, confront moments of writer’s block and, most of all, enjoy learning together and spending time in careful, respectful consideration of each other’s work. Being part of the group may help you become clearer about how, what and for whom you want to write. The leaders are there to help facilitate how the group functions (if needed) as well as being passionate about writing. Different sources will be drawn upon as needed to hone members’ writing skills.

When: Thursdays, 10am-noon; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Jan Taylor, Lynne Geary

Poetry Through the Ages (LIT21a)

If you have ever wanted to enjoy the rich and diverse world that is poetry or even write your own poetry then this could be the class for you. Noel has run this class for Darebin U3A for the past eight years and his students refer to it as their ‘therapy session’ for good reason. The class will read a poem and then go where the whim takes them. Emphasis is invariably on where the work leads – anecdotes from the past, present and future are triggered by the works. The atmosphere is accepting and congenial. The time really does fly or, as Andrew Marvell would say, “at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”.

Though poems may not be studied in chronological order, a lot of ground is covered: Keats, Hardy, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Auden and the Australian poets – Owen, Slessor, Wright, Murray, Paterson, Lawson etc.

Class members are encouraged to do ‘presentations’ or talk about a liked poem and it’s context. These are often some of the most memorable sessions – no coercion, no expectations.

When: Wednesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 8th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Noel Butterfield, Susan Lloyd

Shakespeare Rocks (LIT16a)

Shakespeare is simply the greatest poet and dramatist of all time. His truths are universal and resonates with the many themes that seek to explore insights into the human condition. He is as relevant today as he was in the C16 and C17. John Bell says it best – “We must not allow Shakespeare to become simply a lovely antique.” You will read and discuss from a diverse range of works – the ‘tragedies’, the ‘comedies’ and the sonnets [he published in excess of 55 sonnets]. Some people may feel daunted by reading Shakespeare – don’t be -the classes will be transparent and accessible to all. The course is sometimes enhanced by relevant DVD’s and theatre outings.

The format will be -discussion, the play readings as the main focus, enjoyable, meaningful dialogue that seeks to place Shakespeare’s relevance in our contemporary social settings. Surely Macbeth’s vaulting ambition strikes a chord with the leadership coups that seem to characterise the behaviour of major political parties in Australia.

When: Wednesdays, noon-1.30pm; starting 8th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Noel Butterfield, John Robertson

Shakespeare on Zoom (LIT34a)

Do you love Shakespeare and wish you could get more of it? Or perhaps all you know about Shakespeare is something you did at school? Whatever your level, this is a class for anyone interested in Shakespeare.  Shakespeare is best known for his plays but he was also very much a poet and no study of Shakespeare is complete without an appreciation of his sonnets.

This class is conducted over Zoom. Not sure about Zoom? Don’t worry – we’ll soon get you up to speed.  People like Zoom for various reasons: problems of mobility, transport, distance, health issues while some just like the comfort of their own homes.

Our exploration and enjoyment is very much centred on the plays, Tragedies, Comedies and Histories in turn, interlaced with the sonnets. In 2023 we’re planning to cover Henry IV part 1, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard II.   We watch the play first then read it through.  Only by reading aloud can you fully appreciate the beauty and power of Shakespeare’s language. We discuss the themes and context of the plays and their relevance in the modern world.

Through the use of videos, we hear from experts and learn the wider picture: about Shakespeare himself, the Globe theatre, how the plays were originally pronounced, and other interesting topics.  So if you’re at all interested, give it a go!  Your life will be richer for it!

When: Tuesdays, 2-4pm; starting 7th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Chris Livingstone

10. Music (MUS)Back to top
Choir / Singing group (MUS06a)

The group welcomes anyone who loves singing, or is a musician, who can hold a tune given some practice. Their repertoire will be a mixed genre of popular songs and some light classics dependent upon the input of the group. Over time, they plan to work up to some concerts/community singalongs to provide entertainment with U3A social events. It should be a lot of fun.

When: alternate Saturdays, 2-3.30pm; stating 6 May (in term 2)
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: Lindsay Byrnes, Bill Naim

Diamond Valley Big Band (MUS05a)

This is a rehearsal band in the traditional 17-piece (+vocalists) format, playing swing era jazz classics. They play for personal improvement and enjoyment of this style of music. The band provides around 4 events per year for extended participation by other members of U3A and/or the public. Musicians joining this group will need to supply their own instruments and have the right level of experience. Entry is by interview and acceptance is limited to filling vacancies in traditional ‘seats’ in the Big Band configuration for each section – rhythm, saxes, trumpets and trombones.

When: Tuesdays, 8-10pm; starting 7th February
Where: Montmorency Community Church
Leader: Tony Lee, Rod Savage, Neville Shade

Jazz Appreciation (MUS01a)

Starting with the premise that there is no such thing as ‘our kind of jazz’, they are wide open to research any music and musicians whom you enjoy and bring to their attention. They will include information about festivals and gigs around Melbourne, coordinate trips to jazz events, bring in band leaders and musicians as guest speakers and develop contacts as they find them, notably the Australian Jazz Museum, the Jazz Improvisation Workshops and Jazz Clubs and venues.

They also include as ‘practical classes’ within our syllabus, monthly live jazz events, that they conduct in partnership with the Eltham Bowling Club, for the benefit and enjoyment of jazz lovers in the Nillumbik Community. They also maintain a liaison with music teachers in the secondary schools in the community to assist in fostering students within their schools’ music programmes, who have an interest in, or a flair for, music improvisation, i.e. the jazz musicians of the future.

Expect the unexpected, while you mingle and mix – around some quality reds!

When: Mondays, 4.15-6.15pm; starting 6th February
Where: Old Eltham Courthouse
Leader: John Crichton

Recorder Group (MUS03a)

The recorder group has been running for a number of years now and is one of the longest running groups in the Nillumbik U3A. The music that they play is varied with an emphasis on classical recorder works, generally in three or four part harmony. New members are most welcome and, although wide experience is not necessary, an ability to read music and keep time is required. The ability to play more than one type of recorder, for example, alto and tenor, or tenor and descant, would also be a great advantage – and they are always on the lookout for bass players!A small outlay for sheet music may be required.

When: Mondays, 12-1.30pm; starting 6th February
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Club
Leader: June Downs, Gillian Essex

Tuning into Opera (MUS04a)

This course celebrates, explores, critiques and just simply enjoys operas – lots of operas, from a wide range of periods, styles, composers and performances. Like opera, it is highly varied, as are our levels of knowledge of the subject. No expertise required!

Each session combines discussion and debate with segments played to illustrate the productions, performances and staging. Sometimes, we play whole operas over two weeks’ sessions. A session might concentrate on one opera, or on a theme across several, or compare different productions of classic pieces or performances of the great roles. A term may focus on operas by a particular composer, on a historical period, or on the way a subject is differently handled in operas. (In first term 2023 our theme is ‘Opera and the Sea’: we’ll watch and discuss a wide range of operas where the sea is a character in the music and drama.)

This group meets on Zoom, with end of term gatherings in person when it’s safe. Every week there are introductory notes, with background readings and links for listening, posted to our online blog. Check out the blog posts for recent years: 2020 here, 2021 here and 2022 here.

When: Fridays, 11am-1pm; starting 10th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Lyn Richards, Tom Richards

11. Science and Technology (SCT)Back to top
Computer and Technology User Group (SCT01a)

Technology users, that’s all of us really. This forum will discuss all developments past, present and future in digital technology (and some analogue) for home, recreation, business, be it for serious use or just plain fun. Any computer, tablet or phone operating systems, software, hardware, networks, TV and audio-visual, security, video, cloud applications and storage. Go with your questions, suggestions, electronic toys, gadgets to share with others.

When: Mondays, 9.15-10.45am; starting 6th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Gerard Wood, Rob Rankin, Stuart Winstanley

12. Well-being (WLB)Back to top
Mindfulness, meditation and Qi Gong (WLB01a)

By learning to focus the mind, we become better able to observe our own thoughts and feelings. We become aware of how out of control and easily distracted our thoughts have become. In this class, you will explore ways to calm your mind and feelings so that you have more control over your reactions to life’s challenges.

During the class, you will do half an hour of Qi Gong exercises. Qi Gong is a series of gentle movements coordinated with the breath which are designed to manipulate the energy within the body, to promote self-healing, prevent disease, and increase longevity.

You will be guided through some meditations (no previous meditation experience needed), explore mindfulness techniques that you can use in your daily life to keep you in the present moment, and discuss a topic each week based on readings from Eckhart Tolle, Russ Harris, Rumi, Kristen Neff, Mark Coleman, Glennon Doyle and more.

When: Tuesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 7th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Deb Di Meo, Bruce Byrne

Tai Chi Practise Group – Wednesday (WLB02a)

Tai Chi is a flowing, elegant, non-aggressive form of Chinese martial art.

Participants in this class will enhance balance, fitness and well-being while they focus on Tai Chi movements and routines. Exercises are gentle, slow and continuous and a benefit is improved memory, breathing and fitness. This course is suitable for beginners and experienced participants and each person is encouraged to work within their own abilities to achieve internal calm and external strength. Some Shibashi routines will be incorporated into the program but Tai Chi will be our main focus.

When: Wednesdays, 9.30-10.30am; starting 3rd May
Where: Eltham Guide Hall, sessions will occur outdoors where practicable.
Leader: Judy Vizzari

Shibashi Practise Group – Thursday (WLB07a)

Shibashi exercises are gentle, flowing exercises which are deeply relaxing for people of any age.

Shibashi practice strengthens, enhances movement and encourages deep breathing and concentration. It is suitable for beginners and experienced participants alike and each person is encouraged to work within their own abilities to improve their internal/external strength. Although this course will focus on Shibashi, some simple Tai Chi routines will be incorporated into the program.

When: Thursdays, 9.30-10.30am; starting 4th May
Where: Eltham Guide Hall, sessions will occur outdoors where practicable
Leader: Judy Vizzari, Karen Redrup

Yoga (WLB04a)

This is yoga for everybody. The main course is breath-centred postures and mindfulness, promoting ease of movement and comfort in the body by mobilising stiff joints, relaxing tight muscles and revitalising from the inside out. The main course comes with a sprinkling of yoga philosophy. The dessert is relaxation. The class is friendly (with a cup of tea afterwards!) and takes place in a beautiful studio with breathtaking views. Amanda can modify any posture according to the individual, so the class is appropriate for experienced and beginners in yoga. You do not have to be strong or flexible to do yoga – all you need to be able to do is breathe!

When: Tuesdays, 10.30am-noon; starting 7th February
Where: private residence, Cottles Bridge
Leader: Amanda Owen

Connecting Breath – Body – Mind – Yoga (WLB06a)

This class is an opportunity to connect breath, body and mind using gentle slow movements. Participants are encouraged to work within their own limits and capabilities, guided through each pose/posture/asana with verbal instruction and demonstration to connect to their own experience of their body. The purpose of yoga is to prepare the body and mind to sit in meditation and to work in such a way that activates and moves all muscles and joints of the body. Each class will work through a flow of warm up, key postures/asanas, cool down and relaxation/meditation/savasana. Please take a yoga mat, blanket and any other props (such as blocks if you are currently in the habit of using them) to support your practice. Wear comfortable layers that you can move easily in. Prior to each practice, please inform the tutor of any issues that may impact your practice. Yoga practice may not be suitable for participants with untreated blood pressure issues or spinal disk injuries.

When: Tuesdays, 8.30-9.30am; starting 2nd May
Where: Eltham Pavilion
Leader: Louise Heathcote