What is U3A?
U3A, the University of the 3rd Age.
The Life Period of Active Retirement. U3A is a community organisation that promotes healthy ageing by sharing educational, creative, leisure activities provided by our own members.
U3A is the University of the Third Age, which is the age of active retirement, coming after the age of youth and work and homemaking. University is a loose term – there are no academic requirements for membership and no exams! U3A requires no prior learning and is for retired or semi-retired persons over 50. The emphasis is on having fun while learning or enjoying leisure pursuits. U3A groups in Australia are autonomous, managed by the members themselves and the only restriction to the curriculum is the expertise of tutors available within the community.
The U3A movement had its beginnings in Toulouse, France in 1972. This quickly spread around the world; the first Australian U3A was established in Melbourne in 1984 and soon caught on in other communities in Australia. In Queensland the first U3As were in the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane in 1986.
The first meeting of Maryborough U3A was held on March 26th 1990. Of course a lot still had to be done including finding tutors, setting the courses, writing the Constitution. It is still growing and changing as the needs arise. Our volunteer tutors are the backbone of the group and continue to donate their time to our members. Thanks must go to Donna Suter who had the foresight to ensure the establishment of this wonderful organisation and she has passed her enthusiasm for U3A on to many others who have been active for well over 20 years. Now in 2023 it is still flourishing, so come along and see if it is for you.