Monthly News – April 2023

We hope that this monthly news sheet is helping members to feel better informed about matters at our U3A. We are grateful for all suggestions from members about key events or happenings.  If you wish to have a brief news item included, please let us know at:, or leave your message with the front desk marked ‘Attention Monthly News’.

Our Members Are Saying…

We love to hear what our members are saying about their course experiences. Here is what some of the participants in our 23ESL02 Improve Your English course have said about why they joined their class –

  • Gregory says “to improve my speaking (in English) skills – to mix with people of various backgrounds.”
  • Tetiana says “I come to U3A because I wish to be involved in different types of activities with people like me.”
  • Siew says “I come to U3A to improve English language. At the same time, I can gain new friends”.
  • Siu-Fong says “I came to U3A to improve my English and to make friends.”
  • Elena says “My native language is Russian…I went to U3A to improve my English knowledge and enhance my speaking, communication and writing skills”.
  • Yasuyo says “I enjoy these classes very much. If I didn’t know about U3A, I would waste time watching TV at home alone”.
  • Raisa says “Joining U3A has helped me to chat with my neighbours and deal with everyday living in Melbourne.”

Can You Help? A Tutor Is Needed for “Exercise To Music”

Our 23EXE07 Exercise To Music tutor, Eva Thieberger, is no longer able to continue to lead this wonderful class and its participants. Is there ANYONE who would be prepared to take over? If you are relatively fit and want to help, please let Anne-Margaret Healy know at Eva will meet with you and explain the straightforward format of the class. Warmup, upper body with weights, lower body and mat work, then finally relaxation. Class leadership could be shared between 2 or even 3 people. The course is conducted on Thursday mornings from 10.15 to 11.15 am, in the Boyd Room which is upstairs at the Carnegie Library – a bright and large space.

New Courses

Here is a new course: 

  • 23SOC02 Care, Coffee and Chat – come together to meet others and share stories of their lives and understand the gifts we all have to share. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, come for a chat. This is a fortnightly course and each fortnight, participants will select a topic of discussion such as stories from where they grew up and what has changed.

Keep watching for other new courses – there will be some new ones over the coming months –

  • The Geology of Building Stones – Observations in Victoria and England” – will cover topics such as minerals, fossils, architecture, history and wildlife.
  • Conscious Breathing” – learn how light, slow and rhythmic breathing clears your mind and energizes your body, reduces stress, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure and improves immunity. This is initially a two-week course but can be extended depending on interest.

Building Maintenance and Renewal

Given our limited resources, the maintenance of our building and equipment is an ongoing challenge but one we continue to work on. This fiscal year to date, we have:

  • Replaced the five computers used in the office – the previous ones were rather old and slow, and the new machines make it much easier for our office volunteers. 
  • Replaced the door closing mechanism on the front door – given the heavy use of that door, the mechanism had reached its end-of-life with the result that the door was continually slamming shut. 
  • Acquired a new mobile whiteboard; the constant shuffling of the existing whiteboards from room-to-room to get them where they were needed had become a constant nuisance for our tutors. Hopefully, the addition of one more whiteboard will alleviate the problem. 
  • Planned to have the wooden boardwalks along the northern side of the building — from the art room to the main door and from the opposite lobby door to the Purple/Pink rooms — repaired and replaced. With age, some of the boards are starting to lift and some of the support structure needs repair or replacement. We plan to have this work done during the two-week semester break from June 24 to July 9.

Our Membership Statistics

Our member numbers continue to increase again, after the reductions that occurred in the last couple of years because of covid. As of March 31, 2023, we have:

  • 990 active members (728 female, 262 male). These members were born in over 60 different countries.
  • Over 900 members who joined or were active in 2020 – 2022 but who have not yet enrolled in classes for 2023. If you know any of these members, please encourage them to review our 2023 course offerings (available on our website or via the members site).

Stay Safe Over the Coming Months!

If you are unwell or have symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, suffering from a cold, please give your apologies and do not attend your class. You can report your absence from class yourself by logging in to the members site and selecting ‘My Absences’ from the lefthand menu. Doing this yourself, rather than calling or emailing the office to request them to do it for you, helps to reduce the burden on our office volunteers. Any time you call the office and leave a voicemail message, please be sure to include your member number in the message.

In the coming months, there are some ways to help protect you and others:

  • Wash your hands or use hand-sanitiser
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wear a mask
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid sharing cups, plates and cutlery
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you get flu symptoms

If you have not had your flu shot, we encourage you to contact your doctor or pharmacy.

Members Lunch

The next monthly members lunch will be held on Wednesday, 19 April. Although intended primarily for members attending class at the Glen Huntly campus on that day, all members are welcome to attend. The lunches provide an excellent opportunity to meet and socialise with your fellow members.

Garden Club

A reminder that the next meeting of the Garden Club will be on Friday 21 April, from 9 am through to 11.30, followed by coffee and cake  It is logged as a course (23SOC01) so you may put your name down or just turn up and we will be delighted to see you. As we continually work to improve the garden, the overall plan is to slowly transform our Campus garden to one that is drought resistant and mainly Australian natives.

Closure of Glen Huntly Train Station

For those of you who use Glen Huntly train station to get to and from our Campus, please be aware that Glen Huntly train station will be closed from March 31, 2023 until some time in August 2023. Further information can be found on the PTV website.

Parking Reminder

A reminder to members that parking outside our U3A building is provided only in the strip of parking spaces directly next to the U3A fence.  You must display your U3A Parking Permit. Remember that parking during classes is competitive. You may park in the Woolworths general carpark but that is limited to two hours. Reception can provide you with a special temporary Woolworths Parking Permit that is good for three hours, if necessary.