About U3A

U3A Whakatipu offers lectures on a broad range of topics and there are study groups on more specific topics. Lectures are held on Mondays between 10:00am and 12 noon three times a month in February to May and September to December. There are no lectures in the winter as many of our members migrate to warmer climates.

Regular emails are sent out to members with details of the following week’s lecture and other educational events of interest. Flyers are emailed at the beginning of each lecture series. In addition this website can be accessed for the same information.

Check out the Study Groups tab for information on these activities. Study groups are charged on a cost recovery basis as determined by the leader which may include room hire, photo copying etc.

There is an annual membership fee of $30.00 per person and a charge of $5.00 per lecture attended, payable on the day.  Newcomers and visitors are most welcome.

U3A Whakatipu is constituted as an Incorporated Society and is governed by a set of Rules.

The Annual General meeting is held late November / early December each year. The most recent chairpersons report can be accessed here.

Lectures are usually held at St Margaret’s church hall in Frankton, corner of Ross and McBride Streets. Occasionally lectures will be held at the Queenstown Events Centre in the Mezanine function room. See the map opposite for directions.

The detail of lectures and venue are listed in the latest flyer and in the programme tab.

The University of the Third Age (U3A) was founded in France in 1973 to provide continuing learning opportunities for retired people. By 1981 it was established in England and by 1989/90 branches were opening in New Zealand. U3A is a response to the idea that human life is divided into three periods. Firstly, childhood and schooling, secondly child rearing and work and thirdly retirement. The third age is seen as an important opportunity for listening, learning and understanding.Today there are U3A branches world wide, but there is no official ruling body, each group operating independently according to its situation and facilities available.
The aims of U3A are:
  • to share knowledge and advance the education of people of the Third Age;
  • to provide facilities for leisure time and recreational activities of people of the Third Age in the interest of their social welfare;
  • to encourage members to form interactive groups, both to share knowledge and to pursue active study in new fields.

For a more detailed consideration of U3A, how it works and the part it can play in the lives of older people, download the paper “The U3A Paradigm: Past, Present and (possible) Future” (pdf) by Professor Rick Swindell, Griffiths University.

Founding of U3A Whakatipu
U3A Whakatipu held its establishment meeting in September 2009 after Dr Catherine Robinson and Mary Stamers-Smith, assisted by Adelle Bond from Southern REAP recognised the need for a U3A to provide a learning environment for the over 55’s in the local community. Interest was strong and U3A Whakatipu was formed with a series of three lectures on the Antarctic getting underway at the end of that month.

U3A Initial meeting