U3A Port Phillip

Where are we?
The City of Port Phillip is an inner urban area in Melbourne Victoria. U3A Port Phillip has its headquarters at the Mary Kehoe Centre in Middle Park, a lovely old Edwardian house which has been converted for community use. We have our Office in the building and use three classrooms and the hall extensively.
We hold some activities in other venues, and are currently looking to expand our course offering to cover the other suburbs within the City of Port Phillip

Membership
We have about 450 financial members and another 250 people who receive our regular electronic news. Membership has been growing steadily since U3APP began 12 years ago.
Ages range from 50 to late 90s: the 65-69 age group is the largest. Women outnumber men by about 2 to 1.
Our area has a high proportion of single person households, so U3A Port Phillip provides an important opportunity for people to participate in community activities.

Interest Groups
We have over 40 classes in our programs, with new classes being added regularly. They range from exercise classes and language classes (always popular) to classes on art, music, literature, science, history and philosophy. We have a choir and several instrumental ensembles.
In the last couple of years, members have worked with our local Council as “Carbon Cops”. The work of this group has enabled the Mary Kehoe Centre to become a net energy producer rather than consumer, through the installation of solar panels on the roof and modification of the building to reduce energy consumption.

Personal comment
U3A Port Phillip is one of the friendliest groups you could encounter. Our Membership Secretary welcomes new members personally, and sends get well and condolence cards to members.
We have over 100 members who contribute as volunteers in some capacity – that’s about one person in four. And when volunteers decide they need a break, others step into the breach, so that we get new ideas and improved systems as the volunteer base changes.
We have a high level of digital literacy amongst our members (only a handful don’t use email). Classes on the use of computers, tablets, and particular applications are popular. Members can renew their membership and enrol for classes on-line, although paper-based options are still available for those less comfortable with technology.

Renate Mattiske
President U3A CPP