About the U3A Network

What is the U3A Network?

The principles of the U3A Network

The Services of the Network

What is the U3A Network?

Aims and Objectives of the Network

• To provide information, advice and relevant services to member U3As,  and to  encourage their involvement in the wider community, while recognizing their  autonomy;
• To encourage co-operation and networking between member U3As, and as far as  practicable, with other U3A organizations  in Australia and internationally;
• To support the formation of U3As  within the State of New South Wales and the  Australian Capital Territory;
• To promote the U3A movement by publicizing it through various media;
• To represent member  U3As  at State and National levels;
• To establish and maintain links with educational and Seniors’ organizations;
• To co-operate with and seek support from relevant sources for applied research  into life-long learning and related aspects of ageing;
• To do all such things as may be conducive to the attainment of these objectives.

 Principles of the Network

[Based on the philosophy of the UK co-founder of the U3A movement, Dr. Peter Laslett.]

• To provide affordable learning opportunities for older people, using the skills and  abilities of the members themselves.
• Those who learn shall teach and those who teach shall learn, and there shall be no  distinction between the two.
• There shall be no qualifications for membership, and no awards, degrees or  diplomas shall be given.
• The emphasis shall be on learning for the love of it, and shall include an emphasis  on the values of making things and improving skills of all kinds.
• Learning shall take place in a friendly, supportive, social environment
• Those joining a U3A shall pay for its upkeep.
• There shall be no payment to any person (member or non-member) for teaching  or providing a service to members except in the case of reimbursement for such  expenses as travel, photocopying, etc.
• The curriculum of a U3A shall be determined by the needs/preferences of its  members and according to the resources available to it.
• To be at all times, non-political and non-sectarian in our approach.

The Services of the Network 

The U3A Network (NSW) Inc. offers the following services for its members:

  • A comprehensive Group Insurance Policy covering the majority of all U3A activities with Public Liability cover. Due to the many U3As that have joined the scheme, the Network has been able to negotiate this insurance package at a very reasonable rate;
  • Copyright Agency blanket licence (again at reduced cost per member) and APRA and Screenrights licences,  for those  U3As  which request them
  • Access to the Network’s Resource Library, an online repository of lesson notes and reference materials to assist would-be tutors preparing their courses.
  • Sub-domain website access and assistance in website management;
  • Generic promotion and publicity for the U3A movement in NSW, including a DVD, leaflets and press releases;
  • Developing links with government, and other organisations (such as COTA) in respect to policies relevant to U3A groups in NSW;
  • Representing NSW U3As within  the national body, U3A Alliance Australia
  • A quarterly newsletter, Newslink, with news and information to assist U3A management committees.
  • An Annual Conference
  • A consultative role when requested by individual U3As.
  • A  comprehensive Starter Kit for groups wishing to start a U3A in their community.
  • Advice about incorporation and constitutions for new U3As
  • Facilitation of networking between neighbouring U3As through cluster and regional activities, to encourage the sharing of information, newsletters  and resources

N.B. All member U3As may send delegates and observers to the Network’s AGM (usually held in March or April each year) and observers to Network Committee meetings (which are usually held three times a year). Election to the Management Committee takes place at the AGM.

U3As are encouraged to maintain relationships with neighbouring U3As, individually or in clusters, to facilitate the sharing of resources and exchange of courses and tutors, exchange of newsletters etc.  Some U3As hold their own cluster or regional conferences each year.