2  April 2020

Latest NEWS about the ‘lockdown’

Today at 9 am NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has revealed the state’s tough coronavirus lockdown laws will be lifted in 90 days (1 July 2020). 

The news comes as Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised people for helping flatten the COVID-19 curve in Australia’s worst-affected state.

The ABC News page Charting the COVID-19 spread in Australia is dynamic and it will be “updated daily to show the spread of the disease across Australia’s states and territories”.

Today on the page, the second graph displayed, New confirmed cases, daily count is showing a hint of a downward trend.

1 April 2020

“If coronavirus cases don’t grow any faster, our health system will probably cope”

On Monday The Conversation featured this story. “The growth in COVID-19 cases in Australia appears to have slowed across all states, through a combination of tighter border control and spatial distancing.”

“With the number of new cases each day growing at a slower rate, there is a chance the pandemic can be brought under control and dealt with in our existing public hospital system – even without help from the private system.”



25 March 2020

It is up to us ALL!

Published today, this ‘to the point‘ explanation of the importance of Social Distancing and to put it bluntly it advises “just stay home”.  To quote  “Coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in 10 Australians stay home as much as possible.”  Click the link to the ABC story based upon research from the University of Sydney: It’s up to you: data shows coronavirus can only be controlled if eight out of 10 Aussies stay home

Visit our Remote Learning page for detailed reports on dealing with COVID-19 (Coronarvirus).


25 March 2020

In Times of Adversity

Stephen a member of Southlakes U3A shares his thoughts garnered by experience in Lagos, Nigeria in the period of The Western African Ebola virus epidemic (2013–2016). He reminds us that this was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history. Worldwide, 28,646 people were infected and 11,323 died.”  Download In Times of Adversity – a Nigerian experience.

Stephen’s sharing of his personal experience and thoughts about the process we are ‘journeying through’ will add a dimension to our first-world event by looking at a third-world experience.  He gives us some “takeaways” that maybe helpful for us all to ponder in our current situation.


21 March 2020

Social Distancing or Self-isolation

Coming to terms with the advice to embrace Social Distancing or, if necessary, Self-isolation. The Federal Department of Health has produced advisory bulletins (linked below) for each situation.

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Department of Health advice on Social Distancing

What is self-isolation (self-quarantine)?

Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it, other than for exercise. Don’t go to work, school or public areas during this time. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.

You must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:

  • you have COVID-19
  • you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020

If you do not need to self-isolate, you should still protect yourself and others.

Department of Health advice on Self-Isolation


19 March 2020

This bulletin is not about a cancellation or an alert it is about caring for our U3A members.

Laurene Mulcahy, President

Keep in Touch – Create a Phone Tree

Quite a few of the members of our NSW U3A associations may be finding their weeks very quiet with many or indeed all U3As suspending their events and or courses due to Coronavirus.

Social distancing means that we do not meet up with others, how about the telephone?

Some U3As may consider a “keep in touch” initiative termed a “Phone Tree” to maintain contact with, say older members*, over 75 years, by promoting the opportunity to request a U3A neighbourly phone call (say Monday, Wednesday and Friday) if they are feeling unduly isolated due to the current health alerts. The “Tree” can also be between class members where one member calls another and then the receiver phones another member and this continues until everyone has been phoned. Each member must agree to be part of the “Tree” and be willing to share their phone number with one or more members.

* pretty much any member that doesn’t use the Internet, lives alone and makes U3A an important part of their week.


16 March 2020

2020 Conference Cancelled

Network Executive and the Committee met urgently yesterday and resolved “That the 2020 Annual Conference at Shellharbour be cancelled based on the high health risk of contracting the Coronavirus, the potential for financial risk to the Network if the Conference was to continue and the prospect that there will be further Governmental interventions affecting public gatherings”.

President Laurene Mulcahy added “the welfare of members was paramount in this decision. Obviously this is of great disappointment to many but more particularly to Robin Hodgins and her Committee at Shellharbour for all their hard work and devotion to the organisation of the Conference. Advice will be sent to all U3A Associations about refund of fees.”


15 March 2020

Taking into account the warnings of Health Authorities, and recognising the Australian Government is using words like “including vulnerable groups such as the elderly”  each U3A association should carefully consider the risks that may accrue from one of their members, who has unknowingly contracted COVID-19, participating in a U3A activity. U3A associations may choose to highlight concerns that a returning traveller may have on the health of others should they be carrying the virus.

Further, factoring in the Government’s advice about gatherings of the greater than 500 people, although not specifically applying to group sizes typical in U3A at this time it may be prudent for Member U3As to suspend all activities until Thursday 9 April 2020 [Easter], again taking into account our age demographic.

This recommendation is subject to Review and Update.


10 March 2020

U3A Network NSW is assessing advice on how U3As might best minimise potential risks to our members from the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we recognise that U3A Committees and members share a duty of one and other, to act in a manner that is caring and supportive and as such Network considers it appropriate to recommend some prudent guidelines, outlined below. This information is general and U3A Network NSW recognises that the advice from the Australian Government and the NSW Government must be regarded by us all as the primary source of up to date information. Click this link to download the displayed document.