Serendipity (definition):     A Pleasant Surprise or Happy Accident.  According to a Persian fairy tale, the three Princes of Serendip were  “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.                                                                                                                                                                                  (Horace Walpole)

This is an eclectic and random collection of informal talks or discussions on intriguing topics.  Pick the ones that pique your interest.

Serendipity classes are on Wednesdays at 2:00pm in the Showground Hall, Jackson Street. Visitors and guests are welcome.

Sept 5                       Preparing PowerPoint Presentations                          Ian Ferris

Learn how to make a simple PowerPoint presentation and put images on a USB drive. Also learn how to operate the U3AWynyard sound and visual equipment.  Vital for all U3A tutors, but also a valuable session for any interested members.

Sept 12                 Murchison: the good, the bad and the legacy            Jo Crothers

In NW Tasmania alone, there are at least 6 references to the eminent C19th geologist, Roderick Murchison. He is recognised internationally and astronomically, with at least 20 geographical features across the world named after him as well as a crater on the moon. But, when asked what his major achievements were, very few of us would be able to answer the question. This is a story of the man and his times.

 Sept 19                    Righting Wrongs                                                             Wendy Page

Community outrage follows horrific crime. There is relief when the perpetrator is incarcerated. But what if that person was wrongfully convicted? Any journalist trying to expose a miscarriage of justice faces enormous obstacles in persuading prosecuting authorities and a sceptical public that there are flaws in the system. In her 20 years as a journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story, Wendy Page produced several stories about wrongful murder convictions all of which resulted, ultimately, in exoneration.

Sept 26                   Windfarms and Wildlife                                                   Col Meyers

A look at windfarms in Tasmania in relation to wildlife. Positives, negatives, and the ongoing behind-the-scenes work that is carried out to lessen bird strikes. Successes, failures and adventures involved in keeping birds, especially eagles, aloft.

Oct 3                       Ships and Ports                                                               David Cooper

Following his presentation in Term 1, David’s illustrated talk will cover a variety of types of ships including container ships, bulk carriers, Bass Strait passenger and freight ferries, Antarctic expedition ships and special ships of interest photographed in ports around the world.

Oct 10                 The Future of Banking…..Do we need them?        John Lawrence

The Global Financial Crisis revealed how banks made the world an unstable place. Ten years later the current Royal Commission into banking suggests massive problems remain. What is the future for banks? What do they do that is so vital? Is there a different way?

Oct 17                  I Would If I Could With Wood                                         John Looker

The role of a patternmaker in producing metal castings. John will show examples of completed projects and provide an insight into model-making by patternmakers for the automotive industry.

Oct 24                 Lord Howe Island                                Rees Campbell & Col Meyers

Lord Howe Island is a speck in the Pacific Ocean 600km east of Port Macquarie. The region is certified World Heritage because LHI houses the only breeding population of the Providence Petrel, and the LHI Wood Hen and the LHI Phasmid have been brought back from the edge of extinction. The island also has some of the best and most accessible snorkelling in the world. This is a look at the environmental, geological, conservation and sustainable highlights of this gem.

Oct 31                  The Good Oil on Fats                                                    Frank Croucher

An overview of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and their roles, plus a look at cholesterol – the so-called “bad boy” of fats, its role in the body and how much is too much.

Repeat of the 2017 session.

Nov 7                  Doctors and Dinosaurs                                                        Jo Crothers

A 19th-century geological tale of dogged research, dubious ethics, inspired deduction, devious practices and a large dollop of despair.

Nov 14       Mode and Effects of 2011 Christchurch NZ Earthquakes    Ian Ferris

Some technicalities of earthquakes, and a short overview of the geology of the Christchurch area, the results, aftermath and the short and long term social effects. Related then to our Tasmanian situation.

Repeat of the 2017 session

Nov 21                 In the Wake of Bass and Flinders                          Mervyn Mitchell

Circumnavigating Tasmania in a small sailboat in early 2018. Our adventures will be interwoven with details of the far more epic voyages of early explorers. A tale of shipwrecks, courage, infamy and great seamanship (theirs, not ours).