Welcome to the University of the Third Age (U3A) on the beautiful Atherton Tablelands!

So what is the Third Age?

Life can be divided up into roughly four stages, the first three of approximately 20 – 25 years each. The First Age is a time of growth and development under the guidance of our family and community. Education is mostly formalised as we learn and practice the life skills required in adulthood. The Second Age is the age of achievement, when we strive to establish careers, family and community. We earn our place in society and achieve status and security. Next is the Third Age, the age of fulfilment. We can look back and reflect on what is really important to us and what we may have neglected in those busy years. This age provides the opportunities to reach our full potential by completing any missing bits in our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits. The last stage of earthly life, the Fourth Age, is the age of completion. It allows us to revel in the fullness of our lives, hopefully with no regrets, and prepare ourselves for whatever we believe comes next.

Is it really a University?

Well it is, if you think of a university in the medieval sense as “a community of teachers and learners, a place where information is exchanged”. We do, as it turns out, have links with James Cook University and our members are welcome to attend some of its courses. However, the good news is there are no entry requirements for U3A, no exams, no degrees or awards granted, and very low fees or none at all! Each U3A is run and contributed to entirely by volunteers.

The U3A Atherton Tablelands branch (U3AAT)

Browse around our website and learn about us. Our newsletters provide entertaining and informative reading about our activities. Any press releases, hot news items, last minute course changes and the like are announced here smiley. U3AAT offers courses ranging from literature studies to health and wellbeing to learning more about the world around us and may involve weekly attendance for a full semester, one-off lectures, or even outings to places of interest. As an added benefit, members share reciprocal rights to attend courses run by other U3A’s in Queensland. Tablelanders may be interested in attending Cairns U3A courses, for example. There is also an online branch of U3A which offers over 30 courses that can be done at your own pace and in your own home. See the “other ways to learn” section in our newsletters for further details.

How to participate

Once you have joined, you can request to register for any course or lecture through our online form, and of course, don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. Contact details for the current management committee can also be found here.

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