President’s Message

Welcome to 2024 at U3A Manningham

What a busy couple of weeks! Even before classes commenced the centre was a hive of activity. We appear to have navigated the enrolment period with a minimum of disruption thanks to our Enrolment team and some very patient members. To date we are ahead of our last year’s numbers.

One of our objectives in U3A is to provide opportunities for socialising and we succeeded in this with the five functions already held:

  • Migrant English Tutors held their first workshop and with extra tutors this year we have a dedicated and vibrant team.
  • Our Orientation morning for new members attracted about 60 people for a session that outlined our volunteer system and operating processes, which are unique. It also provided an opportunity to meet with Committee of Management members, share their experiences and expectations and enjoy morning tea. We can all remember joining a new organisation and being unsure of what to do, so please go out of your way to welcome and assist any new member.
  • The Office Volunteers’ seminar shared some lively discussion and training and was well attended. These members are our ‘public face’ so please treat them with respect.
  • We had two Tutor sessions this year: one for new Tutors, the other for returning ones. This enabled us to be a little more specific with the material but the discussion at afternoon tea was just as animated.

I want to thank the volunteers who put so much work into organising these functions as well as our Function and Catering teams who provide us with a reason to stay and talk with each other.

For many years Graeme Martin has overseen all our functions and catering, but to use his own words, “I am past my ‘best before’ and my ‘use by’ dates and I can’t continue.” We are looking for someone or a group to take over. Graeme would like volunteers to ‘form a queue’ to see either him or me. As anyone who knows Graeme will understand, everything is documented.

I also give notice to members that we will have a trial ‘Emergency Evacuation’ procedure at The Pines later in February. We are obligated to ensure that we can evacuate the building safely, so I ask everyone to read the evacuation notices displayed at The Pines and be prepared for it. This only affects classes at The Pines.

I look forward to another exciting year and am energised by the enthusiasm and commitment of members that is always on display. I would love to see you at our AGM on Thursday, 21 March.

David McNamara