President’s Message

May 2024

Term 1 started with a hive of activity with members attending classes aimed at enriching their physical, intellectual and social wellbeing. The greater buzz in the interval between classes was palpable – members socially gathering in groups and engaging in friendly conversation. It is most heart-warming to see that the main objectives of U3A Manningham, that of providing ongoing learning in a warmly convivial social environment, are strongly evident. As we commence Term 2, our new Committee will follow on from the strong foundation laid by the Committee under the leadership of David McNamara. May I take this opportunity to thank David who has remained in the Committee of Management as Vice-President to mentor me and help me adapt to my role as President.

Communication with Members

In this age of technology where people are more likely to communicate online, I believe there is a strong case for face-to-face communication. How often have I walked our corridors at The Pines to be stopped by members asking who the President is, or whom to approach when they wish to give feedback. Photos of Committee members have been put up on the back wall of the office to help our members identify with the people who have generously volunteered their time and services to our U3A. I hope that when our members can identify our Committee members, they are more likely to approach any one of us if there are matters they wish to raise. This is a more effective way of ensuring that we have the opportunity to discuss with members any constructive feedback or issues they may wish to raise – certainly more effective than communication via a suggestion box.

Committee of Management

Our new Committee consists of members with specialised skills and together they make up a coordinated whole in seamlessly managing our organisation. Here is a list of the members of our Committee with information about their area of responsibility.


President: Shirley Fung
Vice President: David McNamara
Secretary: Lyn Davies
Treasurer: Bryce Normoyle

Other members

Andrew Barnett: Equipment Manager
Robyn Buttling: Office Manager
Neville Cook: Communications Manager
Quintin Coutinho: U3A Network Liaison
Cynthia Fan: Curriculum Manager
Doug Wallace: Enrolment Manager, Data Management
Warwick Wright: Database Manager


As the world moves forward so should we, particularly in the areas of learning new information and new skills. Our Committee will be looking at priorities for forward planning to keep us abreast of the times. Our future planning will relate to:

  • exploring courses that are current, relevant to our members and stimulating to their mental, social and physical wellbeing.
  • creating an environment that maintains existing membership and encourages new membership, particularly for people who may be isolated and will benefit from the social interaction that our U3A ambience provides.
  • providing training for new equipment and new and stimulating learning experiences.
  • developing a succession plan to ensure that members holding positions of responsibility are well supported by volunteers well trained to assist them, and later fill positions that may become vacant.


In relation to the last point about succession planning, I cannot emphasise enough the value of our volunteers in the smooth running of the various areas of our U3A. For a non-profit organisation such as ours, the stability of our U3A is strongly dependent upon the generosity and dedicated service of our volunteers. I am sure the volunteers who have kept our U3A working so efficiently do feel a rewarding sense of fulfilment that they are contributing to the successful operation of our U3A. We are grateful to the members who, from time to time, have stepped up to fill the vacant positions we have advertised. There is still one position left to be filled – that of Treasurer. As the business side of our U3A is not complex, money management is not as complicated as for big businesses. We are hoping that a member or members with accounting skills or financial management skills will step forward to take up the position of Treasurer or Treasurer supported by a team.

Running out of Space

On Wednesday 24 April I attended a singalong course run by Graeme Mills that was held at Roseville Retirement Village. Collaboration with Roseville has made available a course that is open to our members as well as Roseville residents, using a space provided by the Roseville Retirement Village. With 173 courses on offer at U3A Manningham, we are running short of space at The Pines. Collaboration with organisations such as retirement facilities gives us the option of spreading out to spaces external to The Pines. Another group, the Multi-instrumental Group, has performed at several retirement facilities. Their next performance is in May at Baptcare The Orchards, Doncaster East. It is heartening to see our members contributing their services to the community outside of U3A Manningham.

To all members, remember that this is our U3A, and by helping out in whatever way we can, we make this a great place for us to share our time together. Wishing you a happy and enjoyable Term 2.

Shirley Fung