Meetings are held at the Masonic Hall, Wanliss Street, Rockingham, on the first and third Fridays of the month.

Click for the detailed program

Literary Group
3rd Monday
10:00 AM
Rockingham Library
0401 096 811
Lunch Group
4th Friday
12:00 PM
Various Venues
0423 393 183
1st and 3rd Tuesday
2:00 PM
Rockingham Library
9527 2920
Open Learning
1st Wednesday
10:00 AM
9 Vela Court, Rockingham
9527 9471
1st and 4th Monday
1:00 PM
Challenger Court
9527 1560
WA History
2nd Monday
10:00 AM
Rockingham Library
0432 434 474

Certificate of Appreciation for Colleen Hardie

At our Branch meeting on Friday 5th April, Secretary Colleen Hardie was presented with the Certificate of Appreciation by chair Valerie.

Colleen was roundly applauded and congratulated by all members. Such a worthy recipient!

A New Approach to Excursions

As with many groups these days , the Rockingham Branch has been finding it difficult to make Outings affordable and to meet the minimum numbers needed as a requirement of tour companies.

After having these difficulties in 2022 we tried a new approach this year. We are fortunate to have as a member, Dave Hardie, who holds a bus driver’s license. We can hire a bus at an affordable price and our driver comes FREE. We no longer have the pressure of “filling the bus”.

Our first venture was the trip to Lake Clifton and following on from this success we had a trip to Guildford in October. Like many people Dave and I have been to Guildford many times but hadn’t heard of the Museum of Natural History – what a gem this place is.

The Museum of Natural history was established by Michael – a taxidermist and is run by him and his wife. Many of the exhibits have been created by Michael and as part of our visit he gave us a most interesting talk on the museum and the art of Taxidermy. Did you know that it would cost you $600 to have your budgerigar stuffed? And Michael had a lady with many of these she wanted preserved. Our group felt it would have been cheaper to just buy another one from the pet shop.

The variety of preserved animals and his stories were amazing. He has a snowy owl who was the mate of Hedwig (famous in Harry Potter). The animals, birds and fish are displayed in tableaux which makes it a fascinating exhibition. Michael hires out his exhibits for use in films or at conferences etc. He makes to order for places like tourist centres. He concentrates on Australian native fauna and in particular works to preserve rare species. He does not kill his subjects. All have died either naturally or through accidents. People who know about him will bring dead birds and animals to him. He said it was quite common to arrive at the museum and find a bag or box on the doorstep containing the remains of a bird or animal.  This place is well worth a visit and if you aren’t lucky enough to have a home-grown bus driver then Guildford is accessible by train.

The shops of Guildford are an interesting place to explore which we did after our lunch at the Pub.

Rockingham U3A finished off the year with our AGM and then as our final event we once again had Christmas lunch in the hall we use for our meetings. The committee organises lunch and there is much chatter and fellowship for the afternoon.

We look forward to another year of great speakers, fun outings, interesting group activities and above all friendship and fellowship in 2024.

Colleen Hardie

Christmas in July 2023

If it had been colder we might have had a white Christmas in July but we had to be content with just an overcast and somewhat rainy day but we mostly arrived dry at the Ravenswood hotel. Valerie again provided much fun for the group with her lucky door prizes – won by those who had obviously been “good”.  I must have been “naughty” as I didn’t win a prize. Dave the “happy Santa” was caught enjoying a drink with the “Grinch” John. Val snapped many pics of our members enjoying socialising with each other.

Lord Howe Island – Peter Alcock

On July 7 Peter Alcock brought his geological and tourist knowledge of Lord Howe Island to Rockingham U3A. A very well illustrated and informative presentation of an interesting and diverse spot in the ocean. Here David thanks Peter.

Rockingham Visit Coodanup and Lake Clifton

Rockingham U3A hired a bus and drove to Coodanup to see one of the giants and have morning tea on a beautiful still, sunny day by the lake. This was our fifth Friday outing and we then followed the Old Coast Road to Lake Clifton where we walked out along a jetty to marvel at the ancient thrombolites. There is another giant there but too far to walk in our limited time. Leaving the lake we drove past an alpaca farm and out to Forrest Highway then headed north to Jetties Bar and Grill at South Yunderup for an enjoyable and relaxed lunch. Having a bus driver in our Branch made it a very reasonable day, many thanks to David.

Forts and Castles of the UAE

Rockingham U3A had a most interesting talk on Friday 17 Februrary from Dr Kevin Smythe on “the Forts Castle and Watchtowers of the UAE” . I now have a much better understanding of the Emirates that form the United Arab Emirates.

David and Valerie thanked Kevin for his talk

Not Always Diplomatic

‘Not Always Diplomatic’ was the theme of Sue Boyd’s address to Rockingham U3A.  Here Sue and Jennie chat about some of Sue’s  experiences during afternoon tea.

Volunteer Recognition

‘U3A  Rockingham  Branch secretary, Colleen Hardie,  was acknowledged with a Volunteer Recognition Certificate at the City of Rockingham special  event in Volunteer Week. This was a well deserved award and we continue to benefit from Colleen’s generosity of time and skill.

Congratulations Colleen.’

U3A Rockingham Outing

“We set out from Rocky on a morning fine and dry” – well that’s how the song goes but we set out on a morning windy, cold and wet with our destination “The Ravo” aka Ravenswood Hotel for a Christmas in July lunch. We bundled ourselves into five cars, communicating departure and ride sharing by mobile phone as we weren’t venturing outside.

Christmas in July at The Ravenswood Hotel

The venue reached uneventfully was found to be very cosy and our tables decorated to suit the Christmas theme. Much laughter and talking was followed by a very nice three course lunch. During lunch Valerie Buckley surprised us with a lucky draw with 4 prizes to be won. I was lucky and my number came out first – I was delighted to win a pair of cat socks. Cats are my favourite animal so it was a perfect gift for me to receive. Thank you, Valerie.

Colleen and her socks.

Our outing was organised by John Macdonald but unfortunately John and Lyn got caught up in the ongoing Covid Saga and had to quarantine when returning from S.A – consequently, after doing the ground work for the trip, John and Lyn missed out. Our thanks to Felicja who filled the breach and finalised the arrangements and was our host for the day.                       Colleen Hardie

Valerie presenting Janice Bowra with her prize.

Tonga, Norway and India – a travel photographer’s perspective – 7 May

Selection of Tammy’s cameras

From the Himalayas in India to beneath the oceans to the Aurora Borealis in Norway, Tammy Gibb described her love for underwater and terrestrial photography, and how her passion for photography drove her to become a qualified scuba diver, just so she could get those photos! Starting with a small hand-held camera in a waterproof casing, and over the years progressing to a heavy huge monster with a fisheye lens and two underwater flood lights that needed two hands just to hold it, even underwater, she captured incredible images of rarely seen marine events! Her adventurous spirit also took her to the highest mountains in India, and the freezing countryside in Norway.

Duyfken – Exploration, Wars and Spices –  21 May


Roy Stall, a maritime man of many talents, consultant, heritage guide, teacher of maritime English and entertaining presenter, described to Rockingham members the role of the tiny  scout ship “Duyfken” in the spice trade from Europe to the Dutch East Indies during the early 17th century, and of its link to very early Australian history.  He also described how a perfect replica of this “Little Dove” was built in Fremantle between 1997 and 1999.  His presentation was beautifully illustrated with many excellent photos taken during the construction.

Our very own John Macdonald mesmerises a full house!

John in suitable attire delivers his talk.

On April 16, John delivered an astonishingly detailed history lesson on an iconic Scottish battle – the Battle of Culloden – fought on this very day in 1746!  His reputation for depth of knowledge on this topic attracted people from the wider Rockingham area (many were not U3A members) to the point the meeting hall was filled to capacity!  For well over an hour, John held the audience captive.  The many questions were answered promptly and comprehensively by John, and this continued during the afternoon tea that followed.  There was much spirited conversation for the rest of the afternoon, and people left still highly animated after such a talk!

A brief explanation of what caused all the excitement – the Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745.  On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart was decisively defeated by a British government force under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, on Drummossie Moor near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Memorial stone for the Battle of Culloden.

A Very Special Occasion – When Murdoch University Came to Jennie Cox

Jennie and Chancellor Gary Smith

The Chancellor of Murdoch University, Mr Gary Smith, travelled to Jennie’s home in Shoalwater to confer her latest degree. At 81 years old, Jennie was unable to attend a regular graduation ceremony at RAC Arena. She was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies, adding to her previous Bachelor of Nursing and post-graduate studies in Clinical Nursing. Dignitaries who attended included Professor Andrew Taggart, a stalwart of Murdoch and strong supporter of U3A, the deputy mayor of Rockingham, Deb Hamblin, U3A members from Rockingham region, the local newspaper, and many members of Jennie’s family. It was a truly very special day.

Catching a Cold Case Killer – Prof Bob Mead

David Hardie with Prof Bob Mead

Once again Professor Bob Mead travelled to Rockingham and demonstrated to members his investigative powers. By combining all his skills in forensic detective work, which are prodigious, he utilised modern DNA knowledge and successfully identified the perpetrator of a crime that took place several decades earlier. One small DNA sample enabled Bob to build a family tree going back in time to common great, great, (great?) grandparents, then build it down another “side” until he eventually arrived at a person who he identified as the cold case killer. His conclusion matched the official investigation. Questions came thick and fast at the close of his amazing story!

Aboriginal Art from Cave to Canvas – David Hounsome

David Hardie with David Hounsome

David is well-known to Rockingham audiences and his eloquent delivery of this engrossing topic clearly captured the interest of members. He explained that with no written indigenous language, art was the descriptor. Aboriginal people painted spiritual things or things that represented their stories. European artists did not do this. David illustrated his talk with some beautiful examples of Aboriginal art.

Aboriginal artwork depicting their stories

Building the Roman Baths at Caracalla

After a slight hiccup, Rockingham Region recommenced its 2021 fortnightly meetings with a visit from Professor David Kennedy from UWA . David caused the audience to gasp in absolute astonishment when he described the enormously complex task of building these Roman baths.

Bath complex

The baths were more a leisure centre than just a series of baths. The population used the complex buildings for bathing, exercise, recreation, socialising, entertainment, health education, dining, art display and worship. The series of buildings that make up the bath complex covers 11 hectares, took 9000 workers 5 years to build, over 4 levels with 3 terraces.

Rome Baths of Caracalla