Background to the University of the Third age

The use of the word University in the title comes from the medieval concept of a “community of scholars” who come together to learn from one another. In this environment, learning is an end in itself, individuals learn what they like, at a pace they prefer. No qualifications are required to enter, neither are any qualifications awarded. U3As are voluntary, self-help organisations. They tap the great reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience which is to be found among older people and which is often undervalued or overlooked. All of the teaching, planning and administration of a U3A is carried out by its members. Classes are planned jointly by tutors and students in response to members’ interests. The area of study is negotiated to meet the needs of the learning groups; a course may be short or long, depending on the requirements of the subject and the interests of the group.

The first University of the Third Age was founded in Toulouse, France in 1972. The idea spread rapidly not only throughout France but to many other countries, particularly in continental Europe. An international Association of U3As was established by 1975. In the latter part of 1984 the first Australian U3As  were formed in Melbourne. There are now more than 124 member organisations and over 10,000 members throughout Australia.

You may like to view the highlighted you tube video for more information about U3A in Australia 

The Forster-Tuncurry branch was established in May 1994.

If you join the U3A you will find people of like interests and, no doubt, like most of us who are already members, you will make friends and enjoy outings both social and educational.

For more information, you may like to contact any of the Committee members.

 What does our U3A offer?

  • A friendly and relaxed environment for the continuation of the learning process;
  • The opportunity to offer ideas and participate in decisions for future courses;
  • Participation in courses which are held in the daytime during four terms of the year:

            Term 1                       February/March

            Term 2                       May/June

            Term 3                       August/September

            Term 4                       November/December

Courses we provide:

A variety of one-off courses are provided and may be seen in our Newsletter which can be downloaded from the site.

As well, there are regular courses which are outlined below:


U3A WRITERS No 1. on Mondays 10-12 noon.

This course is run by Chris  and provides an opportunity for people to share their experiences of writing in a supportive, friendly, cheerful atmosphere.

PUPPETS on Mondays 1-3pm

The Puppet people enjoy creating puppets and performing for pre-schoolers in the district.

BALANCE N BONES Tuesday 8.45-9.30 pm

Program of age related aerobic, weights and balance.  Exercise to keep you fit and moving.  Contact Lorraine on 0428 406 009

COLLECTORS GROUP Tuesday mornings 10.00 to 12.00 pm

Participants are invited to bring along collectible antique objects which can be described and discussed. Carole is the enthusiastic tutor.

LET’S PLAY GAMES on Tuesday 1.30-3.30pm

You’re welcome to join this very friendly group to play Mahjong, Scrabble, Rummycub and other assorted games. The afternoon is run by Helen on 0409 069 055

SQUARE DANCING Thursday 1-2.30 pm

Square dancing teaches discipline of mind and body while having fun. Contact Eunice on 6553 6085

TAI CHI on Thursday 8.30-9.30 am

Japanese form of light movement, balance and meditation.  Costs $5 payable to Tutor.  Contact Trish  on 0427 260 244 

U3A SINGERS on Thursday 2-30 pm

Under the guidance of Geraldine, the group meets to sing for pleasure a variety of musical styles including jazz, popular, blues, country and popular songs from the musicals. Contact Anne on 6555 2754

BALANCE N BONES Friday 8.45-9.30 am

Come for more gentle exercise to improve balance and maintain healthy bones.  Contact Sue on 0429  059 055

FLIRTING WITH PHILOSOPHY on alternate Fridays 10-12 noon

With David as the Tutor this term, the group is invited to look at life’s ever-changing problems and their solutions with a disbelieving mind, a smile and sometimes a chuckle. Contact Robyn on 6557 5377

MEDIA MATTERS on alternate Fridays 10-12 noon

At these Current Affairs sessions, led by Jan, participants are invited to bring items of news for discussion. There is always a varied set of items and discussion is lively and educational.  Contact Robyn on 6557 5377

U3A WRITERS No 2 on Fridays 12.30-2.30 pm

This course is run by Trish   Let your imagination and creativity flow to paper.  Contact Trish  on 0427 260 244

BOOK CLUB NO. 1 Meets on 2nd Friday of month. Waiting List may apply. Contact: Eve on 6555 7090

BOOK CLUB NO. 2 Meets on 4th Tuesday of month at various locations. Contact Laurel on  6554 4541

BOOK CLUB NO.3 Meets on the last Monday of the month.   Contact Carole on   6554 6608

BOOK CLUB NO.4 Meets on 3rd Tuesday of the month at various location.  Contact Trish  on 0427 260 244





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