Public Lecture Series

This series of lectures covers a variety of topics presented by invited speakers who are experts in their field.

The lectures are open to the public. U3A Banyule members are requested to enrol through MyU3A as usual and are encouraged to invite friends and family.  A gold coin donation would be appreciated as a contribution to a gift for the speaker.



Semester 2

Mon 26 July, 2pm - Sallie Yea - "Understanding Vulnerability to Human Trafficking in Asia"

Sallie Yea is a leading scholar internationally on human trafficking and modern-day slavery. She is a Human Geographer, currently based at La Trobe University in the Department of Social Inquiry as the 2021 Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow. She has worked primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, including South Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines and Bangladesh. She believes strongly in finding mediums through which the voices of victims and survivors of modern-day slavery can be heard. The lecture will focus on the precarious situation of migrant workers and human trafficking, drawing on the situation in Australia and current projects on the links between climate change and vulnerable labour migration in the Asia Pacific region


Mon 23 August, 2pm - Professor Christopher Lamb - "Developments in Myanmar"

Professor Christopher Lamb was with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 32 years, serving twice in Myanmar (1972-74 and as Australian Ambassador 1986-89). Chief diplomat for the International Red Cross in Geneva 2000-2010). President of the Australia Myanmar Institute 2013 to now. His talk is about military involvement in Myanmar politics, especially since the military takeover on 1 February 2021. He asks: What should Australia be doing?


Mon 27 September, 2pm - Lorayne Branch – “Henry Sutton – Australia’s Greatest Inventor"

Very few people have crossed as many scientific fields as Henry Sutton. Lorayne Branch is the great granddaughter of the Australian inventor Henry Sutton. In 2008 she began researching Henry which led to her writing his biography to record for the first time his important contribution to Australian and world innovation history. By age 26 Henry had won world acclaim and stood as an equal alongside such men as Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Although applauded around the world in his day for his remarkable achievements, Henry Sutton went largely unnoticed in Australia by his peers and the public. His life’s work spanned all avenues of science and engineering and helped shape the technology of the world today. Henry Sutton stands alone in world history as one of Australia’s first true men of science and innovation.


Mon 25 October, 2pm - Dr Richard Baka (BPE, BA, MA, PhD) – “Melbourne’s Status as an Olympic City"

Dr Baka's main area of research is related to the Olympic movement, especially Australia at the Olympics. Beginning with its successful hosting of the 1956 Olympics, labelled the “Friendly Games”, Melbourne went on to develop a vibrant and unique Olympic legacy. This included developing world-class sports facilities in the Olympic Park precinct and other locations. The Melbourne Cricket Ground serves as the focal point of a rich Olympic legacy. The city also created strong Olympic connections via such concepts as the National Sports Museum, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, the Victorian Olympic Council and the Victorian Institute of Sport. Melbourne earned itself the title of Australia’s sporting capital by way of not only developing an extensive infrastructure but its hosting of major sporting events, e.g. AFL Grand Final, the Australian Tennis Open.. It has also had a major contribution by way of many local athletes and sport administrators advancing the cause of Olympism.