U3A Network Queensland prepares for annual conference

U3A Network Queensland will hold its annual conference in Rockhampton from May 8 to 11. A highlight of the conference will be an anniversary dinner, celebrating 50 years of U3A International.

Guest speakers include Professor François Vellas, President of the International Association of Universities of Third Age (AIUTA). Prof Vellas is a Director of the University of Third Age (U3A) of Toulouse, France, birthplace of U3A.

Professor Maria Chester is Secretary General of the International Association of Universities of Third Age. Professor Chester, who will speak via video link, has taught in several South American universities as well as private institutions.

Cliff Picton, a co-founder of U3A in Australia (1984) has a long involvement in gerontology, including two terms on the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council of Senior Victorians. Cliff produced a booklet about the formation of U3A in Australia which can be viewed here: https://u3aqld.au/11658-2/

Jim Hales, a past President of U3A Sunshine Coast, initiated the establishment of the U3A Network in Queensland. His presentation will cover the history of U3A Network Queensland, and the first U3A Association formed in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane in 1986.

Network President Rhonda Weston will release the Annual Report at the Annual General Meeting on 11 May 2023. Topics covered in the report include the success of a Queensland road trip by the President, who visited U3As in rural and regional centres including Rockhampton, Townsville, Emerald and Charters Towers (see photo).

The 50th anniversary of U3A International coincides with the 30th year for our local group in Warwick. Our July newsletter will include a special feature celebrating this achievement.

U3A Network Queensland has 35 member organisations across Queensland with a new member group (Port Douglas) soon to be included.

U3A is the largest provider of adult education programs for retirees in Queensland. All programs are provided by volunteers. U3A groups in Queensland including U3A Online have an estimated 24,000 members.