. New Courses and One-off Events in Term 4, 2021

U3APP has been very active in continuing to add to the course program.  For this term, the following new courses, repeat courses and one-off events have been included so far.  (The newest courses/changes since the last e-bulletin are highlighted in bold text.)

NEW COURSES

Monday Courses

Tuesday Courses

Wednesday Courses

Thursday Courses

Friday Courses

NEW ONE-OFF EVENTS

General Information Sessions

Saturday Seminars, ZOOM

Out and About

Holiday Program - between Term 3 and Term 4

CHANGES TO COURSES

Changing Time

Changing Day of the Week

 

For further details about the above courses and one-off events and to book, or if the event is full, to put yourself on the waitlist, click on the course or event name.

You can check back here whenever you want to know about new Courses and One-Off Events.

. Dates for your Diary

2021

TERM 4: Monday 4 October - Friday 10 December

Tuesday 2 November - Melbourne Cup Day - usually no Classes held - check with your Tutor if unsure
Thursday 11 November - Vaccination Day Mary Kehoe Centre - no F2F Classes.  Check with your Tutor as your Class may run via Zoom
Saturday 20 November - Saturday Seminar French Impressionism: From the Museum of Fine arts, Boston
Saturday 4 December - Annual General Meeting
Thursday 9 December - Vaccination Day Mary Kehoe Centre - no F2F Classes.  Check with your Tutor as your Class may run via Zoom

. U3APP Committee appoints Marketing Manager

The U3APP Committee of Management has appointed Committee Member, Libby Smith to the role of U3APP Marketing Manager, for the promotion of U3APP.

The Committee of Management maintains that for the U3APP to prosper we need to promote our organisation and activities in the community in such a way as to inform our  Members of our activities and events and to attract new Members and Tutors.  It is also important that we promote the health and social benefits we offer to retired and semi-retired people in the Port Phillip area to ensure the ongoing support and goodwill of the Port Phillip Council.

Above all we  want U3APP to be widely recognised as a vibrant organisation of volunteers which offers a diverse range of enjoyable and affordable learning and participation opportunities for older people.

Pam Caven, CoM, Working Group

. Message from U3APP President – 18 July 2021

Graham Gosling - U3APP President

Welcome to Term 3 of the 2021 academic year at U3A Port Phillip.  We have much to celebrate in the successes we have had negotiating the COVID-19 minefield with its constantly evolving environment and resultant government restrictions.

Our groups responsible for shepherding us to this point have accomplished what initially seemed an impossible task: to restore U3APP to a semblance of normalcy, i.e., to stabilise and expand our curriculum and social atmosphere while ensuring a safe environment in which to operate.

Our present stability has resulted from the concerted efforts of our ‘behind-the-scenes’ groups of dedicated volunteers:  the COVID-19 Working Group which devised the strategic plan for recovery and guided implementation of that plan, The IT Team which operated the buttons and levers to enable delivery of the plan, the Enrolment Team which ensured Class rolls and Waitlists were actioned, Office Volunteers who kept the everyday aspects of the organisation running smoothly from remote locations, Course Coordinators who navigated the monumental task of scheduling all the Courses  and our dedicated and talented cadre of Tutors, who delivered Courses, all of whom showed remarkable resilience and flexibility.

Some of our Tutors deliver their Courses Face-2-Face in classrooms as was done prior to COVID, although most courses are delivered using Zoom as the delivery platform, and a few still rely on communication by e-mail. Surprisingly as well as pleasingly, U3APP has experienced an increase in Membership during our times of trial, putting even more stress on our Tutorial resources.

So, on behalf of the Committee of Management, I express my gratitude to those dedicated and resourceful individuals who delivered this ‘miracle’.  If you would like to be a part of this group, we are always in need of people to help, especially individuals willing to become Tutors.  Just raise your hand and someone will be there to help you into the Tutorial Team.

Thanks again.

Graham Gosling, President - U3A Port Phillip

18 July 2021

  

. How do things get done at U3A Port Phillip?

U3A Port Phillip is run totally by Volunteers.  Have you ever wondered what do they do behind the scenes?

In this article, we take you into the amazing world of how your Courses are scheduled.

To schedule a Course, we need two things: a Tutor to present a Course and a place to run the Course, either physical or virtual.

For Courses that run all year, Tutors propose the Course they wish to run in October/November of the preceding year.  For Courses that run for a specific period such as one or two Terms, Tutors propose their Course approximately one month in advance.

In their proposals, Tutors also request a place to run their Course, for example:

  • Online
  • A City of Port Phillip venue, such as Mary Kehoe Hall, South Melbourne Community Centre Hall 1, Sol Green Community Centre Hall, Middle Park Community Centre Hall
  • If a Tutor is organising the venue in which the Course will run, the Tutor advises the location such as a private home or a bowling club or a park

For Online Courses, the U3APP IT group purchases the appropriate number of Zoom accounts to enable multiple concurrent Online Courses each day, including suitable gaps between Courses using the same account.

For City of Port Phillip venues, U3APP must apply to CoPP on an annual basis to hire specific rooms for specific dates over the financial year July to June.  In 2021, applications for room hire are submitted during a 2 week time period at the start of May.  After the application period closes, CoPP evaluates the applications, determines the successful applicants and advises the results in June.  Due to the reduction of venues available for hire and capacity limits imposed by COVID requirements, CoPP cannot guarantee that requested days, times and venues will be available.

Once we know the Courses which Tutors wish to give and the venues we can use, then the Course Coordination team, in particular Ann Gibson, can start scheduling.  Face to face Courses requirements, such as a particular venue, a particular day and time, a particular room size, are matched against the specific rooms available.   COVID requirements impose additional restrictions on scheduling face to face Courses, such as longer gaps between Courses in the same room and staggered start times between courses in different rooms in the same venue.  To achieve a workable Course Schedule requires cooperative consultations and a team effort between the Tutors and Course Coordination.  In practice, the fluidity of available face to face rooms caused by COVID restrictions has necessitated continuous consultations since October 2020.

 

. Tutors and Volunteers ‘Thank You’ Celebration

Sixty Tutors and Volunteers gathered at the Middle Park Bowling Club on Friday 26 March for a joyous face to face gathering.

Graham Gosling, U3APP President, welcomed everyone on behalf of the Committee of Management.  He paid tribute to their outstanding contribution during the past year.  Tutors and Volunteers rose to the occasion during Government COVID restrictions and kept Members engaged in learning and with one another.

Graham reported that U3APP is regarded by U3A Network as a model for other Victorian U3As, a proud achievement.

    

   

    

    

While the recipients of Life Membership and Meritorious Awards were announced at the AGM in November 2020, Graham was able to present 2020 recipients with their framed awards for their enormous contributions to U3APP over a ten-year period.

The worthy recipients were Sandra Mason and José Simsa who received Life Membership awards and Ming Tim Yek, a Meritorious Award.

Tutors and Volunteers mingled over a glass of  sparkling and delicious finger food organised by Sandra Mason, U3APP Catering Manager.  Sandra was ably assisted by U3APP Members, Barbara Fisher and Claire Keech.

By Pam Caven, U3APP Committee of Management

 

We've had a wonderful array of photos sent to us by our resident U3APP photographers, Barry 'Mac' McIntosh and Aziza Khamlichi.  We're delighted to be able to show many of them here and thank Mac and Aziza for their time and effort in taking and sending them to us so quickly.

                                                         

      

    

   

  

 

. Message from U3APP President 7 March 2021

To all Members of U3A Port Phillip

In the December 2020 copy of this bulletin, I advised members of the hope that a limited number of classes would be able to resume as face to face events in term 2 of this year.  As the situation currently stands this is a real possibility and there are now steps being put in place to make this a reality.

As a first step, from 15 March until 1 April a Pilot Program will commence at the Mary Kehoe Centre to validate our COVIDSafe Procedures.  A number of Tutors have agreed to be “the guinea pigs” for this Pilot Program and I want to thank them for their support and cooperation.  The list of these Pilot Face-2-Face Courses can be found below.

Due to limited room availability and capacities, and due to Tutor requests, not all Courses will return to Face-2-Face in term 2.  Those Courses with various difficulties in being run online, such as music, art, etc have been the primary focus.  The details of the term 2 Face-2-Face Courses will be announced in April.

To assist members generally, the Office at MKC will be open during the Pilot Program.  For the safety of all, please follow our COVIDSafe Conditions of Entry on every visit to MKC.  Stay well.

Regards, Graham Gosling - President U3APP

 

. Tutors Meeting Report 26 January 2021

The Tutors meeting held on 26th January drew a large crowd of tutors, office volunteers, committee members, course coordination staff and IT members.  In all, there were 53 attendees who were informed and entertained by a variety of speakers. The meeting was recorded and can be found at:

recording of Tutors Meeting 2021-01-26

Jim Pribble (CoM Tutor Support Volunteer and COVID-19 Working Group) opened the meeting and greeted guests:

Graham Gosling, President of U3APP briefly

  • Recounted the difficulties navigated during the most stringent period(s) of lockdown
  • Paid specific mention of the members of the COVID-19 Working Group (Pam Caven, Diane Boyle and Jim Pribble) for their hard work and perseverance to formulate strategic plans continue our mission basically uninterrupted
  • Acknowledged the vital role played by the remainder of the management team (Office Volunteers, The Webmaster Group, Course Coordination Team and the Committee of Management)
  • Outlined his vision of the 2021 ‘school year’, where we can:
    • Begin returning to face-to-face courses, hopefully in Term 2
    • Continue using Zoom as in Term 1 where appropriate
    • Concentrate on scheduling courses for returning to face-to-face presentation

Diane Boyle (CoM IT representative and COVID Working Group) summarised the status of courses and tutors, reporting that the numbers courses, tutors, and members are at about the same as they were a year ago ( 80 courses ,about 60 tutors, and 650+ members).

Pam Caven (CoM Deputy President and COVID Working Group) spoke on the monthly webinar series. She reported that:

  • The monthly webinar series has been very successful (we had to increase out Zoom capacity to accommodate all the participants)
  • The schedule for 2021 is rapidly filling
  • Pam is seeking additional speakers for future webinars

Sheila Quairney (CoM  Privacy and Security Volunteer) discussed the Volunteer Privacy Agreement emphasizing the importance of the concept and the need for all volunteers to read the document, sign it and submit it by 31 January.

Karen English, leader of the Information Technology Enrolment Management team (ITEM) presented an in-depth report:

  • On how tutors access their courses
  • The efficacy of assigning a co--host
  • The value of and recording and reporting attendance at classes
  • Karen also provided a list of IT personnel to contact should tutors encounter a problem while trying to deliver their course

The future of U3APP secure in view of the fact that the support functions required to make things work are in place and working well.  Have a good term, and look forward to ‘seeing’ you.

. Message from U3APP President 13 December 2020

The City of Port Phillip, the owner of the premises we use for Face-2-Face Courses, has now opened communications on Community Centre usage under Covid-19.  We are in discussions with them about facility availability, capacity, timing and our Covid-19 Conditions of Entry.

Our current plan is to continue Term 1 Courses with Online, Email and Outdoors delivery and to commence transition to some Face-2-Face delivery of Courses in Term 2.  We will advise you of progress during Term 1.

BEFORE we can resume Face-2-Face Classes, there is much planning to be done by a number of functional groups in U3APP and CoPP, and actions to be taken to ensure orderly transition to the new regime.  An example of tasks is assessment of various rooms for Classes based on floor space (and therefore maximum Class size), then allocation of Courses and time schedules to fulfil our needs. It is entirely possible that the space requirements per student may change over the next few months, so an allocation of rooms to Classes is premature, as is the time scheduling for Classes.

Another is preparation of the facilities for rehabilitation - sanitisation stations, signage and general deep cleaning of all venues.  This will take time!

The CoM through the Covid-19 Working Group has spent the last months generating a schedule of events and actions required to enact transition (an Action Plan) of some Courses to Face-2-Face or Hybrid.  Our estimate is that it will take about eight weeks from the time of Council clearance to the full or partial implementation of the plan.  All Courses provided during Term 1, 2021 will follow the protocols of Term 4, 2020, i.e., Online, Email or Outdoors.  During Term 1 we will be working to transition some Courses to Face-2-Face or Hybrid, so we can reasonably assume that we will be able to implement at least a partial transition of some Courses by the beginning of Term 2, 2021.

REMEMBER please, that we have over 90 Courses, some with unique requirements, to accommodate in the upcoming scheduling process, so PATIENCE should be the operative word.  Use the summer break to enjoy life before returning to your Courses in 2021.  Don't spend your much deserved rest machinating over what is to come.  Rest assured that the team at U3APP 'Headquarters’ will be on the beat over the summer to ensure the best possible outcome for us all. Once the implementation plan is in operation we can then start communicating our progress to you all, on a regular basis.  It is essential that all Tutors and Members understand that this process will take some time to resolve.

Graham Gosling - President U3APP