Earlier this month Dorothy, Margaret, Judith, Geraldine and I attended the U3A Regional Network meeting in Cobram. Two speakers had been organized, Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians who advises the Victorian Government of key issues facing seniors and Dr Rachel Winterton from Latrobe University Wodonga. Rachel outlined the ASPIRE project which explored how services and supports are accessed by older people in rural Victoria and Queensland.
Both speakers highlighted the need to be connected with your community and how much older Australians contribute as members of groups and local boards and committees. Rachel’s study found carers and volunteer drivers, often in their mid-70s, are still helping vulner-able people. This finding might be no surprise to us, but is news to some who perceive older people as a burden.
U3A contributes to seniors having a happy life and a sense of purpose. Many of our new members have chosen to retire to Benalla. We were reminded of the need to be welcoming so they can find new friends and enjoy life in our community.
It is pleasing that attendances are increasing as the warmer weather sees the return of some travellers.
The September Meet & Mingle was crowded with all chairs being taken as over thirty members gathered.
We will have to consider how we deal with the expected large numbers at the beginning of the next year, it’s fantastic to be popular!
Terry Case, President