The Management Committee for 2021/2022

President : Colleen Liston


Colleen Liston (IAUA, GradDipPhys, GradDipHlthSc, MSc, AdvDipQM, CertIVBEE, PhD APAM) is currently Vice-Chair of the Busselton Oral History Group with a passion for local social history.  In the past she was President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and Chaired the Physiotherapists Registration Board for a number of years and held senior positions, including University Secretary and Director of International Planning and Quality at Curtin University.

Dr Liston is a private consultant on tertiary education quality assurance, accreditation and standards.  She has been involved in tertiary education since the late seventies (Health Sciences), and in quality management and international education issues since the late eighties.  Her PhD in Education researched The Structure of Educational Accreditation.  She has published widely on health science research and managing quality and standards; presented at workshops on self-review and quality auditing activities; briefed senior university staff and given invited keynote papers on these topics at major international conferences in Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Chile; New Zealand and China.

Dr Liston qualified as an ISO Auditor, an Australian Business Excellence Framework Evaluator and a Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) [previously Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA)] Auditor.  She was on the panel which undertook the inaugural AUQA audit, was involved in preparing for AUQA’s first audit of Curtin University, chaired the first dual sector AUQA/AQTF audit of RMIT University and has chaired and been on a number of other university and non-self-accrediting institutions’ audit panels in Australia and overseas.  She was a member of the Editorial Board for AUQA’s Occasional Publications.

Professor Liston was appointed by the Minister of Education in Western Australia to chair higher education accreditation committees (HEACs) and as the inaugural Chair of the HEAC Chairs’ Forum.  Colleen undertook a review of the procedures for accreditation of higher education courses for the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee and is an accreditation and quality assurance reviewer for the Hong Kong, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Governments’ Quality Management Agencies.  She has conducted independent reviews for a number of Australian universities in relation to internationalisation, academic governance, standards and benchmarking.  Colleen is a Hospice volunteer and member of U3A in Busselton


Secretary : 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.

Treasurer : Richard Liston

Richard Liston was born in Adelaide and was awarded Apprentice of the Year in 1963 when he was studying electronics. This gave him the opportunity to have nearly a year in the UK and Europe with experience in Philips companies there. In 1973 Richard was persuaded by Ian Diffen to come West to help him expand his business here. He worked in a range of capacities for the Ian Diffen Tyre company including as Financial Controller until Ian’s untimely death eighteen years ago and the resultant sale of the company. He still manages finances related to tyre store premises owned by Ian’s family.

Richard has a BA in English and History from UWA, has studied auditing and taken train the trainer courses. He was Treasurer of Naturaliste U3A since its inception in 2010 until September 2017. He has been involved with the Mah Jongg Group run by Wendy Beames and has attended a number of other courses. Richard is currently Treasurer of the Oral History Group (Inc) and oversaw the digitisation of 400 hours of oral history tape recordings. He still looks after book stocks, prepares CDs, manages the compilation of transcripts and sends sound files and transcripts to the State Library of WA for them to make available online. Richard was awarded the Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Award by the City of Busselton in 2014.

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.

Committee Member : Pauline Rockley

Pauline was born in NSW and lived in Balmain and Glebe most of her childhood. She married young and had three children. Pauline continued her education as a mature aged student and when graduating obtained a position with The Department of Community Services where she remained for twenty five years. During that period of employment she worked in a number of Community Centres as a District Officer, Community Project Officer, Child Protection Specialist and the last 12 years as District Manager Community Services at Campbelltown and Wollongong/Illawarra. During her time as a Child Protection Specialist she provided training to hundreds of teachers on the mandatory reporting of child sexual assault. She also provided training to numerous groups of new foster careers and assisted in the assessments of their suitability.

Pauline moved to Perth In 2002 where she was contracted to the Disability Services Commission for nine years monitoring the Disability Services Standards. Pauline also became a Civil Marriage Celebrant only retiring from this around five years ago. 

Pauline has been on a number of committees during her years in NSW including, domestic violence, youth services, multicultural services and services to families.  She was President of the Homebush Boys High School PnC for five years and over a two year period visited vulnerable inmates at the Silverwater Adult Detention Centre, providing social interaction and support. She moved to Busselton nine years ago and has continued her commitment to being involved in the community through committees and volunteering. She has been a member of the Vasse Primary school PnC for the past five years, is a member of the U3A committee and a volunteer at the Art Geo complex. Pauline’s entire professional and retiring life has been involved in the area of humanities.

Pauline likes to  travel and has been to a number of third world countries where her passion is immersing herself in different cultures and always looking and learning. Her hobbies also include, writing her autobiography and memoir writing, mosaics, gym and walking her dog on the beach.