What is the U3A Network NSW Inc.?
The Aims and Objectives of U3A Network NSW
- Providing information, advice and relevant services to member U3As, and to encourage their involvement in the wider community, while recognizing their autonomy;
- Encouraging co-operation and networking between member U3As, and as far as practicable, with other U3A organizations in Australia and internationally;
- Supporting the formation of U3As within the State of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory;
- Promoting the U3A movement by publicizing it through various media as the voice of the U3A Members in NSW & The Australian Capital Territory.
The U3A Network NSW is not a typical U3A and exists to assist U3A Members by:
- Representing member U3As at State and National levels;
- Establishing and maintaining links with educational and Seniors’ and other related organizations;
- Co-operating with and seeking support from relevant sources for applied research into life-long learning and related aspects of ageing;
- Arranging group insurances and other licences such as One Music, Copyright and Screenrights, which when bought collectively are more economical and save work for Members;
- Providing a website hosting service for Member U3As and affiliates;
- Doing all such things as may be conducive to the attainment of these objectives.
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 Website where Members can access information to assist them in the operation of their autonomous associations.
- Sub-domain website access and assistance in website management.
- Generic promotion and publicity for the U3A movement in NSW, including an adaptable PowerPoint presentation, leaflets and press releases.
- By developing links with government, and other organisations (such as COTA) in respect to policies relevant to U3A groups in NSW and the ACT.
- Representing NSW U3As within a national body, U3A Alliance Australia.
- Producing and distributing a Member 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.
- The U3A Network (NSW) has nine regions each with a Regional Representative who will seek to maintain helpful two-way communications between their cluster of the 63 plus member U3As and the Network NSW.
- All member U3As and their members may participate in the Network’s State Conference and AGM and observers may attend Network Committee meetings, which are usually held monthly by Zoom and Face to Face at least once a year.
- The Management Committee comprises the Nine Regional Representatives and an Executive, which is elected 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 technological information. Some U3As hold their own cluster or regional meetings each year.
Principles of the U3A Network NSW – U3A Members*
There are 60 Member U3As in NSW and the ACT and 17 Interstate Associate Member U3As, with approaching 30,000 ‘connected’ members, who operate by following these Principles:
- 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.
* Based on the philosophy of the UK co-founder of the U3A movement, Dr. Peter Laslett.