We belong to a world-wide organization which began in France 40 years ago (1972). There are 18 U3A Branches in South Australia, each is autonomous and all are not-for-profit. We are a group of older people who enjoy sharing the accumulated knowledge of our working years with each other and welcome other retirees to join this empowering organization.
There are no academic entry requirements and no awards or degrees are issued. By sharing our experience and expertise, we have found a very low cost way to open doors to learning that may have been closed to us earlier in our lives. Although we welcome offers to teach, that is not a prerequisite to register for a course. However, the breadth of classes we can offer to retirees in North Eastern Adelaide is limited only by space and by the volunteers prepared to lead a course in their area of expertise.
U3A is an entirely voluntary organization. Our group leaders and management committee all give their time freely, which is why we are able to keep our fees so low. Registration fee for one class entitles you to attend any classes with vacancies, for that calendar year. Check the range of courses we offer. Registration fees are used to cover the costs involved in running this enterprise.
The results of research presented by Rick Swindell, of Griffith University, Brisbane, at an Australasian U3A Conference at Caloundra in 1977, shows that, just as arteries and the heart can be kept healthier by exercise, eating sensibly and not smoking, so stimulation of the brain leads to more alert, healthier and happier older people. He described U3As in Australia and New Zealand as 'Society's 4 Million Dollar Bonanza'. Barry Jones, a Keynote Speaker at Melbourne's U3A International Conference in 2001, said that organizations like U3As keep older people vertical rather than horizontal for longer, by keeping them out of Nursing Home beds, thus reducing the drain on Government expenses.
Consider the joy of learning for learning's sake.