M.A.L.A. is a non-profit, voluntary and independent organisation offering educational and social opportunities for the over-50's in Perth, Mandurah (and the surrounding Peel region) and the Rockingham areas of Western Australia.

M.A.L.A. provides engaging programs on a wide tapestry of topics including aspects of history, literature, science, art, environmental issues, politics, culture, philosophy, languages, nature studies, religion, music, contemporary issues and more.  Lecturers are experts in their field and are chosen on the basis of their understanding of our learning requirements.  The many members represent a diverse spectrum of our community.

There are no examinations, no educational prerequisites, no set homework and no embarassing questions - just interesting and stimulating lectures.  You may enrol in any course that interests you, and no prior experience is needed nor expected.   Laughter and enjoyment are part and parcel of the deal!  

Occasionally dinners, tours and interesting outings may be organised for those who wish to participate.

Because M.A.L.A. is a totally non-profit organisation all course fees are kept as low as we possibly can.

Currently, for example, Perth membership is $10 per Semester (10 weeks) and a Perth course comprising 5 lectures held on 5 consecutive weeks costs only $45.  

If you are interested in receiving course outlines, information and enrolment details please complete an 'Expression of Interest' by clicking on 'CONTACT US'.

You don't need to be a paid-up member to be receiving emails from us, but you must have paid the $10 per Semester (or $20 for the year in the Rockingham Branch) to be eligible to enrol for courses, lectures and M.A.L.A. activities.  If you have paid your membership fee, that allows you to enrol in a course at any branch!

A T-Rex running towards cacti

The Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once the most abundant bird in North America, numbering in the billions. The common name was derived from the French word passager, meaning “passing by” in reference to the birds’ incredible migratory behaviour.

Passenger Pigeons roosted in huge hordes in the deciduous forests of the North-East and migrated constantly in search of shelter or mast (nuts and fruit). Sometimes when migrating flocks passed overhead it was reported to have “hidden the sun for hours.” Apparently as the flocks approached, the sound could easily be mistaken for thunder, or even tramping horses with sleigh bells!

Throughout the 19th century many Americans witnessed these massive migrations of millions of birds and in 1866 one such mass aerial migration reportedly took 14 hours to pass and was estimated as 1.5 kilometres wide and 500 kilometres long! In 1831 the American naturalist John Audubon even wrote, “The light of the sun was obscured as by an eclipse”!

By 1850, due to rapid loss of habitat and mass hunting with nets and shotguns, the pigeon numbers were in steady decline. (Simply shooting a shotgun upwards into a passing flock without really aiming could allegedly kill up to 6 birds.)

It was not understood or believed that this beautiful creature could ever be wiped out because of human actions, yet the Passenger Pigeon became extinct by 1914. Conservation attempts were far too little and too late.

Martha, the last surviving Passenger Pigeon, was aged 17 years when she died in Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Contributed by Vanessa Harvey


Perth, Peel & Rockingham


M.A.L.A. is an incorporated entity under the WA Associations Incorporation Act (2015). If you would like to consult the approved Constitution (a somewhat lengthy document) or download it, please click this button.



This web presence has been designed, constructed and is maintained by David Thorne using EverWeb. The work of John Bunday who created and maintained the original website is acknowledged.

M.A.L.A. needs current members to assist in continually maintaining and improving our presence on the web.

If you have skills or experience in website creation or maintenance, please contact David at the website email address: