U3A Network Conference a great success
by Glyni Cumming
This year’s annual U3A Queensland Network conference held at the North Lakes and hosted by Pine Rivers brought together delegates from the 35 U3A Associations that form U3A Network Queensland.
U3A Network Queensland are not really our parent body, but financially they aim to negotiate the best price for insurance to cover all our tutors and volunteers, and they also provide sound advice for the development of constitutions or policy, such as Complaints, and issues involving workplace health and safety, such as Covid.
Our Communication Officer John Armstrong is currently serving a second year as their Vice-President. As he did for U3A Sunshine Coast, he has also done a brilliant job of updating the Network’s webpage.
The U3A Queensland Network conference was very well attended, packing nearly 100 delegates into two full days of discussion and guest speakers and sharing of ideas; and it was very convenient, to have our accommodation all of 30 seconds walk away from the venue.
Highlights for me were the strong indigenous presentations, first with Songwoman Maroochy Barambah giving us a fascinating introduction to her life and background, and then singing us a welcome to country.
Then Aunty McRose Elu, Queensland Senior of the Year for 2021, was a wonderful inspiration, not only in sharing her own extraordinary life, but also her thoughts as a strong spokesperson for Torres Straits Islanders, whose homes are under threat from global warming.
I know these beautiful outspoken women were specially invited to speak at the conference, but I wonder when, and how, U3A will itself attract indigenous members?
With Tom Holden again offering Russian language studies, it’s worth noting that the most entertaining speaker at the conference, UQ Research Professor Roland Sussex has a PhD in Russian. However, ‘Roly’ is best known for his ABC radio program ‘A Word in Your Ear’. He delighted and amused and provoked thought with his presentation on international body language and other issues, before the serious business of the conference wrapped up.
The AGM saw the role of President change hands, with outgoing President Gail Bonser enjoying handing over the stagecoach reins without any change in pace to the experienced control of current Toowoomba President Rhonda Weston. Rhonda introduced next year’s Network Conference team from Rockhampton to share their excitement about hosting the celebration of U3A’s 50th worldwide birthday. One of the special guests will be the current international president, Professor Francois Vellas, whose father Professor Pierre Vellas, founded the organization in 1973 in Toulouse.”
Photos from top:
Aunty McRose Elu, Queensland Senior of the Year for 2021 addressed the Network State Conference.
President Glyni Cumming with Carol Hughes, a former Circle Dance teacher from Yeppoon.
‘Roly’ Sussex entralled the audience with his presentation on languages.
Previous Network President, Gail Bonser, is farewelled in style at the Conference.
‘Latest News’ thumbnail image: Steve Connelly involved delegates in how to keep and retain volunteers.