Friday 27 October marks the official reopening of the University of the Third Age (U3A) Hawthorn following extensive renovations to the campus. Gardiner Ward Councillor Coral Ross will launch the new-look U3A at a special ceremony and unveil a plaque to commemorate the Council-funded upgrade.

Upgrade works included construction of a new building with a dedicated reception area, three extra multipurpose spaces and a kitchenette as well as an enhanced outdoor space. City of Boroondara invested almost $1.3 million in the project.

Established in 1984, U3A has occupied the current Sinclair Avenue site for 12 years. The recent refurbishments allow it to run up to six sessions simultaneously, meeting the needs of its 1,300-plus members for years to come.

“As part of Boroondara’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of our older residents, we encourage them to remain active, engaged and socially connected. For decades, U3A Hawthorn has offered a great way for them to do that - and now it’s even more inviting,” Cr Phillip Healey, Mayor of Boroondara said.

With its wide-ranging curriculum, U3A has a course to suit all interests: from World War I poetry and Human Anatomy, to Philosophy and foreign languages. For seniors wishing to flex their physical as well as intellectual muscles, there are classes in yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.

“On top of the obvious educational benefits, members get to meet like-minded people, forming important new social networks,” Cr Healey observed.

Run entirely by volunteers, U3A supports itself financially through its membership subscriptions, with additional support from City of Boroondara, the Victorian Government and Swinburne University of Technology.

“Hawthorn U3A is also one of the largest U3As in the country. While we were proud to invest in the U3A renewal project, it’s the dedication of the teachers and committee members who volunteer their time and skills so generously that drives the centre and makes it so popular,” Cr Ross said. “The contribution they make to the community is immense!”

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