Northern Beaches

Welcome to Northern Beaches Region

Previously known as Guringai country, the land of the Garigal or Caregal people, the Northern Beaches area stretches from Palm Beach to Manly. It is home to Manly Sea Eagles, Garigal and Kuring-Gai Chase National Parks, enviable beaches and a relaxed, carefree lifestyle.

Please check the Newsletters link on the sidebar to view the latest information on upcoming courses, events and any changes to the program.

You may be interested to see details of our usual fantastic range of courses (pre-COVID-19) in the 2020 Semester 1 Course Book (January to June).

If you’ve ever wondered or would like more details on how Sydney U3A operates, you will be interested to read the attached article by our President, Rosemary McCulloch.

Since 2010 Sydney U3A has been a member of the wider NSW U3A Network, an organisation of autonomous U3A groups in NSW and the ACT and several groups from interstate. All groups support the general aims and directions of providing life-long learning opportunities for their members in their ‘third age’ using the skills their members gained during their ‘second age’. A conference for all member groups is held annually, usually at the end of April/beginning of May with many interesting topics and guest speakers.  More information and the latest newsletter is available on their website.


Re the COVID-19 Virus (Novel Coronavirus)

The good news is:

As you’re aware, the COVID-19 restrictions are slowly easing and some of the Northern Beaches Council venues are now open to U3A activities. We will need to comply with certain restrictions and with limited numbers dependent on the four square metre regulations and up to date guidelines can be accessed here.

A number of face to face presentations/talks will be starting from Friday 31 July and the details can be found here.

Online ZOOM presentations are still very popular and will be continuing on a fortnightly basis until later in the year.  Details of these presentations/talks can be found here.

In view of the continued uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions there will be no Semester 2 Course Book this year.  As courses open they will be recorded here and the monthly schedule will be noted on each newsletter.


November is Jacaranda Time!

Would you be interested in touring Sydney Harbour on a Sunday afternoon to view these spectacular trees in bloom and hear commentary by gardening expert Graham Ross? We are arranging a trip on Sunday 8th November, and full details can be found on Page 2 of the July newsletter.


2020 Award of Honorary Life Membership

Congratulations to our President, Rosemary McCulloch, on being awarded Honorary Life Membership of Sydney U3A.

Rosemary began her U3A ‘career’ in the UK by running a local group in Stamford, Lincolnshire. After moving to Sydney she took on the role of President of the Northern Beaches region and has undertaken this role in two tranches, initially from 2010-2013 and currently from 2017. As well as being venue co-ordinator for the Narrabeen Tramshed and Lionel Watts Community Centre in Frenchs Forest Rosemary is also a leader/presenter of Tuesdays at the Tramshed, Fridays in the Forest, Music to Remember and Opera and Ballet on Sundays. Rosemary is also a regular presenter at various U3A groups across Sydney.

Rosemary’s enthusiasm for Northern Beaches U3A is infectious and the increase in members from 770 in 2009 until the present day membership of 1600 is a credit to her. She is a very worthy recipient of this award as a thank you for her dedication and long years of service to date …. and let us hope there are many more years to come.


Showcase 2020

Another successful Showcase highlighting the courses available in the Semester 1 2020 Course Book.
Members were treated to a performance by the Acoustic Guitar Group which was well received.

A big thank you to all those members who helped make the morning run smoothly. A selection of photos from the event can be viewed here.


Vietnam/Cambodia Tour

A fabulous trip by a group of our adventurous members.

From the bustling, chaotic, steamy atmosphere of Hanoi to the cool, French built hill stations of Sapa and Dalat, this beautiful country grabs you by the hand and pulls you along with it.

More photos and narrative can be viewed here


‘The Ages of Rock”

What an uplifting way to spend a winter’s afternoon – listening and singing along to the rock ‘n’ roll songs from our life. Memories of great songs by Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard, The Beatles, The Shadows, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Gerry Rafferty (amongst others) as well as the more recent sounds of The Traveling Wilburys, Alison Krauss and REM had the audience singing, tapping their feet and dancing the afternoon away.
The photo above shows some of the orchestra led by Harvey Broadbent and the backing singers, the Hirollers, singing a medley of Buddy Holly songs.
Full details of session days/times can be found on page 47 of the course book.
If you are interested in joining the orchestra, please contact Harvey
by email or on 0414 486 675.


2019 Award of Honorary Life Membership

Barbara Boston (Sydney U3A President) with Ian Thompson

At the Sydney U3A AGM on 20 March Ian Thompson’s commitment to both Sydney and Northern Beaches U3A was recognised with the well deserved award of Honorary Life Membership. Introduced by NB President, Rosemary McCulloch, Ian’s dedication to U3A was highlighted – his years as an active committee member, the long standing, ongoing science course at Warriewood, the many talks travelling over the Sydney region (particularly the most popular, about cockroaches of all things) and his many years editing the U3A Sydney course book.  Ian’s dedication to U3A is much appreciated and we hope he continues for many years in the future.

Barbara Boston introducing Sydney U3A members who received Honorary Life Membership. From left to right: Stanley Yan (Greater West Region); Kathrine Vern Barnett (Harbourside North); Ian Thompson (Northern Beaches); Ebba van de Helder (Upper North); Beverley Peken (nominated by the Board of Management)

AGM and 30 Year Anniversary Celebratory Lunch

The Annual General Meeting and 30th Anniversary Celebratory Lunch were held on Wednesday 13 March 2019 at the Long Reef Golf Club.  As usual the Club came up trumps with a wonderful meal and excellent service.

President Rosemary McCulloch welcomed close to 100 members with a special welcome to Barbara Boston, the current Sydney U3A President, and Ruth Buchanan, immediate Past President of the Northern Beaches region.  In her address the President noted the many new initiatives over the last year with the introduction of the Strolling Group, Opera and Lunch on alternate Sundays, a Craft Group, the appointment of a Welfare Officer and the Third Age Rock Orchestra to name a few.  With the exception of Mike Williams, Publicity Officer, the committee was re-elected for the 2019 year and Ruth Buchanan noted her thanks for their sterling work during the past year.

The special guest speaker was Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace, Commander of the State Crime Command Criminal Groups Squad, NSW Police Force, whose humorous talk was very much enjoyed by all.

Special thanks must be given to Gaye Pringle for her excellent organisation of the event.

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Sausage Sizzle – 10 January 2019

Photos from the Sausage Sizzle held at Stony Range Reserve. A big thank you to David Tuckerman and helpers for managing the BBQ and to Jill Barrett for taking these photos.

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Oh what a night!

The opening words of the Frankie Valli song certainly rang true on the evening of 12 September when Narrabeen Baptist Church came alive to the sounds of The 3rd Age Rock Orchestra’s first public performance, The Classic Rock of Ages Show.

3ARO was established by Harvey Broadbent approximately six months ago and has grown to about 30 amateur musicians and singers. The audience was thrilled to be taken back in time by listening, singing along and dancing to popular rock ‘n’ roll and rock ballad music from that era as well as more modern songs from the 1970s to the present day. The evening was a resounding success and the orchestra received a well deserved standing ovation at the end of their repertoire.

Interval refreshments were served by U3A committee members and volunteers and a collection during the evening resulted in $720 being donated to the Farmers Drought Assistance Fund.

3ARO meets at the Narrabeen Baptist Church each Wednesday afternoon (see page 43 of the current Course Book). All instrumentalists and singers are U3A members and amateur players at various stages of progress and levels on their instruments. The common thread is the joy, fun and stimulation of playing popular music together.


Award of Honorary Life Membership

At the 30th AGM of Sydney U3A held on 22 March 2018, Northern Beaches member Barbara Potts was recognised with the award of Honorary Life Membership. Introduced by NB President, Rosemary McCulloch, as one thoroughly deserving for her dedicated involvement since joining U3A in 2005, Barbara has held many committee roles. In her modest acceptance, Barbara said the award was for all of those who work for maintaining the high standard we have come to expect from U3A.

In photo (from left to right):  Runa Schmidt-Muller, Barbara Potts, Tricia Haines, Brenda Fuller and Ann Hardiman – Out of shot: Ian Thompson, Rosemary McCulloch and Ivy Edwards


Annual General Meeting
14 March 2018

This year’s AGM was held on Wednesday 14 March at the Narrabeen Baptist Church.

President Rosemary thanked the outgoing committee and assistants for their excellent work during the year. She emphasised they are the unsung heroes for all the work they do quietly in the background.  Course Leaders and Course
Secretaries rated special thanks as without them we would have no U3A.

The outgoing committee was thanked for it’s marvellous work over the previous year and the 2018/19 committee elected. A special welcome was extended to a new team member, Mike Williams.  We wish them well in their continuing work for Northern Beaches U3A.

Refreshments were served following the meeting and several members enjoyed the ‘Bollywood’ dance entertainment.