It is hoped that face to face meetings will be able to recommence from the first week of September. This is of course dependent on Health Department and Council recommendations and members will have to observe social distancing guidelines.


Here is a list of our upcoming talks and courses which will be presented online via ‘Zoom’ software and are now available for you to join. You will have to book into your chosen online talk by using the MyU3A booking system. You can book by logging on here => MyU3A. Some members may already be familiar with that booking system from a trial of it last year.

These are the currently available talks (more coming soon), You will have to book by the deadline before the time of each talk  – details below…


Pain and Pleasure
These two opposite sensations perceived by the brain, are mediated by several chemicals produced within us. We discuss these two phenomena comprehensively.
Wednesday 1st July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Monday 29th June
Speaker Punchi Dassanayake

The Convict System in Australia
Geoff will examine the background and system, operating from 1788 until 1868, that accounted for the transportation of 160,000 men, women and children.
Friday 3rd July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Wednesday 1st July
Speaker:  Geoff Davidson

The philosophy and poetry of Primo Levi
A selection of the poems of Primo Levi, Italian Jewish writer and poet, and a survivor of the Auschwitz extermination camps
Monday 6th July 10.30am – 12.30pm Last day for booking: Saturday 4th July
Speaker:  John Maneschi
The Halvorsen family
The Halvorsen family was typical of the immigrant families who came with very little and worked very hard to build a better life in Australia. However, they did more than that – they showed extraordinary commitment to boat building and excellent craftsmanship and boat design skills that made their boats desired by wealthy business people, commercial companies and key politicians. They demonstrated outstanding seamanship by designing, building and sailing their yachts with great success in all the classic ocean racing events and closed water racing. Many people have also enjoyed a holiday on a Halvorsen cruiser based at Bobbin Head.
Wednesday 8th July 10am – 11am Last day for booking: Monday 6th July
Speaker:  Noel Phelan

Stories of Quarantine
How topical for today’s situation!  By looking at the history and archaeology of Sydney’s North Head Quarantine Station, this talk explores the social history of modern Australia and developments in medicine and transport over the last 200 years. How did the new colony react to the hazard of infectious diseases and what other purposes was quarantine put to? What were the personal experiences of new arrivals isolated in a strange new place or returning citizens unable to complete their journey?
Friday 10th July 10am – 11am Last day for booking: Wednesday 8th July
Speaker:  Pam Forbes 

Evolution of the universe – from quarks to humans. 
Atoms, stars, planets and life are parts of the process which gave rise to us. The dramatic events shaping our universe are woven into a Big Picture. This talk traces the history of the universe, starting from the Big Bang. As the particle soup cooled, matter formed, and the cosmic background was frozen as we see it today. What elements are essential to life, and where did they come from? The sun and the earth condensed about 4.6 billion years ago, and life started almost immediately.
Monday 13th July 10.30am – 12.30pm Last day for booking: Saturday 11th July
Speaker:  Ian Bryce

Science and Society
Scientific ideas have not always sat comfortably within the society that spawned them.   We consider historic examples, leading to analysis of the Climate Change debate.
Tuesday 14th July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Sunday 12th July
Speaker:  Bill Dixon

Shock and Awe – Alexander and the Hellenistic World (4 sessions)
The dashing campaigns of Alexander the Great extended from the ancient shores of the Aegean to the Punjab. Focus will be on the historical and archaeological material that bear witness to his conquests and the remarkable kingdoms that arose in the East following his death.
Wednesday 15th July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Monday 13th July
Wednesday 22nd July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Monday 20th July
Wednesday 29th July 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Monday 27th July
Wednesday 5th August 10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Monday 3rd August
Speaker: John Tidmarsh

The shape of the Universe, its origins, and ultimate fate. 
Looking beyond the mechanics of our universe, the field of cosmology asks how it started, is it curved, has boundaries, is infinite, or will last forever. Following on from Evolution of the Universe, this talk examines the more mind-stretching properties of our world. Does it have boundaries, or go on forever? What does relativity tell us about curvature? Theories of origins and ultimate fate are explored. What do many-worlds and multi-verses mean? Tools such as space probes, the Large Hadron Collider, and gravitational wave detectors are described.
Monday 20th July   10.30am – 12.30pm Last day for booking: Saturday 18th July
Speaker:  Ian Bryce

Symmetry is a unifying mathematical concept which lies at the heart of many of the arts and sciences, including religious art, crystallography, biology, chemistry and physics.
Tuesday 21st July   10am – 12pm Last day for booking: Sunday 19th July
Speaker:  Laurie Wilson

The fundamental qualities of leadership
Follow Ernest Shackleton on the epic attempt to cross the Antarctic continent to reveal the fundamental qualities of leadership at the edge of experience.
Monday 27th July 10.30am – 12.30pm Last day for booking: Saturday 25th July
Speaker:  James Warn

And don’t forget – these talks in June 2020

Stages of America’s China policy since the Opium Wars (4 talks) Please note you need to make a separate booking for each talk.
America’s involvement in the Opium trade and its consequences. Theodore Roosevelt and Japan.
Wednesday 3rd June 10.00am (approx. 2 hrs) Last day for booking: Monday 1st June
Speaker:  Terry Farrell
The development of the “China Mirage” – Christian missionaries, the Soong family, Time magazine and the China Lobby.
Wednesday 10th June: 10.00am (approx. 2 hrs) Last day for booking: Monday 8th June
Speaker:  Terry Farrell
The struggle for the “Heavenly Mandate” – Sun Yat-Sen, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong. Opposing American views and interests.
Wednesday 17th June: 10.00am (approx. 2 hrs) Last day for booking: Monday 15th June
Speaker:  Terry Farrell
F.D. Roosevelt’s balancing act before, during and after World War ll. Korea and its consequences.
Wednesday 24th June: 10.00am (approx. 2 hrs) Last day for booking: Monday 22nd June
Speaker:  Terry Farrell

Napoleon and the Australian Connection.
An illustrated talk on the meteoric rises and falls in his career with some emphasis on his final years and their importance to, and connections with, Australia.
Friday 5th June 10.30am (approx. 1.5 hrs) Last day for booking: Wednesday 3rd June
Speaker:  Geoff Davidson

Breaker Morant
Breaker Morant: He is the best known ‘Australian’ who was involved in the Boer War following the successful Australian movie by the same name. The movie suggests that he was unreasonably found guilty of murdering Boer prisoners, resulting in a death sentence and execution. There is an on-going, low level campaign – still – to have him pardoned. However, academic historians are united in the view that he was rightfully convicted and deserves no pardon. I am of this view, too, and will, if this is of interest, present the controversy.
Monday 8th June 10:30am (approx. 1 hr) Last day for booking: Saturday 6th June
Speaker:  Robert Eales

George Bernard Shaw
Playwright, wit, socialist, feminist, cyclist, irresistible charmer, Shaw was a man of many parts. Some of his plays have particular relevance today.
Monday 15th June 10:30am (approx. 1.5 hrs) Last day for booking: Saturday 13thJune
Speaker:  Nora Hinchen

The DNA Revolution
The latest revolutionary advances in DNA research and gene editing and the many ethical issues that result from them.
Tuesday 16th June 10:30am (approx. 2 hrs) Last day for booking: Sunday 14th June
Speaker: Kevin Murray
The early explorers to Australia
An illustrated talk covering the search from earliest times until establishment and settlement of the Colonies.
Friday 19th June 10:00am (approx. 1.5 hrs) Last day for booking: Wednesday 17th June
Speaker:  Geoff Davidson

Signs and Symbols
Symbols are a universal language. Their use to portray a message, warning or information is an ancient method of expression, pre-dating alphabets and increasingly prevalent in today’s world.
Monday 22nd June 10:30 am (approx. 1.5 hrs) Last day for booking: Saturday 20thJune
Speaker: John Flint

 Any questions or problems you have about these talks, please contact Rosemarie Einstein by email at einstein@starmer.net.au and we will help.