President’s Report – September 2021
In our President’s monthy report, Glyni Cumming outlines some significant recent issues and events including: Progress on our new Strategic Plan, Term Break, to ‘Vax’ or not to ‘Vax’, U3A Merit-Based Equity Bursaries, Lifestyle 55+ Expo in October, and Stay Safe in Term 4. The President’s report follows:
Progress on our new Strategic Plan
As reported in our August e-Voice, we were very pleased to have members Andrea Douglas and James Fowler offer their assistance to help us develop our new Strategic Plan at a ‘Stakeholders Workshop’, representing members, tutors, office volunteers, and the Management Committee on Tuesday September 14th.
Drawing on their considerable professional experience, Andrea and James skillfully led us through an efficient process to gather thoughts and ideas to assist the MC in updating and developing our next 5-year plan. Please read my report on the Workshop here.
Term Break – for some tutors
I trust that you have all enjoyed your classes in Term 3 and are now enjoying a holiday break – except for some 20 tutors who decided to keep going, running their classes to make up for those weeks lost to Covid shutdowns.
I have loved attending my classes and have found them fascinating: Marie Farr’s ‘Art for All’ intrigues and provokes discussion, like the posthumous tribute to environmental artist Christo, the fabric-wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. And the new Australian literature class run by Elizabeth Woolaston stretches our minds and challenges us to look at our own history and poetry in a new way.
To Vax or not to Vax? Is that really the question?
It is extraordinary to consider our good fortune – that we have been able to continue our normal lives, in almost complete freedom of movement, unlike our southern neighbours. Those extra weeks of freedom in Queensland from lockdowns, shutdowns, curfews and solitary isolation mean one of two things: either we have been lulled into a false sense of security, that no harm can possibly come to us here in our sunny state – or we have grabbed the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Among the news from down south, we can clearly hear the words “vaccinations to become mandatory”. There’s no southern state pressure here on our health services – yet! And we all have friends who feel very strongly that they will refuse to vaccinate, some citing legitimate health reasons. However, we do need to remember that U3A is a voluntary organization, run by volunteers. Our volunteer tutors are not obliged to perform their free services. They have a right to their good health, in fact they have a right to their lives, minus the threat of long term illness – or sudden death. Please take advantage of this lull before our own storm inevitably comes, to get vaccinated.
I am really proud that our entire Management Committee has had their vaccinations. Yes, there are some legitimate health reasons for not getting vaccinated; however, the last thing on earth that we want is that our laziness, or our cowardice, or our truculence, or our conspiracy theories, might bring about the illness or death of an elderly U3A member, or closer to home: a member of our own beloved families – a son, a daughter, or a grandchild with their whole life yet to be explored in front of them.
U3A Merit-Based Equity Bursaries
Every year U3A provides three USC students in need with an annual bursary of $2000 each. It is one way of showing our appreciation to the University of the Sunshine Coast, who provides us with a classroom, a computer room, an office, and all the necessary telecommunication connections, as well as many other services. Pictured above are our Bursary winners in 2020: Abbey Abdul, Amy Stephenson and Leo Wiles.
Our U3A bursary is currently advertised on the USC website and if you’d like to see it, just click on this link: U3A Merit-Based Equity Bursary.
This is such a worthwhile gift, especially in today’s economic situation and we are always rewarded with the students’ genuine gratitude, expressed in their visit to the Management Committee and / or to the AGM where they receive their award.
New Date for the Lifestyle 55+ Expo!
Please note on your calendars and in your diaries, and tell your friends who may not yet know about U3A, the new date for the Lifestyle 55+ Expo will be Wednesday October 13 at the Nambour Showgrounds.
All the other details remain the same: U3A will have a very strong presence, as we’ve been given a prime double site in front of the stage area, and 17 wonderful members have volunteered to come along during the day, from about 9am to 4pm, to promote the benefits of “Life, Learning and Laughter” to the wider public.
There will be plenty of yummy food stalls, and live entertainment, from the Bronte Band, the Kitty Kats, and the Buderim Male Choir. Performances will include our own stars: Pamela Woodrow’s Tap Dancers, Wendy Turton’s Sunshine Chimes, Joanna Teazis’ Belly Dancers, Lorraine Quinn’s Ukulele players. And even Lynne Charsley’s newest group of Line Dancers will be kicking up their heels on the day.
About 130 exhibitors will present a huge range of services and products to meet a wide variety of needs and desires, targeting our age group’s specific interests. Exhibitors cover areas like: health, travel, recreation and fitness, employment and education, financial and retirement planning, clothing, fashion, accessories, beauty services, aged care, government services, independent living products, holistic living options, and community groups!
As well, there will be radio broadcasting live and magazine representatives on site, and the Sunshine Coast Council.
Entry is free, and there’s ample parking in the Showgrounds, available for a gold coin donation in support of the Rotary Club of Nambour.
So do make a note of the day and come along to show our volunteers your support, any time from 9.30 am to about 4 pm.
Reminder to Stay Safe in Term 4
Not one person in Australia has died from the flu in more than a year! That’s because if we do get sick, we are staying at home to cough and sneeze until we are well again. We are wearing masks when we are out, we are sanitizing our hands, and we are maintaining our social distances.
So please, let’s still be cognizant of our personal safety when we recommence classes in Term 4. Remember to use the QR – the Quick Response Code – when you attend class, and sign on (or be signed in by your tutor).
Do check out the new Term 4 courses on offer, and enjoy your chosen activities!
President U3A Sunshine Coast