Upper North

Welcome to U3A Upper North Region

The Upper North region covers mainly the Local Government areas of Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai. Courses are held in the suburbs of Berowra, Castle Hill, Epping, Eastwood, Gordon, Hornsby, Killara, Lindfield, Pennant Hills, Pymble, St Ives, Turramurra, Wahroonga, and Waitara.

Please view the Semester 1 2020 course book 

Upper North Newsletter

Upper North Newsletter March 2020 If you haven’t received the latest copy please check as it may have been captured in your junk email folder. We also take this opportunity to issue a friendly reminder to contact us with your updated details if you change your email address, contact: stuart@incontact.com.au




The Gully Road, balcony room. Short walk from station. Parking available.

Affairs of interest

A series of talks by specialists in their field.

Monday 9 March, 10:00-12:00

Small Europe, Monaco, San Marino, The Vatican, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Graham Spindler




Monday 23 March, 10:00-12:00

Abraham Lincoln, Rosemary McCulloch

Leader and bookings: Anne Lycett   j_alycett@optus.com.au



Current World

Monday 16 March, 10:00-12:00

Hazardous chemicals, Joan Scott

Leader and bookings: Joan Scott, djscott@tpg.com.au



95 Stanhope Road, village auditorium. Parking available, wheelchair accessible.

Historical and other interesting topics

Thursday 5 March, 10:00-12:00

Weather and the animal kingdom, Ian Thompson

Please note change of venue convenor and leader, Robin Wines, robinwines@me.com

Bookings not required



2 Ulmarra Place, Lindfield. Meetings held at the village centre. Parking available.

A series of interesting talks

Thursday 26 March, 10:00-12:00
How to care for your cells and chromosomes to minimise the effects of aging, Dr Judy Ford

Book through the office 9416 8466.


Cnr. Douglas Street and Mona Vale Road

Monday at St Ives

Monday 2 March, 10-12 noon

The Brontes of Haworth, Session 2, Cindy Broadbent

Monday 16 March, 10-12 noon

Plastic free living, Val de Rome

Leader and bookings: Joy Liddell, 9449 5193, jjliddell@bigpond.com


Science and technology: glimpses of our past, present and future




440 Bobbin Head Road, North Turramurra, Clubhouse. Parking available.

Topics of interest

Tuesday 10 March, 10:00-11:00

Poetry, Kathy Bradley

Tuesday 24 March, 10:00-11.00

Cracking the enigma code of WW11, Ross Clements

No bookings required

Convenor: Wendy Bull 9488 5268   thelandingsvilla@gmail.com


PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SPEAKER AT THE LANDINGS ON 23RD JUNE WILL BE GRAHAM SIMS. HIS LECTURE is ‘The fatal fire at Adams Hotel and the day the ferries broke free’



9 Oxford Street, Epping, meeting room, parking available, wheelchair access

More big moments in science

Wednesday 4 March, 10:00-12:00

Weapons of mass destruction 2, Das Punchi

Wednesday 18 March, 10:00-12:00

Hazardous domestic chemicals, Joan Scott

Leader and bookings: David Malone, 0418 440 828, dymalone@bigpond.net.au



Despite a severe storm which hit Sydney on the previous night, over 75 attended the Upper North Showcase and Welcome to New Members held on 10 February at Turramurra Uniting Church.

President, Grahame Marr opened the proceeding by thanking everyone for attending and then gave a brief summary of U3A’s aims and objectives, and plans for the future.

Grahame then introduced a number of course leaders who described what students can expect from their courses this semester.

First cab off the rank was Margaret McDonell who is leading a brand new ‘non-fiction book club’ called “The slightly messy non-fiction club’. Margaret explained that the ‘slightly messy’ refers to the fact that the club’s choice of books to study will be flexible, encompassing a variety of genres, including, science, travel, history and current affairs.

Margaret explaining about the ‘slightly messy non-fiction book club’





It was then Mariana Stecker’s turn to describe what students can expect from the French conversation class she will be holding at Lindfield Senior Citizens Resource Centre.

Grahame then introduced the ever popular presenter Howard Ferrer. Howard started his talk with a discussion on the health benefits of music saying that, among other things, it aided relaxation. This semester Howard will include the topic of light opera, the great American songbook and classic tunes that have become pop icons.

Howard illustrates his talks with video clips and played a sample of the video material he will be using, including a very amusing film clip on the impact of the ‘Beatles and the great British invasion’ on the music scene in the US in the 1960s.

Howard concluded his talk by switching hats to that of science course convenor and presenting a preview of some of the lectures that audiences will be offered at the St Ives Science Group.

Howard Ferrer




Laurie Facer then approached the podium to speak about his series of talks he will give on thought provoking philosophical/psychological/sociological matters. He will discuss such subjects as ‘Is there such a thing as an authentic society’.

Laurie Facer




Grahame introduced the final course leader as ‘Mr Museum’. As this name suggests Stewart Reed is an expert on all things museums.

He discussed the types of lectures he will be giving this semester.

The last speaker and before a delicious afternoon tea was served, Stuart Cumming gave a demonstration of how to book courses online (the system is currently been piloted on selected courses).


Stuart Cummings demonstrated how to use the new online booking system




The audience mingling during afternoon tea.




A big thanks to all the committee members who worked so hard to make the event a success.

Pictured is the newest member of the committee, Heather Lakiss.




Also thanks to:

Phil Pryor who provided the music.

Steve Shaw for taking the photos.

Gerald Sabel for providing support for the AV.


The Upper North Committee was very busy in February. Apart from organising the Showcase, they also represented U3A at two events for the 2020 Seniors Festival

 Seniors Information Day run by Ku-ring-gai Council

Committee members Marilyn Pryor, Heather Lakiss, Vicki Davies, Marjorie Perry and Claudine Parr did a wonderful job at the U3A Upper North information stand at Turramurra Uniting Church on the 17th April for Kur-ring-gai Council’s Seniors Information Day.

The event lasted four hours and stalls from many groups and organisations who provide services for seniors were spread over three rooms. Groups included Meals on Wheels, Sydney Wildlife Rescue, Computer Pals, Ku-ring-gai Council, Hornsby Council, Probus, Easy Care Gardening (and many more). The information day was a great success. Morning tea and lunch was served.

The U3A group answered questions and gave out brochures to over 50 people who stopped at the desk.


Enthusiastic committee members, Marilyn Pryor, Heather Lakiss, Pauline Holbrook, Sue Shaw and Claudine Parr on the U3A stand at Hornsby RSL



Seniors week celebration day run by Hornsby Council

The Hornsby RSL was the venue for Hornsby Council’s celebration day on the 20th February. Hundreds of seniors turned up to a morning of entertainment and information sharing. It was another successful day.

U3A held an information stand which was visited by at least 100 people eager to know more about the courses on offer.

Part of the entertainment at the Seniors Week celebrations at Hornsby RSL




U3A music group’s success in City of Ryde Eisteddfod

U3A music group led by Dawn Nettheim that meets every second Wednesday at Lindfield Senior Citizens Resource Centre competed in this year’s City of Ryde Eisteddfod held on 11 August. They performed their own composition in the Seniors’ (over 50) section, and received a Highly Commended Certificate.

The course ‘How to read and write music’, run by classically trained musician Dawn, is aimed at beginners or those with a little knowledge. This group who only started the classes in January were by August ready to write and perform their own composition.

According to Dawn: “This class is a very keen and diligent group who worked so hard that I’m delighted that they were able to showcase their creativity and also the work of U3A. They strung together a medley of little tunes which they had written as part of their exercises, and performed this work on whatever instruments were to hand in an imaginative and entertaining fashion. The audience was appreciative and cheered them mightily. I am so proud of them.”



The Upper North Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 18th November at Turramurra Uniting Church.

Grahame Marr, President, opened the meeting by warmly welcoming the large crowd. He also acknowledged the attendance of Barbara Boston, President of U3A Sydney.

The meeting started with the confirmation of the minutes of the 2018 AGM. This was followed by a report of the year’s activities and the Treasurer’s report by Grahame Marr (in the place of Jane Cooper who was unable to attend).

He thanked the outgoing committee for all their work throughout 2019. A big thank you was extended to Course Co-ordinators, Venue Coordinators, Leaders and Presenters.

He also thanked Gerald Sabel for providing ongoing IT support.

Stuart Cumming, U3A’s IT spokesman, gave a short presentation on a pilot being conducted to develop an on-line course booking system. He said that the pilot (on a sample number of courses) had gone well and that, in the near future, the system would be used for the booking of all courses. Stuart explained that members will be able to use MyU3A to access the on-line booking system.

Following Stuart’s demonstration was the election of office bearers for the Upper North committee led by life member Margot Taverne acting as Returning Officer. The following people were duly elected:

Grahame Marr, President;

Marjorie Perry, Vice President, Venue Coordinator and Assistant Course Book Coordinator;

Jane Cooper, Treasurer;

Marilyn Pryor, Secretary;

Claudine Parr, Events Officer;

Barbara Sabel, Statistician;

Sue Shaw, Publicity Officer,  Newsletter and Web Editor;

Pauline Holbrook, Course Book Editor and Course Co-ordinator;

Graeme Marshall, Equipment and Assets Officer;

Vicki Davies, Venue Convenor.

Heather Lakiss (new committee member).

The first guest speaker of the day was future energy needs expert Martin Thomas who gave a very thought-provoking and insightful talk on the topic of Nuclear Energy, entitled ‘Gift of God or Invention of the Devil’.

Eloquent speaker and organiser of the popular Australian History course Garry Smith described how his interest in genealogy began when he started to research the history of his own family. He also outlined what lectures had been planned for next year’s Australian History sessions.

The final speaker was the irrepressible Nola Bramble. Nola never fails to entertain with her presentations on ‘Travelling Ladies’. She told the audience that so far she has researched and given presentations on 100 ladies from the Victorian and Edwardian era who travelled to exotic locations at a time when it was rare for women to travel unaccompanied. She gave a short but fascinating introduction to one of the ladies she will discuss next term.

The meeting closed with General Business and then a delicious afternoon tea was served.

A big thank you to all the committee members who made the afternoon a success, especially Marilyn Pryor and Claudine Parr who organised the catering. Thanks also to Phil Pryor for providing the delightful music at the event and Steve Shaw for taking the photographs.

Member reminder

Please remember to wear your name tags when attending U3A events. Name tags must be worn so that we can verify you are a paid up member.

Important note for course leaders

Please note that if there have been changes to the people assisting with the running of your course, could they please remember to let the course convenor know.


Notification of change of contact details

If you have changed your email address or phone number, could you please inform Central Office on officemgr.sydneyu3a@gmail.com

AV assistant required

We are looking for a volunteer to help our IT/AV guru, Gerald Sabel, with a view to eventually taking over, the setting up and running of the AV equipment for courses currently held at Turramurra Uniting Church.

If you think you have the skills required, or you need more information, please contact Gerald at: sabels01@optusnet.com.au

Note to all secretaries of courses  

Would all secretaries of courses please forward end of year rolls to Marilyn Pryor. Contact: 9449 3415, marilynpryor7

Change of venues in 2020

Please note that owing to planned renovations at HORNSBY LIBRARY in 2020, the courses currently held there will be transferred to the following locations:

Turramurra Uniting Church will be the venue for:

Australian History Seminars;

Italian for Travellers;

Travelling Ladies.

Waitara Girl Guides Hall behind Willow Park, Sherbrook Road) will be the venue for Poetry Appreciation

Gordon Library will be the venue for: The World of Classical Music.

Dates and times are published in the Term 1, 2020 Course and Events Book

Fernbank, 2 Kitchener Street, St Ives will be the venue for Tuesday Wordsmiths


Tea money

 Guidance for members and class secretaries

There is a little confusion about tea money which the following might clarify.

The idea is that each session attendees are requested to DONATE a gold coin, preferably $2, to cover tea or coffee and biscuits.

(SOME classes prefer to do something similar but pay a lump sum at the start of each semester to avoid fiddling with cash each session.)

Classes generally have a surplus in their tea money fund each semester. Out of this ‘social fund’ we cover REGIONAL costs, such as:

  • Our Annual Leaders’ Lunch held at Hornsby RSL Club for about sixty leaders as a thank you for all their work throughout the year.
  • The AGM, attended last year by more than 100, at which a substantial afternoon tea is provided.
  • The Welcome to New (or prospective) Members at which we showcase courses with a series of short lectures by course presenters. We also provide an afternoon tea.
  • Occasionally reimbursing presenters for costs such as photocopying etc.
  • Class members may also wish to give a small gift to their course presenter at the end
  • of the term or the year.

After any reimbursements and/or money for a small gift for the presenter, class secretaries are requested to hand over the remaining tea money each semester. Please contact Upper North Secretary, Marilyn Pryor on 0414 493 415 or email Upper North Treasurer, Jane Cooper on jccu3a@gmail.com for banking details.

Help with transport

Are you having problems getting to U3A classes because of mobility issues?

Please be aware that you may be eligible to take advantage of the Australian Government’s My Aged Care service which can provide you with transport options if you are unable to attend U3A classes.

You need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or look at their website, www.myagedcare.gov.au

You will be set up initially with an identity number and given a suggested list of providers in your area. There is usually a small charge for transport to and from the venue.

A big thank you to Ku-ring-gai Council

Our region has been fortunate to receive a community grant from Ku-ring-gai Council totalling $1922.

The generous amount has made possible the purchase of a range of audio-visual equipment for use in a variety of presentations and venues.

Thanks to the Council on behalf of all our members.


Wanted Course Leaders

Are you interested in running a course for U3A? Do you know a lot about a particular topic?

Why not impart your knowledge to an audience of enthusiastic U3A members. Contact either Grahame Marr on gwmarr1@bigpond.com or Pauline Holbrook on holbrookj@bigpond.com

 Upper North Committee 2020

View our current committee

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