NU3A Turns 30

In collaborating with the Newcastle Libraries, Newcastle U3A Tutors further embraced the digital age with its 30th anniversary tribute Showcase “Live, Laugh, Learn” in the new state of the art digital Library, 12 Stewart Avenue.

This was a first not only in NU3A history but that of the Newcastle Libraries as well with the new digital Library having only been recently opened by the Lord Mayor in October. It also was a very challenging one – presenting in an entirely new space that really hadn’t been set up for the type of presentations NU3A traditionally does, but it had the digital apparatus to stream courses directly to the Library’s Facebook Page where presentations could be viewed by hundreds and even thousands of people – what magic!

However, none of this would have been possible without the wholehearted support of Carol Edmonds, Coordinator Community Programs, Newcastle Libraries who listened to my idea in 2019 and who has stuck with us through all the changes we were forced to make to the Showcase (courtesy of COVID) and to Clare Presser, the Libraries Digital Activation Specialist, our mentor and teacher throughout this whole adventure – and it has been quite an adventure.

As noted Newcastle Libraries hosted our now finished ‘event’ together with promoting it through the library’s website and Facebook page,  and for your interest you may use  this link to download the NU3A Showcase program to read more.   Some of the video presentations are online, visit the Newcastle Libraries Facebook page and search U3A or peruse the descriptions below and click the link to your chosen session.

Some member feedback

Diane Body shares her thoughts about five of the presentations

Newcastle U3A celebrated its thirtieth year with fifteen face to face talks at the new Digital library, 12 Stewart Avenue. Sadly, I was able to attend only about five of these but they were great. Dr John Carr’s “Life in the Universe” took me on a journey throughout the galaxy, then I visited Japan through Jenny King’s visually stunning presentation, learned the behind the scenes stories of how Papua New Guinea became Independent from Mark Lynch, learned from Chris Cull, the inspirational story of John Harrison – how he solved the problem of longitude and thus changed the maritime world with his invention, the chronometer, and finally was fascinated by Steven Threlfo’s presentation on 3D printing – what it does and the amazing things it can do. You should have been there. Fortunately, some of these have been streamed. I hope you enjoy the streaming as much as I enjoyed the face to face.

Chris and Mike Snow express their thanks for an amazing and interesting program for NU3A’s 30th celebration. 

We found the speakers very interesting and gave insights into subjects we haven’t studied before. Jenny’s Japan lesson was eye opening about customs, food, culture and Japan’s beautiful land.  Some of the other lessons we were lucky enough to attend were:  The Harrison Clock – an amazing story of a man who changed the maritime world;  Florence Austral – a world famous opera singer with a beautiful voice being recognised from Newcastle; Housing for Seniors was very interesting and relevant as well; Writers and Rogues – Some wonderful writing and poems beautifully put together in your book

Thanks to the recording of other classes we were able to catch up on other topics.  We would like to say how much we appreciate all the behind the scenes work that went on to make the U3A 30th celebration such a success.

Life in the universe

Tutor Dr John Carr Monday 2 November, "We will be considering the prospects for finding life in the universe, looking for the ingredients for life, finding myriads of planets and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence." View John Carr's presentation

Newcastle in the 1800’s

Tutor Julie Keating Tuesday 10 November "I am currently researching my 8th book. My love of Newcastle’s rich history has given me a greater understanding of Newcastle, its beginnings as a penal colony; and its growth over the centuries into the city it is today. I share with you this fascinating story of the past." View Julie Keating's presentation.

A taste of Japan

Tutor Jenny King Wednesday 11 November "Japan – a land shrouded in mystery and mythology. But what do we really know about this island country, its people, language and culture? In this session we will dispel the myths and discover the links between Japan and Australia and look at famous Japanese landmarks and traditions. We will learn some Japanese greetings and common expressions, make some origamis and try our hand at haiku." View Jenny King's presentation.

Out of Central Asia

Tutor Dr Robert Colomb Thursday 12 November "In the history of most of the ancient civilisations of Europe and Asia, there are generally several invasions by people 'out of Central Asia'. From leaving Africa 100,000 years ago to the rise of horse cultures in the Steppe region of Central Asia, we see the emergence of Indo-Europeans, Turks, Mongols and Magyars, all of whom played major roles in our history." View Bob Colomb's presentation.

Climate change and the future of agriculture

Tutor Emeritus Prof Jetse Kalma Tuesday 17 November "Following a brief description of recent climate change in Australia, I will present scenarios of future climate and provide an overview of predicted impacts of climate change on Australian agriculture. Discover how agriculture can reduce greenhouse gas emissions through carbon farming. What is the future of agriculture and land use and how can adapt to predicted climate change?" View Jetse Kalma's presentation.

The Harrison Clock

Tutor Chris Cull Wednesday 18 November "A carpenter by trade, John Harrison taught himself clock making and in the 1720’s designed a remarkable series of clocks which achieved an amazing accuracy. He is remembered as solving the problem of Longitude, which has enabled sailors to determine their exact position at sea." View Chris Cull's presentation.

Florence Austral - Our Forgotten Diva

Tutor Hilary Oliver Thursday 19 November "Florence Austral was born Florence May Wilson in Richmond, Victoria in 1892 and died in Mayfield, Newcastle in 1968. During her life she was considered one of the great Wagnerian sopranos of her era. Dame Nellie Melba called her "one of the voices of the world" praising the purity of her tone and the power of her high notes, but today she remains forgotten." View Hilary Oliver's presentation.