Tutors at U3A

Life Members

Below are some profiles of our recent tutors at U3A Adelaide. They come from a variety of backgrounds with experience gained from employment, life skills or academia.
No matter what their background, all of our tutors come with a love and knowledge of their subject area and a desire to share it with others - for which 'we others' are forever grateful.

If you know of anyone who has skills they would be willing to share, please get them to contact U3A.

Jeremy Austen 2017
Dead DNA
Seamus Baker 2018
Doctoring the Mind

Helen Bills

Sri Lanka

Roger Bills

Magical Myanmar

Greg Bishop


This is my second role at the Box Factory. I sang here in an 'a capella' choir, in the evenings back in the 1990s!

I was raised doing mathematics and computer research at WRE/DRCS locally in Salisbury, and at Marconi Radar in Chelmsford, UK.

A 'Windows' friend introduced me to the Linux computer system last century. I have ended up at the South-West Community Centre, where I help to run both the Linux Supporters Group (giving lectures and workshops) and the Linux Learner Lounge (hands-on help for beginners).

To get away from high-tech stuff, I enjoy classical music, messing about in wooden boats, fast motorcycles and slow kayaks, and I am enchanted with South America and Indo-China.

Learn Linux 2017

Helen Brooks  

Budapest and the Baltic States


Angelo Caon

I am a microbiologist who works in diagnostic microbiology laboratories. I've worked in a number of places but my longest, continuous workplace was in the laboratory at Lyell McEwin Hospital. Over the last 7 years I've spent a lot of time overseas working to help develop microbiology services in Cambodia, Myanmar and Bhutan. In may of 2017 I completed a 12 month placement as an Australian volunteer through the AVID program in the diagnostic laboratory at the main referral hospital in Thimphu, Bhutan.

Bhutan, Monks and Monarchy


Judith Carr
King in the Carpark
Tony Coombe

Tertiary Academic Qualifications:-

Diplôme d’Etudes de Civilisation française- Sorbonne, Université de Paris, France
Honours Bachelor Degree in French language and Literature- University of Adelaide, SA
Doctorat d’Université- Université d’Aix-Marseille, France

Previous Teaching experience:-

Secondary school teaching to Year 12 at: Scotch College, Mitcham, SA; Adelaide High School; Sacred Heart College; Marbury School, Aldgate, SA.
Lecturer in French Massey University, NZ; Lecturer in French University of New England, NSW
Tutor in French at University of SA; Tutor at University of 3rd Age, Adelaide Inc. (10 years ).
Class and private tutor in English to French personnel at le Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Cadarache (Bouches-du-Rhône), France

I have lived in France for a total or nearly 4 years and my only daughter was born at Aix-en-Provence, France

French Pot Pourri (4)


Tony Comin

Antonio Comin (born Cornuda, Italy, 9.10.1933) migrated with his family to Australia in 1936.

He is a graduate of the University of Sydney and the Università degli Studi di Firenze. He taught at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) before joining Flinders University in 1970 as Professor of Italian, a post he retained until his retirement in 1996.

His main teaching and research areas have been Italian, Italian Dialectology, and Traditional Italian Culture. He has been and continues to be active in promoting Italian theatre as a performer, director and writer

Machiavelli's  - The Prince
Machiavelli's  - The


Mary Clarke

The Stories Behind the Trees

John Cooper-Smartt
Port Misery to Port Dock

John Crowhurst

His research and teaching interests have included obstetric analgesia and anaesthesia, critical perinatal care, and neuraxial & perinatal pharmacology.

John retired from clinical practice in Melbourne at the end of 2010, now lives back here in Adelaide, and continues to teach and lecture on anaesthesia related
topics. He has taught &/or lectured in some 37 countries, and has had 8 international visiting professorships.

His principal interests in retirement are largely in historical topics. He is the Honorary Archivist for the Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association, UK and Chair of the Australasian History of Anaesthesia Group, Australian Society of Anaesthetists.

The initial presentation of this lecture was given to a joint meeting of ANZCA and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Singapore in 2014. To date, this lecture has been presented to both medical and non-medical groups some 24 times in 6 different countries.

A précis of this lecture has been published in several journals, a copy of which is available on request; and was broadcast on ABC Radio National’s ‘Ockham’ Razor’ prior to the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack last December:


Pentothal and Pearl Harbour

David Donaldson
Hollywood's First Australian

Don Drake

I became a member of U3A Adelaide when Colin Lawton was forming it and immediately became a tutor. Initially, I formed a class in Current Affairs with Colin and after a period of time I took over the class on my own.

I went on to teach Physical Geography, concentrating on meteorology and geomorphology.

I have always been interested in Cinema, and in 1994, I began a class in Cinema Studies.  Thus class has been held ever since.

My actual teaching of Cinema Studies began in 1969, when I tried to interest my Leaving English class in watching good cinema instead of accepting the poor quality of the average film.  The library of the SA Film Corporation began collecting 16mm copies of film suitable for study, and these were made available.  I also organized film evenings for adults, and ran film making weekends at my school, with the help of others who came from Adelaide.

Although I have academic qualifications in English, I do not have any qualifications in Cinema Studies.  Such courses did not exist at University when I was a student.  However, there can be a close relationship between film and novels and I always emphasize this.  I am, however, self taught in the subject, and I have done much research, and I hope that I manage.

Cinema Studies


Don Fenton
bulletAlways interested in nearly everything!
bulletLeft school at 15 years of age. Too busy reading to pay attention in class!
bulletGained Horticultural qualifications as a teenager.
bulletStudied Art (Oil painting) at the same time.
bulletWorked as itinerant labourer for many years, including ditch-digging, privately teaching music, landscape-gardening, folk-singing, cane cutting, teaching Horticulture in an Agricultural College, factory work of a variety of kinds, or whatever presented itself at the time.
bulletGained a B.A. from the University of Queensland with a double-major in Government (that’s Politics!), a major in History, a major in Classics and Ancient History, and some stray Economics.
bulletAchieved a B.A. Honours Degree in Politics from the University of Adelaide.
bulletAwarded an M.A. in Politics by the University of Adelaide.
bulletTaught 1st Year Politics and Political Philosophy [my specialty] at the Flinders University of South Australia.
bulletCame to U3A when I first heard about this new organization in 1987, at an Adelaide University function of some sort.
bulletBegan presenting courses for Adelaide U3A in 1988. The first course was Political Ideologies. I experimented with a variety of courses before eventually settling down to the present format, which has been current for some time.

In the Beginning


Joanne Fisher


My first degree is in Chemistry, and my graduate diploma is in Computing. I have worked in a number of disciplines including patent examining, computer systems management, astronomy and robotics. I have always been curious about the amazing universe we live in, and have spent most of my working life as a science communicator. I have worked as a Public Relations Officer, a Knowledge Base Manager, a Technical Writer and a Technical Editor in a wide range of areas.
 Having finally left the paid work force I can now concentrate on learning about the things that interest me. These include classical music, history and walking, but my main love is science, and finding out more about how things work. I hope to share some of my passion with interested U3A people
 in the future.

Life Online

John Geraghty

John was born in England in 1940 migrated to Australia in 1956. He obtained his teaching qualification from Armidale Technical College. He graduated BSc from Newcastle University in 1967 with majors in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Physics.

John is now retired, having taught Mathematics and Physics and also tutoring in Applied Mathematics at the University of New England in NSW.

He has presented courses at U3A in Bowral NSW (home of Don Bradman).

                                                                                    Mathematics in Western Society


Ian Harmstorf
German Migration to South Australia

Dorothy Heinrich

In my previous working life I was an academic, lecturing and tutoring in physiology and pathophysiology. During that time and since, an interest in people and other cultures has led me on journeys with my husband to diverse places, from China and countries of south-east Asia to continental Europe and Iceland, a note-book and camera always in my luggage.

It is an interest in genealogy, however, which has led me on journeys of a different kind - voyages of discovery into the past.
I enjoy writing, and the stories of two runaway sailors in my family tree appear in a family history which I wrote and published in 2006, and which won the South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society's T. T. Reed Award in 2007.

One of these runaway sailors later led me to uncover an  intriguing tale - the story of the captain and ship which he had deserted in Hobart Town in 1836. My researches into the fate of that vessel's captain, Robert Clark Morgan, and the last voyage of the 'Duke of York', have resulted in another book, 'The Man Who Hunted Whales: A tale of Kangaroo Island and a doomed ship'.

In the future, I am hoping to go on even more journeys into the past.

Dorothy's book may be purchased via this link:- http://www.dorothyheinrich.com.au/


Before the Buffalo


Helena Jenkinson

Spanish Connections

David Kilner

David Kilner was born in London and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where he lives with his wife, Pauline, and a Maltese Shih-Tzu cross. With the help of their dogs, they raised two daughters. Now retired, he spent most of his career in the social welfare sector where he became expert at writing social welfare policy and was awarded a Doctorate for his work on social housing. 

These days he enjoys volunteering with community organisations, playing 8-ball, participating in U3A activities and writing local history studies. Many of his non-fiction works have been published, both in social welfare and in history. 

He began writing crime fiction several years ago and has previously published two short stories with Detective Sergeant Skyla Merrick in the lead. 

His first Skyla Merrick novel, The Climate Change Murders, was published in 2015 and the follow up, The Rock Art Murders, was published in 2016.

Crime Fiction Talk


Bob Major

Charles Darwin: Geologist

Peter Mansfield  

History of the English Bible


Pauline McCreery

Since retiring at the beginning of 2009 I have been busier than ever before.  I can devote more time to image based computing, to travel, to learning croquet, to learning French, to..........you name it!  I love theatre, reading, good food and wine and being a grandmother.  I became the webmaster for U3A Adelaide five years ago as well as serving on both the Programme and the General Committees, I continue with these commitments.  From March 2011 - March 2013 I was President of U3A Adelaide. I am now the delegate for U3A Adelaide at U3A South Australia, the peak body for U3A in South Australia. I am also webmaster for U3A South Australia and serve on some of their committees. It is wonderful to be able to continue with my love of both learning and teaching.

Start Your Photobook
Updating Photobook Skills

Nick Meredith

Army Museum of SA

Jeff Nicholas

In 1995, Jeff retired from academic life at Flinders University, where he was Senior Lecturer in Health and Physical Education. He is now involved in historical research and public speaking on the origins of the 'Province of South Australia'.  His biographical history, Behind the Streets of Adelaide, was launched in 2016 in Adelaide and London.

From 1999-202, Jeff was the President of the Pioneers Association of South Australia and took a leading role in the Association's publication entitled A Pioneer History of South Australia (2001)


The South Australian Dream


Trevor Peart

I first visited West Terrace Cemetery many years ago while researching biographical information for entry in a history competition. That visit opened up a panorama of South Australia, its people and their stories. With more than 150,000 burials, West Terrace Cemetery hosts a vast array of those stories, all of which combine to weave the rich fabric of our society.

Over the years, I have delivered talks to numerous groups and societies, including U3A, and have been a tour guide for both commercial and non-profit sectors. When I was fortunate enough to take early retirement in 2002, I was able to devote more time to my interests in social history, especially South Australian history (with an emphasis on historical crime).

Lifelong learning has always been my passion and, besides history, I enjoy bush dancing, scale modelling and most things involving technology. My current learning project is programming Arduino microprocessors


Behind the Walls


Robert Penny

I was educated mainly in Catholic schools. At age 17, I stopped going to Church and soon became a non-card-carrying atheist. In 1991, I heard of D.E. Harding on ABC Radio National. Based on his scientific-philosophical books, my sense-of-self and world-view have totally transformed, and I now have a deep spirituality which dovetails perfectly with modern science. I've had significant course management and teaching experience and involvement in community organisations. 

Comparative Religion

Shila Phopo  

Society in Remote Papua

The following websites are for your information

Kerrie Prosser  

Beyond the Kerb


John Prowse

John is a keen bush walker and long distance walker. In 2015, he walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela and last year the Via Francigena from Canterbury in England to Rome.
He is a retired Chemical Engineer and Manager of oil & gas and resources projects. He worked in Europe, North America and South East Asia as well as Australia. His interests are history, philosophy, politics, walking and travel.


A Pilgrim's Journey to Rome



Efstathios P'saltis

Efstathios learnt Greek from his migrant parents and through immersion in the local Greek community. He studied Modern Greek at Charles University in Prague and, in the process, became fluent in Czech and learnt Russian.  He also has a Dip. Ed and a B.A. (2016) from the University of Adelaide.  He has maintained his oral fluency through participating in Greek community activities and his writing skills by translating and writing poetry.

He was involved in teaching Greek in ethnic schools run by the Greek Orthodox Community of S.A. Inc, where he created learning materials and guided teachers. He was the inaugural lecturer of Modern Greek at the then Adelaide C.A.E; taught Greek and was a Greek Language Adviser in public schools: taught Greek at the University of Adelaide Continuing Education; has taught ESL (including a year in Prague).

Efstathios loves teaching the Greek language. It always presents challenges and so he prepares his own materials and has a flexible methodology. He is acquainted with teaching and learning as an older person.

Greek Language and Culture (1)

Pamela Rajkowski
In the Tracks of the Cameleers


Barrie Redman

Introduction to Excel


Shaun Ruxton
Underwater Macro Photography

Gabrielle Scherrer

My life in music has been very varied; I was teaching violin in my teens, but started my official studies after leaving school. I studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London in the performer’s course and completed my violin teaching certificate as well. My first position was with the BBC Scottish Orchestra, which was daunting and a huge learning curve! 

My parents then emigrated to Australia and I decided to see something of Europe. I played in a German Symphony Orchestra and then in Basel, where I met my husband, Walter. I did return to England to do a Dip Ed for classroom music teaching but then went back to Basel to get married.

In 1990 we decided to emigrate for various reasons and I got a job in Albany WA teaching all the strings in all the public schools in 3 days and teaching classroom music for 2 days a week to 450 Primary School kids! There were also 2 Youth Orchestras and a school choir to conduct!  Enough said!! Luckily I could give up the classroom teaching after 7 years.

I moved to Adelaide in 2008 and have continued my varied activities including non music ones and I am enjoying the opportunities here, especially at U3A! I have often come across adults who play and sing without being able to read music. They manage extremely well and it is possible. But being able to read gives you more independence and opens up more repertoire – as does word reading – and it is possible to learn it later in life! So that is why I am offering this course “Reading Music through Singing and Percussion”.  I hope to see you there.

Reading Music for Beginners


Irene Schmidt
German Let's Talk (3)

Valerie Sitters

Valerie has immersed herself in the literature of the polar regions for over 40 years and delighted in sharing that love with innumerable groups.
She has given talks about Antarctica to historical societies, the ANARE Club and the Australian Meteorological Association and RIAus most recently. She was formerly employed at the State Library of SA and in the Royal Geographical Society of SA Library.

Botanizing Australia

Trevor Steele

Trevor Steele was born in Queensland, but has lived in several parts of Australia and spent many years in foreign countries of Europe, in Brazil, India, Hong Kong and the former Soviet Union. He is now retired and living in Adelaide with his Slovak wife.

Diaries From Hell
Fighters Against Barbarism
Hitler's Last Victims
On Foot Across Australia
Soviet Union Collapse
The Medieval Crusaders

Tony Stimson

Remembering the Boer War

Patricia Sumerling

Elephants and Egotists

Sandra Taylor

I hold Honours and MSc degrees from Queens University at Kingston, Canada and a PhD degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in biology and earth science.  I retired from my position as a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of Adelaide in 2007.  Since then I have been an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Urban Ecology at the University of South Australia.  My current research activities are concerned with urban biodiversity conservation and restoration, environmental history, citizen science and Australian nature writing.

I have offered U3A courses in the past at Pt Adelaide and in the City.  Now that I have reduced my academic commitments to the University of South Australia, I have time to begin offering U3A courses again.

Greening Cities

Michele Warren
Tai Chi / Qigong 1
Tai Chi / Qigong 2

Murray Wilsden  

Eastern Europe and Turkey Wanderings


Peter Winter

Cybercrime and Seniors

Mike Wohltmann  

Enemy Aliens