Community News

U3a forum a great success

The initial forum of CRU3a guest speakers turned out to be a huge success and the second one is coming up shortly.

It was a full house that welcomed ‘Independent’ journalist Geoff Helisma and he didn’t disappoint. He and the convenor had agreed on the topic of ‘Fake News’, what is it and what are the implications, proved very popular.

Geoff is well respected in the community for his tenacity and thoroughness when tackling those local issues that residents still are concerned about.

When being introduced it was discovered that he hasn’t always been in journalism but was a tradie (plumber) to begin with and then worked for bigger contractors and council. He had to apply three times for his current job as he was completing his tertiary studies. He made no apologies for his left of centre politics, but we smiled when one politician accused him of communist tendencies. Likewise, while not espousing any religious values he did say that Jesus was one of his heroes.

In a similar vein he spoke about the rise of the ‘Woke’ brigade which by definition raised people’s awareness of many social justice issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. All in all, he kept people’s attention and there were some enthusiastic questions.

The convenor asked him to describe his relationship with all the politicians the ‘Independent’ has to deal with and his answers were surprising. Former U3a luirminaries asked about conspiracy theories and whether the aim of some newspapers is to try and divide the nation. His answers were always well considered and full of insight.

One of the most pertinent points to emerge was the fact that to be truly impartial you have to be biased towards one end of the spectrum in the first place to move from that stance, whether it be the ABC or Fox News.

In the end he had to promise to return next year to kick off the 2022 season of forums, so expect a larger full house then.

In the meantime, look forward to our next guest speaker on May 10 when former Victorian MP Prue Leggoe will be speaking about the very relevant issue of women in politics, past, present and future. Should make for interesting discussion. Prue was one of the leading speakers at the recent Iluka “Women 4 Justice” march.

Those people who wish to attend on Monday May 10 contact me on 0416814911 via text.

Col Hennessy