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What is U3A?

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community - those in their third 'age' of life. The 'third age' is defined by a time in your life (not necessarily chronological) when you have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake.

University of the 3rd Age (U3A) started in France at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Toulouse in 1973. It was started by Prof. Pierre Vellas. In France, the Third Age University is mostly associated with a local university.

By the early 1980s, the scheme reached the United Kingdom where its nature was radically changed to be more of a self-help organisation. This model is also used in Australia, Cyprus, Dominica, New Zealand, and South Africa where it was recognized that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal educational links.

Many English-speaking countries have followed this model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model. For historical reasons, lifelong learning institute is the term used in the United States for organizations and similar groups. There is no universally accepted model for the U3A.

The first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne in 1984 with many other U3As rapidly opening across the country. There are now about 300 U3As in Australia, with about 100,000 members. The Australian model has U3As established as autonomous groups, with their own administration and curriculum according to the needs and interests of each group.

It is this model that has been adopted in Australia but includes more social activities.

There are 104 U3As in Victoria with over 38,000 members.

U3A Kyneton was established in 2005.  The group started with 50 members and there are now over 400.

What do we do?

Our organization enables interested people to attend classes that cover a range of activities such as dance and music, games and card groups, foreign languages, world history, philosophy, science, literature, theatre visits, and excursions. We also offer Information Technology (IT) sessions to keep seniors abreast of developments in the online worlds of Apple and Microsoft. 

In particular, we welcome those who would like to impart the knowledge and skills they have accumulated over a lifetime’s learning and experience to share with our members by becoming a tutor. Academic or other qualifications are valued but not essential.

Most importantly, U3A Kyneton provides occasions and venues for members to meet up with kindred spirits through class involvement, over a coffee, or at an outing. There are no exams or tests, just learning for the joy of learning! 

All you need to bring is your curiosity and enthusiasm!

Who can join?

U3A Kyneton welcomes those who are retired or semi-retired.  Members can be new to the area or just want to make new friends.

All you need is to have an interest in sharing community activities with new and old friends.  Whilst this may mean some level of learning, the main aim is to have fun with people who have the same interests, enjoying social contact and adding more stimulation and involvement to your life.  You don’t even have to commit to attending every week.

Meet new friends and have fun while learning or enjoying social activities

Now you can catch up on so much you haven’t had time for and U3A Kyneton is here for you.

Our members share their skills and life experiences.  Our learners teach and our teachers learn, and there’s no distinction between them.

If your goal is lifelong learning and well-being, U3A Kyneton can help you achieve it.

U3A Kyneton is a member of the U3A Network Victoria Inc., which aims to promote a lifetime of learning and well-being.  New members and guests are always welcome to attend our Friday gathering at 2.00 pm at the Red Brick Hall, 23 Yaldwyn Street West Kyneton 3444.

U3A Kyneton provides continuing learning, physical activity, and social and community interaction. Wherever possible this will be achieved by utilizing members’ skills, contributions, and resources. U3A Kyneton primarily caters to members in the third age of life and no educational qualifications are required or given.

U3A Kyneton acknowledges the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung, and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and waterways. U3A Kyneton recognizes their living cultures and ongoing connection to Country and pays respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging.

U3A Kyneton is a welcoming place for all.

Bank details:  Bendigo Bank, BSB 633000, A/C Number 127411064

ABN 90173975091

IARN A0052758X