. Report from U3APP President, Graham Gosling 13 September 2020

Dear members

September marks 6 months since U3A Port Phillip ceased face to face classes and activities.  Thanks to the work of the COVID Working Group, the IT team and the enthusiastic tutors and you, our members, we have risen to the challenge and over 70% of U3APP classes are online with over 600 participants.

Nevertheless, we understand that the conduct of online classes by Zoom impacts on the sense of connectedness of some members that comes through direct in person participation. This sense of connectedness built up over the past years is such an important aspect of U3APP operations and the basis as to why we have been able to continue to be successful in the online environment.

In the meantime, the closure of all facilities used by U3APP is set to continue and there is no indication as to when they may reopen. In light of this situation, for the remainder of 2020 all classes and activities will continue to be conducted either online using Zoom technology or via email in limited circumstances. Those classes that have been postponed since the closure will not recommence in Term 4, with the possible exception, post restrictions, of the courses conducted outdoors.

The U3APP Annual General Meeting this year will also be held utilising online facilities.

On a personal reflection Thursday this week was national RUOK day. This day and the phrase arose out of one family’s tragedy but now serves as a great reminder that whilst many members are coping well and enjoying life many others are struggling.  A simple genuine gesture of asking “are you OK” can have a very positive impact. I urge you to consider this with family, friends, acquaintances and your fellow U3A members.

Please stay safe and well.

Regards - Graham Gosling