Sharing of skills and knowledge
Whittlesea U3A Inc. is a not-for-profit, multi-cultural, entirely volunteer organisation run by seniors in our community and our Motto is the “Sharing of skills and knowledge” – one day a student the next a tutor. At Whittlesea U3A Inc. we wish to be a catalyst for generating new knowledge and ideas where all our current and future members can learn, create, connect and enjoy.
Whittlesea U3A Inc. classes provide mental and physical stimulation, enlarges personal horizons knowledge and skills, and provides the an opportunity to make and enjoy being with friends. Regrettably, older Australians who are socially isolated tend to experience illness and poor health more often than people who remain in frequent contact with friends and family. Having that regular contact with other people is also important for the mind helping to keep one mentally active and emotionally engaged with the wider community. It helps to ward off loneliness and more serious problems like depression.
On October 17th 2001 the City of Whittlesea called for expression of interest to establish a University of Third Age from which a group of dedicated people formed a steering committee. By February 2002 “Whittlesea U3A Inc.” was incorporated, a committee was established and in March 2002 classes had commenced with thirty members and ten tutors. Whittlesea U3A Inc. was established for people in their third age who were over the age of 50 and were retired or are semi-retired and our Mission is to provide opportunities for seniors to learn, teach, share and to give mutual support to each other in a friendly and warm environment, regardless or ethnicity, religion, ability or disability.
There are over sixty Whittlesea U3A Inc. courses and activities to help keep the ‘black dog’ at bay and the choices are wide and varied. The most popular course on the list is learning different aspects of computers; from basics to Photoshop. In fact these courses are so popular that there is a waiting list and with more access to facilities, more members could learn these skills. Technology has come a long way and in order to keep up with our social life, one needs to communicate; some studies suggest that elderly people who use the Internet could live longer. In 2002 only two members had and used email now over half the members can now be contacted via the internet. There are many forms of exercise programs, chair aerobics,Tai Chi and yoga, walking in the locality and in the bush. Together with golf, bike riding, carpet bowls, bocce, table tennis, water aerobics, tennis and ten pin bowling. Our line dancing, belly dancing and back to basic dancing are all popular classes and they all help keep us fit and all enjoy each others company. There are also classes to challenge our mind, mah-jong, languages, chess, cards, and scrabble and of course trivia. Each year we add something new and exciting to our calendar. This year we have Walking Football.
This year Whittlesea U3A Inc. is celebrating its 17th year and from the original ten volunteer tutors has grown to sixty – seventy leaders and/or tutors; not forgetting those volunteers who work behind the scenes. Many help with administration, paperwork, driving members to classes, morning teas and the myriad of tasks it takes to run an efficient U3A. The Committee is also made up of volunteers and with over 700members this not for profit volunteer organisation is run like a small business. We acknowledge those who have made a difference to so many lives. Whittlesea U3A is about making friends and at the same time discovering something new every day.
Whittlesea U3A Inc. is constantly seeking new volunteer leaders / tutors. Retirees have so much to offer, not just to friends and family but to the wider community, so if you have a hobby or subject you wish to impart to our members please contact us.
We value our volunteers
Incorporation number A0042367P
In recognition of exceptional service to Whittlesea U3A a number of Life Memberships have been awarded:
- Mary Renshaw
- Beryl Clarke
- Pat Domigan
- Helen Campbell
- Kathy Lizio
- Brenda Gorley
The criteria for the awarding of Life Membership can be obtained from the Whittlesea U3A office.
Volunteers are highly valued and supported within the Whittlesea U3A community. We aim for the highest ethical standards and all volunteers are required to act in accordance with a strict code of conduct.
Giving back to the community
Whittlesea U3A Inc. also gives back to the community. The sewing group, together with other members, sew exquisite, small items for the Sunshine Hospital Neonatal ward when needed. The Austin, Northern Hospital and other cancer hospital wards also benefit from rugs, hats and scarves made by our U3A members. Whittlesea U3A Inc print, collate and donate Memory Books to the Northern Hospital they in turn give these very important books memory books to bereaved families when needed. The “Singing for Joy” choir sings at nursing homes and local carols and many times the line dancing group performed for the community groups. At the monthly morning tea food is collected and donated to the breakfast club at Mill Park Lakes School and we were active participants in the last two Whittlesea ‘Relay for Life’ events.
Come and join us
Whittlesea U3A Inc. has come a long way from the original 30 members to over 500 we have today. Many more have passed through our doors and are no longer with us, to whom we also need to acknowledge their efforts in establishing the U3A that we know and recognise today. Our members come from different backgrounds but have one thing in common – friendship. Whittlesea U3A is here to stay, to expand and to encourage seniors in their Third Age to keep healthy in body and mind and above all be part of our welcoming diverse community.
New members are most welcome!
|Typical courses and activities available through Whittlesea U3A can be viewed in the video on the left.|