View this Newsletter and all past Newsletters on our Web Page

  NEWSLETTER  September 2022

President’s Report  

As expected, it’s been a busy start in my new role as I navigate my way around all aspects of our wonderful organisation both internally and externally.
There have been meetings with various local politicians to raise awareness and discuss potential new venues for classes as well as two networking events in which our team promoted U3A Southern Gold Coast to possible supporters. We are hoping that these will bear fruit and will keep you informed of any outcomes.
I feel fortunate to be supported by an enthusiastic management committee with seven members helping to share the load. So that you can get to know us better, we have each provided small summary articles, which you can read in this newsletter. We also have two sub-committees, one to organise events and the other, our communications such as this newsletter, Facebook and the website, which have been working hard behind the scenes. There’s also our unpaid, but much appreciated, front-line office personnel as well as the army of volunteer tutors without whom we’d have no classes or activities. I wish to thank all of these people for helping to contribute.
We are still looking for volunteers to fill roles including Asset Management and Marketing and I will continue as Funding Manager until we can find someone to take this on too.
As we move closer to the end of the year and re-enrolment time, it’s important to promote our organisation to prospective new members. Therefore a flyer has been produced to be distributed widely and an information desk booked at The Pines in October during Seniors’ Month. You can read more about each of these initiatives in later pages of this newsletter. 
I look forward to meeting more members in the near future and hearing any feedback and ideas which will assist in improving our organisation.

Liz Logan

U3A Brand New Website! Have you seen it?
Our webmaster, Peter Minck, has created a beautiful and user friendly website for U3A members. At your fingertips find all you need to know about our organisation and the services it provides. Check out the classes, talks and events.
Participate, comment and ‘like’ Southern Gold Coast on Facebook too: it helps spread our reach.


President Liz Logan
A long-held dream to move to the Gold Coast from Victoria became a reality five years ago for Liz and her husband, Rob. They both love watersports and recently bought a two-person kayak to explore the many waterways on the Gold Coast.
Before ‘retirement’ Liz was CEO of two small not-for-profit organisations which supported people with disabilities and serious health conditions. She managed programs, marketing, membership, fundraising, finances, volunteers, staff, strategic planning and stakeholder relationships. It was challenging but rewarding work! She hopes to use some of these skills in her new role at U3A.
Liz has worked in the higher education sector and volunteered in various organisations over the years. Liz joined U3A in 2018 to establish some new friendships and started volunteering in 2020 writing grant applications.          
Vice President  Irene Sachs
Irene Sachs joined U3A in 2017 and was our Program Manager from 2017 – 2020. She has now rejoined the Committee as Vice President.
Prior to retirement, Irene worked as a university librarian in Australia and overseas. She and her husband, Jim, are very keen travellers and like nothing better than to jump in their van and head to the wide outdoors.
Irene’s other interests include reading, gardening, music, kayaking and walking. She is also the tutor for the monthly activity, Walk & Discover.
Treasurer   Merry Cloutier
Merry got involved with U3A Twin Towns while planning retirement activities. She found the (then) Twin Towns branch seemed to offer the widest range of courses. Merry gets involved whenever she joins an organisation. Within 6 months she became Treasurer and tutor for the “Not so Famous Historical Women” and the Environmental courses!  Merry has been busy with many courses and enjoyed researching the courses she’s run. 
Previously Merry was a business improvement consultant and a qualified accountant so her contribution to U3A has supported good practice and financial management in the organisation.  Throughout her working life Merry has volunteered as mentor/advisor to various organisations both domestically and internationally. She said she doesn’t plan on stopping in retirement.  Besides being on the U3A committee, Merry is also on the ethics committee for QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and a board member/Treasurer for Project Didi Australia.
Merry enjoys experimenting with a combination of art and crafts for personal pleasure only (no exhibitions planned!!), intense discussion in her Philosophy group (with the beach in the background), golf in good weather, lunch and wine with girlfriends, and devouring non-fiction books.  Her husband Tom and their little Chihuahua, Luna, keep each other company at home.
Membership Officer Alison Salisbury
Alison moved to the Gold Coast in 1996 and worked at Dreamworld for 6.5 years. After ‘retiring’ she worked as a volunteer, firstly for The Smith Family and for the past 6 years for the U3A, in office and admin roles.
Alison’s interests include sewing, gardening and reading. One of her favourite family activities is to take her granddaughters to various musicals such as Matilda, Aladdin and Frozen.
Alison assists her husband, Peter, with his 500+ birds in many ways including taking the money at bird sales. He says he doesn't see the money afterwards!
Program Manager  Meg Johnson
Meg spent most of her working life in teaching positions - primary, secondary and tertiary.  Her most recent teaching experience was with the Australian International School, Singapore.  There she enjoyed five years of working with wonderful students and colleagues. Travel opportunities were a very welcome bonus. 
Now in retirement, a natural transition for her is to volunteer time at U3A.  Meg does her best to coordinate tutors and activities so the U3A
members are ensured of active ageing.
Office Manager  Anne Souter
Anne grew up on a farm in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Her family moved to suburbia for her Dad’s treatment for TB. She left school early to train in office-work which led to secretarial work in many interesting companies. 
At age 20 Anne took up nursing in Adelaide. She worked in Royal District & Bush nursing in the Outback, including several stints with the Royal Flying Doctor service as well as in schools, prisons and factories.
Anne got her pilot's licence in the 1980s and was engaged to an engineer who, sadly, was killed in a motor bike accident. After this Anne pursued nursing contracts in the Middle East, for two years working in ICUs, in Taif, a mountain city in Saudi Arabia, then in the capital, Riyadh. This fascinating work involved Anne with expatriate communities, including joining them on archaeological digs etc.
Back in Australia Anne travelled with her new partner, for 14 years, taking up jobs from Sydney to Cairns. Returning to Adelaide she spent 2 years as carer for her mother who was suffering from dementia. After her Mum’s passing Anne moved to Queensland to work in dialysis units, eventually working in John Flynn Hospital which involved driving past U3A's Boyd St rooms every day.
Anne called into the U3A office, was offered membership for working only 3hrs/fortnight (great deal!). When the Office Manager retired in 2021, she ended up with the job (no other takers! she said).
 Digital Technologies Manager John Niven
John is responsible for the ‘care and feeding’ of all the technologies that make the U3A office run so well – the computers, the networks and the telephone system. He can often be seen at our public meetings ensuring that the meetings (in-person or via Zoom) are available to all members.
After doing ‘The Big Lap’ of Australia in a caravan, searching for a good place to retire, John and his wife moved to the Gold Coast in 2020 just prior to the Covid lockdowns. He joined U3A Southern Gold Coast the following year in 2021.
During his working career, John worked in the computer industry for 34 years, holding senior engineering and marketing positions with large multinational computer companies. Clients he worked with were the ‘big end of town’ including Australian and NSW governments, the Big 4 Banks, Telstra, Optus and other leading organisations. He was luckily in the right place at the right time – soon after he graduated, IBM released the first IBM Personal Computer which shaped his career thereafter.
John has had a keen interest in basketball and is a founding father of the Northern Suburbs Basketball Association in Sydney which is now the largest such club in NSW with over 3500 members – a far cry from its humble beginnings. He held many volunteer positions with this organisation including being secretary for 15 years. Other positions included coaching junior representative teams, being a referee and Chair of the Judiciary Committee. With his wife, they started basketball in northern Sydney for 5-12 year olds .. he often felt like the ‘Pied Piper’ with up to 350 kids each weekend at basketball courts. He is now recognised as a Life Member.
John is an avid sailor (sails well) and golfer (poorly) and generally enjoys the outdoor life that the Gold Coast provides.

Secretary   Linda Dern
Linda‘s involvement with U3A has been primarily as a student. Now she is the Secretary of the current management committee.

Linda has been a member of U3A for approximately 10 years.  Firstly, in her previous home of Coffs Harbour and now here on the southern Gold Coast since 2015.

As part of an Air Force family from the late 70s until the mid 90s Linda and her family had the chance to live in several places around Australia. After military service life was finished, she and her husband built a life for their family in Coffs Harbour until their now grown children all left Coffs for further education and careers. They decided to move a bit closer to their children all here on the southern Gold Coast.

Linda’s working life has been quite varied from Dental Nurse and Pathology assistant to her final job before workforce retirement as a Customer Service Officer with Centrelink. Nowadays Linda fills her time enjoying keeping fit, renovating, gardening and landscaping, reading and of course some U3A classes to round the week out.

VALE Jana Stranan by Gail Bonser 
Many of the early members of U3A Southern Gold Coast Inc. will remember Jana Stranan, who passed away on Monday 15 August.
Jana was a long-term member, a great contributor to, and supporter of, U3A Twin Towns Inc. (as it was during her time as a member).  Jana was involved in our U3A as member, committee member and the founder of the Wednesday Book Club.  
Since 2006 when she underwent the first of a series of operations, Jana never let her health get in the way of her enjoyment of life and learning. In fact, many of the longer-term members of U3A Twin Towns will remember with admiration the way that Jana continued as an active member during times that would have caused many of us to take to our beds or recline on our couches. None of us would have been game to try and outwalk her with her walking frame!
Jana was a devotee of all things French. She had been a student of French under Beryl Ferrier and she remained a loyal member of the admiration society that supported Beryl at U3A. For years, a number of U3A members who were also her friends played Scrabble in French at Jana’s home each week, with the blessing of Beryl and the use of Beryl’s French Scrabble set. Jana being Jana, the game was incredibly competitive!
Jana battled her illness and the limitations that it placed on her mobility, with bravery and dignity. She loved a party and she’d love to know that her friends and colleagues in U3A remember her and celebrate her life with pleasure, fond remembrance and perhaps a glass of bubbly.

Do you know of a member who is suffering from an illness, in hospital, recovering from an operation or grieving the loss of a loved one?

 Advise the office, and on behalf of us all, a special card created by  Margaret Buchanan will be sent.

Look what our Book Club has been reading!

Table Tennis Thursday afternoons
1–3pm Tugun Community Centre

Exercise? Movement? Fun? Social? Any skill level?
Come join us, experience an afternoon of laughs and skilful play!



Bouquets and big thanks to all our tutors who contribute their time to make available the vast and varied array of classes to members. Something for everyone to stimulate the mind, please the heart and exercise the body. We hope to see them all again in 2023.

Would YOU like to offer a new class in 2023? We know there are U3A members who have amazing skills they could share with others in the new year. Please contact our Program Manager Meg Johnson with your proposal. It does not have to be an all year course. Perhaps you could present a short course, a time limited activity, even a one off. All new ideas are welcomed. Let’s make our U3A as vibrant as we are!

There’s lots planned for seniors’ month and we look forward to you joining us for one, or all, of these exciting activities.


Tuesday 4th – Friday 7th October we need volunteers to service an information desk at The Pines, Elanora, in morning and afternoon sessions.

Can you help please?

The information desk is to promote U3A and its activities to potential new members. New brochures to give out will be available. Click the image to view the full brochure in your browser.

Would you like to share your experiences of U3A with other people who are looking for interesting, social/learning groups on the coast but may not know what is available?

Please contact Irene Sachs:
October Monday 10th – Friday 21st
Kay West, organiser

ARTISTS – Display your art works and volunteer on the roster for a few hours during these 12 days.

Members – please come and see our talented U3A artists and craftspeople show their work efforts over the year.
Free entry. Visitors welcome.

Friday 21 October

U3A Southern Gold Coast recently learned that our application to the City of Gold Coast for a grant in their 2021-2022 Seniors’ Month Grants program was successful and we are now planning a Bus and Discovery tour. 
When: Friday 21st October, from 9:00am-2:30pm (starting and finishing at Boyd Street)
What: A bus trip featuring the Hop On, Hop Off ferry 
Where: The bus will take everyone to the ferry which stops at Sea World, Southport, Marina Mirage and Surfers Paradise, where we’ll have lunch. 
Who: Members, family and friends Cost: $10 (which includes travel on the ferry). 
A message will be sent to let everyone know when bookings open. 
U3A Network Queensland News

Our U3A is supported by the statewide advisory body, U3A Network Queensland. At the first meeting of their new committee it was decided that a liaison person would be appointed to connect more closely with local U3As. Liz Logan and Irene Sachs met with our contact, Margaret Cook, President of U3A Dalby, for a discussion on how the Network could more effectively support us and provide information that would benefit our organisation. A number of topics were discussed including the possibility of developing stronger relationships with other U3As on the Gold Coast, a new database system as well as our need for suitable venues for classes. 

The webinar ‘Your Digital Legacy’, which was held on 23 August, was arranged by U3A Network Queensland along with NBN and COTA Queensland. This webinar discussed the need for people to make appropriate arrangements to allow access to their Digital Legacy after death. For example, being able to access photos stored in the ‘Cloud’, online banking accounts, e-books, subscriptions, Facebook and e-health log-ins. The special event to watch the webinar held at Kirra Community Centre attracted 15 of our members who had a lively discussion about the topic afterwards. Due to the success of this webinar topic another is planned for later in the year for those who missed it. A summary report is also available in the office.

New Newsletter Editor Eli Sky

Do you have something to say to the members, something you like about U3A, suggestions for improvement or fun? Contact Eli Sky via the office to have your comments and ideas posted in Chatterbox. Our organisation flourishes because of you, ALL our members. Let us know what you think about or want from your U3A.  

Many thanks to Gaye Bruerton for creating the newsletter for U3A Chatterbox over the past 2 years! Her tireless efforts have given members information and news keeping them abreast of local events. 
U3A Southern Gold Coast acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet. We wish to pay our respects to their Aboriginal elders, past, present and emerging.
Copyright © 2023 U3A Southern Gold Coast Inc, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp