Senior’s Festival Events

As I have become more involved with U3APP, one of the most common comments I’ve heard is “I don’t know what I would do without U3APP”.

Seniors Week made me reflect that as we grow older and wiser, we realise the importance of not only lifelong learning, but how social interaction is paramount to maintaining mental health and wellbeing. I love the buzz in the Mary Kehoe Centre when everyone is coming and going, chatting with friends, meeting new people and enjoying the stimulation offered by the wonderful knowledgeable tutors.

The recent Seniors Festival is a good example of an activity in my CoM role as Events Coordinator.

The City of Port Phillip’s Seniors Festival offered a diverse program of music, dance, workshops, discussion groups, sport and tours, all of which were very well attended.

We have so many talented people in U3APP who contributed to some of these activities.  The Art Exhibition in the Mary Kehoe Hall could get no greater compliment than to be admired by people who then asked if the work was for sale – congratulations to all our artists and tutors!

Multicultural Dance – Hoppa Hey, which is always so much fun, had many visitors attend and join in the traditional dances from various countries.  Much needed refreshments at the end of the session were welcomed by hot, tired participants.

Finally, the Art and Music Showcase was a full house! The Ukulele group began, playing and singing a number of songs together with cheerful audience participation. The Male Choir, which is becoming well-known in the community, provided an uplifting and varied repertoire.  The talented All Sorts played dance and love songs, classic and ragtime pieces, while the Recorder group played a variety of pieces including the Ukrainian National Anthem. Refreshments were served throughout the afternoon. Congratulations to all the musicians and singers and a special thanks to Margo for being the MC for the afternoon.

20th Anniversary Celebration


17 MAY 2023

Our 20th Anniversary celebration was a great success with approximately 180 members and guests attending. Our Deputy President, Hannah Len, opened the evening with a brief address, followed by the Federal Member for Macnamara, Josh Burns and the U3A Network President, Annie Grigg. We then heard from three wonderful Founding members, Lindsay Doig, Heather Wheat and Joan Ashbolt who gave an overview of their work in establishing U3APP in 2003. We cannot thank them enough for their initiative and were delighted they celebrated with us. After the speeches we were serenaded by the U3APP Male Choir, who always provides us with uplifting music, and finally, the door prize raffle draw created some excitement for the winners.

Hannah then cut the celebratory cake, however when it was being carried to the kitchen half of it landed on the floor, adding a memorable bit of laughter to the U3A evening (don’t worry – there was still plenty of cake for everyone!)

The catering was plentiful and beautiful, so thanks to our SpitRoast Caterers, who always provide such wonderful food and service. At 6.30pm there were still plenty of people ready to stay on indicating a good time was being enjoyed by all.

Thanks to everyone who attended and to all who helped make this a happy, successful and memorable 20th Anniversary of U3APP.

Ros Christie, Event Manager

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New Members Welcome 2023


24 FEBRUARY 2023

Many of the new members who attended the Welcome function on Friday 24 February in the Mary Kehoe Centre really appreciated the opportunity to meet other ‘newbies’, plus a number of representatives from the Committee of Management, Member Liaison, Tutor Recruitment, Office Management and Office Volunteers.

The President, Sheila Quairney, briefly welcomed everyone, introduced the various volunteers and referenced how these people can assist them to settle into U3APP courses and navigate their way around the website, building, office and parking.

The vibe in the room was very positive, with several acknowledging how welcome they felt at U3A Port Phillip; how people had made the effort to engage with them and assist with queries, all of which gave them a feeling of inclusion and acceptance. Although the numbers were small it was a very intimate, successful event.

Thanks to all who assisted with the organisation of the event.

Ros Christie
U3APP Event Manager

End of year and Christmas celebration 2022



Our annual end of year celebration got off to a shaky start. On Friday afternoon we were informed that the air conditioning had failed at the Port Melbourne Town Hall and we could no longer hold the function there. We were offered the St. Kilda Town Hall as a replacement venue but everyone attending had to be notified. Our sincere apologies to anyone who fell through the cracks and didn’t get an email, phone call or text.

The St Kilda Town Hall turned out to be an excellent venue and the staff provided us with all we needed and more. The turn up was great, especially considering the sudden change of plan and our first scorcher for the summer. About 115 – 120 attended the event.

Sheila Quairney welcomed all present, then awards were presented to members who had made considerable contributions to our organisation by the immediate past Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Marcus Pearl.

Sandra Mason did an outstanding job of organising the catering, the food was delicious and the bar was well run by Alan Aberdeen, John Hawker and Di Gameson.

The whole event was most successful and a nearly perfect way to finish off a good year for our organisation.

Photos by Branko Colavizza
Article by Di Gameson

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Annual General Meeting 2022



On Saturday 3rd December, 65 attendees tuned in to U3APP’s 19th AGM, held on Zoom. President, Sheila Quairney welcomed members and guests, City of Port Phillip Mayor, Heather Cunsolo and U3A Network Victoria President, Annie Grigg.

After the 2021 Minutes acceptance, both the President’s and Treasurer’s reports were presented to Members. Sheila gave special thanks to all the U3APP’s volunteers participating as Tutors, Office Volunteers, IT Teams, Committee of Management and Margaret Smith for her continuing role as Minute Secretary, who have all been identified in the inaugural 2022 Annual Report.

The nominations for Committee of Management for 2023 were announced and all elected, they are:

Gillian Wood, William Logan, John Hawker, Allan Aberdeen, Rosalind Christie, Branko Colavizza, Sheila Quairney, Hannah Len, Margo Anderson and Gaye Mason

The new CoM will meet on 13 December to elect the Officers and allocate Portfolios; this information will be available on the website as well as the forthcoming e-Bulletins.

Sheila Quairney was delighted to announce awards for Honorary Life Membership and Meritorious Service:

Honorary Life Membership Awards
Diane Boyle, Helen Vorrath, Karen English & Kevin English

Meritorious Service Awards
Lorna Wyatt and Lorraine Brophy

Annie Grigg, President of U3A Network, spoke briefly about the services available to members U3As and congratulated U3APP on the successful year in both increasing membership and the success of face-to-face and zoom courses and the assortment of very informative seminars conducted through the year.

Branko Colavizza, U3APP Secretary

Seniors Festival Music Concert 2022


15 OTOBER 2022

On Saturday 15 October we held a very successful music concert in the hall at MKC, attended by about 80 to 90, both U3APP members and members of the general public. It was part of the Seniors Month celebrations for the City of Port Phillip.

The program was from 2.00pm to 4.00pm and the performers were Minuk Richards two ukulele groups, Fun Ukes and Beaut Ukes and David Sharples Mens’ Choir. David also performed a bracket of solo songs, some accompanied by ukulele group members.

The audience was encouraged to sing along with the performers and did so with enthusiasm, the sound was terrific.

Afternoon tea prepared by Sandra Mason was served after the performance.

Report by Dianne Gameson

Click on the photos for larger versions.

Photos by Aziza Khamlichi

Tutors and Volunteers Celebration 2022


17 JUNE 2022

Our annual thank you to tutors and volunteers was held on Friday 17th June, back in the Hall at MKC for the first time in two years.

About 56 attended and, judging by the noise and general ambience, it was a happy and successful event, many saying that they hadn’t caught up face to face for a long time.

Our Vice President, Hannah Len, welcomed the gathering and gave a heartfelt tribute to the tutors and volunteers who have given so much to our organisation.

We have some great photos of the event thanks to Branko Colavizza, some of which are shown here.

Sandra Mason, Ros Christie and other helpers organised drinks and delicious finger food. A good time was definitely had by all.

By Dianne Gameson, U3A Committee

U3APP Book Launch 2022


25 MARCH 2022

Determination, Imagination and Organisation: The story of U3A Port Phillip and its people

These were fitting words expressed by President Sheila Quairney when she welcomed  contributors to the publication, founding members and guests to the launch of U3APP’s newest publication: a publication that acknowledges the efforts of so many people and tracks the growth of the organisation over the 19 years since its inception.

From the initial six founding members working around their kitchen tables, the fledgling organisation grew to an impressive membership of 778 in 2021, and currently offers members a choice of 90 broad-ranging courses. It has been a true success story. The publication tells of countless volunteers engaged in a broad range of important roles almost too numerous to mention: volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the organisation flourished. It has, from its inception, provided a place of learning: learning of many kinds and the publication emphasises that strongly. Importantly, there is a continuous thread throughout the story about the sense of community, belonging and support that the organisation always has, and continues to provide. Personal stories within stories have been and remain the fabric of the organisation. Thus, this excellent publication weaves a complex pattern of survival and growth, of colour and diversity, of excitement, newness and continuity.

With just the appropriate amount of pomp and ceremony, the book was officially launched by Freda Erlich, Chair of the City of Port Phillip’s Older Persons Advisory Committee, the body appointed by the Council to advise on issues that affect the health and well-being of older people in the city. U3APP must be one of the jewels in its crown because it was a small subgroup from that advisory group that convened a public meeting to gauge interest in establishing a U3A in Port Phillip in August 2003. That was the catalyst for what we have today. Within 3 months, the embryonic U3A Port Phillip ‘went public’ to great acclaim with an inaugural event featuring internationally renowned Melbourne astrophysicist Doctor Andrew Prentice.  This was the first of the ongoing Saturday Seminars Series that was intended to and still attracts attention from the wider community.

U3APP opened its doors to take enrolments in February 2004 with courses starting the following month. Eighteen courses were offered in that first semester and some are still running. It has not looked back – but you should read the story for yourselves. The story is indeed about 19 years of determination, imagination and organisation. And that determination came to the fore in 2020 when COVID hit. Over the ensuing 2 years, when many organisations and groups around them were floundering, they quickly rallied forces and with a lot of effort and organisation many courses went online very successfully.  It was no mean feat.  What a triumph, attesting to the foresight and skills of the management committee and a small group of dedicated members. The story of how this was achieved and how the organisation adopted a new and IT-savvy approach to running the organisation is mapped out in the book.  It was a mighty effort. But you really should read the story yourselves!  The COVID working group, the ‘Gang of Three’ – Pam Caven, Jim Pribble and Diane Boyle – were deservedly awarded Meritorious Service awards for their work. They gathered around them an impressive team to produce this publication. They are to be heartily congratulated as are all those who contributed.

At this special launch event and paying homage to the organisation were Josh Burns, Federal Member for Macnamara, and Marcus Pearl, Mayor of the City of Port Phillip. Both congratulated the organisation and particularly its members, each emphasising the importance of the organisation to the City of Port Phillip. They acknowledged the contribution that U3APP has made and continues to make to the welfare of older people in the area and wished it well for the years to come.


At the launch three awards were presented personally to people who were unable to attend the 2021 award presentations at the Christmas party. Barbara Fisher was awarded Life Membership, and Heather Wheat and Lindsay Doig were presented with Meritorious Service awards.


It was a happy occasion, superbly catered by Sandra Mason and her team, touched with nostalgia and a little sadness that the inaugural president, Ron Ashbolt, was not there sharing the limelight. It was, however, a joyous celebration of an excellent account of a marvellous organisation.

Report by Heather Wheat, photographs by Barry McIntosh

The story is available as an online book or a printed book.

The printed book is available to borrow from the U3APP office and, in due course, from the local and state libraries.  The printed book can also be purchased through Amazon.  Find it by going to  and typing in “The story of U3APP” in the search.

The online book is available on our website, click here.



Christmas Celebration 2021



It exceeded all expectations.

The Port Melbourne Town Hall provided a perfect space for U3APP members to reconnect. A bumper crowd of one hundred and twenty members participated in the Celebration.

The 2021 President, Graham Gosling welcomed attendees. He reflected on the achievements and challenges for U3APP in 2021. He presented the Life Membership Award to Barb Fisher and Meritorious Service Awards to Dennis Muoy, Heather Wheat, and Lindsay Doig and to members of the COVID Working Group: Jim Pribble, Diane Boyle, and Pam Caven. Graham also announced the eight elected members of the 2022 committee of management.


The Celebration was a joyous occasion. Attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments organised by the U3APP Catering Manager, Sandra Mason  and her team of Di Gameson and Ros Christie. Rob Gullan, Dave Robson, and David Blair ensured no one went thirsty. Alex Mifsud’s team Sheila Quairney, Libby Smith and Jim Pribble ensured a COVID safe environment.


The photos tell the story thanks to Barry Macintosh and Aziza Khamlichi.

We will give Barry Macintosh the last word “The afternoon had a happy feel and everyone had a chance to reconnect. The ‘buzz’ was very positive”.

Best wishes – Pam Caven

Tutors and Volunteers Celebration 2021


26 MARCH 2021

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.







How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.