Masthead of U3A Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia: gateway to new learning experiences

Readman Series

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This lecture series is named in recognition of Derek Readman whose great contribution to U3A Hawthorn over many years is deeply appreciated. Derek was instrumental in sourcing speakers for many U3A Hawthorn events and lecture series, such as the Saturday Series and the Summer School and held such Committee positions as Hon Secretary.

Derek Readman
Derek Readman was presented with a framed poster at the inaugural lecture.

Inaugural Readman Series Lecture

The inaugural Readman Series Lecture was held on 12 September 2014 in the Conference Room at the Mary MacKillop Centre in Hawthorn East.

The speaker was the Hon Alastair Nicholson, who was an Australian judge for 22 years, during which time he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and, for 16 years, was Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia. He is Chair of Children’s Rights International and, since 2002, Chair of the National Centre Against Bullying.

Hon Alistair Nicholson
Hon. Alistair Nicholson AO RFD QC

TOPIC: Modern Approaches to Bullying and its Control: the extent and nature of bullying in Australia and elsewhere; current approaches to its control and reduction and how the law operates in this area.

Readman Series #2

November 2014

U3A Hawthorn – The Early Years

Cliff Picton

Cliff Picton

This was a presentation to members as part of celebrating the 30th year since the founding of U3A Hawthorn. Cliff Picton, Ombudsman, La Trobe University, was a member of the original Steering Committee and talked about the lead up to the introduction of U3A into Australia, with U3A Melbourne, U3A Hawthorn and U3A Monash being the first three established in 1984.

The theme of this first part of our birthday celebrations was the recognition of the contribution and creativity of our earliest members and Cliff was on hand to make presentations to founding members.

Readman Series #3

March 2015

30 Years in the Life of the Universe

Chris Fluke

Associate Professor Chris Fluke

This presentation looked at the last 30 years in the life of the Universe - the very short time of the existence of U3A Hawthorn in cosmic terms! Chris brought to life events and findings that have occurred in that time, reminding us of the enormity of the universe and our increasing ability to understand it.

Following the theme of our birthday celebrations, this event was an opportunity to recognise the contribution of our long-serving Tutors and Volunteers and Chris assisted us to make presentations to these members.

Readman Series #4

12 May 2015

The relationship of mental illness to superior leadership skills in times of crisis

Dr James Keipert

Dr James Keipert

James Keipert is a retired paediatrician who has published extensively during his career. Basing his talk on medical records and biographies, Jim examined the lives of leaders such as William T. Sherman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy to show how bipolar illness contributed surprisingly to superior leadership skills in times of crisis. Jim argued that manic depressive psychosis includes features which may enable sufferers to perform brilliantly under pressure.

Readman Series #5

19 June 2015

ANZAC - 100 Year Anniversary

Ted Bailleu

Ted Bailleu

August 2014 marked 100 years since the commencement of the First World War. Across the globe, the ANZAC Centenary (2014 – 2018) is being marked by millions of people, in places of special importance and in ways personally meaningful to them.

In Victoria, local communities will have the opportunity to plan their own commemorations and to share in the stories of those who served.

On Friday, June 19, 3.00pm, Ted Baillieu will talk about his work as Chair of Victoria's ANZAC Centenary Committee and its focus on the sharing of stories to preserve our ANZAC legacy for today's and future generations, to honour the sacrifice of our war veterans and those who loved them, and to make and mark the connections between those ANZAC veterans and their descendants

Readman Series #6

11 September 2015

The Gender Benders

Garry Warne

Professor Garry Warne A.M., M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P

On May 31st, the Victorian Government announced a grant of $6m to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne to support a special clinic for children and young people experiencing gender identity issues. Such concerns are common.

A NZ adolescent health survey of 8166 secondary school students found that 1.2% identified as transgender, 2.5% reported as being unsure about their gender and 1.4% did not understand the question. Of children presenting with gender issues, 25% experience intensified distress when physical changes of puberty start and their distress leads to self-harm in around 50% if help is not forthcoming. Fortunately, help in the form of psychological support and hormonal treatment (puberty blockers and later, cross-sex hormones) is available.

Some young people who wish to transition to the opposite gender later request surgery to change their anatomical sex, but many choose not to. A person who is transgender cannot be ‘cured’ by psychotherapy and doing nothing is not an option for them because of the high risk. The aim of treatment is to promote mental health and facilitate integration into society. Early intervention prevents the development of unwanted physical changes that would make them identifiably different as adults. The 75% of children who initially present with gender identity issues but who do not identify as trans after the onset of puberty will most likely be gay or express a more fluid gender or sexual orientation. Very little is understood about the cause of gender diversity.

Professor Garry Warne AM, who retired in 2012, was the Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne for 19 years. In 2003, he and a psychiatrist colleague, A/Prof Campbell Paul, co-founded the gender dysphoria service at RCH. They and others pioneered the development of policies and procedures for the assessment and management of gender dysphoria in Australia, learned how to deal with lawyers and the courts and debated the ethical issues that both the general community and the medical profession found very challenging.

Since 2003, numbers of patients being referred each year to the RCH  Gender Dysphoria clinic, now jointly led by Adolescent Health Physician Dr Michelle Telfer and A/Prof Paul, have climbed 100-fold, placing extreme demands on the staff. The Victorian government’s timely grant will enable RCH to set up Australia’s first fully coordinated multi-disciplinary team for gender-diverse children and adolescents.


Readman Series #7

15 October 2015

Painting a Revolutionary World

Peter McPhee AM

Professor Peter McPhee AM

The revolutionary century after 1780 was a whirlpool of political and social upheaval before the republican ship entered a secure harbour in 1880. How did painters such as David, Millet, Courbet and Monet respond to abrupt changes of régime and official artistic preferences? How was their art affected by the changing French society of the nineteenth century?

Professor Peter McPhee AM held a Personal Chair in History at the University of Melbourne and has published widely on the history of modern France. He was the University's first Provost and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences. Awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003, he became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.


Readman Series #8

Thursday 16 June 2016, 2pm
Parkview Room, Camberwell Library Complex,
Camberwell Road, Camberwell

Children’s book illustration: Which stories, why and for whom?

Jane Tanner, book  illustrator

Jane Tanner

Jane Tanner is an Australian children's book illustrator. After majoring in painting and printmaking at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, she worked as a traditional artist for many years.

Jane often uses soft pastels, watercolours and gouache, but is best known for her use of coloured pencils. Over 25 years she has created more than 13 picture books, including some written by herself, and numerous book covers.

She has won many awards, including the Commonwealth Human Rights Award for Children’s Literature for her book The Wolf with Margaret Barbalet.


Readman Series #9

Clinical ethics; assisting hospital staff to make decisions in ethically difficult situations

Thursday 21 July 2016, 2pm
Parkview Room, Camberwell Library Complex,
Camberwell Road, Camberwell

Assoc. Prof. Lyn Gillam

Associate Professor Lynn Gillam BA Hons, MA, PhD
Health Ethics Centre for Health and Society,
University of Melbourne Children’s Bioethics Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital

Associate Professor Lynn Gillam is the Academic Director of the Children's Bioethics Centre where she provides leadership in research, education and professional development in ethics, as well as continuing to do clinical ethics case consultation work. This work is aiming to better understand the ethical complexities of caring for children and promoting ethical best practice, not just at RCH, but nationally and internationally.


Readman Series #10

Hugh de Kretser
Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre

“Why we need stronger Human Rights protection in Australia”

Thursday 15 September 2016, 2pm

Eric Raven Pavilion
Estella Street
Glen Iris

Hugh de Kretser is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre. For the past 12 years, he has worked to protect and promote human rights in Australia through his position at the HRLC and previous roles as Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres (2007- 2013) and Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (2004 to 2007).

Hugh currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Boards of the University of Melbourne Law School and the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing. Hugh was a board member of the HRLC when it was established in 2006 and held a statutory appointment as a Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission from 2008-2012.

He served on the board of the National Association of Community Legal Centres from 2012-2014 and the governance committee for knowmore, the national service providing legal help for people navigating the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from 2013-2015.


Readman Series #11

Professor Linda Kristjanson
Vice Chancellor, Swinburne University

“Future Directions in Tertiary Education: Continuity and Change”

Thursday 21 March 2017, 2pm

Those with grandchildren who are approaching, or already experiencing, tertiary education, will already be aware of the many issues facing tertiary institutions in an age of on-line education, MOOC based courses, and the different learning and teaching styles of new generations embedded in digital literacy and a world without books!

What are the implications, challenges and threats to our tertiary institutions? Are they being disrupted in a similar fashion to print newspapers, financial services, taxis, postal services and many others facing new and nimble competitors with digital platforms?


Readman Series #12

Amanda Richdale, PhD, MAPS
Associate Professor / Principal Research Fellow
Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

“Autism: From child to adult”

Thursday 27 April 2017, 3pm

Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue


Readman Series #13

Professor Michael Buxton
Professor of Environment and Planning
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies
RMIT University

Can Melbourne remain the world's most liveable city?

Tuesday 30 May
2pm

Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue

Professor Michael Buxton is a well- known radio, newspaper and TV commentator on Melbourne’s planning, growth and future development. Often these are controversial matters, especially when there are issues of high rise developments in suburban areas.

Michael Buxton joined RMIT University in 1998 after 12 years in senior management with the Victorian Planning and Environment agencies, and with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. He was a councillor and Mayor of a suburban municipality for ten years.

After Michael’s presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion


Readman Series #14

Hon. David Habersberger QC

Judicial Issues in the Victorian Supreme Court

Thursday 15 June
3 pm

Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue

Hon. David Habersberger was associate to Chief Justice Barwick of the High Court in 1972 before being called to the Bar in 1973.

He acted in several significant constitutional, administrative and commercial cases and became the Chair of the Victorian Bar Council in 1994-95.

In 2001 David Habersberger was appointed as a judge to the Supreme Court of Victoria, sat in every trial division and was acting Justice of Appeal. Before retirement, he was Principal Judge of the Commercial and Equity Division


Readman Series #15

Protecting Victoria's Environment
Biodiversity 2037

Adam Muir
Manager of Biodiversity Strategy, DEWLP

Tuesday 8 August
2 pm

Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue

Adam Muir is Manager of Biodiversity Strategy, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DEWLP) and is the son of Ruth Muir, one of U3A Hawthorn’s respected Life Members.

Adam will present an overview of Victoria’s new biodiversity plan Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037.

This is the Victorian government’s ambitious plan to stop the decline of our biodiversity over the next 20 years and promote the important relationship between people and nature.

Adam and his team are interested in receiving feedback from our members in the form of a question and answer session and will explain how you might like to get involved. This is your chance to have a say and make a contribution to the future of Victoria’s precious natural environment.


Readman Series #16

Civilising the city: Paris 1852 - 1870

Dr Michael Adcock

Thursday 15 March
3 pm

Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue

In this presentation, historian and Paris tour guide Dr. Michael Adcock will explore one of the most profound transformations in the 2,000 year-long history of Paris. This was the vast program of urban renewal undertaken by the command of Napoleon III, and carried out by his Prefect of Paris, Baron George Haussmann, between 1852 and 1870. The lecture will evoke the scale and nature of the onslaught on the fabric of the city, and will examine the different theories as to why Napoleon III chose to implement this plan.

Dr. Michael Adcock is currently Head of History at Melbourne Grammar School.  Previously, he lectured in modern French history at the University of Melbourne and as a cultural historian, lectured on French art at the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery. Dr. Adcock has also published a number of books about the history of France and conducts residential study tours in Paris, where he presents lectures on the history of the city and conducts walking tours to explore its past and its heritage.


Readman Series #17

ENJOYING OPERA


Guest speaker: Sam Alfreds


& Guest singer: Shimona Rose

Thursday 19 April 2018

3.00pm
Main Hall
Sinclair Avenue

This Readman takes the form of introduction and commentary by U3A Hawthorn tutor Sam Alfreds, a passionate opera fan and volunteer broadcaster at 3MBS.

Sam will introduce performance pieces by his niece Shimona Rose, the 2018 Opera Scholar of the Year at Beechworth’s Opera in the Alps and recipient of many other awards including two first prizes at the 2017 Boroondara Eisteddfod.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Shimona’s wonderful voice before she departs to take up a scholarship to continue her vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London.


Readman Series #18

THREE WEEKS IN EAST TIMOR (Timor Leste)

Elizabeth Douglas

Elizabeth Douglas worked in publishing for 20 years, first as an editor with Oxford University Press in Melbourne and London, then as Publishing Director of Hutchinson Australia.  Later she moved to a managerial position at Melbourne University in various departments including the Office for Research, Schools Liaison, and Bequests.  

Since retiring, her interests include voluntary work with asylum seekers and as a guide at NGV.  Eighteen months ago she worked as a volunteer at the Bairo Pite Clinic in Timor-Leste, which is the subject of this talk.