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U3A North Gold Coast office

U3A North Gold Coast Inc.

Explore, Engage & Be Empowered with Lifelong Learning

We offer exciting opportunities for over 50s to meet like-minded individuals, and participate actively in the social, cultural and recreational life of the Northern Gold Coast. 

Our organisation enables interested people to attend classes that cover a range of activities such as yoga, dance and music, games and card groups, foreign languages, world history, philosophy, science, literature, theatre visits, and excursions. We also offer Information Technology (IT) sessions to keep seniors abreast of developments in the online worlds of Apple and Microsoft. 

In particular we welcome those who would like to impart the knowledge and skills they have accumulated over a lifetime’s learning and experience to share with our members by becoming a tutor. Academic or other qualifications are valued but not essential.

Most importantly, U3A North Gold Coast provides occasions and venues for members to meet up with kindred spirits through class involvement, over a coffee or at an outing. There are no exams or tests, just learning for the joy of learning! 

All you need to bring is your curiosity and enthusiasm!

The U3A's Origins

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community - those in their third 'age' of life. The 'third age' is defined by a time in your life (not necessarily chronological) where you have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake.

University of the 3rd Age (U3A) started in France at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Toulouse in 1973. It was started by Prof. Pierre Vellas. In France the Third Age University is mostly associated with a local university.

By the early 1980s, the scheme reached the United Kingdom where its nature was radically changed to be more a self-help organisation. This model is also used in Australia, Cyprus, Dominica, New Zealand and South Africa where it was recognised that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal educational links.

Many English-speaking countries have followed this model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model. For historical reasons, lifelong learning institute is the term used in the United States for organisations and similar groups. There is no universally accepted model for the U3A.

The first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne in 1984 with many other U3As rapidly opening across the country. There are now about 300 U3As in Australia, with about 100,000 members. The Australian model has U3As established as autonomous groups, with their own administration and curriculum according to the needs and interests of each group.

In Queensland, U3A is the largest provider of adult education programs for retirees. All programs are provided by volunteers. There are now 35 U3A groups in Queensland.