Derek Readman Series – previous

Readman Series #38

“Politics, Empire and Sport”

Associate Professor Pedro Machado

Thursday, 20 June 2024
Main Hall

Pedro’s lecture will consider the place of sport specifically football-in shaping political life and its
trajectories. It will focus on a seminal moment, the Algerian war of independence from French colonial rule, with football a catalyst for liberation.

Visiting from the USA, Pedro Machado is a global and Indian Ocean historian with interests in commodity histories, labour and migratory movements, and the social, cultural, environmental and commercial trajectories of objects. He is Associate Professor of History, and Director of the Dhar India Studies Program at Indiana University, Bloomington where he teaches courses on global slavery, global history, the Indian Ocean, and the transnational histories of soccer. He has published widely, including in leading journals such as the American Historical Review, and Slavery & Abolition.

His several monographs include most recently Pearls, People and Power: Pearling and Indian Ocean Worlds (Ohio University Press, 2020). He is currently at work on a global history of pearl shell collection and exchange. See

Readman Series #37

“The Changing Media”

Sam Lipski
Thursday, 18 April 2024

Sam Lipski has a varied background in journalism, the philanthropic sector, and community service.

Beginning his journalistic career in television with Channel Nine, Melbourne, after graduating with an Arts degree from the University of Melbourne, and working as an industrial psychologist, Sam went on to become the first daily TV reporter in Canberra’s Press Gallery, Foreign Editor at The Bulletin, the foundation producer of the ABC’s This Day Tonight, and the Executive Producer of the ABC’s Four Corners program. He then became The Australian’s first Washington correspondent, during the Nixon years and Watergate, and also reported from the American capital for the Jerusalem Post.

On returning to Australia, he was the Australian correspondent for the Washington Post, a columnist for The Australian and the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and the daily News Commentator for 3AW, winning the News Broadcaster of the Year Award in 1982. He was also the first Foreign Affairs commentator for the Channel Nine Network, appearing regularly on the Sunday and Today programs. During the 1990s, while he was the Australian Jewish News Executive Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, he was also a columnist for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

In 1998, Sam made a career change, leaving full-time journalism to become the Pratt Foundation’s first CEO, a position he held for 21 years, until his retirement in 2019. During this time Sam served on a wide variety of philanthropic and non-profit boards and committees, including 10 years on the Swinburne University of Technology’s Council, as a board member at the Schizophrenia Institute of Australia, a Trustee of the Australian Refugee Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Committee at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, as Chair of the Advisory Committee at Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, and most memorably for him, as President of the State Library of Victoria from 2000-2006.

In 1993 Sam was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the media, and in 2020 he was elevated to become an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). He was awarded the Centenary Medal of Australia in 2001, and in 2008 Monash University recognised his service to philanthropy and education with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD Hon).

Readman Series #36

“A Peculiar Language”
Early Australian English and Beyond

Professor Kate Burridge
Kate Burridge

2 pm
Thursday, 12 October 2023

Edward Wakefield, in his Letter from Sydney (1829), used the description “a peculiar language” to portray the pot-pourrie of different dialects that eventually gave rise to Australian English. This talk will look at some of the early factors that shaped this peculiar language, as well as some of the factors that are shaping it today.

Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University and Fellow of both the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Her main areas of research are language change (focus on changing vocabulary and grammar), the notion of linguistic taboo, the structure and history of English, popular perceptions of language (and fall-out).

She has authored / edited more than 25 books on different aspects of language. Her most recent books are: Forbidden Words: Taboo and the censoring of language (with Keith Allan, 2006); Gift of the Gob: Morsels of English language history (2010); Wrestling with Words and Meanings (with Réka Benczes, 2014); Understanding Language Change (with Alex Bergs 2018); Introducing English Grammar (with Kersti Börjars, 2019); For the Love of Language (with Tonya Stebbins 2019); Exploring the Ecology of World Englishes in the Twenty-First Century (with Pam Peters 2021).

Kate is a regular presenter of language segments on radio and writes for The Conversation; she was a weekly panelist on ABC TV’s Can We Help (2007-11) and has given a TEDx Talk Telling it like it isn’t (

Readman Series #35

Three Years in Beijing: Living and travelling in China

David Walker AM

2 pm
Thursday, 15 June 2023

David Walker AM is an Australian historian who has for many years carried out research on Australia’s responses to Asia from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. He has travelled widely in Asia including Indonesia, Japan and India. From 2013 to 2016, he spent three years living in Beijing as the inaugural BHP Professor of Australian Studies at Peking University.

During this time, he taught classes on Australian history and culture to Chinese students at Peking University and at other universities in Beijing.

He travelled extensively through China visiting many Australian Studies Centres throughout the country and became good friends with Professor Li Yao, the foremost translator of Australian writing into Chinese. According to the Chinese zodiac, both men are Roosters, of the same age but one was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the other in Li Village, Inner Mongolia. David and Li Yao have recently completed a dual memoir and family history: Happy Together: bridging the Australia China divide (MUP, 2022).

Readman Series #34

“Inspiration and the art of Victor Majzner”


Victor Majzner

Thursday, 29 September

Victor Majzner is a celebrated and acclaimed Australian artist. His work is held in public collections, including at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as in many regional collections across Australia.  He is the recipient of many art awards and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

Victor works with water colours, drawing, oils and acrylics and is inspired by a wide range of moral and ethical issues: identity, spirituality, the plight of the oppressed, the land and environmental degradation. He is part of the emerging genre of contemporary Jewish art and has ongoing connections with First Nations artists, having visited remote communities in central Australia, Arnhem Land and the Kimberley. 

Readman Series #33

Sexual abuse in a culture of silence

Dr Peter Evans

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Dr Peter Evans is a former catholic priest and retired psychiatrist who will discuss the psychological and socio-cultural determinants of sexual abuse within Australian society and which takes place in a culture of silence that is both a result and part cause of the abuse itself.

Dr Peter Evans graduated in medicine from Sydney University in 1957. In 1960 he entered the Franciscan Order to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in 1967 and in 1969 commenced postgraduate studies in psychiatry at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. In 1973 he was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He left the priesthood in 1976 and became a consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital in London. In 1978 he returned to Melbourne where he practiced psychiatry for a period of 30 years before his retirement. He is married to Gerda, a registered nurse, and they have four sons. He has recently given evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Readman Series #32

Black Saturday – Love and loss and learning silence

Sue Gunningham

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Sue Gunningham lost her partner Barry in Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Her memoir “All the Days After” documents the devastation caused by the fires, her journey through grief and the lesser-known aspects of such a tragedy – including the frustrating and often unhelpful bureaucracy confronting bewildered survivors of a major disaster.

“Waldene – Love in the Shadows”, her latest memoir, blends prose, poetry and love letters to tell the story of the couple’s 18 year romance before the fires.

Sue will describe some of the challenges she faced in the 12 months following the fires and beyond, and talk about the people who she encountered on the journey from loss to rebuild, depression to happiness and what she learnt from the experience.

Readman Series #31

Gender equality in local government

Councillor Coral Ross

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Coral Ross

Councillor Coral Ross was one of Victoria’s longest serving councillors, first elected to Boroondara Council in 2002.

She served three terms as mayor, earning the distinguished title of Mayor Emeritus. In addition to her service on Boroondara Council, Coral was on the board of the Australian Local Government Association for two years. She was also a board member and interim president of the Municipal Association of Victoria.

Coral is President of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association and was previously the president of its Victorian chapter. The Association’s mission is to support women to participate in local government. Coral is also Deputy Chair of the Australian Gender Equality Council and a director of the National Rural Women’s Coalition.

In 2018, she was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to improve gender equality in local government. Coral has travelled to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany in 2019/20 to investigate ways of increasing the number of women elected to local governments. Her Readman talk will cover the experience of her Churchill Fellowship

Readman Series #30

The war on drugs and its challenges

CEO John Ryan

Thursday, 17 September 2020

John Ryan, CEO, Penington Institute
CEO, Penington Institute

John is a leader in public health and safety and the inaugural CEO of Penington Institute.

He actively works to promote sensible approaches to drug use in the community including with media and by providing expert advice, including to governments.

He is a member of the Victorian Government’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room Review Panel, an innovative trial conducted in North Richmond.

Having previously worked as a university researcher, government policy-maker, and in frontline service delivery as a needle and syringe program worker, John is now President of London-based Harm Reduction International (HRI). HRI is a leading non-governmental organisation focused on reducing the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University. In 2012, he received a Churchill Fellowship to study ways to enhance public health approaches to drug policy. 

Readman Series #29

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage:
How Australia got compulsory voting

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Professor Judith Brett
Professor Judith Brett

Judith Brett is a political historian whose writing has focussed on the non-labour side of Australian politics. She is the author of Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People (1992), Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard (2003), and in 2018 published The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, to complete a trilogy of books on the history of Australian Liberals. Her biography of Alfred Deakin, the first full length study of the man in more than fifty years, won the 2018 national Biography Award.

During the 1980s Judith was editor of the literary journal Meanjin. In 1989 she joined the Politics department at La Trobe University where she taught Australian politics, public policy and political biography. In the 1990s she started commenting on contemporary Australian politics in the media, using her knowledge of Australian history to throw light on current events, and she continues to do so. She wrote a regular column for The Age for a number of years, has written three Quarterly Essays and is currently working on another. She writes regularly for The Monthly.

In her Readman talk Judith will talk about her recent book, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting, which looks at the history of Australia’s distinctive electoral system. We invented the ballot paper and the compartmentalised voting booth. It is compulsory to register to vote as
well as to vote. We use preferential rather than first past the post voting. We vote on Saturdays and have great flexibility as to where we cast our votes. Our elections are administered by impartial public servants.

These all grew from Australians early commitment to majoritarian democracy – to governments that are elected by the majority of voters not just the majority of those who turn up. We might not always like the results of our elections, but the process is a democratic triumph.

Readman Series #28

Australian Suffragettes in the UK

Myra Scott

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Myra Scott: How Australia led the way

In 2002 Myra Scott was commissioned by the Commonwealth Office of Status of Women, Canberra to write a book about the Suffrage Banner in Parliament House, Canberra, in order to celebrate the Centenary of suffrage in Australia. She had completed her MA some years before about the artist Dora Meeson Coates and her husband George Coates.

Until this book was published virtually nothing had been known of the part Australian women and their male politicians played to help British women achieve the vote.

Soon after its foundation in 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia gave women the vote and the right to sit in Parliament. With great vigour, Australian women, including the Melbourne-born artist Dora Meeson Coates, ably involved themselves with the women’s movement in Great Britain. With astounding presumption, the Australian Parliament sent a Resolution to its Westminster counterpart recommending that women’s suffrage be adopted.

Myra Scott vividly describes the increasingly active women’s movement in England, the opposition to it by menfolk generally, the British Prime Minister’s personal bias against it, Australia’s part in this scenario, Meeson’s activism – and her rousing Suffrage Banner.

Readman Series #27

A talk/performance on Classical Music and Improvised Music:
Connections and Disconnections and the consequences in Music Education

Tony Gould AM

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Tony Gould

Pianist/composer/critic/author/academic/educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. He began his academic career as a senior tutor at Melbourne. He then lectured at the Victorian College of the Arts, eventually becoming dean of the VCA’s School of Music. He is currently adjunct professor in Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music.

A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Gould has performed in the UK, Europe, USA and India. He has composed works for, and performed with, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Queensland Symphony and Orchestra Victoria.

He has an Order of Australia (AM) for his service to music.

Readman Series #26

Gifting Time, Talent and Treasure in Cambodia

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Susie Lachal
Susie Lachal

For the past 14 years Susie Lachal has been travelling to Cambodia, volunteering with Teachers Across Borders Australia Inc. She will talk about the achievements of this community-based organisation that has been assisting with capacity building for the rural poor.

In Cambodia, 90% of the poor live in the rural areas. Australian teachers volunteer their time and talent to conduct workshops with practicing Cambodian teachers, teacher trainees and principals, addressing the Cambodian National Curriculum. These dedicated Australian teachers pay for their own airfares and accommodation and raise $1,200AUD to conduct 5-day workshops for 20 Cambodians each year.

Readman Series #25

Animal Health for Remote Indigenous Communities

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Ted Donelan
Dr Ted Donelan

Dr Ted Donelan is a veterinarian now based in Port Fairy, having operated private practices in Melbourne for more than 30 years. He is a Fellow of the Australian Veterinary Association, a Senior Academic Associate of the University of Melbourne and Life Member of RSPCA Victoria.

Ted has always been interested in animal welfare and the relationships between animals and their human companions. He was a founding director of the Delta Society in Australia in 1987, and has a long record of contribution to animal welfare issues and urban animal management at local, state and national levels.

Ted has also had decades of involvement in Indigenous affairs. For the past sixteen years he has provided a veterinary service including a comprehensive dog health program to the remote Indigenous community of Maningrida, which with its outstations encompasses an area of some 10,000 square kilometers in the Northern Territory. Following these interests, it was a natural progression to involvement in Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities, where Ted served on the Board for eleven years including six as President.

Readman Series #24

Lighter Footprints

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Carolyn Ingvarson, Lighter Footsteps
Carolyn Ingvarson

Carolyn has a background as a secondary school biology teacher and as a public servant with the Victorian Government. She has worked in state training, in occupational health and safety, and in industry facilitation.

As part of this role she worked with the Freight and Logistics Industry and was awarded the Australian Freight Industry Personality of the Year in 2003. She then worked with the University of Melbourne’s Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) managing trans-departmental projects such as MUtopia – a simulation and management tool for the design and implementation of sustainable cities.

She has always worked in her local community, in the 1990’s as a local government councillor, and then in 2006 by founding and running Lighter Footprints, a climate change action group.

Since that time, this group, which covers the Kooyong electorate of Melbourne, has grown to significant size, and is building a local base to press all levels of government to take action on climate change.

Readman Series #23

Melbourne’s Early History

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Professor Geoffrey Blainey
Prof. Geoffrey Blainey

Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC, FAHA, FASSA is an Australian historian, academic, philanthropist and commentator with a wide international audience. He is noted for having written authoritative texts on the economic and social history of Australia, including The Tyranny of Distance. He has published over 35 books, including wide-ranging histories of the world and of Christianity. He has often appeared in newspapers and on television. He held chairs in economic history and history at the University of Melbourne for over 20 years. In the 1980s, he was visiting professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He received the 1988 Britannica Award for dissemination of knowledge and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000.

Geoffrey Blainey was the first Chancellor of the University of Ballarat (now Federation University Australia). In 2010 the supervised reading room and special collections in the E.J. Barker Library were named the ‘Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre”

Readman Series #22

How to strengthen Australia’s social cohesion
Increasing our understanding of multiculturalism today

Anthea Hancocks
CEO of the Scanlon Foundation

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Anthea Hancocks, CEO Scanlon Foundation
Anthea Hancocks

Anthea Hancocks has an extensive background in community service, business development, education, communications, relationship and services marketing and strategy through senior leadership experience in private, government and not for profit organisations. Anthea is the Chief Executive Officer of the Scanlon Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation committed to enhancing social cohesion in Australia through research, community grants and projects.

Prior to this, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for law firm Herbert Geer where she was responsible for strategic planning, business development, internal and external communications, marketing initiatives and training. In addition, Anthea was the company secretary and responsible for operations. Anthea moved to this role from the National Australia Bank where she held several senior strategy roles in both the operations and the business banks.

She is an accredited mediator through the Australian Institute of Mediators and Arbitrators, Chair of Earthwatch Australia, Chair of YMCA Victoria, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an associate of Leadership Victoria.

Readman Series #21

Weighing the cost of immigration

Thursday, 12 October 2018

Peter Martin, journalist
Peter Martin

Peter Martin is one of Australia’s most accomplished economic journalists. For 20 years the economics correspondent for Australia’s leading current affairs programs AM, PM and The World Today and since 2006 the economics correspondent or economics editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

Maiden Voyage
– An Australian Song Cycle

Australian women – their stories and history told through song

Maiden Voyage - An Australian Song Cycle.

Lorraine Milne

Thursday 20 September 2018

Maiden Voyage is a cycle of 13 songs written by Melbourne composer Lorraine Milne. The lyrics trace the experiences and achievements of ordinary and extraordinary Australian women in historical and contemporary settings.

The music reflects Lorraine’s background as a classically trained musician overlaid with her deep love of Jazz and experience as a theatre composer.

The stories woven through Maiden Voyage embrace the forming of Australia as an island continent, convicts and prostitutes, free settlers, currency born, the fight for female suffrage, English migration between the two world wars, survival in the outback, the cultural drain, the Vietnam war, GDP and what is valued. It concludes with a celebration of the legacy given to us from these extraordinary women, many of whom were not recognised in their lifetimes for their achievements.

Composer Lorraine Milne explains, “The narrative that runs through Maiden Voyage came about after I watched the 1930s film, The Threepenny Opera where Mack the Knife, needing to leave town in a hurry, gathers his gang and says: ‘Boys, while I’m away, Pollie’s in charge’. One of them quips back: ‘But boss, she’s not the right man for the job!’

“That line was the catalyst which led me to research pioneering Australian women. Reading their stories made it clear that I wanted to highlight their remarkable achievements, their sheer strength and determination. Putting it all together into a song cycle was the perfect vehicle for me to honour these extraordinary and ordinary Australian women. It allows listeners the chance to remember them again or for the younger generation to discover them for the first time.”

A goanna in the parlour: Australia’s love affair with the piano

Thursday 19 July 2018

Michael Atherton

Emeritus Professor Michael Atherton AM

Carted by bullocks and splashed with beer in goldfields tents, harbouring mice, dusted in classroom chalk, missing a string at the local church hall, or serving as a mantelpiece for family photos and flowers – the piano became our constant companion.

This is the story of Australia’s passionate relationship with an instrument that rose to the status of family member, albeit often to become a neglected and unwanted heirloom sent to the tip.

Professor Michael Atherton was appointed the Foundation Professor of Music at University of Western Sydney in 1993, where he led the development of teaching and research with a focus on a range of Australian expressions in our time. Michael is considered an expert in musical instruments and sound making objects, especially those of Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

A musician himself, Michael played early music in the Renaissance Players (1974-1980); joined Rivendell as a music therapist (1978-80) in the team of Professor Marie Bashir; pioneered crosscultural music in Sirocco (1980-6); and directed his own ensemble, Southern Crossings (1986-93). He also performed overseas for Musica Viva. Michael is also a composer and researcher with broad experience in music for the concert hall, film, television and radio. He has made numerous CD recordings and composed documentary film scores and television themes, including the station music for television.

His most recent book, A Coveted Possession: the rise and fall of the piano in Australia (2018) is due for release in July.

Three Weeks in East Timor (Timor Leste)

Thursday 21 June 2018

Elizabeth Douglas

Elizabeth Douglas

Elizabeth Douglas worked in publishing for 20 years, first as an editor with Oxford University Press in Melbourne and London, then as Publishing Director of Hutchinson Australia. Later she moved to a managerial position at Melbourne University in various departments including the Office for Research, Schools Liaison, and Bequests.

Since retiring, her interests include voluntary work with asylum seekers and as a guide at NGV. Eighteen months ago she worked as a volunteer at the Bairo Pite Clinic in Timor-Leste, which is the subject of this talk.

Bairo Pite - East Timor

Enjoying Opera

Thursday 19 April 2018

Sam Alfreds

Shimona Rose

This Readman takes the form of introduction and commentary by U3A Hawthorn tutor Sam Alfreds, a passionate opera fan and volunteer broadcaster at 3MBS.

Sam will introduce performance pieces by his niece Shimona Rose, the 2018 Opera Scholar of the Year at Beechworth’s Opera in the Alps and recipient of many other awards including two first prizes at the 2017 Boroondara Eisteddfod.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Shimona’s wonderful voice before she departs to take up a scholarship to continue her vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

Civilising the city: Paris 1852 – 1870

Paris streets after Hausmann

Dr Michael Adcock

Thursday 15 March 2018

In this presentation, historian and Paris tour guide Dr. Michael Adcock will explore one of the most profound transformations in the 2,000 year-long history of Paris. This was the vast program of urban renewal undertaken by the command of Napoleon III, and carried out by his Prefect of Paris, Baron George Haussmann, between 1852 and 1870. The lecture will evoke the scale and nature of the onslaught on the fabric of the city, and will examine the different theories as to why Napoleon III chose to implement this plan.

Dr. Michael Adcock is currently Head of History at Melbourne Grammar School. Previously, he lectured in modern French history at the University of Melbourne and as a cultural historian, lectured on French art at the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery. Dr. Adcock has also published a number of books about the history of France and conducts residential study tours in Paris, where he presents lectures on the history of the city and conducts walking tours to explore its past and its heritage.

Protecting Victoria’s Environment
– Biodiversity 2037

Adam Muir
Manager of Biodiversity Strategy, DEWLP

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Adam Muir is Manager of Biodiversity Strategy, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DEWLP) and is the son of Ruth Muir, one of U3A Hawthorn’s respected Life Members.

Adam will present an overview of Victoria’s new biodiversity plan Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037.

This is the Victorian government’s ambitious plan to stop the decline of our biodiversity over the next 20 years and promote the important relationship between people and nature.

Adam and his team are interested in receiving feedback from our members in the form of a question and answer session and will explain how you might like to get involved. This is your chance to have a say and make a contribution to the future of Victoria’s precious natural environment.

Judicial Issues in the Victorian Supreme Court

Thursday 15 June 2017

David Habersberger QC

David Habersberger QC

Hon. David Habersberger was associate to Chief Justice Barwick of the High Court in 1972 before being called to the Bar in 1973.

He acted in several significant constitutional, administrative and commercial cases and became the Chair of the Victorian Bar Council in 1994-95.

In 2001 David Habersberger was appointed as a judge to the Supreme Court of Victoria, sat in every trial division and was acting Justice of Appeal. Before retirement, he was Principal Judge of the Commercial and Equity Division

Can Melbourne remain the world’s most liveable city?

Prof. Michael Buxton

Prof. Michael Buxton
Tuesday 30 May 2017

Professor Michael Buxton is a well-known radio, newspaper and TV commentator on Melbourne’s planning, growth and future development. Often these are controversial matters, especially when there are issues of high rise developments in suburban areas.

Michael Buxton joined RMIT University in 1998 after 12 years in senior management with the Victorian Planning and Environment agencies, and with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. He was a councillor and Mayor of a suburban municipality for ten years.

Autism: From child to adult

Amanda Richdale, PhD, MAPS
Associate Professor / Principal Research Fellow
Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

Thursday 27 April 2017

Future Directions in Tertiary Education: Continuity and Change

Professor Linda Kristjanson
Vice Chancellor, Swinburne University
Thursday 21 March 2017

Those with grandchildren who are approaching, or already experiencing, tertiary education, will already be aware of the many issues facing tertiary institutions in an age of on-line education, MOOC based courses, and the different learning and teaching styles of new generations embedded in digital literacy and a world without books!

What are the implications, challenges and threats to our tertiary institutions? Are they being disrupted in a similar fashion to print newspapers, financial services, taxis, postal services and many others facing new and nimble competitors with digital platforms?

Why we need stronger Human Rights protection in Australia

Hugh de Kretser
Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre

Hugh de Kretser
Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre
15 September 2016

Hugh de Kretser is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre. For the past 12 years, he has worked to protect and promote human rights in Australia through his position at the HRLC and previous roles as Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres (2007- 2013) and Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (2004 to 2007).

Hugh currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Boards of the University of Melbourne Law School and the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing. Hugh was a board member of the HRLC when it was established in 2006 and held a statutory appointment as a Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission from 2008-2012.

He served on the board of the National Association of Community Legal Centres from 2012-2014 and the governance committee for knowmore, the national service providing legal help for people navigating the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from 2013-2015.

Clinical ethics
assisting hospital staff to make decisions in ethically difficult situations

Associate Professor Lynn Gillam BA Hons, MA, PhD
Health Ethics Centre for Health and Society, 
University of Melbourne Children’s Bioethics Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital

Associate Professor Lynn Gillam BA Hons, MA, PhD
Health Ethics Centre for Health and Society,
University of Melbourne Children’s Bioethics Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital
21 July 2016

Associate Professor Lynn Gillam is the Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre where she provides leadership in research, education and professional development in ethics, as well as continuing to do clinical ethics case consultation work. This work is aiming to better understand the ethical complexities of caring for children and promoting ethical best practice, not just at RCH, but nationally and internationally.

Children’s book illustration: Which stories, why and for whom?

Jane Tanner, Australian children's book illustrator

Jane Tanner
16 June 2016
Parkview Room, Camberwell Library complex

Jane Tanner is an Australian children’s book illustrator. After majoring in painting and printmaking at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, she worked as a traditional artist for many years.

Jane often uses soft pastels, watercolours and gouache, but is best known for her use of coloured pencils. Over 25 years she has created more than 13 picture books, including some written by herself, and numerous book covers.

She has won many awards, including the Commonwealth Human Rights Award for Children’s Literature for her book The Wolf with Margaret Barbalet.

Painting a Revolutionary World

Professor Peter McPhee AM

Professor Peter McPhee AM
15 October 2015

The revolutionary century after 1780 was a whirlpool of political and social upheaval before the republican ship entered a secure harbour in 1880. How did painters such as David, Millet, Courbet and Monet respond to abrupt changes of régime and official artistic preferences? How was their art affected by the changing French society of the nineteenth century?

Professor Peter McPhee AM held a Personal Chair in History at the University of Melbourne and has published widely on the history of modern France. He was the University’s first Provost and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences. Awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003, he became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

The Gender Benders

Professor Garry Warne A.M., M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P

Professor Garry Warne A.M., M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P
11 September 2015

On May 31st, the Victorian Government announced a grant of $6m to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne to support a special clinic for children and young people experiencing gender identity issues. Such concerns are common.

A NZ adolescent health survey of 8166 secondary school students found that 1.2% identified as transgender, 2.5% reported as being unsure about their gender and 1.4% did not understand the question. Of children presenting with gender issues, 25% experience intensified distress when physical changes of puberty start and their distress leads to self-harm in around 50% if help is not forthcoming. Fortunately, help in the form of psychological support and hormonal treatment (puberty blockers and later, cross-sex hormones) is available.

Some young people who wish to transition to the opposite gender later request surgery to change their anatomical sex, but many choose not to. A person who is transgender cannot be ‘cured’ by psychotherapy and doing nothing is not an option for them because of the high risk. The aim of treatment is to promote mental health and facilitate integration into society. Early intervention prevents the development of unwanted physical changes that would make them identifiably different as adults. The 75% of children who initially present with gender identity issues but who do not identify as trans after the onset of puberty will most likely be gay or express a more fluid gender or sexual orientation. Very little is understood about the cause of gender diversity.

Professor Garry Warne AM, who retired in 2012, was the Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne for 19 years. In 2003, he and a psychiatrist colleague, A/Prof Campbell Paul, co-founded the gender dysphoria service at RCH. They and others pioneered the development of policies and procedures for the assessment and management of gender dysphoria in Australia, learned how to deal with lawyers and the courts and debated the ethical issues that both the general community and the medical profession found very challenging.

Since 2003, numbers of patients being referred each year to the RCH Gender Dysphoria clinic, now jointly led by Adolescent Health Physician Dr Michelle Telfer and A/Prof Paul, have climbed 100-fold, placing extreme demands on the staff. The Victorian government’s timely grant will enable RCH to set up Australia’s first fully coordinated multi-disciplinary team for gender-diverse children and adolescents.

ANZAC – 100 Year Anniversary

Ted Bailleu

Ted Bailleu
19 June 2015

August 2014 marked 100 years since the commencement of the First World War. Across the globe, the ANZAC Centenary (2014 – 2018) is being marked by millions of people, in places of special importance and in ways personally meaningful to them.

In Victoria, local communities will have the opportunity to plan their own commemorations and to share in the stories of those who served.

On Friday, June 19, 3.00pm, Ted Baillieu will talk about his work as Chair of Victoria’s ANZAC Centenary Committee and its focus on the sharing of stories to preserve our ANZAC legacy for today’s and future generations, to honour the sacrifice of our war veterans and those who loved them, and to make and mark the connections between those ANZAC veterans and their descendants

The relationship of mental illness to superior leadership skills in times of crisis

Dr James Keipert

Dr James Keipert
12 May 2015

James Keipert is a retired paediatrician who has published extensively during his career. Basing his talk on medical records and biographies, Jim examined the lives of leaders such as William T. Sherman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy to show how bipolar illness contributed surprisingly to superior leadership skills in times of crisis. Jim argued that manic depressive psychosis includes features which may enable sufferers to perform brilliantly under pressure.

30 Years in the Life of the Universe

Associate Professor Chris Fluke

Associate Professor Chris Fluke
March 2015

This presentation looked at the last 30 years in the life of the Universe – the very short time of the existence of U3A Hawthorn in cosmic terms! Chris brought to life events and findings that have occurred in that time, reminding us of the enormity of the universe and our increasing ability to understand it.

Following the theme of our birthday celebrations, this event was an opportunity to recognise the contribution of our long-serving Tutors and Volunteers and Chris assisted us to make presentations to these members.

U3A Hawthorn – The Early Years

Cliff Picton

Cliff Picton
November 2014

This was a presentation to members as part of celebrating the 30th year since the founding of U3A Hawthorn. Cliff Picton, Ombudsman, La Trobe University, was a member of the original Steering Committee and talked about the lead up to the introduction of U3A into Australia, with U3A Melbourne, U3A Hawthorn and U3A Monash being the first three established in 1984.

The theme of this first part of our birthday celebrations was the recognition of the contribution and creativity of our earliest members and Cliff was on hand to make presentations to founding members.

Modern Approaches to Bullying and its Control

Hon. Alistair Nicholson AO RFD QC

Hon. Alistair Nicholson AO RFD QC
12 September 2014

The inaugural Readman Series Lecture was held on 12 September 2014 in the Conference Room at the Mary MacKillop Centre in Hawthorn East.

The speaker was the Hon Alastair Nicholson, who was an Australian judge for 22 years, during which time he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and, for 16 years, was Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia. He is Chair of Children’s Rights International and, since 2002, Chair of the National Centre Against Bullying.

TOPIC: Modern Approaches to Bullying and its Control: the extent and nature of bullying in Australia and elsewhere; current approaches to its control and reduction and how the law operates in this area.