Summer School 2024 excursion report

The second week of Nunawading U3A’s 2024 Summer School provided an opportunity for members to join excursions to places of interest around Melbourne. Our members were able to explore backstage at the new Whitehorse performing arts centre, see behind the scenes at the Jazz Museum, go back in time at Rippon Lea and the Old Treasury building, and admire William Johnston’s renowned antiques collection. A wonderful week of tours.

The Round

The first two excursions were to Whitehorse’s beautiful new performing arts centre, The Round. Members of these excursions were guided through the two theatres, and the grand foyer and told of all the wonderful events and activities that people will be able to attend. Backstage, members saw the green room, the dressing rooms and a beautiful large mural, painted by a local indigenous artist, on the wall of one of the passages.

Jazz Museum

The next day Jenny Hooper led an excursion to the Jazz Museum. Here she writes:

“A group of jazz fans enjoyed a visit to the Australian Jazz Museum in Wantirna. We were taken on a tour and saw what happens behind the scenes. The volunteers explained their various roles to us. They help to ensure the preservation and storage of the recordings of all types of Australian jazz, and some from overseas. The collection includes Australian Jazz materials from the 1920s through to the present.
Some of our group reminisced on Jazz clubs they had attended in their younger days. We were then treated to an excellent live jazz performance by a band, followed by a light lunch.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit and I’m sure we all learnt something of interest about jazz.”

Jenny Hooper

Rippon Lea and The Old Treasury Building

During the next two days, Sue Fraser led excursions to Rippon Lea and The Old Treasury Building.

“As part of the Summer School Excursion Program, I had the pleasure of organising a tour of Rippon Lea Mansion on Wednesday 31 January and the Old Treasury Building on Thursday 1 February.

Fifteen members participated in the Rippon Lea tour, enjoying the many lovely features of the beautiful mansion and surrounding gardens. An enjoyable lunch at a local café followed the tour.

Thirty-six members took part in the tour of the Old Treasury Building. Four guides, including U3A Nunawading Class Leader, Maria Ryan and myself, conducted a discovery tour of the Old Treasury Building. This beautiful 19th-century building, located in Spring Street, Melbourne, has many different exhibition rooms depicting various aspects of Australian History.

If you are interested in visiting these properties, I recommend that you start with a look on the individual websites to help plan your visit.”

Sue Fraser

The Johnston Collection

Finally, at the end of the week, Valerie Donlon led an excursion to the ‘Johnston Collection’ a beautiful old house in East Melbourne full of many beautiful antique pieces collected by William Johnston a prominent 20th-century antiques dealer, collector, and property investor based in Melbourne. William Johnston’s lifelong passion for collecting beautiful objects began when his grandmother gave him a little teacup – a circa 1815 Minton Potteries teacup without its saucer – when he was about 8 years old. The group saw many beautiful pieces of ceramics, furniture, glass, clocks, silver, paintings and textiles.

Thanks to excursion leaders

Thank you to the leaders of these excursions, Jenny, Sue and Valerie, for not only leading the excursions but also for making the necessary arrangements for our members to be able to enjoy these experiences.

Athalie Edis
Summer School Coordinator


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