U3A Darebin is your local gateway to fun, company and intellectual challenge. We serve the mature community who are no longer fully employed by conducting a range of courses designed for older adults and available without prior qualifications.
What is U3A?
The University of the Third Age movement commenced in France in 1972 and aimed to improve the quality of life of older citizens by linking them into academic courses run by their local universities. Since then the concept has spread throughout the world with participating countries adapting the French model to accord with each individual community’s needs and aspirations. The movement came to Australia in 1984. In 1991 meetings were held to establish a local group (in Northcote) that is now called U3A Darebin. U3A Darebin is affiliated with U3A Network Victoria, the peak body in the state, but is run by a volunteer member committee. Office duties are performed by member volunteers and the class tutors are also volunteers.
Who can join?
U3A aims to serve the mature community who are no longer fully employed. There are no formal qualifications for membership though specific courses may require some familiarity with the subject. U3A does not conduct training courses for certificates or other formal qualifications.
What does it cost?
Membership fees are kept as low as possible. Currently available membership categories are single, joint, and associate. A member of any U3A can join an extra U3A for a smaller associate fee. Membership extends for a full calendar year and allows you to apply for any number of courses in that period. Where particular individual materials (e.g. brushes and paints) are needed for a course these are at each member’s expense; computer courses incur an extra cost. Use the Membership Application Form (in PDF format) to join U3A Darebin, apply for courses and to volunteer. Membership fees are printed on the form.
How are U3As run?
U3As are non-profit organisations run by members for members. They are Registered Incorporated Bodies and hold an Annual General Meeting with elections for office bearers and committee members. The U3A Darebin General Committee meets monthly and accounts are audited each year. All U3As send representatives to regular U3A Network meetings. The Network office provides advice and support and can arrange discounted services as well as liaison with funding bodies and government policy makers. U3A Darebin maintains its own rented rooms with a fully equipped office and classroom but some courses are conducted at other local community venues.
How are U3As funded?
Various government bodies and local council departments provide funds though annual community grant schemes. Membership fees also go towards running costs. U3A Darebin is grateful for support from the U3A Network Victoria Inc., City of Darebin, and the Adult, Community and Further Education Board.
We have also received several grants from the Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank.
Classes are scheduled from February to November each year with some being year long and others short or one-off. Some classes do not run in school holidays, while others such as computer courses run for a set number of weeks. The courses cover the wide range of topics shown in the course list.
Join, Enrol, Volunteer
The Flyer is published four times per year to coincide with course promotion for each new semester. Other mailings occur as required and include a notice of Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) towards the end of each financial year.