The Management Committee for 2021/2022




Secretary : 


Treasurer : Janet Mannolini

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Janet was born of migrant parents and grew up in Fremantle. She and her husband Gary owned a restaurant during the heady days of the America’s Cup in Fremantle. After selling the restaurant and with two young daughters, Janet and her husband moved to the South West about 30 years ago.

Looking for a change of career she started working as a bookkeeper while pursuing an accounting degree from Edith Cowan University in Bunbury. She has been a CPA qualified accountant for over twenty-five years and has had a diverse working background. Janet has worked as an accountant in tax before moving onto working in more challenging accounting and management roles in Not-for-Profit organisations.

As Janet has had a lifelong love of learning she started lecturing in bookkeeping and accounting at both TAFE and university before progressing into senior management and project management roles at Edith Cowan University. Janet has been a treasurer and voluntary auditor of a number of community groups, both small and large.

She enjoys the beautiful natural environment of the South West region and spends time pursing nature related activities of bush walking, bird watching, camping and enjoying the spectacular wildflowers on offer.

Committee Member & Systems Administrator: Don Wright

Don was born in Swansea, South Wales, UK just after the second world war. Stepping at an early age onto the relentless UK educational conveyor belt in 1951, 20 years later he fell off the end with a first class honours degree in pure mathematics from the University of Wales and a  Ph.D. in pure mathematics from the University of Birmingham, England. Teaching and research positions followed at the University of Kansas, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wales, Aberystwyth and finally Monash University in Melbourne, the job which initially brought him to Australia in 1975. After 3 years there, he decided that he preferred to retain his health rather than battle with the stress of advanced mathematical research in a highly competitive field. The fact that he wasn’t really equipped to compete with the world’s best mathematicians might also have  influenced that decision. He wandered into the technical IT space and worked for the ANZ Bank IT department in Melbourne in the mid 1980s.  In 1987 he moved to Perth with his young family, working for the University of WA on a large IBM mainframe project for the Health Dept of WA which serviced most of WA’s hospitals.  A few years later he was working as an independent IT consultant in the technical space and subsequently contributed for almost 30 years to major projects in Perth for multiple clients. These included government departments such as WA Health, Dept of Transport, Dept of Planning, Insurance Commission of WA, GESB, Regional Development and Lands, Dept of Education, DOCEP, Dept of Finance and Treasury and corporate clients such as Alcoa, Bunnings, Bankwest, Rio Tinto, Computer Science Corporation, St John of God Hospital, Fujitsu, Navitas, Curtin University and ECU Joondalup.  In 2016 he and his wife Deirdre  moved to Busselton, happily coinciding with their retirement.  Don’s main hobbies these days are going on long walks up and down the coast, playing his six guitars (one at a time) and tinkering with a diverse collection of personal computers.          

Vice President : Ruth Gardner

My childhood was spent in South Perth, and on finishing school I went into nursing, but later trained as a teacher at kindergarten Teachers College. With marrying David, a newly graduated Civil Engineer, my teaching experience moved from suburban Perth to Darwin. London (in the East End and Regents park – almost two different countries) to Carnarvon, WA, with Kindergarten to the Air Station children and Minoo Malgoo Aboriginal Preschool.

In the late 70’s we returned to Perth and I had the chance to continue my own graduate studies, while teaching child development to Mothercraft and Child Health nursing students at Ngala, then tutoring at Murdoch University and ECU, before taking up a full time lectureship at Curtin University in the Faculty of Education.

Early in the 2000’s David and I took early retirement from our full time positions and moved to our tree farm in Balingup. Here I was involved with the committee for the Balingup Small Farm Field Day and the Balingup Progress Association and we both thoroughly enjoyed the vibrant and caring community of Balingup.

We moved to Busselton in 2018 and once again we are enjoying making our way in an active and caring community, of which Naturaliste U3A is a significant part.

Committee Member : Brenda Pirrit

I was born in the coastal town of Gisborne in the Poverty Bay region  NorthIsland NZ After finishing my education I went to Auckland to train in a Community Nursing Course at the Mater Miscericordiae Hospital in Mt Eden. In the 60’s my adventurous spirit brought me to Sydney with encouragement from many “Aussie Nurses” who at that time were crossing the Tasman in large numbers to work and travel around NZ.

In the mid70,s my husband John  decided to accept a new job prospect in WA It was a great opportunity to travel and test out the new Motorhome we had spent some dedicated months building together.

When the children left school I took a position at the Silver Chain Nursing Association where for 15 years I worked in the Community in various different roles.

Gisborne NZ has many similarities to Busselton and when I came to retire here It really felt like I was “Full Stop” in a very Happy Place. We have lived in Busselton for 9 years. Being a keen cyclist what better place can one be! My love of DRU Yoga for fitness led me to search for a suitable course and so I was introduced through a friend to join U3A.I have been a member since 2016.This great network of dedicated Volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds really inspired me to join in the wonderful variety of courses offered.I am currently co-hosting Book Club 1 and thoroughly enjoy this new experience. We have a great group of enthusiastic readers and we have a lot of fun too.

Committee Member : Margaret Maloney

Margaret has lived in Busselton since 2006 and retired nearly two years ago. She was born in the Eastern States and has done her share of travelling including: living in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Sarina (Qld). In her late teens she moved to London and stayed nearly three years. During that time she visited many places in the UK and Europe.

Margaret’s interests are varied and she has always loved the outdoors and played social sport including: tennis, ten pin bowling, golf, dancing (rock n roll, jive, rock a billy and she loves a cha cha) and she has skied on most fields in NZ. More recent interests are fishing, swimming, scrabble and during winter escaping from the South West with Wayne towing the caravan to go prospecting in the Goldfields.

She has been kept busy since Christmas running an ‘airbnb’ guest suite at her home in Geographe (let’s not mention the amount of cleaning and ironing this requires)… Any opportunity to share stories, food, a glass of red (or ale) is welcome – my place or yours?

Margaret has an extensive Financial and Administration background (gained within the Legal Profession) and is looking forward to assisting the committee as a ‘back up’ person for UMAS software tasks.