University of the Third Age is a wonderful and inexpensive way to learn new skills, meet like minded people and keep fit. I have participated in Balance & Bones which is a great work out and very aptly named. This program is recommended by physiotherapists and health workers. I also highly recommend the yoga classes for seniors. Having participated in yoga for most of my adult life I had to stop after a hip and knee replacement. I was just too slow getting up and down of the floor. The seniors yoga classes are very beneficial but not as physically demanding. The annual membership fee in my town is $25.
Judith Darling shares her knowledge and an outline of what U3A has to offer.
Mudgee District U3A celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year!
‘What is U3A’ you may ask……….
Our website, www.mudgeedistrictu3a.org.au, will tell you that ‘the seeds of “lifelong learning for older people” were sown at L’Universite du Troisieme, and founded in Toulouse, France in 1972 when universities began to provide educational opportunities for older adults.
By 1981 it was transported to Britain by the late Dr Peter Laslett (Cambridge University) who saw a need for community-based groups rather than those affiliated with a university.
In Australia U3A had its beginnings in Melbourne in 1985 when Dr Jack McDonnell offered the first program.”
The University of the Third Age (U3A) is now an international organisation run by Management Committees elected by members of each U3A. They are a voluntary non profit associations offering people fifty years and over low cost educational opportunities.
Most U3As offer a program of weekly classes arranged on a term or semester basis. Each U3A sets its own Annual Membership Fee, there are no paid instructors, no entry qualifications or exams and the courses presented reflect the needs and interests of the members & availability of presenters.
Mudgee District U3A was founded in 1998 with eleven courses, such as Australian History, Calligraphy, Classical Music, Sketching and Drawing & Women’s Studies, offered to 80 members.
This year we have 236 members & 35 courses being offered by 29 volunteer Presenters.
The courses are still varied, ranging from singing, dancing, art & craft, U3A Online topics, history, movies, mah-jong & currents affairs and keep fit programs to name just a few.
As we do not have our own premises classes are held in a variety of venues such as a meeting room managed by Housing Plus, Aged Care Facilities, Anglian Church Hall and our Local Health Services Wellness Centre.
Being a U3A Member has many positive benefits, it helps to keep the mind healthy, improves self-esteem, promotes self-worth & reduces loneliness. So we have a lot to celebrate & will do this with our first Arts & Crafts Exhibition in June & a lunch later in the year.
If you are interested in finding out about a U3A group near you go to the
U3A Network, NSW website: firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Mudgee District U3A