Tutor Introductions

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This new section on our website is to introduce you to our tutors and let you know a little bit about them, their interests and the course/s that they offer. By reading about them, you might be inspired to become a tutor yourself!

Leigh Baker

Len Baker

Keith Hallett

Peter Johnson

Paul Reid

John Taubman

Tony Mew

Peter Johnson – President of U3A

A few years back, I left suburban life and my job as a banker to retire in Kyneton with my wife Linda. I moved into the Macedon Ranges from Watsonia North in 2013.

I’m the new president of Kyneton U3A and I’ve been on the committee for the last two years.

I’m also the secretary and treasurer of the Campaspe River and Land Management Group in Kyneton. We work closely with Kyneton Secondary College.

I’m a member of the Kyneton Town Square Reference Group. As the president of U3A, I will be ensuring that our voice is heard within the planning for the new community hub at the Kyneton Primary School site.

It’s important to get involved in the community, and to make sure that you help the community to the best possible outcomes for whatever’s required.

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Leigh Baker

Lunch Club
Dates: 25/02/2021 – 23/12/2021 Frequency: Monthly 4th, Thu 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: Various – Kyneton and surrounding areas Tutor: Leigh Baker
Group members rotate the selection of restaurants or cafes with good quality, interesting food at a reasonable price
within half an hour drive of Kyneton. Members must advise of attendance each month for booking numbers.

Leigh and her husband, Len, escaped from Richmond to beautiful Kyneton 11.5 years ago.  After spending her working years in varied pursuits, trying to find her  ideal occupation, Leigh wonders if anyone would have paid her to solve puzzles.  Her studies mostly involved the maths, science and art of cartography and photography, but she is interested really, in learning about everything except celebrities, the stock market and sport.

She has travelled widely over the years and enjoyed cross-country skiing and bush-walking when she was fitter. 

In retirement, her major interest has been in U3A. Frustration with the lack of suitable plays for the U3A drama group led her to write for them. Two of her plays have been performed at the One-Act Plays Festival and elsewhere.  With limited mobility, she can still enjoy visits with her son and family, doing puzzles, playing croquet, eating out, reading, listening to music and travelling with  Len.

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Paul Reid

First Nations History – Macedon Ranges
A co-operative project for all participants to discover the history of the First People in our area – the
Taungurong, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. Join with an open mind, a willingness to ask questions and a
readiness to help search for answers. We’ll start with visits to some Aboriginal sites in the district and develop the course as we go from there.

Paul Reid’s Historic Tour of Kyneton
Paul Reid is a member of the Kyneton Historical Society and a contributor to the recent publication ˜Discover Historic
Kyneton”. His knowledge of the town will fascinate and amuse. This is a guided tour of a small number of selected sites.

Paul Reid is a retired teacher, union organiser and business manager. More recently he co-authored Discover Historic Kyneton, an award-winning guide to the historic treasures of Kyneton, and has conducted walks and talks about Kyneton’s history. Currently, Paul is leading a U3A group investigating the history of the First Nations in the Macedon Ranges. Paul has previously run courses for U3A on United States Government and Politics (usually during election years) and may do so again.”

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Keith Hallett

Australian History

This is an offering of a study of Australian values, based on historical responses to religious expectations, to diverse
expectations and traditions of generations of migrants and to emergent Australian values

Keith is a retired history teacher, working at a time  when people learned about our history. He  has written several books, some text books, some general. At present he is writing a history of Australian railways from  the point of  view of exploring Australian identity. Away from the class room, his historical interest has  focused on Australian  values and identity.

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Len Baker


Computer Workshop: Bring along your laptop, tablet, iPad or Android device and any other portable gadgets for hands-on problem-solving.

Music: Each month a member has the opportunity of selecting a program of about 1 1/2 hours of music to share with others in the group. Vinyl, CDs, DVDs, internet links (YouTube, Spotify etc) are all playable (unfortunately our cassette player has died). Don’t be put off, you are not obliged to select a program, just come along and enjoy some mainly classical music of all sorts and eras.

Born and raised in NW London Len left school at 16 but managed to get into the computer industry as an operator in the mid-sixties. A year later he became a programmer and spent the next forty-odd years in the industry. Early experience included an early on-line system for stock-brokers and helping write a disk operating system for a mini-computer. Len came out to Australia on a working holiday in the mid-seventies, spent time in the Pilbara then arrived in Melbourne, got the offer to help write an on-line booking system for Flag Inns, long before the internet, and decided to emigrate. Super Sally was successfully released (you might remember the adverts), then came involvement in the telecommunications industry for many years. Len was lucky enough to meet Leigh in the early eighties and has enjoyed bush-walking, attending music concerts, traveling in Australia and abroad, raising a son and enjoying his family, playing games, keeping up-to-date with science, and many other interests with her ever since. Relocating to Kyneton after retirement was a great move with involvement with many Kyneton U3A activities and also the Kyneton Croquet Club. Running the Computer Workshop has been great for keeping reasonably up-to-date with IT developments and listening to good music is always a delight.

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John Taubman – Course Co-ordinator

John comes to U3A Kyneton after a 50-year career in the Australian Navy and as a Defence Contractor.  He has held volunteer roles in the NSW Rural Fire Service, the CFA, the RSL and other voluntary organisations.

He and Roni (Secretary, U3A Kyneton) have lived in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, England, Scotland and Honolulu, leaving their children, in various parts of the globe.  They now are delighted to call Kyneton home.  Their elder son says, ‘don’t ask me where I am from – I don’t know’ and he has lived in the US for over 25 years.  The younger son has similar opinions and lives in WA.

John coordinates the over 70 courses that U3A Kyneton facilitates each year.  He is a committee member of U3A Kyneton and also U3A Network – Victoria and contributes in strategic proposals.  He also manages the U3A Kyneton course database – U-MAS.

As the family have moved around the world, John has found that the best way to assimilate into a new location is to join and contribute to the community.

John regularly presents and commentates on Defence and US political issues.

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Tony Mew

Birdwatching Course : Held monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month, 9:00am – 12:30pm. This group is a great opportunity to learn about local birds and visit some beautiful out of the way places in the area. Beginners to experienced bird-watchers welcome.
Tutor – Tony Mew:I was lucky enough to enjoy a stimulating and satisfying career as an engineer in the telecommunications industry before my retirement in 2016. Prior to retirement, my partner Louise and I built a new, off grid house at Bullarto South on 6.7 hectares. Our property backs onto the Wombat State Forest. It’s in a beautiful area, there are lots of great towns within easy distance, and the Bullarto community is very welcoming. When I retired we sold our family home in Ivanhoe and now spend most of our time at Bullarto South.
Having grown up on a dairy farm in northern Victoria, I am thoroughly enjoying my return to country life. I spend my time reading, bushwalking with some Bullarto locals, birdwatching (of course!), working on various projects around our property and watching Australian Rules football and Test cricket. I am also the gardener’s assistant (Louise being a keen gardener)!
I enjoy being the Tutor of the Birdwatching group. It has meant I’ve been able to enjoy the company of a lovely group of people whilst we teach each other to identify the beautiful birds of our region. A bonus has been that in seeking good birdwatching locations, we have discovered and enjoyed visiting lots of beautiful places that I would otherwise not have known about.

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