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 2 2019 course book 

Upper North Newsletter

Upper North Newsletter November 2019 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

Upper North AGM



Monday 18 November

1.30-3.30 pm for the

Upper North Region of Sydney U3A, Annual General Meeting and Election of Office Bearers

at Turramurra Uniting Church, 10 Turramurra Avenue (behind shopping area car park)

The meeting will include reports from the President Grahame Marr and Treasurer Jane Cooper, followed by the election of office bearers for 2020.



Members are very welcome to join the committee to assist with the running of our wonderful organisation. Information and nomination forms may be obtained and returned to Secretary, Marilyn Pryor 9449 3415, marilynpryor7@gmail.com by Friday 25 October.

Please RSVP by Monday 11 November to Claudine Parr 9487 2170, c_parr@exemail.com.au or Marilyn Pryor 9449 3415, marilynpryor7@gmail.com


Martin Thomas will speak on:

‘Nuclear Energy – Gift of God? Or, Invention of the Devil’

Martin has had industry roles including chairmanships of export association Austenergy; the NSW Electricity Council and the 2000 Olympic Energy Panel; deputy chair of utility Australian Inland Energy; MD of the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy; Chancellor of the Asia Pacific International College and today chair of Dulhunty Poles P/L. He has served the profession as President of Engineers Australia; President of the Australian Institute of Energy; Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, also chairing its Energy Forum. He was a founding member of The Warren Centre Energy Committee.

He has been awarded an impressive number of medals. He is a Member of the Order of Australia for services to energy and engineering.In 2006 he served on Prime Minister Howard’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review.

Garry Smith will speak on:

‘Family History Research’

Garry is a retired school principal; he spent the best part of forty years as a teacher, senior policy officer and principal with the New South Wales Department of Education.

Garry completed a thesis for the Diploma in Family Historical Studies (DipFHS) through the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) in 2016. The thesis, titled ‘The View from Thompson’s Corner’ dealt with the earliest generations in Australia of the Thompson family. He had previously completed the Certificate in Genealogical Research (CertGR) with SAG.

Nola Bramble will speak on:

‘Travelling Ladies’

Nola has a background in teaching, librarianship and bookselling.

She has researched and lectured on 100 different women from the 19th and early 20th centuries who have all had an adventurous spirit and travelled to exotic locations at a time when it was not common for women to do so. Nola gains inspiration for her talks from her own travel experiences in such places as Ethiopia, Madagascar and Oman.


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.”


Lectures in November

A selection of lectures in November


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

Affairs of interest

A series of talks by specialists in their field.

Monday 11 November, 10:00-12:00

The Iron Ships, Gary Hughes

Monday 25 November, 10:00-12:00

The Great Barrier Reef, Jackie Wilson

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


Current World

Monday 18 November, 10:00-12:00

Epigenetics, Punchi Dassanayake

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



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

Historical and other interesting topics

Thursday 7 November, 10:00-12:00

Heroic men and fighting ships, Noel Phelan

Bookings not required.

Venue Convener and Leader: Lesley Ransley, 9880 9949, ellar1@bigpond.com



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

A series of interesting talks

Thursday 28 November, 10:00-12:00
Fifty secrets of Surry Hills and Redfern, Graham Cousens

Book through the office 9416 8466



Cnr Douglas Street and Mona Vale Road, Wesley Room

 Science and technology: glimpses of our past, present and future
Qualified lecturers present things scientific and/or technology based. Done in an easy to understand format.

Wednesday 6 November, 10:00 – 12:00

What has the first moon landing got to do with the ‘Wireless Revolution’, Trevor Bird

Wednesday 20 November, 10:00-12:00

Bringing biology’s ‘code of life’ to Life with Proteomics, Mark Molloy

Leader: Howard Ferrer, howardf@optusnet.com.au
Bookings: Andrew Bean, 9983 1225

Mendelssohn — the composer

Alt. Thursdays from 1 August, 10:00-12:00 (Wesley Room)

Leader: John Hughes (enquiries 9449 3416). No bookings required. Register on arrival.


PLEASE NOTE that there has been a change of contact details for the Current Affairs Forum 1 Group held at St Ives Uniting Church. For bookings, please contact Group Leader Derrick Heywood, 0402 240 189, dsheywood1@gmail.com


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

Topics of interest
Tuesday 12 November, 10:00-11:30

The real Squizzy and Ida story, Garry Smith

Tuesday 26 November, 10:00-11:30

Forgotten Australians, Tony McCurdy

No bookings required

Convenor: Wendy Bull 9488 5268   thelandingsvilla@gmail.com



53 Rohini Street, Cowper Place. Five minute walk from station. Parking available in nearby streets.

Speakers on a variety of topics

Wednesday 13 November, 10:30 – 12:00

State Library of NSW, Stewart Reed

Leader and bookings: Margaret Waldock, 0419 740 181. margaretwaldock@outlook.com


28-44 George Street (entry in Hunter Lane opposite Hornsby Station)

History of Roman wall painting

Alt. Tuesdays from 10 September to 19 November 10:00-12:00

Leader: Emeritus Prof/Assoc Prof Jean-Paul Descoeudres, bookings: Graeme Marshall, 9489 8648, g.marshall1@bigpond.com


Australian World Heritage sites

A brief look at each of Australia’s 19 World Heritage sites

Alt. Wednesday from 10 July to 13 November 10:15-12:00

Leader and bookings Graeme Aplin, graemeaplin@optusnet.com.au



9 Oxford St. Meeting room. Parking available. Wheelchair access.

More big moments in the history of science

Wednesday 13 November, 10:00-12:00

My mind is made up, Tony McCurdy

Wednesday 27 November, 10:00-12:00

Understanding the biology of ageing and how you can reduce its effect, Dr Judy Ford

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


Turramurra Ave. Parking available. Wheelchair access.

Fun problem solving to keep our minds active

Alt. Tuesdays from 6 August, 9.45- 11.45 am

Leader and bookings: Sandra Sadler 9484 5513, spsadler@dodo.com.au

Truth in history

There is some mystery, myth, revelation, magic, murkiness in history as it unfolds. Alt. Thursdays from 1 Aug 10:00 – 12:00

Leader: Phil Pryor. Bookings: Margaret Marshall, 0418 253 949


271 Pacific Highway, behind Library. Parking available, wheelchair access

Russian advanced conversation

PLEASE NOTE the new dates and time for this class, Mondays from 10-12

12 August

26 August

9 September

23 September

14 October

28 October

11 November

25 November

Leader Olga Petlevanny, 9939 6871

Bookings: Dr Richard Brettell 0423488023  richardbrettel@hotmail.com


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 Hornsby Library.

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;

Poetry Appreciation;

Travelling Ladies.


Gordon Library will be the venue for:

The World of Classical Music.

Dates and times will be published in the Term 1, 2020 Course and Events Book which will be sent out to members in January.

Are you fluent in Italian

We are looking for someone to teach extra classes of Italian. If you are interested, please contact Grahame Marr on gwmarr1@bigpond.com

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.

Ebba honoured with Life Membership of U3A

At the recent U3A Annual General Meeting held on the 20th March at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, long-term member, Ebba Van Der Helder was presented with Honorary Life Membership of U3A. She has worked tirelessly for U3A for many years as a lecturer and as Treasurer on the U3A Upper North committee.

Upper North AGM 

Over 60 members attended the Upper North AGM in November at Turramurra Uniting Church.

 Read more about the AGM

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

Fipple Fluters

The Upper North U3A group known as The Fipple Fluters recently gave a concert at the Hornsby North Baptist Church for its ‘Time Out for Seniors Group’. They had played for this group before. During the past twelve years, they have also given concerts for Probus and played for U3A events at Sydney University, Customs House and Wesley Centre. In addition they have visited a number of local schools to assist teachers in encouraging students to understand the nature and depth of recorder repertoire from mediaeval music to the present day.


 Upper North Committee 2019

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