Ian Muil encourages anyone interested in joining University of the Third Age to drop in on the open day next week. Picture: Richard Walker
Ian Muil encourages anyone interested in joining University of the Third Age to drop in on the open day next week. Picture: Richard Walker

Art, French, Mindfulness: 50+ courses on offer at U3A

THINKING it was about “spirituality” when he first saw a sign for it, Ian Muil could not have been less interested in a community group called U3A, which was calling for new members at the time.

Fast forward a few years and the Ipswich man has become a passionate advocate of the group, having realised his first impression had been way off the mark.

“I saw a sign for University of the Third Age and it sort of warned me off – I thought ‘what sort of spirituality thing is that? It’s not for me’,” the U3A Ipswich and West Moreton President said.

“But I learned more about it and realised it had nothing to do with spirituality.”

He signed up to take classes in history and philosophy, two topics that had piqued his interest for a long time.

Because of the nature of his work as a finance journalist, Ian’s career has mostly revolved around crunching numbers.

Ian Muil has been taking philosophy and history classes since signing up to the U3A. Picture: Richard Walker
Ian Muil has been taking philosophy and history classes since signing up to the U3A. Picture: Richard Walker

“My focus was, is it going to be profitable or not profitable? Is it a good buy now? What’s the price-earnings ratio compared to this?,” he said.

“The deeper philosophical questions evaded me but, as you get older, you get time to start reflecting.”

Ian signed up to the classes and has been taking them ever since.

When the organisation’s management and committee reshuffled, he had a chance to give something back.

“I was invited to stand for president,” he said.

“I do try and contribute to my local community and I want to learn as much about Ipswich as possible.”

U3A, which is holding its open day next week, offers 50 courses across topics like art, French, Film, Drawing, Yoga, and Mindfulness, and groups including a book club, singing group and sewing group.

“I hadn’t really been that involved in the community sector but what I know now is that, for the cohort we’re catered to – retirees, semi-retirees, seniors and so on – the social isolation that can go with it is hugely damaging to a community,” he said.

“A community that allows that to persist is much weaker than one that engages all sections of its population – it makes for a much richer community.”

U3A Ipswich and West Moreton is holding its open day on Tuesday, January 19 at the Glebe Road Uniting Church Fellowship Centre in Booval. between 9am and 11am.

Membership is $70 a year and allows members to attend as many courses as they like.

For more information, contact U3A on 32827484 or send them an email.

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.



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