About U3A

U3A is designed for people who no longer work full-time but wish to continue to learn and broaden their horizons, engage in wellness and other lifestyle activities, and socialise with like-minded people who enjoy the Third Age of their lives.

What is U3A?

Each U3A is a community organisation that promotes healthy ageing by sharing educational, creative, leisure activities provided by their own members. We ask for no qualifications for membership and we award no degrees or diplomas.

Importance of U3A

U3As offer their members three kinds of valuable experience:  a range of courses, some form of physical exercise, and the opportunity for  of social links and interactions

In a short paper titled ‘The Impact of U3As upon the Health and Welfare of their Membership’, Dr Martin Bridgstock – a retired academic who has published four books and more than a hundred papers and articles during his career – examines the importance of U3As as part of the lives of people as they age, entering the Third Age of their lives. He observes some important aspects of U3A membership, which makes this paper essential reading for older people.

Please read and download Dr Bridgstock’s paper here.

Dr Bridgstock invites use of the paper and its References.

History of U3A

The U3A movement had its beginnings in Toulouse, France in 1973. A successful summer school run by the University for retired people, led to the very first Université du Troisième Age. The concept quickly spread throughout France and other European countries and North America. The French model centres around universities, relying heavily on their facilities and tuition, although there are no exams and costs are kept to a minimum.

The first Australian U3A was established in Melbourne in 1984 and quickly caught on in other communities in Australia. In Queensland the first U3As to be formed were Sunshine Coast and Brisbane in 1986.

Australia follows the British model which had been established two years earlier in Cambridge. Rather than relying on traditional universities to provide courses and tutors, members themselves volunteer their skills, knowledge and life experiences to provide classes for other members.

U3As in Australia are autonomous, managed by the members themselves and the only restriction to the curriculum is the expertise available within the community.

‘Learning for the joy of learning’

U3A offers academic and skills subjects, arts and crafts, exercise and social activities. Classes are conducted in various venues on the Sunshine Coast. The year is divided into four terms, similar to school terms.

There are no examinations. For an annual membership fee members can attend as many classes/activities as they wish. Note: Some classes may have a waiting list, and some classes are in venues that require a contribution toward the venue rent from members. U3A is an all-volunteer organisation.

Check out all the available courses here

Lecture Series: A series of two-hour talks held each week. The speaker and topic change every week or two weeks. Lectures are held in: the U3A Lecture Room at the University, Caloundra, Maleny, Mudjimba and Nambour.

Social: Throughout the year various social activities are organised. These have included day trips to the theatre, restaurants and long, group tours.

Health, Fitness and Sports: Groups include: aquacise, cycling, table tennis, tennis, ten-pin bowling, swimming, gentle stretching exercise, gym fitness, Tai Chi, Yoga, croquet, golf, lawn bowls and badminton.

U3A has a close relationship with the University of the Sunshine Coast and supports us with facililities on the USC Campus. U3A is an all-volunteer organisation.

Membership of U3A Sunshine Coast

Membership is $40 per calendar year. To join U3A you use the Membership Pages. where you may also enrol in classes and activities. The annual membership fee covers as many classes/activities as you wish to attend.

For your annual membership fee you can attend as many classes/activities as you wish. There are no examinations. Notionally, classes are all free but some venue locations levy a fee for U3A to use, so a number of classes have a moderate term fee to help cover that venue cost. Each January, U3A runs an Open Day where you can see displays of most of the classes, and meet tutors.

Being President of U3A-SC means working with a great management team

It's a great pleasure to work together with these true professionals! Let's meet them as well...

Executive Committee Members

Glyni Cumming


John Armstrong

Vice President

Dawne Clark


Karen Martin


Committee Members

Grant Matthews

Systems Officer

Judy Wells

Committee Member

John Oakhill

Tutor & Courses Coordinator

Tony Evans

Committee Member