June Lynn, Past President of Sydney U3A Inc. We are in New South Wales, Australia and we cover the whole of the Sydney basin. We are a self-help organization, as are all Australian U3As. Each is autonomous and democratic.
2. How Many Members: We have approximately 5000 members over 7 regions - Upper North, Harbourside North, East, Manly and Peninsular, Endeavour, Inner West and Greater Western. Our U3A was started in 1988.
3. Range of Activities: We present between 250 and 300 classes in each 5 monthly semester. Each region finds class leaders and venues for the classes run in their region. Venues may be in Community Centres, Scout halls, Church halls, RSL clubs, Senior's clubs, private homes etc. Our main criterions for a venue is it be suitable for the class, close to public transport and at a reasonable cost (preferably at no cost!).Venues and insurance are our greatest expense.
We cover classes in Aboriginal studies, anthropology, architecture, art, calligraphy, computing, dance, discussion groups, economics, environment, films, gardens, genealogy, geography, health, history (ancient, medieval, modern, Australian, European, Asian, Aviation etc), languages, linguistics, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, psychology, comparative religions, science and technology, sociology, Tai Chi, theatre, travel, walking and writing. Some regions have social events like lunches, trips and even holidays. Class leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some may be retired teachers or academics, some have life experiences to draw on.
4. What do I like best about U3A: I was widowed in 1993 and was lucky enough to hear about U3A from an aquaintance. Joining this organization gave me friends, social contacts and interests to keep my brain active - I lead both a creative writing and an introductory computer class and attend an Australian history class. I have been much involved in the management of the organisation, firstly as regional secretary, then as regional president and now as President of Sydney U3A.