sparkling start to the 2023 U3A Network Queensland Conference
was held at
Museum of Art) on Monday, 8th May, opened by Rockhampton
Mayor Tony Williams.
U3A Network Queensland president,
Rhonda Weston AM, Rockhampton Mayor
Williams, and U3A Rockhampton president, Cheryl Wickes,
greeted delegates to the conference.
International visitor, Professor
President of the international U3A body (IAUTA),
his wife Chantel,
and special guests arrived at the Art
Gallery aboard Capricorn
Carriages, to enjoy the Meet
and Greet event. U3A (University of the Third Age), was formed
50 years ago by Professor Vellas’ father,
Professor Pierre Vellas in France, and
quickly spread throughout the world.
Being the 50th year of U3A brought an extra dimension to
this year’s Network Queensland Conference, and when Rockhampton
was asked to host the 2023 event, the organizing committee planned
a celebration that will long
Delicious catering by Hummingbird
Café, and excellent entertainment by the Capricorn
made for an exciting start to the Conference hosted by
U3A Rockhampton and District.
The U3A Network Queensland Conference continued throughout the
week at Central Queensland
with a fabulous line-up of guest speakers who kept
delegates inspired and entertained throughout.
On Tuesday morning delegates were welcomed by Chancellor
Mr Graeme Innes AM, and the
international history of U3A was explored by
Professor Vellas, and Professor Maria Chester
(via video link).
Then the history of the arrival of U3A in Australia
was detailed by co-founder of the first branch in
Victoria in 1984, Mr Cliff Picton. Mr
Jim Hales then described the formation
of Network Queensland on
the Sunshine Coast in 2009.
the conference continued with speakers addressing such issues
relevant to seniors in our community as ‘Age Friendly
Communities’ by Colin Maddocks, ‘Becoming
Digitally Savy’ with Keir
Tierney, ‘Spare Parts for the Human Body’
by organ donation specialist Josephine Reoch,
and ’Can you teach an old dog new tricks’ with
Amanda Rebar Associate Professor CQU, to
name just a few.
Delicious catering by ‘Creative
Cater’ of Yeppoon was a hit with all
delegates as was a performance by the colourful
U3A Rockhampton Ukulele Group.
Both conference dinners were held at Rockhampton
Leagues Club to the delight of delegates, with
cake created by Councillor Drew Wickerson.
The cake was decorated with pictures of Professor
Francois Vellas and his father, Professor
Pierre Vellas, a feature greatly appreciated by
the international visitors.
‘There are so many great features of the conference,
and so many people to be thanked for their support,’
said U3A Rockhampton and District president, Cheryl
‘Our organizing committee has done an amazing
job to put on a spectacular Network Queensland conference
under the leadership of our Henry Cope.’
Delegates from throughout Queensland and all our members
who attended were in awe of the professionalism and pure
enjoyment of the event! Social media has been running hot
with congratulations from U3A groups around the world. We
have put Rockhampton firmly on the map…’ she
retire from work… not from life! U3A is an adult education
movement which provides a wide range of activities providing
lifelong learning for seniors. There are more than 200 U3As
in Australia… and each state has its own Network organisation.