U3A national online courses on offer

U3A Online is the world-first “virtual” U3A, set up in 1999, in Australia, by a group of dedicated U3A members who were strongly committed to providing online learning, similar to that available in local face-to face U3As, for those who are unable to attend a “real” U3A due to physical, geographical or social isolation.

While we understand that face-to-face U3As are the ideal organisations for most seniors seeking life-long learning opportunities, it is not always possible for everyone to attend one.

U3A Online offers over 60 Courses which can be undertaken either independently or, in some cases, with a Leader.  They are generally 6 to 8 weeks in length and can be accessed online at any time with only basic IT skills being required.  We are regularly adding more Courses which cover areas such as History, World Affairs, Science, Literature, Lifestyle, Writing and more. An individual yearly membership of $30 allows access to any number of these Courses during the year. For further information go to https://www.u3aonline.org.au/home

AGM Minutes

U3A Central Coast (Tas) Inc
Annual General Meeting 
27th November, 2017 at 11.00am
Gnomon Room, Pier 1, Ulverstone.

34 members attended the AGM
Apology received from Jan Hammersley, Sue Ewing, Norma Raspin, Bunty Jackson.

Chairperson’s Report
Interim President, Malcolm Wells presented and spoke to his report. He highlighted how the concept formed; the support from neighboring U3A’s; the outstanding and talented range of tutors that have come forward to offer a wide range of courses; the sterling job of the program committee; the availability of office space at Apex House; and the work of the Interim Committee.
Malcolm moved the report be accepted. Seconded by Bev Jennings. Accepted with applause.

Financial Report
Gaye Aitken (Interim Treasurer) presented the Statement of Accounts from the 1st January 2017 to 27th November 2017.

  • Gaye advised she would correct the date of the bank balance to read as at 27th November and forward the revised version.
  • It was noted that the nominated Auditor is no longer able to assist with auditing the accounts. The newly appointed Committee will nominate a new auditor to perform this task.
  • Several questions were asked relating to affiliation, NSW Network, use of funds held in the bank account, insurance. It was explained that:
  • Affiliation is with the NSW Network who provide a range of supports and infrastructure such as web support, advice re: Insurance, Finance etc.
  • Venue hire costs are likely to reduce when Apex House becomes available as a free office space and also as a venue for programs. The facility is owned by the Apex Club and managed by Switch who will offer space free of charge to community groups.
  • Setting a budget with priorities will be a job for the new Committee. Resources for the office at Apex House, a mobile classroom are suggested priorities for the use of some of the balance of funds held at this stage.
  • Insurance is brokered through the NSW Network as economies of scale allow for insurance at a small cost per member.
  • Gaye moved that the Financial Statement be accepted. Seconded Bev Jennings. All agreed.

Adoption of Rules and Constitution
Time was taken for members to read the constitution and Malcolm highlighted some key sections. Following discussion it was decided that the Committee will formalize the process that tutors’ and class leaders’ costs will be reimbursed (Section 3c).
Malcolm moved that the Rules and Constitution be accepted without change. Seconded Damian Griffin. All agreed.

Election of Office Bearers
Jan Bonde chaired this section of the meeting.
The following members were elected appointed to positions

  • Chairperson – Malcolm Wells
  • Deputy Chairperson – Jan Bonde
  • Secretary – Cheryl Larcombe
  • Treasurer – Gaye Aitken
  • Public Officer – Ken McKenzie
  • Course Co-ordinator to be advised by the Program Group
  • Jan Hammersley, Max Cole, Janene Hodgkinson, Sue Ewing and Jane Bennett (Program Team role interest), Maggie Aldhamland, (website role interest)) Bev Jennings, Drew Thomas

Malcolm encouraged members to consider becoming involved in the Committee to strengthen the organization and allow for ease of transition when current officer bearers were on holidays or in the longer term needed to be replaced. He also reminded members that volunteers will be able to offer vital support when the office is open.
Kath Downie also acknowledged the great work of the tutors and the opportunities through U3A to try many new activities and learn new skills. This sentiment was endorsed by all the meeting.

Cheryl Larcombe moved that fees remain at $40.00. Seconded Kath Downie
After discussion about half yearly membership and ‘come and try’ opportunities it was decided and agreed that these are difficult to manage for a number of reasons and the fees will remain at $40 per annum.

Meeting closed 12.05 and everyone enjoyed a light lunch.

Cheryl Larcombe

AGM Chairperson report

Chairperson Report: Annual General Meeting, November 27, 2017.

A little more than 12 months ago Central Coast Mayor Jan Bonde invited Cheryl Larcombe and I for a coffee and a chat! A U3A for the Central Coast was the agenda item and it was agreed to give it a go.

Fast forward to November 27 2017.We have 137 members, are incorporated and financial, have run two semesters with more than 50 different courses delivered by 33 tutors, a website and social media presence all supported by a hardworking and dedicated committee.

We received great support early on from the discussions we had with a number of neighbouring U3A’s with a particular mention to Warren and Anne from Port Sorell. Like a number of Tasmanian U3A’s we are members of the U3A Network NSW Inc.; this provides us with access to the insurance we need and has helped us in the establishment of our website and on line enrolment facility. (The latter with great support from Daryl Connelly at Switch Tasmania and Mervyn Mitchell from Wynyard U3A)

Our community is fortunate to have many willing and talented people prepared to offer our members such a wide variety of courses. Our tutors put considerable thought and effort into the preparation and delivery of their courses. They volunteer their time, this is an important contribution to the social and educational fabric of this community, our tutors should be proud of the service they are providing. (a list of our 2017 tutors is attached)

Tutors, courses, venues and a semester program don’t just appear and I think all members of our current committee would agree our programs team do an amazing job. Managing our membership database, compiling “class lists”, communication, finance and general administration work to support the organisation and ultimately the delivery of courses to members make up the bulk of the remaining work undertaken by the committee. It’s a small team who have played a really important role in getting us well established in our first year of operation.

A number of our committee are planning to continue and that continuity will be important. We do need however to add to this group, it makes good sense to build the capacity of our organisation and tap into the expertise we know exists in our community.

The Ulverstone Apex Club’s plan to redevelop Apex House and offer it as a community resource for other not for profit community organisations represents a wonderful opportunity to have a much needed, accessible and safe administrative base. This should enable us to improve so many administrative tasks that we currently do from different homes, computers and folders etc!
2018 will provides all of us with the challenge and the opportunity to consolidate the establishment of a vibrant U3A within the Central Coast community. The mission is a simple and important one: U3A Central Coast aims to be a key community resource for those over 50 years of age, enabling its members to be engaged in activities that provide opportunities to learn for pleasure with friendship.

Malcolm Wells
Chairperson, U3A Central Coast Tas.

On behalf of 2017 Committee members (Nov 2017) Sue Ewing, Pam Spratt, Jan Hammersley, Jan Bonde, Max Cole, Janene Hodgkinson, Ken McKenzie (Public Officer), Bunty Jackson (Secretary), Maggie Aldhamland, Norma Raspin, Drew Thomas, Gaye Aitken (Treasurer), Cheryl Larcombe (Deputy Chair)

2017 Tutors – U3A Central Coast Tas.   (THANKYOU!!)

Kathleen McMahon
Max Cole
Phil Thom
Bev Jennings
Liz Baade
Brian Dowse
Robyn Tate
Bob Mesibov
Viv Perry
Glen Boyle
Margaret Croswell
Adrienne Krist
Anna Findlater
Janice Standfield
Jane Bennett
Iris Schuberth
Drew Thomas
Sally Schnackenberg
Anne Guest
Maggie Aldhamland
Tim Wilson
Mike Holland
Conor Smith
Kathrine Bayles
Barbara Mearns
Garry Kane
Paul O’Halloran
Rena Henderson
Jan Hill
Philip McVeity
Daryl Connelly
Brent Commons
Stephanie Templeton


When: 5 March 2018

Where: Gnomon Room, Wharf Precinct

Registrations and course enquiries between 1.00pm and 3.00pm.

Official launch at 2.00pm followed by afternoon tea.

We’d love to see you there!

More about U3A


The principles of self-help and mutual support are the very cornerstones of the U3A movement. The word university is used in its earliest sense – a community of scholars who get together to help each other in a learning/social experience. Most of the groups in Australia are community based, but there are several, mainly in the capital cities, which do have an affiliation with and receive support from their local University.

How and when did the U3A movement begin?

U3A (University of the Third Age) is a world-wide organisation. It began in France in 1968, when legislation was passed that required universities to provide more community education. In 1973 a highly-rated gerontology course was provided by Toulouse University for local retired people, a course which was extremely successful and which led to the formation of what was to be the first U3A. This organisation was open to anyone over retirement age; no qualifications or examinations were required and fees were kept to a minimum. The idea spread rapidly throughout France and then to Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Spain and across the Atlantic to Quebec and California. When U3A surfaced in Great Britain (in Cambridge), however, the “model” was to undergo a significant change.

The British model

Whereas in the French model there were strong ties to the universities, which decided upon, structured and presented most of the courses, in the British model these university ties were to disappear. In the new system there was to be no distinction between the teacher and the taught – members would, as far as possible, be teachers as well as learners. This new self-help approach is based on the knowledge that “experts” of every kind in every field retire, so there should be no need to depend on paid tutors of either the second or third ages! The late Dr. Peter Laslett (Cambridge University) was responsible for adapting the founding French university sponsored U3A into a community based model which has become known as the “Cambridge Model” of U3A which is common to U3As in Australia. He was also responsible for defining the four “ages of man” in his book A Fresh Map of Life: The Emergence of the Third Age. Retirement offered an opportunity to catch up with a lot of activities there had not been time for in the first two stages of life.


This British model of U3A was the one introduced into Australia (Melbourne) in 1984, and has since spread rapidly throughout Australia. There are more than 300 U3A groups in Australia and national membership is growing rapidly. The U3A movement has been identified through academic research as being the fastest-growing adult education movement in Australia.