Coronavirus UpdateAll U3A Brisbane face-to-face classes, including all Districts and venues, are currently suspended owing to the physical isolation rules. More information will be added to this page from time to time. Latest information is at the top.
HOW TO MAKE A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
A number of members have enquired about making a financial contribution to U3A during the period of suspension of face-to-face classes. Although U3A Brisbane is in a good financial position at present, we have substantial ongoing fixed costs which would normally be covered by class fees. We are taking various measures to minimize the impact of these costs but, given the uncertainty about how long the current situation will last, it would help if members would be willing to make a voluntary contribution.
Please note that any payments you make are NOT tax-deductible, as U3As do not qualify for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
You can make a contribution to U3A Brisbane by either credit card, PayPal or bank transfer here:
A small number of district groups will be returning to face-to-face classes in Term 4, having submitted their COVID Safe Plans as per templates below. Members will find these classes clearly highlighted by searching districts in Class Search.
U3A Brisbane is required to have COVID-19 Safety plans in place if we are to offer any face-to-face classes. The Management Committee has decided that we won't be offering any face-to-face classes in the two City Campus venues in Term 4, but selected district classes may operate if the conditions of the COVID Safe Plans can be met. These plans are now available, and tutors should contact the relevant District Coordinator if they wish to conduct a face-to-face class.
COVID Safe Plan - Indoor Classes
COVID Safe Plan - Outdoor Classes
Message from President - Government Rules and U3A
I hope you are staying safe at this time. With the release of the Qld Government's plan to start a staged removal of restrictions I need to clarify U3A Brisbane’s position.
The Government’s general plan does not apply to our demographic. People over 65 need to follow the advice for "older" Australians on the Queensland Government Health Dept website rather than the general advice.
As each staged step towards removal of restrictions takes place the Management Committee is consulting with our Health Advisory Group to see how this will relate to U3A.
Their current advice is that it is too early for U3A to resume any activities. We are advised to wait for at least a month to see the result of the easing of restrictions. This is in line with Government policy. The Government is saying they will ease some restrictions and then wait 4 weeks to see how it goes before moving to the next stage.
Our Health Advisory Group believes that because of our demographic and the nature of the virus, for medical reasons, we should be very cautious and should probably be the last group to ease restrictions.
I have arranged to send the Advisory Group an email at each new stage of the Government’s planned easing of restrictions requesting their advice. This is to ensure that we are all aware of the safest course of action. I will pass on this advice to our membership.
We must also be aware that any activity that requires members to travel on public transport, or visit public venues where they cannot necessarily keep distancing rules and may touch surfaces that have been touched by many others, will be risky for quite some time.
I hope this helps clarify our current position. The Management Committee is eager to return to more normal activities but will proceed with caution.
We value you and want to keep you safe.
Des Taylor, President, U3A Brisbane
Transition to Remote Learning
Although we are presently unable to offer traditional classes in our City Campus and suburban venues, we still have 211 active classes employing various Remote Learning methods, e.g. by email, discussion groups or Online Classes using Zoom videoconferencing. More than half our classes now use Zoom. Congratulations to both tutors and members who have embraced the new learning opportunities.
To enrol in a class and join the revolution, either see our current Timetable, or use Class Search.
Student Zoom Instructions
Tutor Zoom Instructions
Email Discussion Groups
U3A Brisbane recommends that tutors consider setting up an Email Discussion Group. This enables class members to join the group for interactive discussion, either as an adjunct to online classes or as a new means of involving students in an interactive way. See this page for detailed information:
Discussion Group Instructions (for tutors)
The current situation presents unprecedented challenges for all of us. The impact will affect all of us but some more than others. We are mindful of the extra social and emotional impact on some of our members.
Like many organisations, we are doing all we can to ensure our members can stay in contact with each other and where possible participate in classes in new ways, as you will see below. Some of these ways are exciting and will offer new opportunities to learn, which is what U3A is all about.
The Management Committee is continuing its functions as usual to keep the organisation running as smoothly as possible in the circumstances. Individual members are encouraged to keep in contact with each other outside classes.
Term 2 Classes
Most tutors are continuing to communicate with classes by email. Members will need to enrol in Term 2 classes if they wish to continue with any particular class. We strongly encourage all tutors to continue their class communication by email and/or online where feasible. Perhaps you can come up with new and innovative ways of continuing the U3A spirit. All ideas are welcome.
We are recommending Zoom videoconferencing to all tutors to continue classes online. This facility will not be appropriate to all classes but should suit those classes where presentations are typically made. It is very easy to use and we encourage all members to join these sessions online when invited by the tutor.
We cannot promise to teach you anything but we can have a chat either by email or telephone. Maybe you can share a social distancing story or we can show you where to look for answers to any questions you have. Email and let us know how best to contact you.
We intend to send eNews to all members on a more regular basis, e.g. weekly or fortnightly.
Annual General Meeting
We will be holding our AGM online this year at 10am on Wednesday 15th April. Please register if you wish to attend. We will be using Zoom for this meeting.
Most planned social events have been cancelled and payments refunded. See the Social Events page for updates.
Winter School 2020 scheduled for 6-10 July has been cancelled. While there is a possibility that U3A will be re-opened by then, Winter School requires extensive advanced planning and forward commitments by speakers and it was considered necessary to cancel the event this year in the face of uncertainty.
U3A Brisbane is in a good financial position to weather the Coronavirus crisis. We will provide more information to members in due course.
The Management Committee believes that, despite the serious impact of the crisis on us and our nation, members will continue their support for U3A.
As the situation continues to evolve, we'll keep in touch. We will continue eNews updates more frequently to keep you informed of our progress. We look forward to you sharing your thoughts and we hope you continue to take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities. We truly appreciate your continued loyalty and support.
Previous Update Message to Members about class suspension - 13 March 2020.