Senior Matters: Learning in your golden years
U3A IPSWICH and West Moreton Inc comes of age this year as it turns 21 and looks set to continue fostering a love for learning for many years to come.
In 1994 a number of people got together and established the University of the Third Age in Ipswich to give older people an opportunity to continue to learn.
Today it is a vibrant community not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers.
U3A in Ipswich has a membership of about 300 people.
It is part of an international movement for older people who find a joy in learning.
To celebrate their 21st anniversary, the group has launched a new logo to refresh its look.
The logo features the Ipswich City Council colours as council is a big supporter of U3A Ipswich and an owl, which represents the group's core values of wisdom and learning.
U3A president Diane Dickinson said: "There are a lot of people who are very passionate about what they do and who are willing to pass on their expertise and skills to others."
Just talking to Diane and Paulette Montaigne, the organisation's communication co-ordinator, and you can feel the vitality and passion they have for what the group does.
"Our classes challenge both the mind and the body and provide members with that feeling of inclusiveness," Diane said.
U3A offers around 40 classes each week and most members will attend at least two of these classes.
That means more than 400 people attend classes run by U3A Ipswich on a weekly basis. The great thing about this is the skills and experience being bought to these classes by the various tutors.
"Whilst our focus is on education and a willingness to share knowledge we are also warding off isolation," Diane said.
"Our families also benefit as a loved one returns from classes in a positive frame of mind and willing to share with them their experiences in class."
Diane went on to say: "One of our members told me that U3A gave her the advantage of looking forward to retirement."
If you are over 18 years of age and have a joy of learning, why not contact U3A Ipswich and West Moreton on 07 3282 7484 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit http://www.u3aipswich.org.au.