New Policy on Extended Planned Leave

A new policy has been approved by the U3APP Committee of Management after consultation with tutors, course coordinators, office managers and the IT team. Its aim is to allow maximum access to courses which are most in demand.

In brief, when a member gives notice of extended leave for five or more consecutive weeks from weekly courses – or three or more from fortnightly courses or two or more from monthly courses– that vacated place will be offered to the first person on the waitlist, and the person who is going away will in turn be moved to the top of the waitlist for that course.  These modifications will only affect courses which have a waitlist and the tutor will be consulted to make sure that the move is appropriate.

You will be interested to know that our enrolment team has been able to move more than 150 people off waitlists and into courses in the first semester of this year, so we anticipate that a member will be able to return to class soon after their extended leave.

This policy comes into effect immediately.   Click here to read a fuller version.


Staying Safe on the Internet

Noble Works greeting card

For those who attended the recent course on Staying Safe on the Internet, and for those who missed it, you can download the slides from the talk. They contain many useful links to other websites.

One of the issues covered in the course was the problem of choosing and remembering passwords. I rather liked this solution (see picture right).

Another issue covered was avoiding scams. We have received a communication from Consumer Affairs Victoria urging U3APP to alert all our members to the dangers of scams.

For more information from CAV, here are the links:

The benefits of the new electronic roll-cards – Helen Vorrath

Our IT guru, Helen Vorrath, explains why the move to our new electronic roll-cards will reduce the workload of our wonderful office and IT volunteers:-

"When I first started thinking about automating U3APP processes, I was convinced that the one thing I would never try to automate was the course roll-cards. What could be easier than ticking off your name on a piece of paper?

The answer to that is nothing. But the new electronic roll system that we are introducing this coming Semester is nearly as easy for you to use. But people are still asking, quite reasonably, why bother?

So here are the reasons why:

  • We need to collect attendance statistics (to support grant applications, see which course are the most successful, etc). At the end of Semester, some poor soul had the tedious task of trying to enter all those messy ticks and crosses from the paper rolls into a spreadsheet.
  • We are actively managing the Waitlists, so we need to know who’s dropped out of a class so that we can put someone from the Waitlist in. With electronic rolls and electronic options for apology and cancellation, Karen English’s ITEM team can do course management without having to leave the comfort of their homes.
  • We can keep accurate electronic rolls for courses which are run somewhere other than Mary Kehoe, and these rolls are accessible from anywhere. No one has to collect or return a roll card.

So when someone hands you a cute little tablet instead of a paper card when you come to classes next Semester, we hope you will enjoy marking yourself present electronically.

Helen Vorrath - IT"

Lost your name tag?

Now you can reprint your own name tag. Click here to download the template (Word document), save it on your computer, then follow the instructions on the template to create and print your name tag.

For a small fee, you can get a replacement U3APP name tag holder to put it in from the Office.


U3APP currently receives 20 parking permits each year. We are in negotiation with the Council to either change the parking restrictions in the area or to issue us with more permits, but there is no guarantee we will succeed in changing anything. With our membership growing, this means permits will always be in short supply.

We are therefore requesting that our more able-bodied members consider those less mobile by parking in one of the nearby unrestricted parking areas, so that permits will be available for those who need them most. There is unrestricted parking a block away in Boyd Street, and a little further away in Wright Street and Richardson Street.

Please help if you can - if you don't use a parking permit you will benefit from both the extra exercise and the good karma!

No More Bills! Mary Kehoe energy efficiency

Working in conjunction with the City of Port Phillip Sustainability Team, the U3A Community Carbon Cops have delivered an amazing set of results for the energy efficiency project they started in late 2013 at the Mary Kehoe Community Centre.  The highlights include:

  • The first energy positive public building in the City of Port Phillip - now generating 110% of its energy needs.
  • A reduction of energy consumption of 42%.
  • And best of all: no more electricty bills, this stunning change will provide Council with at least $2,300 in revenue each year instead of the expected $4,700 in electricty changes.  This is a $7,000 turnaround.

If you would like to get some help with reducing utility bills at your house, feel free to contact Brett Hedger at the City of Port Phillip on 9209 6780 or by email using [email protected].

U3APP Parking Permits – reminder

The Port Phillip Council allocates a small number of parking permits each year for the use of U3APP members attending classes which run more than 1 hour. There are a number of these permits missing and members are reminded that they must return these permits after each class so that other members may make use of them.

If you have inadvertently forgotten to return any of these permits, please return them to the Office urgently. Please check your cars in case they have accidently fallen onto the floor or under a seat. Remember to register in the book each time you borrow a parking permit and sign it back in on return. Thank you for your help.