Tuesday Forum

speakers_forumTuesday Forum presents a variety of guest speakers who speak in depth on their area of expertise.  The topics are as varied as the people who present them – from university lecturers to the local fisherman. Once a term we go on an outing during Tuesday Forum.

Tuesday Forum is held in the Uniting Church Hall in Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads.  See map.  There is no Tuesday Forum on the first Tuesday of the month, nor during the school holidays.

Please note that Tuesday Forum has been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 virus. Watch out for newsletters to inform you when we start again.

Tuesday Forum – Term 1, 2020

Tuesday 11 February – Tell Us Your Story
We are trialling a new idea for Tuesday Forum – Tell Us Your Story. Many of us enjoy Conversations on ABC Radio with Richard Feidler. We are going to have our own mini version. Each term we will invite two or three members to participate in a conversation about a topic that is close to their heart. It may be an experience that they have had or an area of expertise that they are passionate about. The first members telling us their story will be:
– Janice Bolland – Surviving Cyclone Tracy
– Denise Curran – Running a cafe without any experience 

Tuesday February 18 – Alan Maclean
By popular demand, Alan is returning to present Macca’s Mind Benders (Little grey cells in overdrive) This copmprises a range of entertaining “challenges” exploring problem perception, logic and intelligence … to stimulate brain activity … to encourage people to think outside the square … to re-evaluate … to determine exactly what the problem was … to see solutions within patterns. This presentation is interactive “fun”.

Tuesday 25 February – Jean Watson
Jean spent some time living and conducting research in the mountains of New Guinea with tribes which were, at the time, unknown other than in their region. In particular, Jean befriended a teenage boy who folloewd her everywhere and showeed her things that she might otherwise not have seen. Jean has many tales to tell about her life changing experience, as well as some very special photos of the area and its indigenous people to show us.

March 10 – Jan Pilgrim
Jan is the President of Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers. Their foremost aim is the rescue and rehabilitation of native fauna for return to their natural environment, using the best and most up-to-date information from all relevant sources. They also aim to educate the public by encouraging the protection and welfare of our native wildlife and their habitat. Jan has a beautiful presentation which illustrates the work that the carers do and will likely have many poignant stories relating to fauna injured in our horrendous bushfire season. 

March 17 – Hebe de Souza
Hebe is the author of Black British, a “sharply funny yet poignant story about a courageous girl growing up in 1960s North India from an exciting new voice in Australian fiction” according to Amazon.com. “Black British is a richly visceral and stunning debut, based on the author’s own childhood in the turbulent years that follow the British Empire’s collapse in India.” Hebe’s family had adopted British-in-India culture a century before in order to be successful in business and life, hence she found herself a member of the Black British. Her book provides an unflinching and beautiful narrative about feminism, family and the search for identity.

March 24 – Zenith Virago – Postponed
Zenith has been a highly respected wedding and funeral celebrant around Byron for over 20 years. Today’s focus is on Death, Dying and Loss. According to Zenith: “Whilst encouraging everyone to prepare in advance, I am often assisting families to respond as well as they can to difficult news, or to the shock of a sudden or challenging loss.  Sharing legal, practical and emotional information and resources to guide and empower you – to know what your options are, to make informed choices and participate fully in each stage of the journey. Together, creating healing, appropriate and real ceremonies and rites of passage to help move into an easier bereavement.”

March 31 – Brunswick Valley Historical Society Excursion – Postponed
The Brunswick Valley Historical Society seeks to collect and conserve material including objects, images and documents that record the social, economic and civic history of the Brunswick Valley. They publish material relevant to the area, interpret and display the collection to educate and engage the community in local history. Their home is the Mullumbimby Museum which was the former Post office located in Summers Park. Morning tea will be provided.

Tuesday Forum – Term 4, 2019

October 15 – Yvonne Turner
My life as a prison officer. Yvonne is a local lady whow has worked in various roles in prisons. She came to her career as a prison officer late in life, so has a lot of stories to tell us about what happened before then too.

October 22 – Jesse Blackadder
Rescheduled, Jesse is an award-winning author of seven novels for adults and children, emerging screenwriter, inspiring public speaker, creative writing teacher and youth literacy advocate. She’s fascinated by adventurous women, extreme landscapes, unusual creatures and chilly places, as demonstrated by her second three month visit to Antarctica.

October 29 – Senior Constable Bradley Foster
Crime Prevention. Senior Constable Bradley Foster is a crime prevention officer for the Tweed Byron Police District. He will talk to us about taking the necessary precautions as senior citizens to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers. We know about Nigerian Princes, online dating sites, ATO scams etc., but there is much more that we need to know to keep ourselves safe.

12 November – Des Wann

The Ladies Diary: 1704 to 1840 – An Analysis of its History, Language and Content. This presentation examines one of the most unusual almanacs of the 18th and 19th centuries in England. Considerable original research has gone into its preparation and I am sure members will find it most intriguing for the diverse features that it highlights. I can honestly say it is very, very different to anything I have done before but also has been the most rewarding one for me personally. If you are particularly interested in English History and/or Language then this talk will provide some interesting insights. And additionally there is a brief look at how mathematical problems were posed in those times.”

19 November – Preparing for an Emergency
Note – this presentation will go ahead. Paul from SES is not able to come as he is deployed at the Fire Headquarters in Casino. Peter will still join us to tell us how to Prepare for an Emergency.
You may have heard about the recent community information sessions organised by the Byron Community Centre regarding readiness for an emergency. We are privileged to have our own presentation, geared specifically for the more mature citizen. The recent fires provide a timely reminder that we should take steps to make sure that we are prepared in case of any emergency. Come along to hear from SES and RedCross experts and pick up some valuable tips.

26 November – Enchanted Wood Nursery at Coolomon Co Cafe
While we are comfortably seated at the Coolamon Co Cafe, Tess Wood, from the Enchanted Wood Nursery at Ocean Shores will tell us about local gardening – plants, frogs, insects and even weeds. After Tess’s presentation we can take a leisurely stroll around the nursery and purchase coffee and cake form the cafe. Lily and Sam are opening specially for us so let’s make it worth their while.

10 December – Christmas Meeting
We will finish 2019 with a Christmas themed meeting. Christmas music, Christmas food, Christmas jokes and a Christmas themed trivia quiz. This meeting will be shorter than usual to allow our Probus members to head off to their luncheon. We wish all our members a happy and peaceful holiday and look forward to seeing you all in 2020.

Tuesday Forum – Term 3, 2019

July 23 – Donna Lafferty
My Aged Care
The Australian Government Home Care Packages Program provides older people who want to stay at home with access to a range of ongoing services and clinical care that help them with their day-to-day activities. There are many providers of these services. Donna is from Australian Unity, one of the providers. Her role is to engage with community groups to provide information, answer questions and assist aged persons to register for funding with My Aged Care. Donna knows how confusing the process can be and that many seniors do not know what is available to assist them to stay safe in their own homes and continue to connect with their communities.

July 30 – Jacqui Walsh
Jacqui is a well known local acupuncture practitioner, with a following of loyal clients. She will explain the sacred geometry that was the original acupuncture, the relationship between the meridians and how acupuncture works to relieve pain. Jacqui will also talk about the five element theory, how this pertains to diagnosis and constitutional makeup and its use in acupuncture point selection. Jacqui has a very dynamic personality –  her presentation provides a mixture of theory and demonstrations.

August 13 – Sophie Wilksch

Women’s Shed
Sophie’s  journey has taken her from a degree in architecture, through to building construction and into a desire to share these skills with others. She is now teaching carpentry and joinery skills at Shedding Community Workshop, where she has recently set up a Government-funded program to enable workshops for our local community, called UPSKILL. She loves building eco-tiny homes, sustainable natural dwellings and up-cycled furniture. Most of all she loves to share these skills with others through teaching. As well as sharing her knowledge and experience, Sophie will entertain us with some interesting on-the-job stories.

August 20 – AGM
It’s 20 years since the incorporation of Brunswick Valley U3A. As well as the obligatory reports and elections that make up an AGM, this year we will focus on the achievements of our club over the last 20 years as well as our current activities. There will be demonstrations by various groups, some of the items from Men’s Shed and the Busy Beaders to purchase, an historic photo display, guest visitors and, of course, a birthday cake. There will be a special commemorative supplement with the annual report. If you would like to contribute to this please contact the president

August 27 – Fiona Spencer
Barefoot Law
Legal advice should be a right not a privilege, but it’s often too expensive for many people and legal aid and community legal centers are very limited or far away. Barefoot Law is designed to help you solve a problem or make a decision by offering practical low-cost advice to individuals and families, community organisations and small businesses. Fiona is one of the solicitors at Barefoot Law. She will talk to us today about the expansion of the Barefoot Law services into Byron Bay, as well as providing advice to us about Capacity, Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and the matters surrounding them.

September 10 – Annual luncheon
Join us at Kouzina for our 20th anniversary luncheon. Kouzina is one of the exciting new food businesses that is making the Byron Industrial Estate a food hub. We were told about this exciting new Greek restaurant by Kadri, one of our Tuesday Forum presenters, as part of her Byron Foodies businesses. Kouzina serves traditional Greek food on shared platters to create a delightful eating experience. The restaurant will be closed to the public so that our U3A group can celebrate its 20th anniversary in style. $25 per head, BYO. Car pooling arrangements will be made the week prior to the luncheon.

September 17 – Dr Jesse Blackadder
A return speaker, Jesse is an award-winning author of seven novels for adults and children, an emerging screenwriter, an inspiring public speaker and a creative writing teacher and youth literacy advocate. She’s fascinated by adventurous women, extreme landscapes, unusual creatures and chilly places, as demonstrated by her recent three month visit to Antarctica. Jesse was awarded the 2018/19 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, in collaboration with screenwriter Jane Allen. It was Jesse’s second Antarctic Arts Fellowship – she is one of only a handful of artists awarded this honour. As well as her Antarctic adventure, Jesse has just had the first in a new series of children’s books published.

September 24 – Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Tweed Heads
Our term excursion will provide a unique insight into Aboriginal culture. The Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is run by the area’s Aboriginal community. It is a popular meeting place for Goori other Aboriginal peoples. An Aboriginal tour guide will take us on a gentle walking tour through the site, telling us about its relics, plants and animals. Hear about Aboriginal life when this area was an untouched paradise of natural forest and mangroves, before learning about the cultural significance of Bora Ring, which we will see on the Walk on Water track.  $5 per person. includes morning tea in the bush, surrounded by birdsong.

Tuesday Forum – Term 2, 2019

April 30 – Jan Mangleson
50 Years of Ocean Shores
Ocean Shores recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner at the Country Club – itself a central piece in the Ocean Shores story. Part of the celebration was a presentation showing images of the old Ocean Shores, the sales campaign surrounding the development and the personalities involved – amongst other things.

Jan will show this presentation as well as telling us about some of the amazing pioneering women of the district.

May 14 – Roger and Denise Curran
U3A – A New Era
Roger and Denise recently attended Defy Expectations, the Network NSW conference in Tamworth. Many new pieces of information pertaining to U3As came to light, some involving the need for a review of current practices. There are also some significant opportunities available to us.

Find out about the New Era for U3A in Australia and in the Brunswick Valley.

May 21 – Alan McLean
Slice the Mainbrace
Rum has been an integral part of powerful navies of the world; a sedative for childbirth; anaesthesia prior to surgical procedures; a substitute system of currency; a preventative for Scurvy disease; and a “contra” for infra-structure development. Hear why the Brits are known as Limeys – the Dutch gave you courage – and the real truth about sweet Fanny Adams.

May 28 – Mahi Paquette
The Seabin Project
One of the goals for the Seabin Project is to provide practical and tangible solutions to reduce the plastics in our oceans which is one of the world’s greatest problems. Mahi, COO of the Seabin Foundation, will tell us how the Seabin journey started with a simple idea: if we can have rubbish bins on land then why not have them in the ocean? The Seabin Project is now being recognised through international awards for commitment to sustainability practices, product design, service, and social responsibility.

June 11 –Robert Crossley and Don Hennessy
New Brighton Coastal History
Rob is the New Brighton Village Association President. He will present an overview of historical changes to the coastline seen through aerial imagery dating back to 1947.

We all know Don as the man who fixes our computers. But he is wearing a different hat today – that of photographer. Don has lived in New Brighton for over 40 years and has an interesting collection of photos that he has taken during this time. He will present his photos in a way that tells the history of New Brighton and shows the changes that have taken place in this sleepy little hamlet over this period.

June 18 – Kadri Kutt
Byron Arts, Food and Industrial Estate???
We’re all familiar with the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate. Or are we? There are changes afoot. There are now a lot more food producers operating out of the estate. We’re all familiar with Byron Bay Cookies, but there are now so many more. Come and find out about them from Kadri who operates a food tour centered on the estate.

June 25 – Outing
Term 2 excursion and luncheon
The award winning Byron Bay Train is the first solar train in the world. Join us and relax on vintage lounge seats in the first class carriage or chat to fellow passengers in coach class as you pass through littoral rainforest, endangered coastal wetlands and over the stunning tea tree Belongil Creek, part of Cape Byron Marine Park. To make this excursion complete we are staying on for lunch at the Sun Bistro, just a short walk from the train station.
Your $25 return ticket is punched on departure and return and then is punched at the Sun Bistro when you order your lunch and drink. Choose from a selection of main courses and enjoy either a schooner of Stone & Wood on tap, a glass of house wine, soft drink, tea or coffee.

Tuesday Forum – Term 1 2019

February 12 – Alan McLean
G’d On Ya Snowy. 
The Snowy River Scheme is most significant attempt to date to improve our nation’s supply of dependable water and eco-friendly electricity. How gold opened the area; the world’s first ski club; assimilation of early migrants plus ongoing environmental concerns. Alan will entertain with anecdotes of being amongst the earliest tourists to attempt the infamous Geehi Wall.

February 19 – Mark Sieffert / Liz Hawkins
Many members will know Mark as the friendly face of Brunswick Heads library. Mark will introduce the special program which is running at local libraries – Be Connected. This program provides a free, one-on-one service to help you with general computer information or getting you up and running with Be Connected online classes.

Dr Elizabeth Hawkins is the Executive Officer and Founding Director of Dolphin Research Australia. Our oceans and their inhabitants are under ever increasing pressure as a result of human interference and activities. Liz will tell us how we can step up and be empowered to take action and positive steps to assist in saving the oceans and all marine life.

February 26 – Phillip Hood and Marie Whealing
You may have seen Brunswick Heads based amateur astronomers Phillip Hood and Marie Whealing offering their regular star gazing activities in the evenings by the river in Bruns. Today they will tell us about the amazing night sky, from the comfort of our cushioned chairs. It’s not quite the same thing as being outdoors in the dark, looking at the night sky through a telescope, but Phillip and Marie are fonts of knowledge and will share their many stories with us.

March 12 – Des Wann
Mathematics and Me – A Love/Hate Relationship. This talk is mainly about fascinating numbers. But it also covers some other interesting and mysterious aspects of mathematics, including some magical ones.

One section of the presentation will involve audience participation and hopefully will leave you with a sense of wonder.

March 19 – Jan Olley from Byron Bird Buddies

Byron Bird Buddies is a volunteer community group, involved with bird monitoring, conservation and education in the Northern Rivers since 2004.

Bird Buddies Coordinator Jan Olley will talk to us largely about Birds in Backyards. The title is self explanatory – the presentation will inform us of the birds which visit our backyards here in the Byron Shire and will give us some clues to make sure that they do. Jan will also refer to rainforest and shorebirds of the area.

March 26 – Marine Rescue Brunswick
Marine Rescue volunteers are recognised for their marine skill, experience and commitment to saving lives on the water. They work together, both on and off the water, to provide boaters with the assistance, advice and vital rescue services to help them stay safe on the water. Members for our local branch, Marine Rescue Brunswick, will tell us how they train, what they are called on to do, tales of daring rescues and maybe some inside information on the development of the Bruns boat harbour.

April 9 – Friends of the Koala outing
Mark from Friends of the Koala spoke to us last year. Aside from the funny stories about koala behaviour, Mark told us of the work undertaken by his volunteer organisation and invited us to come and visit. Due to the considerable interest shown we will be car pooling to Lismore to see first hand what the koalas and volunteers get up to.

Tuesday Forum Term 4 2018

October 16 – Barrington Pheloung
 By popular demand, Barrington Pheloung – Barry to his friends – is returning to tell us more of his fascinating story. Last time Barry spoke to us he told us of the incredible journey as he progressed in his career to become musical director for film and TV shows, including the much loved Inspector Morse and Endeavour. Barry gave us some insights into his music but there is so much more to be told. We found out last time that Barry is not just a musical genius but also a great storyteller and public speaker. This is a Tuesday Forum not to be missed.

October 23 – Lucy Wilson – Byron Shire Council Resource Recovery Education
Some months back we had a presentation regarding waste recovery in the Northern Rivers. Since then there has been considerable change due to China’s policy regarding accepting Australia’s waste. We need to be updated on the changes and Byron Shire Council’s response. Lucy Wilson has a background in communication and waste education. She will tell us about Byron Shire Council’s new waste and recycling program and initiatives. This will include an overview of Council’s waste management role, what can and can’t be recycled, waste reduction eg plastic reduction programs, litter and illegal dumping.

October 30 – Mary Ashton and Irene Feuz
Local identity Mary Ashton shares the Magic and Fun of playing Marbles as she co-ordinates the Australian Schools Marbles Championship in Brunswick Heads every year – as part of the Old ’n Gold Festival. Mary, and BVU3A member and filmmaker Irene Feuz, have made a film about the championships. “Our little film portrays a delightfully funny, honest and heartwarming journey when endearing school friends from four local schools come together, to “knuckle down” practice, compete – and shine, and where sometimes – ‘losers’ and “friendships” can be the big ‘winners’. For some – the social, emotional and physical challenges they have faced and overcome along the way, have been life changing.”

As well as showing us their film, Mary and Irene will tell us about the rewarding process of making it. The film is sure to bring back memories for all of us. In Mary’s words – “everyone has a marbles story” …

November 13 – Jenny Pratten

Jenny is a registered nurse with a long history working in aged care, in health settings, residential aged care and community settings in NSW.

Recently Jenny took a year off and found herself in remote desert communities in the Eastern Pilbara, Western Australia. working as a nurse. Jenny will be talking about her experiences with the local pujiman (bushman),  catching goannas, lighting fires, learning about avoidance relationships and local traditions.

November 20 – Friends of the Koala
You’ve probably seen the koala grid at the south entrance to Brunswick Heads. What’s this all about?

The mission of Friends of the Koala is to conserve koalas and to preserve and enhance their habitat, particularly in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. They will present us with some information about our local koala population – their numbers, habits, habitat and chance of survival. They will also tell us about the work that they do to help the koalas and what we can do to help them help the koalas. Hopefully they will give us some information about the koala grid too.

November 27 – Term 4 Outing – Brunswick River cruise
Our outing this term will be a morning tea Brunswick River cruise with local tourism providers Simon and Lorraine Freeden of Byron Eco Cruises. The cruise will take place over normal Tuesday Forum hours of 10am until noon on 27 November. The cost will be $30 which is a considerable discount on the normal price of the cruise. The morning tea is as much a highlight of the cruise as the informed commentary and the exciting variety of wildlife that you will see visible from the river.

This is an opportunity for people who are generally unable to gain a group discount to enjoy this wonderful experience. Non-members are welcome but we do have a 48 person limit. Even if you’ve done it before, come and join us as every trip is different. Simon and Lorraine even have a new boat.

We meet at the old Fishing Co-op at 9.45 for a 10am start. Don’t forget top bring sunscreen and a hat.

December 11 – final meeting for 2018
We are planning a special Christmas meeting for our final Tuesday Forum for the year.

There will be Christmas themed music and activities as well as a special Christmas morning tea.

Tuesday Forum – Term 3 2018

July 24 – Wendy Bithell
The first speaker for our new term is Wendy Bithell. Wendy has run local nature tourism business Vision Walks for the last ten years. Wendy has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters degree in e-learning and she has become an expert in the natural history of our region and the application of new technologies to the study of nature. Wendy’s specialty is the use of night vision technology which allows viewing of native fauna in their natural environment with minimal impact and disturbance. She will also talk about the enhanced viewing of the heavens that her technology provides. Wendy is an experienced and enthusiastic presenter.

July 31 – Gary Opit
Gary will join us with a talk entitled Citizen Science & Cryptozoology. He will talk about the results of 21 years of wildlife identification broadcasts for ABC North Coast Radio. He has published a paper in the Australian Zoologist, the oldest and most prestigious scientific zoological journal in Australia. This paper is based on descriptions and illustrations of large animals (otherwise completely unknown) that farmers, rural workers, national park rangers and local zoologists have described to him live-to-air on ABC radio. From the hundreds of phone calls and emails it would appear that we have yet to discover the largest and most spectacular mammal species for NSW.

August 14 – AGM
The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for all club members to come together and see the range of activities that your club provides to its 120 members. We have displays and performances and a wonderful morning tea as well as the usual reports and elections of club officers and committee.

August 21 – Barrington Pheloung
Barry grew up in Sydney’s northern beaches. He began playing R&B guitar in clubs, but his discovery of Bach in his late teens drew him to the classical repertoire. At the age of 18, he moved to London where he studied guitar, composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music. Now he is best known for the theme and incidental music to the Inspector Morse television series, its sequel Lewis, and the prequel Endeavour (amongst others). Barry’s other work includes music for the Sydney Opera House’s twentieth birthday celebrations, films such as Truly, Madly, Deeply, dance companies such as the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and for events including the opening night of the Millennium Dome. Barry is now back in the Northern Rivers with lots of stories to tell of his time in London.

August 28 – Marie Matthews – Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens visit
Marie visited us last year to tell us about the beautiful gardens that she and other volunteers have established on waste land on the southern outskirts of Lismore. Now we have the opportunity to visit the gardens while the weather is favourable and the plants are in their spring flowering season. The volunteers grow only native plants – mostly rainforest – which are endemic to an area within 200kms of Lismore. There are colourful information signs, individual tree labels and a superb collection of local rainforest plants. Marie and her friends will guide us on one of the easy forest walks.

September 11 – Don Hennessy
NBN – Making Informed Choices.
Don has been providing advice to a number of our members about computers and the internet for many years, using non-technical language that they can understand and relate to. NBN is now being rolled out in the northern part of the shire with Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores and New Brighton due to be delivered in October. Don’s presentation is designed to help members make an informed choice regarding the right provider and package to suit their particular needs and budget.

September 18 – Russell Siwicki
Brief history of local real estate.
Russell, a well known local identity, has been involved in Brunswick Valley real estate for 37 years. He was here when Ocean Shores and Bayside were being developed, building one of the first homes in Bayside. He has seen many changes over the years and has many stories to tell us about the politics, the planning and the personalities involved.

September 25 – Annual Luncheon
Following the success of last year’s annual luncheon at the Brunswick Heads Bowlo the committee has decided to return again this year. We will meet at 11:30 for a 12 noon meal. More details closer to the day.