university of the third age sunshine coast | may 2020 to be published november 2020 vale bruce dawe - poet and u3a tutor bruce dawe, australian poet and u3a tutor, revered by his students and everyone who met him personally during his lifetime, passed away recently. bruce was nominated as a life member of u3a sunshine coast and he will be remembered as a poet, teacher and raconteur of international significance. those who knew bruce understood that he wouldn’t want any fuss made at his funeral. bruce was good at many things but being the centre of attention wasn’t one of them! he was good at making a fuss about other things and other people and he did so through poetry, making history in his own quiet way. liz dawe, bruce’s wife and liaison for his usc students, recalls that bruce taught at u3a toowoomba following his retirement from the university of southern queensland, and began teaching at u3a sunshine coast in 2001. “such was his passion for literature, he taught poetry and short stories from australia, england and america including one year where, for the first time ever, he taught his own work.” liz added “he never repeated a course so those who continued to study with him, had different material every year. in his 90th year, the friendships that he developed through u3a were very important to him.” it was the measure of the man that even in ill health, he taught three classes a week from home. born in 1930 in fitzroy, melbourne, bruce had two sisters and a brother much older than him. in many ways, they were more like parents than siblings, and he remembered them with great affection. when bruce was a young child his parents’ marriage broke down, and at one stage his father lived out the back of the house. he recalled this situation in ‘little red fox’, an affectionate poem written long after the father he hardly knew passed away. this was to be read at his funeral. recognised as australia’s most popular, and widely taught poet, bruce’s early life certainly had its ups and downs. leaving school at age 16, he worked in various occupations before joining the air force, and in 1969 began a teaching career at downlands college, toowoomba where he attained four university degrees, all through part-time study. appointed as lecturer at the ddiae in 1971, bruce became a senior lecturer in 1980 and an associate professor when ddiae became the university of southern queensland. he retired from full-time teaching in 1993 and was appointed as the first honorary professor of usq. bruce was also poetry editor of the courier mail from 1992 to 1998. in a distinguished academic and literary career, bruce published 15 books of poetry, one book of short stories and one book of essays. there are also numerous study guides for students of his work written by various authors – and he received numerous awards for his poetry. in 2017 he received the award of honorary doctor of the university of the sunshine coast. bruce also wrote the lyrics for several young people’s plays: the children’s theatre play, ‘aesop’s fables’, performed in the usq arts theatre, the musical play, ‘muscle dance’ based on the life of polio crusader, sister elizabeth kenny, the secondary schools play, ‘invisible rivers’ as well as a musical on the life of houdini. penguin published five of his children’s books. his latest book of poetry ‘border security’ was published by uwap. bruce brought his passion for literature into his u3a classes. peg anderson remembers: “bruce provided plenty of ‘life learning and laughter’ in his weekly tutes, as he respectfully reigned in our sometimes errant wanderings, using his wonderful way with words that so very often amused us. his nurturing and wise guidance was an inspiration.” keary mitchell has similar memories of those classes: “bruce shared his knowledge and passion for poetry and prose – and history and politics – with great generosity and enthusiasm! he encouraged us all to participate in lively discussions, challenging our ideas while always respecting differing opinions. vale bruce dawe, australian poet and u3a tutor
risk factors for older people in these days of covid-19 self-isolation, there’s no doubt that older people can be more succeptible to mental and emotional issues than is necessarily the case in younger people. the organisation ‘beyond blue’ identifies that anxiety and depression in older people may occur for different reasons, but physical illness or personal loss can be common triggers. factors can include: f an increase in physical health problems/conditions e.g. heart disease, stroke, alzheimer’s disease chronic pain f side-effects from medications losses: relationships, independence, work and income, self-worth, mobility and flexibility f social isolation f significant change in living arrangements e.g. moving from living independently to a care setting admission to hospital f particular anniversaries and the memories they evoke. everyone is different and it’s often a combination of factors that can contribute to a person developing anxiety or depression. while you can’t always identify the cause or change difficult circumstances, the most important thing is that you learn to recognise the signs and symptoms and get support. if you’re concerned about an older person experiencing anxiety or depression, or just not coping, then it is important to show you care by having a conversation with them about it. beyond blue encourages people who may be experiencing anxiety or depression to give them call any time of the day or night by phoning 1300 22 4636 and select from the voice menu, or simply hold on the line to talk with a trained mental health professional. caring professional people are there to listen, provide information and advice, and point you in the right direction so you can seek further support for the cost of a local call (could be more from mobiles). for more information, please go www. beyondblue.org.au/ source: beyond blue what’s happening acting president’s message dear members, i am sure that you have been watching the news with keen interest and have observed the difference between australia’s and some other countries’ methods of managing the corona virus pandemic. ours has been impressive and contributed greatly to the comparatively low loss of life. although it is too soon to predict, there are clear signs of an earlier return to our former way of life, one unparalleled in its freedom. i for one am immensely grateful, on both counts. what is truly impressive in our u3a sunshine coast is how many of our tutors have now stepped out of their comfort zones and taken up the challenge to either present their classes live via a social platform, such as a zoom meeting or pre-recorded and available through the u3a website. and even more remarkable, is that their students have overcome their fear of trying these new techniques, to prove that we are indeed living our slogan “live, laugh, learn”. our course coordinator, wayne curran, has been doing a champion job in encouraging tutors to go online, and others have shown their own initiative to recommence classes. see the list of classes at the end of text. however, some issues have been raised. the first issue – refunds for course fees: at our last management committee meeting, held online using the zoom platform, we discussed the possibility of giving members refunds for courses that could not go ahead owing to the corona virus. what a nightmare for our treasurer! instead, as i mentioned in my last letter to you, dear members, it would be easier for our treasurer to simply credit you with the relevant portion of venue fees when we do return to our live classes. i do hope that common sense will prevail, and she will not be inundated with requests for refunds – some as little as $5. the second issue – zoom zoom is free! it provides a 40 minute free session to all who sign up to host a meeting, which may be automatically extended. however, our classes usually run for 1 or 2 hours. therefore, at the april mc meeting, the committee decided that our tutors would be reimbursed the monthly costs of $20.99 to run zoom meetings for their students. some tutors have asked one of their class members to act as the host for each meeting, and that host, instead of the tutor, can put in the claim to be reimbursed. as regards security, when the host of a zoom meeting issues emailed invitations to the members of that class, members must log on using the zoom generated password provided in the email. this ensures that only the bona fide members of that class can sign up for a ‘live’ meeting. it is worth noting that the university of the sunshine coast’s acting vice- chancellor, professor robert elliot, reports that usc has “supported over 3,500 zoom meetings daily with 18,000 staff and students logging-on.” despite some of the hilarious home exercise videos we have seen, classes like water aerobics, and table tennis, still do represent a challenge; however, from the list of tutors now offering their classes on line, it is wonderful to see that we are living proof of our slogan, to live, laugh - and learn new techniques of delivery – certainly one of our goals in our current strategic plan. i do hope you are all looking after yourselves, and each other, and look forward to seeing you again soon. subscriptions and security concerns: glyni cumming, acting president ‘wellness’ offers help for carers lyn harris is the new coordinator community engagement & volunteering for the sunshine coast region. previously a high school teacher, lyn moved to the sunshine coast and seven years ago began working with mental health carers. “frequently, there was a dual diagnosis so i quickly learned about disabilities, the ndis and aged care systems as well, and as a carer myself, i’m excited about the new carer gateway service and that i can continue working in this field.” lyn welcomes enquiries regarding support for family/carers. email email@example.com or call wellways on 1300 111 400.
introduction to human biology u3a sunshine coast online class commencing monday may 11 2020 this unique, informative course looks at the many human bodily systems and provides an understanding of how they are structured and how they work together. the class will address how human physiological systems are put together structurally, anatomically and how they are linked. it will also examine the numerous misconceptions and what can be done to help it remain healthy. the course will consist of nine lectures held on a monday and thursday over a five week period via zoom videoconferencing. alex’s presentation uses slides and powerpoint illustrations to explain human biological functions and there will be frequent opportunities for participants to ask questions. topics covered: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. introduction to human biology cardio-respiratory systems nervous systems special senses git & digestion fluid, electrolytes & urinary system hormonal system reproduction & genetics haematology & immunology alex crandon has had a distinguished career in surgical medicine and teaching. he has worked in australia and overseas countries specialising in gynaecological oncology as well as being involved in various medical committees, addressing many learned societies worldwide and having numerous articles published in medical journals. u3a sunshine coast is fortunate to have alex offer his knowledge and experience to conduct this class. he has many stories, insights and anecdotes from his distinguished career, which he is more than willing to share during this course. don’t miss the chance to be involved in this opportunity to learn, discuss and understand the fascinating topic of human anatomy and physiology from your own home. to enrol in the course, please go to the u3a website to enrol in this class (20lec209). at this stage, participant numbers are limited to 25 people. please note: to join in this course you will need to have the zoom videoconferencing application downloaded on your ipad/tablet/ computer. once enrolled you will be sent details on how to join the class. u3a management committee what we do to cope with self isolation glyni cumming - acting president apart from rediscovering the forgotten fun of cycling to explore our green bikeways, i have enjoyed being at home, with early morning yoga exercises, baking cakes and muffins - moi? i am also trying to learn french with duo lingo and sbs french news; keeping in contact with family and friends, and varying the tile game of rummykub, with ‘corona card rummy’. john saint-smith - equipment officer i finally added a bamboo screen to my gazebo. removing a large tree left the western side exposed to the afternoon sun, so i sprang into action. however, i soon realised my screw collection was in desperate need of order, so began a fascinating adventure trawling through packets, boxes and whatnots in the garagei also discovered a brass house number, now installed after years of procrastination. wayne curran - courses coordinator found tomato seeds in the garage, planted then and surprisingly they sprouted. i’m trying to keep fit: myra’s yoga classes, taking long walks locally and to mudjimba beach for a swim. i miss playing tennis and karate classes. i’m practising guitar but not improving much. just finished the book, ‘strange glow: the story of radiation’ and a series on netflix called’ unbelievable’(highly recommended). margaret thompson - grants officer although in great health as usual, i thought it prudent to go into self isolation. fortunately, my son in law has been doing my grocery shopping. i have ramped up my baking, gardening, organising cupboards, cleaning windows and even polishing the wretched silver! i brighten my days with facetime sessions with my family and friends both in canada and here in australia. john armstrong - communications my focus is on staying active and not slipping into ‘couch potato’ mode. i enjoy getting out on my bike for a ride, especially as there’s a myriad of bike trails close to canals and the beach and through bushland. my favourite ride is birtinya to currumundi lakes via the bush trails, up the trail parallel to the beach to bokarina and around lake kawana, then home. wayne matthews - systems admin here i am completing a 1000 piece jigsaw, which was quite challenging with a lot of similar pieces, colours and design. now i have time on my hands and a change from gardening and decluttering. the thing we miss is the face to face contact with our granddaughters and other u3a members through our classes and meet- ings. skype, face time and zoom are fine but it’s just not the same as actual contact. evonne walker - treasurer during my self isolation i have been doing some decluttering. i’ve also done lots of reading and watching netflix catching up on some series. i miss my large circle of friends and our lunches & dinners together. i have seen my daughters regularly and been in touch with my grandchildren who live locally and one who is stuck in new zealand. dawne clark - secretary how different our world is at present. on anzac day i stood in my street listening to a lone piper playing the last lament on the parapet of bli bli castle. my neighbours also came out to remember those who gave their lives for our nation to be safe and free. it’s a day we learn again the horror of war, a day to look after our mates and cherish our families, and a day to realise how precious is our country. my dog (pictured) decided to stay in bed.
using skype to call family and friends with everything that’s going on at the moment, you might be feeling isolated and finding it harder to keep in touch with your loved ones. if you are trying to use skype to video call friends or family and you are running into questions or difficulties, many people have been there before you. i’ve put together some useful resources for those who want to learn about skype. the main advantage of skype is that it is available on a very wide range of devices. so if your family and friends all use different things, it still works. a good place to start, a comprehensive tutorial for beginners https://www.digitaltrends.com/ computing/how-to-use-skype/ for those who prefer a video tutorial, here is a video on how to use skype https://youtu.be/nrcb3ub3jac finally, the official skype web site where you can find answers to many common questions, create an account to use skype, and download the latest version for your phone, tablet, computer or even tv in some cases! https://www.skype.com/en/ in an unrelated but fun aside, here’s a link to local surf cams. if you want to watch relaxing waves or are thinking of exercising in the beach but want to make sure there are no crowds, have a look here https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf- cams-surf-reports/qld as mentioned earlier, the ‘tablet and smart phone’ course is still on but its online now. i have four spots available so if you would like to learn online, just jump on and enrol. wishing you all the best, cathy ewald tablet and smart phone tutor new classes online tutors turn to videoconferencing technology with the current restrictions on people gathering in groups and, consequently, the suspension of attendance classes, our wonderful u3a tutors have embraced videoconferencing as a means of continuing education and training for members. wayne curran, our tutors and courses coordinator, said the increasing number of classes now using the zoom and lifesize video applications shows that tutors and participants alike won’t be held back by covid-19. wayne has contacted tutors and encouraged even more take-up of online classes, ushering in a practical alternative to the classroom. “at this stage we cannot foresee the reinstatement of face to face classes soon; most probably not until the commencement of semester 2, subject to governmental guidelines of course,” he said. “we have a number of classes that are currently being held via videoconferencing or are due to start in the next couple of weeks.” the list so far follows: spanish beginners (two classes) - brian morgan latin intermediate - helen partick german conversation (advanced) - rolf grob german intermediate - karin leivesley german beginners - sylvia hovey french intermediate a, adv. begin.) - patricia barry yoga, chair yoga, tai chi (7 classes) - myra timmerman tap dancing - pamela woodrow maroochy reviewers book group - brian lavery the devil’s playground - brian lavery philosophy discussion group - petrina daniel golf at beerwah golf club - graham whyte tablets and smartphones - cathy ewald (see evoice article) historical personalities - catherine foley the world and its nations - catherine foley rediscover the classics - catherine foley (lifesize app.) russian alphabet and pronunciation - tom holden russian: beginners - tom holden russian: intermediate - tom holden ukulele: very beginners - helen lewis-peel training resources -videoconferencing while videoconferencing is the catch- phrase these days for meetings online, many people may need some training in the use of applications such as zoom, lifesize and skype. lifesize is also a popular choice that has its own advantages. for lifesize users here’s a starting point for training: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=s8pk24zh8vq&t=2s zoom is certainly gaining in popularity skype has been the application of for videoconferencing. for a real beginners, easy to follow outline on using zoom here is an excellent youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9isp3qpeq0e choice for face-to-face family meetups and it is used increasingly in the electronic media. users may find this video informative: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=nrcb3ub3jac