By Oliver Lees
Jill Dyson is the president of the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Sunbury and a proud senior member of the Sunbury community.
What is your connection to Sunbury/the Macedon Ranges?
My partner and I moved to Sunbury in 2001 as it offered a chance to be closer to nature yet with good public transport access to the city, as we both were working in the Melbourne CBD. We love the trees and walking reserves around the Sunbury streets and the sense of a community-minded small town feel.
On my retirement from the Victorian Public Service in 2010 I completed an aged care course in Sunbury and started working at the local community health centre and the Sunbury Lions Community Aged Care. Through this I heard more about the Sunbury Police Community Register – which provides services to isolated members of the local community – and subsequently became the secretary of that wonderful group of volunteers. I joined Sunbury U3A in 2015 and was immediately drawn to this friendly club for seniors by the diverse social and learning activities that it offers before becoming the president in 2019.
Can you tell me a bit about U3A?
U3A’s exist worldwide, offering retired or semi-retired people a chance to share in and enjoy a wide variety of learning, social and wellbeing activities. U3A’s are run by volunteers and members pay a moderate fee to join their local club.
Sunbury U3A has over 200 members who meet throughout the week at various local venues around town. We receive generous support from these venues and have also received a Hume Council Community Grant to cover some of our operating costs.
Members participate in a wide range of social activities, including outings and exercise groups. Sunbury U3A has over 30 classes on offer at present, ranging from film appreciation, learning bridge, language, history and classes in the arts. Classes are usually free, but small extra charges for materials sometimes apply.
What motivates you to volunteer for the organisation?
I love meeting people and helping to keep older members of our local community active and connected. As a retired senior myself I also want to keep my mind active and have fun with like-minded people!
How can people get involved?
We welcome applications for membership and volunteers wishing to help in the day-to-day administration of the club. More information can be found on our website: u3asunbury.org.au/ or feel free to contact us on 0421 604 322 or via our email firstname.lastname@example.org