From our President, 15 June 2020
What is the “new normal” for U3A?
U3A Stonnington continues, but not as before. We will continue our focus on social interaction, lifelong learning and active ageing but are looking at new ways to achieve these aims safely. How appropriate for times when physical isolation is likely to continue for quite some time for our age group!
Current advice from the Department of Health and Human Services
Physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette – we are all familiar with these! Given our age demographic and despite some recent relaxations of isolation requirements, we are also advised to continue to isolate, that is, stay at home because of our vulnerability to Covid-19.
How to keep in touch at a distance? Zoom sessions!
Zoom is a way to see familiar faces of U3A friends, and to talk to each other – from the comfort of our own homes. Our semester 2 program is developing and includes:
Social occasions: time for a chat, as a part of our program, plus the opportunity for Zoom help
Presentations: include speakers and topics from semester 1, plus new topics, and new speakers.
Small groups: leaders of some of our groups have been using Zoom or some alternative means to continue the group activities very successfully. We are hoping that more of this will be possible in semester 2.
How can I keep in touch? Email and Zoom (video conferencing)
Some members have been reluctant to use email or applications such as Zoom. Times have changed for us – perhaps you have had some introduction to these ways of keeping in touch, inspired by our imposed Covid isolation. Please let us know your email address if we do not already have it and perhaps consider giving Zoom a go – it is easy and enjoyable to use, we are happy to provide support.
Phone calls to friends, a walk together or other activities – taking care.
As you are probably aware, an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a Government-required formality for our organisation.
Ours will be held on Tuesday 14 July, 2pm. We cannot postpone it any longer. We will email or post the papers to everyone shortly.
Covid-19 regulations permit us to have a maximum of 18 people in Room 1, and so the meeting must be held by Zoom. We will send all members a Zoom Invitation – do please attend if you can. Zoom participation plus proxy votes count as attendances. If you know you cannot attend, please follow the instructions we will provide for you to send a proxy vote – this will be as straightforward as possible.
We need a quorum for decisions to be valid. A long drawn out process is required to validate any decisions taken at the AGM if we do not have a quorum. Please participate or provide a proxy per person!!
Annual membership fees for U3A Stonnington in 2021 will be discussed at the AGM. The Committee have agreed that the fees will be adjusted to compensate for us not being able to meet in person for most of semester 1 – a situation that is likely to continue in semester 2.
During the recent transition of U3A Stonnington to the NBN, our phone line and voicemail were unavailable for some time. Fortunately, this has been resolved and we are now connected to the NBN so if you phone and your call is not answered, you can leave a message.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions!
Very best wishes, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Brown, President