News

Here’s some news about or associated with our group

INTRODUCING THE NEWCASTLE U3A MEMBER PORTAL
Our new online, integrated enrolment system is now live and poised for 2024 enrolments from 8 January 2024.  The Newcastle U3A Member Portal, is accessed from a ‘button’ on the home page of the this website. It offers members and admin volunteers a number of advantages:
• Once registered, each member will have your own account that you can log into at any time – and no need to complete a membership form each year, just pay your annual fees!
• It is a “one-stop shop” where you can update your member information, pay fees by credit card, apply for or withdraw from enrolment, see your current enrolments including Course Clerk contact details and venue map, and more.
• The option to pay by credit card gives immediate confirmation of membership – no need to wait for processing of a deposit to NU3A’s bank account. Members will still be able to pay by bank deposit, but will then need to allow a day or two for processing before membership is confirmed.

See the Spring Newsletter for more information about what the new portal can do for you. For help, use the ‘Portal Help’ button on the Home page. If you still need a hand, in-person help is available at 21 Gordon Avenue from 10am-2pm on Mon 8, Wed 10, Fri 12, Tues 16 and Thur 18 January. Bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop so we can set it up for future use for you, or just use ours.

Congratulations to all members who shared what they have been doing in 2023 at our first Newcastle U3A Christmas Showcase. We were entertained by members in Art, Belly Dancing, Circle Dance, Latino Dancercise, Singing, Tap Dancing and Ukelele. Thanks especially to Colleen Potts, for her inspiration, direction and production

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Following the successful ‘Beatles’ themed combined Ukelele Festival last year, our ukelele players once again joined Southlakes and Lake Macquarie U3A’s, in a ‘Woodstock’ themed Ukelele gathering to celebrate the 60’s. A fun time was had when over 90 players took to the stage at Wallsend Diggers, with an iconic playlist and in hippy attire.  Thanks to Susan Coggan for the initiative, the tradition looks set to continue.

We were very pleased to be acknowledged by local media for the presentations showcasing a number of our wonderful tutors in celebration of our 30 years in Newcastle U3A. These included:  Newcastle’s Forgotten Diva, Newcastle Herald 

By partnering with the Newcastle City Council state of the art Digital Library, our taster classes were able to be enjoyed digitally as well as by the limited number of people able to attend in person (due to COVID).  See more at Showcase Launch, Newcastle City Council Newsletter.

In July 2020 our committee surveyed the 96% of members who have an email address about their intention to return to face-to-face classes in Term 3 if these could be offered safely under Government regulations. The survey was well received with 60% responding.

Members appreciated the opportunity to continue learning during the lockdown, where they had been able to attend our courses on Zoom or via email. They also missed the social interaction that is integral to U3A activities. Those who had not been able to participate in the online courses were more likely to be keen to return to face-to-face classes or to defer enrolment altogether due to health concerns, compared with the ‘Zoomers’. 

The Committee and Program Coordination Team are conscious that online courses do not cater for all members. We are also aware that most members are defined by health authorities as being more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 if they come in contact with it.

Typical comments were:

As we’re all sensible adults I see no reason not to return.” (Non-Zoomer)

Part of the attraction of U3A is being in a class with likeminded people.” (Non-Zoomer)

I’ve really missed NU3A during the COVID… looking forward to returning when safe to do so and no one’s health is endangered.” (Non-Zoomer)

 “… appreciated the classes via Zoom but really look forward to returning in person, but realise the safest option is best.” (Zoomer)

Class all say they prefer face to face, but not wanting to go back unless very safe. Zoom is working.” (Zoomer)

Thanks for being proactive and enabling the continuation of courses through Zoom and online. Learning new things and pushing past the comfort zone is what U3A is all about.” (Zoomer)

View a short summary of the survey results.