2020 Committee

The 2020 Committee has been appointed and it is always good to know who they are, a little about their background and interests. They are here to help you and evolve our U3A.

President – Tony Harris 

Contact – president@portsorellu3a.org.au

Vice President & Tutors/Programming – Jim Rudling

Contact – vice.president@portsorellu3a.org.au

My name is Jim Rudling and I was appointed as the Vice President and the Team Coordinator of Programs and Tutors.

I am a born and bred Tasmanian, having lived in Hobart, Oatlands, New Norfolk, Burnie and Launceston as a child. My dad was a government Veterinary Surgeon who transferred around the state.

I am married with one grown daughter and my background is as an educator with 40 years of experience across both the primary and secondary sectors on the north west and west coasts of our beautiful state. 

I have been retired for 8 years and enjoy travelling in our van, reading a good mystery, trying to play golf and spending time with family and friends.

My wife Jenny and I shifted to this area 2 years ago. We have both been enthusiastic members of U3A Port Sorell and really appreciate the positive influence the organisation has made in our lives

Treasurer – Anne Turner

Contact – treasurer@portsorellu3a.org.au

Hello 😊

I am Anne Turner, and I am the treasurer for our organisation.

Don my husband, and I moved to Port Sorell 4 years ago after living on the Gold Coast for 25 years.  We originally came from Tasmania and are delighted to be back living in such a glorious place. 

Our decision to move back to Tassie was prompted by a visit to scatter my parent’s ashes in a place they loved, off the boat ramp at Port Sorell. 

They had a holiday home in Port Sorell for many years, and as a teenager, I spent some very happy holidays here. My dad taught Don & I to waterski off Baker’s Beach many years ago.  So Port Sorell has a special place in my heart.

I am an accountant, a member of CPA Australia, and have worked for a number of years as a director of a professional services firm on the Gold Coast.  I have been working from home in a part time capacity from here in Port Sorell, and will be fully retired from 30 June.

Whilst I have not yet undertaken any of the courses offered by U3A, it has been my pleasure to act as a member of the committee, and to look after the financial affairs of the organisation. As I head into retirement, I will be checking out the amazing courses on offer, so look forward to meeting more members in a social environment.

Secretary – Christa Foulis

Contact – secretary@portsorellu3a.org.au

Hello. My name is Christa Foulis and I am proud to recently have been appointed as the in the U3A Port Sorell committee. I have been involved with U3A, in some form, since shortly after its inception in 2014.  

My husband, Graeme, and I moved onto a property on the outskirts of Port Sorell just over a decade ago (after Sydney, Melbourne and Johannesburg); city-slickers seeking a taste of “The Good Life” on a couple of hectares.  Well yes, life is good, but my already high esteem for farmers skyrocketed within the first few weeks after settling in here: It’s hard work! Even so, we wouldn’t trade it; we love the sense of groundedness that comes with living close to nature.

Apart from being an ex-city-slicker (is there even such a word?), I have an ex-career in the Academic and Corporate worlds. As a psychologist, I initially struggled with retirement, lamenting that cognitive stimulation was now unavailable to me and just another “ex-“ to add to the growing list of casualties that seems inherent in my ripe age of  in my life stage.  And then along came a life changer: U3A Port Sorell.

I have benefitted from many, many courses, ranging from the challenge of learning to play piano (thank you Yvonne Yaxley), to enjoying fun and laughter while gaining valuable knowledge in Geography (thank you Michael O’Reilly), through to exploring the bigger issues in life in Conversations (thank you Conversers).  

A few years ago when, once again, I thought that life had plateaued (albeit it at a higher level) or worse; that my recent stimulation was just a passing hiatus to stagnation, I was wrong again! Graeme, quite out of the blue, said he wanted to play Table Tennis. I responded something like: “What? Table Tennis? Isn’t ping pong a children’s party game?” Yep; I had it positioned right next to the jumping castle and I was getting v-e-r-y worried about him!  A week later I too was keen to take the plunge.  Fast forward three years, and I play about 5 times a week (pre-Covid-19) and facilitate 2 “courses” at U3A.  Not bad for someone whose idea of participating in sport was falling asleep in front of the TV watching cricket.

Seriously, I am passionate about U3A Port Sorell which has had (and continues to have) a massive positive impact on me, and I will do everything in my power to serve it, and the U3A community, well.  

IT – Lindsay Weatherburn

Contact – IT@portsorellu3a.org.au

I am Lindsay Weatherburn and have recently taken over the computing side of U3A Port Sorell.  

My wife, Margaret, and I moved to Port Sorell from a village called Murrumbateman in NSW just over 7 years ago about the time when Port Sorell U3A was getting off the ground.

In the 90s I had given an “Introduction to Computers” course to Southern Highlands U3A in NSW, so was keen to join Port Sorell U3A and see what it had to offer.

I have worked in computers for nearly 50 years, starting as a Tape Librarian for Reader’s Digest and ending as the project lead for the upgrade of a cyber wall for Defence.

When I started, computers didn’t have keyboards and I could walk in them, and they were less powerful than your mobile phone now. Over my career I have seen, and have had, many changes. From Computer Operator, through Programming and System Administration to finally Project Management.  Most of my working career has been in Sydney or Canberra, but have had an occasional stint in The Netherlands, London, and Christmas Island. While in Canberra I was also part of a team which introduced “Office Automation” to the ACT Government.  This included training existing staff in the use of the new-fangled gadgets and where I started to enjoy training.

While I have not attended any courses offered by U3A to date, I have presented “Protecting your Computer”, “Social Media” and “Excel” a few times now and will probably offer them again when we get back to a “normal” life.

Our decision to move to Tasmania came after many visits to a daughter who had married a Tasmanian, and we decided it wasn’t a bad place to live – It has been one of  the best decisions we made! 

Communications & Promotions – Gail Woodgate

Contact – communication@portsorellu3a.org.au

Hello – my name is Gail and the role I have in your committee is the Communications and Promotions Coordinator.

I am a pretty recent arrival to Tasmania – I came from Sydney just over 12 months ago after having retired at 55 with my husband who had retired 2 years earlier. We have lived all over Sydney – North/North West (Cherrybrook & The Ponds), South (Allawah), East (Vaucluse) and West (Penrith & Wentworth Point) and even in the Southern Highlands (Exeter) of NSW for a few years (because we loved the weather) and so coming to Tassie and especially to this area was the perfect choice of sun, sea oh and wind!!

My husband and I ran our own management consultancy company for over 25 years focussing on customer service, business improvement and process re engineering – specifically in Contact Centres but also with a specific interest in Activity Based Working. We loved the flexibility of our business (we were lucky that we would work on a project and then travel overseas once it was completed before coming back to start another project) – it really helped transition to retirement much more easily although it was hard to close the business down once I retired as it really was signifying the end of an era.

We built our very unique home in Shearwater which we absolutely love. The community feeling here is something I am very grateful for and feel very lucky to have around me – not just in my street but everywhere you go people are so friendly and always up for a chat! 

My absolute passion is cooking and especially baking and before the suspension of U3A classes I was facilitating the U3A “What’s for Dinner” class  with 8 terrific people where we cooked up a storm and laughed a lot!! 

I am also very new to machine sewing as a hobby and it’s a great challenge and already I have made cushions, bags and clothes and now I am teaching myself free motion sewing and thread painting – the University of YouTube is amazing! Sewing has been such a great distraction while we’ve self isolated.

Garry and I are looking to recommencing playing golf (when we can find the time!) and also target archery, which we played in Sydney – we have yet to find a space where we can do that again close by but I would love something at the Banksia Centre! We were spoilt in Sydney. We lived across the road from the Olympic Archery Centre. It was incredibly convenient and  good fun!

I look forward to promoting U3A Port Sorell more widely and sharing with you through this newsletter and via other means all the things we are planning to do.

Office Manager – Libby Prescott

Contact – office@portsorellu3a.org.au

Hi, my name is Libby. I’ve been Office Manager for U3A for the last 18 months, so some of you may have come across me when enrolling, paying membership fees etc. U3A has provided me with some great courses over the years. I blame Yvonne Yaxley for my becoming Office Manager as I thought I should give back something to the organisation that gives so much to our community.

 I’d always wanted to learn to play the piano but never previously had the chance. Yvonne and U3A gave me that opportunity. I’ll never be very good but I’m still amazed I can play with two hands and read most of the notes. 

My training is in archaeology and materials conservation (for museums). 

I spent my working life as a researcher and interviewer working for the ABS, UTAS and the Menzies Centre. John and I moved to Tasmania nearly 40 years ago with a one- month-old baby and all our possessions including 3 bicycles in an old HR Holden.

We raised four children and other animals on a small farm at Gunns Plains. Fifteen years ago John built us a passive solar house on an acre bush block at Squeaking Point. I’m still there and truly love this place. 

Committee Member – Tricia Vierra

Contact – tricia.vierra@portsorellu3a.org.au

Hi, my name is Tricia Vierra

When Andrew and I moved from Fremantle to Tasmania in June 1997, we landed briefly in Port Sorell where we loved the environment and people—but could not find a decent cappuccino.  We journeyed south to Hobart where we lived for nearly 20 years when I worked as a librarian at the State Library and UTAS.  

After retirement, I served on club, state, and national committees supporting croquet as a sport and recreational activity.  Now I serve on the North West Film Society committee and, since last August, on the U3A Port Sorell committee.  Working with other U3A committee members and volunteers has been very satisfying, particularly in the areas of governance, policy, and program delivery.

U3A has been a part of my life-long learning since 2014, when I started as a member of the Noosa U3A.  Their film course was highly participatory, where we selected the films and give short ‘tutorials’ on some aspects of film.  Here at Port Sorell, I enjoy the collaborative learning aspects of the Conversations class.  The philosophy of life-long learning in the Third Age gives value to our experiences, interests, and knowledge when shared with a community of friends.

My other interests, shared with Andrew, are reading, films, cooking simple suppers for friends, good conversation, and walking our ‘dog – daughter’s’ – Jessie and Ruby Too.

And, about that cappuccino…no problem now!

Committee Member – Tom Kingston

Contact – tom.kingston@portsorellu3a.org.au

Greetings, my name is Tom Kingston!

 I moved to Port Sorell with my partner Jenny a couple of years ago from Burnie where we had moved from Victoria five years before that. Hence, although I lived in Victoria all my life, Jenny and I decided, because of the looming climate crisis, to move to Tasmania.

In terms of my professional life, apart from my years before I began school and a later two year stint in retail in my late teenage years, I have spent my life in education, primary, secondary, tertiary and post tertiary. 

I have been interested in U3A for quite a while now and more especially because there is no NAPLAN or any other form of assessment required. You can actually turn up and enjoy yourself without the threat of a report card. I hope to contribute in some way for Port Sorell U3A.

Our families are all back in Victoria which means, or at least did mean before COVID 19, regular trips to ‘grandparents days’ and the like. We look forward to doing this again in the not too distant future.

If I can finish this introduction with a quote from Derrick Jensen, one of my favourite writers, “We have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water.” My hope is that Port Sorell U3A will provide such enchantment; and food and water when necessary.