Despite Covid disruptions, Dandenong U3A has survived by adaption to technology.
At its annual general meeting – held online on Zoom – outgoing president Vivienne Fernandes told of seven new courses being introduced despite the challenges.
They were hiking, book club, ukulele, digital literacy, French song and culture, French for beginners and Chinese through singing.
Six existing courses moved to Zoom due to the Covid lockdown on community facilities.
Tutors and members kept social contact on WhatsApp, email, phone and video streaming.
Ms Fernandes told the meeting’s 44 members on 5 October that the U3A faced some financial difficulties due to its venue’s expensive lease during shutdown.
The group dedicated “considerable time and effort” to find alternate, affordable accommodation to help “balance our budget”.
Looking ahead, the U3A will work at “growth, partnership, and improvement” to extend its courses and activities and to ensure that its members were “well connected via digital literacy”.
The guest speaker was outgoing councillor Matthew Kirwan who spoke about the U3A’s role in providing learning, reducing social isolation and building a cohesive community.
Heather Seymour was installed as President-elect for 2020-’21.
Clive Gould was announced as the Kevin McIntyre Award 2019-’20 recipient for his “hard work and dedication to Dandenong U3A”.