Courses Descriptions A-Z – 2021

2nd Tuesday Book Group (LIT27a)

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. Tea and coffee is usually provided.

When: Tuesdays, 10.15am-12.15pm; monthly on the 2nd Tuesday; starting 9th February
Where: Private residence
Leader: Susan Lloyd

3rd Thursday Book Group (LIT26a)

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, 2-3.30pm; monthly on the 3rd Thursday; starting 18th February
Where: Eltham Library
Leader: Laraine Hussey

Ancient Studies – The Odyssey: Homer (LIT30a)

We will read and listen to Sir Ian McKellen reading the Robert Fagles Translation.  Other Translations will be relevant as each will reflect the changing Reception of The Odyssey.

  • We will look at the relationship between The Trojan War and Ulysses’ long journey Home.
  • We will look at the text -related geographical studies and related research.
  • We will revisit the Greek gods and use this context to further explore the relationship between Belief and human Societies.
  • We will explore the following themes:
    • The Individual and Society and the related concept of the Social Contract.
    • Home and Family.
    • Journey and discovery.
  • Throughout the year we will watch and listen to relevant audio and video materials.

When: Mondays, 11-12.30pm; starting 8th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Carole Waldron

Art (AMR02a)

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 10th February
Where: Allwood House, Hurstbridge
Leader: Valerie Osborne

Books @ Bridges (previously known as 1st Thursday Book Club) (LIT14a)

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 4th March
Where: Bridges, Hurstbridge
Leader: Chris Raverty

Card Afternoon (AMR47a)

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

When: Fridays, 1.30-3.30pm; starting 12th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Graeme Russell

Classical Greek(LAN22a)

This class is for anyone interested in learning to read Classical Greek, especially that of the first century. I will gently introduce them 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, 10-11; starting 11th February
Where: Eltham Living and Learning, Pavilion Room
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

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, we workshop submitted pieces and provide constructive directions and ideas for improvement. OK, we laugh a lot as well, and sometimes we cry, but that is also the point — we 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 I mention we laugh a lot?

When: Fridays, 9-11am; starting 12th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Susan Lloyd, April Edwards

Craft, Conversation and Afternoon Tea (AMR05a)

Do you have any unfinished projects? Would you like to create something new and make friends & contacts along the way? Come 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 12th February
Where: Hurstbridge Bowling Club
Leader: Cheryl Winstanley

Creative Writing (Hurstbridge) (LIT17a)

This course will focus on the nuts-and-bolts of writing, helping participants turn their good idea into a ripping yarn. Topics to be covered include choosing the right form for your idea, maintaining dramatic tension, creating vibrant description and more.

Rebecca Hayman has written several adult novels, one of which was short-listed for the Vogel Award in 2000. She has also won several awards for her children’s stories and most recently published a children’s first chapter book Orsom’s Good Idea in collaboration with her daughters. Rebecca’s most recent novel is The Fraught Ambitions of a Man. A (very) short version of the story won the local section of the Nillumbik-based Alan Marshall Short-story Award 2015.

When: Fridays, 10am-noon; starting 12th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Club
Leader: Rebecca Hayman

Cryptic Crosswords (AMR30a)

In this course, participants will explore and practise the art of cryptic crosswords. For beginners, we’ll 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 8th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Louise Currie

Dining Out (TAS07a)

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

Cost: we hope to find venues that will provide menus around $40-45 for two courses. Hopefully BYO.

When: Wednesdays, 7-8.30pm; monthly on the last Wednesday; starting 24th February
Where: various
Leader:  Madeleine Jackson, Keith Jackson

Discussion Group – Current Affairs (SOC01a)

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. As the course aims at informed discussion, research and background to each topic is 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 11th February
Where: Bridges, Hurstbridge
Leader: Brian McLean

Discussion Group – Current Affairs 2 (SOC11a)

Current affairs discussion group covering group discussion of events, issues, and people in the news. This could include issues of social, economic and the broad political sphere locally and internationally.

When: Wednesdays, 2-3.30pm; starting 10th March
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Alan Clayton

The Egyptian 18th Dynasty (5 weeks) and The Medici – Masters of Florence (4 weeks)
(Monday HGT58a and Thursday HGT58b)

The Egyptian 18th Dynasty (4 weeks): Egypt in the 18th dynasty became a world power, the empire expanded, there was unheard of prosperity and so much scandal! The royal mother/son clash of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III, the radical change in religious beliefs and neglect under Akhenaten, the mystery king Semenkhkare and the boy king Tutankhamun all happened as Egypt began to fall to pieces.

The Medici – Masters of Florence (4 weeks): The House of Medici, Italian banking family, were
a political dynasty, patrons of the arts, princes of the Renaissance and producers of four Popes & two queens of France. The Medici family were the wealthiest in Europe, patrons of, and on first name terms with, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Machiavelli and Galileo, to name a few. And, of course, there were a few ruthless characters amongst them.

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 either Monday or Thursday and then attend that class as numbers are still limited in all venues.

When: Mondays 10-11.30am; Term 3 only; starting 19th July
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Class code: HGT58a


When: Thursdays 11.30am-1pm; Term 3 only; starting 22nd July
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Class code: HGT58b

Environmental Discussion Group – Monthly (SCH34a)

Life on our planet is in crisis due to the lifestyles of humans. In this discussion group, we 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 24th February
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre
Leader: Margit Alm

Family History Workshop (HGT22a)

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 & 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 we 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 11th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Jane Davies

First Nations – Improving our Understanding (HGT55a)

The First Nations Course will continue into 2021. Each week is a standalone topic so it is not essential to have done previous courses.

In first term we will focus on current issues and topics which attract Aboriginal activism and concern. These matters always have their roots in the history of relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. We will therefore range back and forth from the deep past to the present and anywhere in between.  Initially we will cover “Australia Day”, Captain Cook and the Frontier Wars.

We intend to have a visit to a nearby site of interest each term and also hope to organise a longer distant visit in terms 2 and / or 3. We hope to have visiting Indigenous or experts presenting at some sessions. Class involvement will be encouraged. The course leader is Jan Aitken  with assistance from Janet Mackenzie, Gillian Essex and Hilary Bostock with Hilary Peake on leave.

When: Mondays, 3.00-4.30pm; starting 8th February
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre
Leader: Jan Aitken, Gillian Essex, Jan McKenzie, Helen Bostock

Fourth Monday film Discussion Group (AMR28a)

We may choose to see the film together or individually and will decide the next one at the discussion group. Suggestions are very welcome. Some months we may watch a film at the Hurstbridge Hub and have a discussion afterwards. Participants will be given plenty of notice each month about the upcoming film.

When: Mondays, 7-9.15pm; monthly on the 4th Monday; starting 22nd February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Pam Griffith

French Films (AMR27a)

An evening to enjoy the delights of French movies. There will be comedies, tragedies and love, of course, as only the French can do. All films are subtitled in English and you are welcome to bring your own beverages and canapes if you wish.

When: Mondays, 7-9pm; monthly on the 3rd Monday; starting 15th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Damien L’Huillier

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; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Living and Learning, Training Room
Leader: Damien L’Huillier

French – café and chat (LAN23a)

An opportunity to practice French conversation over a cup of coffee.

When: Thursdays, 9-10.30am; starting 11th February
Where: Bridges, Hurstbridge
Leader: Eve Scopes

French – Intermediate Conversation Wednesday (LAN17a)

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: Wednesdays, 2-3.30pm; starting 10th February
Where: Diamond Creek Living & Learning Centre
Leader: Lucille Sadler

French – Intermediate Friday (LAN18a)

This class aims to increase your comprehension of French, both spoken and written. Classes 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, puzzles in French (crossword, trivia).

When: Fridays, 1-2.30pm; starting 12th February
Where:  Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Lucille Sadler

French – Intermediate Monday (LAN02a)

French conversation intermediate through to formal French with grammar. Please read course details here.

When: Mondays, 12.45-2.15pm; starting 8th February
Where:  Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Steve Gilbert

French Rendez-Vous (LAN25a)

This will be a social afternoon for advanced discussion French in a relaxing ambiance.

When: Tuesdays, 1.30-3pm; monthly on the 1st Tuesday starting 3rd August
Where: Platform 3095 (cafe in Eltham train station car park)
Leader: Theresa Monardo

French – Upper Intermediate (LAN03a)

Bavarder, converser, lire avec grammaire. (chat, converse, read with French grammar).  It’s much easier to pick up a second language like French due to the similarity of words with English. (Refer to COGNATES)

This course in intended for those who have some prior experience and require to strengthen it. If you wish to speak fluently and comprehend French this is the course for you with the aid of “Schaum’s French Grammar”

When: Mondays, 2.30-4pm
Where:  via Zoom
Leader: Bill Naim

Gentle Walking Group (AMR57a)

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 an hour duration, followed by a visit to a nearby café. Various locations between Hurstbridge and Westerfolds Park.

When: Mondays, 9.30-11am; starting 8th February
Where: various
Leader: Pam Griffith

Golf Workshop for Beginners (AMR71a)

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 essentially is walking. So, if you want to play golf well, you need to start by learning some of the basics of golf. The following 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. Unless Covid-19 conditions change, it will not be possible to rent golf clubs from the Pro-Shop.

When: Wednesdays, 1-3pm; 6 sessions between 25th August and 20th October
Where: Yarrambat Golf Club
Leader: Abe Kelabora

Golf for Fun – 9 Holes (AMR50a)

Social golf for fun and fitness – 9 holes BYO golf clubs, Green Fees Apply at Yarrambat Golf.

When: Fridays, 9.30am-noon; starting 12th February
Where: Yarrambat Golf Club
Leader: Alan Clayton

Golf for Fun – 9 Holes (AMR50b)

Social golf for fun and fitness – 9 holes BYO golf clubs, Green Fees Apply at Yarrambat Golf.

When: Tuesdays, 9.30am-noon; starting 9th February
Where: Yarrambat Golf Club
Leader: Alan Clayton

History of the Universe (SCH35a)
  1. Contents, myths of creation and overview
  2. Modern theories of how the universe begun
  3. What is the universe made of?
  4. The telescopes and technology
  5. The Big Bang and hyper inflation
  6. First gas clouds, stars and black holes
  7. Life, death of stars and formation of black holes
  8. Expansion and future of the universe
  9. Review and summary

When: Wednesday 11am-12.30pm, term 3 only, starting 21 July
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader:  Bruno Zielke

Italian (LAN11a)

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

You many need to purchase some texts.

When: Fridays, 2.45-4.15pm; starting 12th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Bill Naim

Italian for Absolute Beginners (LAN24a)

This course is for Italian beginners who can progress to understanding and speaking the language to our next course titled ‘PARLI ITALIANO?’. You may need to purchase some texts.

When: Fridays, 1.00-2.30pm; starting 5th March
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Bill Naim

Japanese Language and Culture (LAN07a)

This course is for all members who have an interest in Japan or plan to visit the Land of the Rising Sun. Join Rob to begin speaking, reading and writing Japanese and learn about some of the fascinating aspects of Japanese society, culture, customs and history. Come and share his passion and accept the challenge of learning this intriguing language. Some familiarity with a computer is useful because Rob encourages Blended Learning whereby class activities and discussions are supported by web based activities.

When: Tuesdays, 1-2.30pm; starting 9th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Rob Rankin

Jazz Appreciation (AMR31a)

Starting with the premise that there is no such thing as ‘our kind of jazz’, we are wide open to research any music and musicians whom you enjoy and bring to our attention. We 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 we find them, notably the Australian Jazz Museum, the Jazz Improvisation Workshops and Jazz Clubs and venues.

We also include as ‘practical classes’ within our syllabus, monthly live jazz events, that we conduct in partnership with the Eltham Bowling Club, for the benefit and enjoyment of jazz lovers in the Nillumbik Community. We 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 we mingle and mix– around some quality reds!

When: Mondays, 4.15-6.15pm; starting 8th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: John Crichton

Last Tuesday Book Club (LIT06a)

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 23rd February
Where: Eltham Pavilion
Leader: April Edwards

Last Wednesday Book Club (LIT18a)

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 24th February
Where: Eltham Pavilion
Leader: Margaret Halford

Latin – Advanced (LAN09a)

John provides an introduction to the Latin of the classics and encourages understanding of Latin proverbs, legal and church Latin and the role of this ‘dead’ language in fashioning modern linguistics. ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ – a healthy mind in a healthy body – could almost be the U3A motto.

When: Thursdays, 1.15-2.30pm; starting 11th February
Where: Eltham Living and Learning, Pavilion Room
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

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, 12-1 pm; starting 29th April
Where: Eltham Living and Learning, Pavilion Room
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 class that John also offers.

When: Thursdays, 11am-12pm; starting 11th February
Where: Eltham Living and Learning, Pavilion Room
Leader: John Stuyfbergen

Life-changing Events in History (HGT25a)

A blend of information and discussion on independent topics from history and science. Some topics such as: Innovations That Have Changed the World, and Medical Discoveries and Breakthroughs, are presented each year. Otherwise we cycle through 3+ years of topics with new ones added each year. The first topic for 2021 is the saga of Switzerland.

When: Tuesdays, noon-1.30pm; starting 9th February
Where: Weekly emails sent by tutor
Leader: Andrew Leopold

Luncheon Group (TAS14a)

We plan to be a social group where members can get to know each other and enjoy conversation over lunch.  In addition we will explore a variety of eating venues during the year in outer Nillumbik.

When: Fridays, 12-2pm; monthly on the 4th Friday; starting 26th February
Where: Over time we plan to visit a variety of cafes/restaurants but will start with the Post Office Cafe, 794 Main Rd, Hurstbridge
Leader: Val Sandeman, Carole Maher

Mahjong – Afternoon (AMR11a)

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. We use the book The Mahjong Player’s Companion by Thompson and Maloney for our rules. Players with a knowledge of Mahjong are welcome.  Those new to Mahjong would be required to complete a full term of Morning (Beginners) Classes (see below) before being considered for the Afternoon Advanced Mahjong Group.

When: Tuesdays, 1-4pm; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Lyn Frazer

Mahjong – Morning (AMR66a)

The Tuesday Morning Mahjong group will provide a very relaxed environment where participants can play the game with people of similar interest and ability. During term 1 2021 beginners will be welcomed to join the group. They 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-11.30; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Maree Papworth

Mindfulness, meditation and Qi Gong (AMR74a)

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.  We will explore ways to calm our minds and feelings so that we have more control over our reactions to life’s challenges.

During the class we 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, Brené Brown, Thich Nhat Hanh, Glennon Doyle, Pema Chodron, and more.

When: Tuesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 27th April
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Deb Di Meo and  Bruce Byrne

Mind Games (AMR13a)

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 9th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Club
Leader: Maureen Meaney

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 come for the pure pleasure of it.

When: Wednesdays, 9 – 10.30am; starting 10th February. Moving to Monday 11-12.30 from 8th March.
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Jan Taylor

Music Tutti (AMR06a)

It’s seriously fun. Join us for a musical journey through the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Post Romantic, and 20th Century periods of music history. The instruction and participation embraces specific periods and individual composers, their life stories and trials. Occasional visiting artists and guest presenters are featured, all under the baton of a seasoned professional tutor. Be entertained, informed and enjoy the music.

When: Thursdays, 10.45am-12.15pm; starting 11th February
Where: Bridges, Hurstbridge
Leader: Maree Krohn, Robert Scopes

Painting and Drawing (AMR18a)

With the help of an established artist participants will learn and develop their skills in painting and drawing using a range of mediums

When: Thursdays, 1.30-3.30pm; starting 11th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Leanne Ipsen

Philosophy Now (PAP11a)

In researching the background material to present, Lindsay will attempt to bring to life, in a conversational coffeeshop philosophical way, the discussions and narrative life questions that we all ponder, but for which we don’t necessarily have the definitive answers. A useful reference is the influential New Philosophy and Philosophy Now publications.

Discussions will vary with input from those attending but can cover such diverse topics as Persisting NOW, Free will and determinism, G.E. Moore’s ethics, satori and the values of generosity and hope.

When: Thursdays, 3-4.30pm; term 3 only, starting 22 July
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Lindsay Byrnes

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, 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 you. 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 some of the most memorable sessions – no coercion, no expectations.

When: Wednesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Noel Butterfield, Susan Lloyd

Recorder Group (AMR08a)

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 we 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 we are always on the lookout for bass players!

A small outlay for sheet music may be required.

When: Mondays, 1-3pm; re-starting 26th April (i.e. Term 2)
Where: Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre
Leader: June Downs

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. Shakespeare 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 “. I have taught English and English Literature for 35 years and thus feel highly qualified to embark on this voyage. We 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 – I vow to make our classes transparent and accessible to all. The course can be 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 characterise the behaviour of major political parties in Australia.

When: Wednesdays, noon-1.30pm; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Noel Butterfield, John Robertson

Social Tennis (AMR62a)

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

When: Thursdays, 9.15-11.15am; starting 11th February
Where: Wattle Glen Tennis Centre
Leader: Ankie Box, Pam Griffith

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, 10-11.30am; starting 11th February
Where: via Zoom
Leader: Renato Deschamps

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 our course Spanish for Beginners you will learn a basic vocabulary and understand simple phrases – i.e. Saying hello and goodbye, introducing yourself, telling the time, etc.

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

When: Tuesdays, 10-11.30am; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Vincent Schultz

Table Tennis (AMR37a)

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

When: Wednesdays, 1.30-3pm; starting 10th February
Where: Diamond Creek Community Centre
Leader: Tony Lee

Tai Chi Practise Group  1 – Beginners (AMR68a)

Tai Chi Practice Group – Part 1 Beginners, is suited to people who want to start learning and practicing the first part of the Tai Chi forms for arthritis. The Tai Chi forms are gentle, slow, smooth and continuous movements aimed to aid the internal and external strength and balance.

When: Thursdays, 11-12; starting 18 March
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Judy Vizzari, Sue Brenkovich, Karen Redrup

Tai Chi Practise Group 2 – Advanced (AMR69a)

Tai Chi Practice Group – Part 2, is for people who are familiar with Tai Chi Part 1 and who want to continue practicing and learn Part 2 of Tai Chi and Shibashi-Louhan Qi Gong forms.  Continuous learning and practice of new forms can have a positive effect on the body and mind balance and be an aid for our overall wellbeing.

When: Thursdays, 12-1pm; starting 18th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader:  Judy Vizzari, Sue Brenkovich.

Technology User Group (CSC22a)

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. Come with your questions, suggestions, electronic toys, gadgets to share with others

When: Mondays, 9.15-10.45am; starting 8th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Gerard Wood, Rob Rankin, Stuart Winstanley

Thinking Bridge – note prerequisite (AMR59a)

Course designed for players who feel their play is not improving. We will look at more advanced plays and use of deduction and inference in “reading the cards”. A prerequisite for the course is that participants play competitive duplicate.

When: Wednesdays, 11.15am-1.15pm; starting 10th February
Where: Diamond Creek Living & Learning Centre
Leader: Lucille Sadler

Trivia and Other Pursuits (AMR77a)

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, 9-10.30am; starting 29th April
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Noel Butterfield

Try Lawn Bowls (AMR60a)

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, 11am-12.30pm; starting 7th May (i.e. Term 2)
Where: Eltham Bowling Club
Leader: Ros Camera

Tuning in to Opera (AMR39a)

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’s highly varied, as are our levels of knowledge of the subject. No expertise required! Each session combines discussion and debate with reflection on all the aspects of an opera – drama, music, acting, sets and costuming, movement and dance, productions and theatrical staging.

Where possible we draw on operas available online, or sampled from DVDs.   Sometimes, we concentrate on one performance, sometimes on a theme across operas. A session might focus for example on opera sources, historical periods or styles or on particular composers.  Or we could compare different productions of the classic pieces and performances of the great roles.

Readings and links for listening are provided weekly before each session in a new post to our online blog.  Visit it here  to see how our sessions unfold. The first three years of the course are still available at our 2016-8 website.  We finish each term with a full opera indulgence, watching a whole opera and feasting on the music and a shared lunch.

When: Fridays, 11.15am-12.45pm; starting 12th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Lyn Richards, Tom Richards

Walking Group, Local (AMR14a)

A great way to start the week. You are invited to join our friendly walking group on Monday mornings. It is a wonderful opportunity to 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; starting 8th February
Where: various
Leader: Kay Bichard, Graham Clarke, Karen Coulson, Sue Bowles and Gillian Essex

Wine and Food Lunch Group – note prerequisite (TAS12a)

This is an ongoing wine appreciation group which has evolved into wine and food matching around the lunch table. We plan our 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 (TAS10a) class previously.

When: Tuesdays, 12.30-2.30pm; monthly on the 3rd Tuesday; starting 18th February
Where: private residence, Yarrambat
Leader: Karen Coulston

Wine Tour Group – note prerequisite (TAS06a)

This is an ongoing wine appreciation group which has evolved into a winery tour group. We 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 (TAS10a) class previously.

When: Thursdays, starting 9am and for the full day; monthly on the 3rd Thursday; starting 18th February
Where: various
Leader: Karen Coulston

Yoga (AMR53a)

Yoga for everybody. The main course served 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 9th February
Where: private residence, Cottles Bridge
Leader: Amanda Owen

Yoga for Fitness (AMR72a)

Fit or unfit, yogi or a beginner, this is a class for all of you who are keen to learn yoga and do something good for your body.

Every class will be a combination of meditation, breathing exercises and various yogic stretches. Slowly the class will move toward practicing asanas.

Come out, practice yoga in a group and feel the high collective energy. Bring your Yoga mat.

When: Wednesdays, 8.45-9.45am; starting 10th February
Where: Eltham Central Pavilion
Leader: Vasundhara Kandpal

Zentangles and Mandala (AMR55a)

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 unlined notebook, pens of various thickness, pencil, eraser, ruler and compass. Details to given upon enrolment.

When: Tuesdays, 1-2.30pm; starting 9th February
Where: Eltham Guide Hall
Leader: Gayle Considine, Roma O’Callaghan