Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the University of the Third Age (U3A)?

It is a worldwide, volunteer not-for-profit educational organisation. It draws on the wealth of knowledge and experience of its members to set up study groups, and to organise recreational activities. U3A provides life-long learning opportunities for retired or semi-retired people, free of any competition or tests. Because all tutors and administration staff are voluntary, fees are very reasonable.

How did it expand?

Following its establishment in France in 1974, the U3A movement spread rapidly world-wide, with the first U3A established in Australia in 1984 at Melbourne University. Early U3As had a relationship with a University but for the most part, this is no longer the case. U3A Mornington offered its first classes in 1991.

What is the relationship between each U3A?

Each U3A is autonomous. However, some have formed regional “alliances” to discuss matters of mutual interest. The four U3As on the Mornington Peninsula – Mornington, Hastings, Frankston and Southern Peninsula, as well as Casey and Dandenong, hold regular regional meetings.

U3A Mornington (U3AM), along with some other U3As, has an Associate Membership fee for those already belonging to another U3A.

Does the U3A have a Peak Body?

The Peak Body is U3A Network Victoria. Its voluntary committee is drawn from U3A members. In addition there is a salaried office manager and a part-time officer who provides advice to regional U3As.

U3A Network lobbies government and provides support to member U3As in a range of areas including governance, funding, insurance, copyright, U-MAS Membership system and website.

Does U3A Mornington receive external funding?

We receive a small grant annually from the State government which is distributed by U3A Network Victoria (see above). We also apply for Program Growth Funding for specific projects.

What is the arrangement for occupying the premises at the Currawong Community Centre?

The Currawong Community Centre is owned and operated by the Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS). It is a shared facility with U3AM being the major tenant during week days. U3AM has a rental agreement with MPS that allows access to The Stables and Hall as well as sole use of the Music Room, Annex, Portable Classroom and the Office. The centre is used by other groups during week nights and at weekends.

Does U3A Mornington have any copyright concessions?

Tutors can photocopy up to 10% of works which attract copyright for use with their classes. This is arranged through an agreement with U3A Network Victoria.

Sheet music can be freely copied under our agreement wiht OneMusic Australia.

What insurance does U3A Mornington carry?

  1. Assets and Equipment.
  2. Professional indemnity & public liability for tutors and Personal accident for volunteers for injury incurred while performing an authorised U3AM activity. This does not cover general members of U3A, and in this case, members will need to rely on their own medical insurance.
  3. Public liability insurance is also held for claims on the Currawong site by the site’s owner Mornington Peninsula Shire.

How does U3A Mornington attract its tutors?

Without our tutors, U3AM would not exist. Our tutors are either Member Tutors (who attend classes as well as leading them) or they are Honorary Tutors (who lead a class but do not attend any other classes.) None of our tutors are paid. Approximately 10% of our members are tutors and we are always interested to hear from potential new tutors who have a passion or skill they wish to share.

If you are interested to find out more about being a Tutor, please email our Course Coordinator .