WHO ARE WE?
We are the state-wide incorporated body covering all U3As in Western Australia. Most other states in Australia have established a mechanism for fostering interaction between individual groups within their own state, and with the national and international movement. At a meeting held on 4th July, 2012 at the University of Western Australia, U3A Network WA was formed for the same purpose. It was stressed that each individual club would maintain its own independence and continue to be run by its own Management Committee. Seven of the ten active U3As across Western Australia volunteered to participate in the new communications Network. All new and old clubs are welcome. No club is too small to participate.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION?
- Promote the U3A movement in Western Australia
- Facilitate communication between local and national U3A groups
- Provide support for existing U3A groups and for the formation of new groups
- Establish connections with local and state government agencies and with other appropriate groups in the community
U3A NETWORK WA 2018 CONFERENCE
The WA Network Conference held on 17 and 18 October 2018 at the Peel Thunder Football Club, Mandurah welcomed approximately 100 delegates to an inspiring group of presenters followed by a convivial cruise on the beautiful Mandurah Estuary. Here is a summary by U3A stalwart Peter Flanigan
Mandurah U3A turned on a superb two day conference for almost one hundred delegates and other members on 17 and 18 October. Everything, from the conference venue to the boat cruise on the second afternoon, was very well organised, even the weather! (Apart from a shower as we scrambled aboard the boat). Held in the spacious rooms of a league football club (Peel Thunder) there was adequate space for all activities and the catering was top class.
After a welcome by Peter Alcock, WA Network and Alliance President, and the official opening by local MLA, David Templeman, the main program began with local U3A member, David Smeeton’s fascinating presentation on Mandurah and the Peel District whose history goes back to the very early days of the Swan River Colony. This was followed by Professor Lyn Beazley, former WA Chief Scientist, who covered a range of topics from research into the local dolphin population (over 100 live in the Peel estuary), migratory birds (again the Mandurah area is a hotspot for these), smarter agriculture, Coderdojo (look it up) and one of her favourite projects, microscopes in primary schools.
Following an excellent buffet lunch, Ainslie Lamb (NSW) staved off all signs of postprandial drowsiness with her session on keeping our minds active using non-competitive puzzles, memory tests and the like. This was followed by WA Museum Director, Alex Coles, who opened all our minds to what a modern museum is all about – not just collections on display but education and research. With the new WA Museum now well under construction, he promised exciting times ahead for all West Australians and visitors to the state.
The final session on Day One was a Q and A – Australian Lifestyles of the Future – with some high-powered panellists moderated by local member Sheila Twine. We heard from Eric Lumsden (former chair WA Planning Commission, David Hynes (Public Transport Authority), Karl O’Callaghan (Retired Police Commissioner and Rhys Williams ( Mandurah Mayor). This was a lively session with many questions from the floor.
The day concluded with a “Canapés and Drinks” hour giving everyone a further chance to socialise and meet people from groups other than their own.
Thursday morning commenced with Ian Robertson, president NSW Network, promoting the idea of protecting the U3A brand under an agreement with the UK Third Age Trust. This was followed by two very interesting speakers – Richard Offen on WA Heritage with particular reference to the 50,000 years of Aboriginal settlement and Glenn Mitchell, former ABC Sports Broadcaster. Glenn spoke on Drugs in Sport, a very pertinent topic. He has an encyclopaedic memory and regaled us with a litany of events drawn from Olympic Games and other events, including cycling, starting in 1904 in St Louis, USA. Part of the problem in the Olympics movement he sheeted home to the governing body where life time appointments are the general rule.
The Conference was then drawn to a close. However, a sizeable group then repaired to the Mandurah Pier for an extremely pleasant luncheon cruise on the local, very extensive, waterways. A great conclusion.