News & Events

Bruno is a man of many passions

June 11, 2021

There is little that Bruno Zielke has not tried or turned his hand to. He has been a 100 metres sprinter, a gymnast, a rock climber, and a weightlifter representing Hawthorn. Today he still weight trains, and has taken up chess, writing, walking and reading, and is enjoying life in retirement at Leith Park.

Bruno Zielke moved into Leith Park in October 2018. Retirement living was not necessarily his immediate choice, but he was encouraged by his partner to ‘think about it’ when he turned 70.

He recalls coming for an initial interview carrying a red notebook. He asked dozens of questions and later sent OCAV a memorandum of understanding. It wasn’t until five years later, that Bruno received an offer of accommodation which he accepted and has not looked back.

Not that retirement living has slowed him down in any way.

Bruno has a degree of computer science and applied mathematics from RMIT and has spent most of his career in information technology. He gained an interest in quantum physics partly from his older brother who was a Professor of Mathematical Physics.

“I have a passion to find out how things work and to explain it to others.  In the case of quantum physics, I wanted to understand the underlying reality of the physical nature at the fundamental fields and particle level, and all the associated dynamics,” Bruno said.

Currently Bruno teaches and presents lectures for the History of the Universe course that is run through the U3A, Council of Adult Education, as well as at the Astronomical Society of Victoria, of which he is a member.

“I teach on a range of subjects from the theories of how the universe came to be, to the physical transitions, which formed galaxies, stars and black holes,” Bruno said.

Photography has been another passion for Bruno. The first good camera he had was a Nikon which he used to take pictures of his family.

“Some ‘worked’, so I joined a camera club, entered competitions mainly at a local inter-club level. I also judged competitions and edited a Newsletter for my club,” Bruno said.

Always keen to learn, he signed up to courses in photography to understand colour and composition. He now uses a Sony mirrorless camera and concentrates on photographing people, landscapes, close ups, seascapes, architecture and animals.

Rock climbing is dear to his heart although he is no longer active. He describes rock climbing like solving chess puzzles: it is a mix of matching ingenuity and endurance at the extreme.

He took up the challenge in 1968 at the end of the academic year when he was looking for a new outdoor activity. An introductory course with the Victorian Climbing Club immediately ignited his interest.

“Being athletically built, ex-sprinter, skilled in gymnastics and a natural risk taker, I quickly progressed to the more difficult climbs,” Bruno said.

He was picked to climb with Chris Dewhirst, and John Ewbank, an esteemed rock climber from England, who had a similar nothing-is-impossible attitude.

“On the rock face Chris was the master and only sometimes beat me at chess,” Bruno said.

A show Flowers and Melbourne Architecture featuring some of Bruno’s work will be held in Leith Park’s Community Hall on 11 July.


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