Information for New Members

What is U3A?

U3A or University of the Third Age is not really a university – there are no tests or exams and no competition. It’s a learning community for people 55+ who are retired or semi-retired. It’s a place where we share our skills and talents for the benefit of all.

About U3A Mornington

U3A Mornington started in 1991 and has grown into one of the largest U3As in Victoria, with more than 1200 members and over 180 courses and activities on offer each year.

Volunteering is the keystone of all U3As. Everyone at U3A Mornington is a volunteer. Our Tutors who teach or lead groups and activities are volunteers. Similarly, all the many tasks of timetabling classes, maintaining the buildings and equipment, paying the bills and keeping members informed, are carried out by volunteers.

Our campus buildings are leased from Mornington Peninsula Shire. Rental costs and all other expenses are covered by the income from membership fees. A committee composed of a dozen or so key volunteers meets monthly to deal with management issues, and plan for future growth and development.

The Office will be your main source of information. The friendly volunteer staff will give you your Membership Badge, explain the layout of the campus and answer any other questions you have. The Office is open 10.00am – 2.00pm Monday-Friday. There may be reduced hours in school holidays.

Membership Badge

Your membership badge makes it easy for tutors and other members to get to know you. It also includes details of your emergency contact and how to reach them in case of accident or illness. Please wear it at all times when at a U3AM activity. It also shows your Membership Number, which you’ll need to login to UMAS and enrol in courses.

Website and UMAS

Our website has a wealth of information for members and tutors about our U3A. It is also where you pay your annual membership fee, check out the course details and enrol for courses. Enrolling online is quick and easy – clear instructions are on the website.

A word that may be new to you is UMAS (‘yoo-mass’). The letters stand for U3A Member Administrative System. If someone tells you to ‘look on UMAS’, it means the list of courses on the website.

Our Courses

Our courses include art & craft, languages, performing arts, discussion, film & book clubs, games, exercise, excursions speaker events and many social activities. See the full list.

Our tutors take all care when they are running our courses, but you are fully responsible for the state of your health and you must take all reasonable steps not to place yourself or other members in danger.

It is your responsibility to check with your doctor to ensure that you are physically able to undertake any courses or activities in which you enrol.

Apologies for Absence

Your tutor is volunteering their time to prepare and run the course. Please ensure that you apologise if you are unable to attend.

You can either Report Absence on UMAS or you can phone or email an apology to the Office on 5975 9773 or office@u3amornington.org.au . A number of unexplained absences may cause you to lose your place in courses that have waiting lists.

Withdrawing from a Course

You wish to withdraw from a course because your circumstances have changed or perhaps the course is not what you expected. Please contact the Office and let them know as soon as possible – there may be other members on the waitlist for the course.

Parking

There is almost always competition for car spaces. Our classes are timetabled with a half-hour break before the next class occupies the room. Please help by leaving fairly promptly when your class is finished, and not lingering too long in the car park. Only vehicles with a permit are allowed to park in the disabled spaces (including the adjoining yellow striped areas). If you have to park in the street, avoid blocking driveways or causing other problems for residents.

Keeping you informed

Throughout the year you’ll receive an emailed monthly news bulletin called What’s On to advise you of new courses and vacancies in others; plus our quarterly Four Seasons newsletter with stories about U3AM people and activities. Other emails may arrive from time to time with special announcements, such as volunteering vacancies. (If not of interest to you, please just delete. Active Members cannot be unsubscribed from these mailing lists.)

Membership Fees and Refunds

Your annual membership fee covers enrolment in up to 15 courses during the year. It also provides members with refreshment items, available in each venue. Only in extraordinary circumstances will it be refunded. Some activities, such as excursions, will require a payment to cover entry fees, transport, etc. You’ll be asked to pay this in advance. If you then need to pull out, please find someone to take your place. These payments to external suppliers or venues are not refundable.

Your Safety

Please take care on campus. If you have an accident or feel unwell, your Tutor has instructions on what to do. Wear your membership badge at all times, in case your emergency contact person needs to be called. If there is a fire or other event needing evacuation, follow instructions from your Tutor and be sure to congregate at the designated assembly point in the children’s playground near the Currawong Street entrance, so heads can be counted.

Animals

Animals, other than registered assistance animals, are not permitted on the campus.

Interested in volunteering?

If you have a passion, skill or interest that you would like to share, you could offer to Tutor a course. Approximately 10% of our members are also Tutors and we are always on the lookout for new tutors with interesting ideas for courses. There are many other ways in which you can volunteer: at the Office, as part of the catering team, on the Committee. You may have specialised skills to offer, or would like to be a helper in other ways. Please email office@u3amornington.org.au or leave a note at the Office marked Volunteering with your name and phone number and you’ll be contacted for a chat.