Enriching the Lives of Queensland Seniors
President's Communique - April 2022

Dear {name}

Without doubt, Vaccination Policy has caused considerable discussion at each U3A, and everyone on U3A committees should be congratulated for navigating their way through this confronting health issue.

Latest News on Vaccination Policy

Recognising that circumstances vary greatly across the state in terms of vaccination status and local requirements, it is up to each U3A committee to determine the needs of their U3A regarding vaccination policy and the requirements of that policy.

Right now, U3As have a choice to:

  • Strengthen their policy to include a definition of fully vaccinated to include booster shots;
  • Retain the current definition of fully vaccinated to mean two doses of an approved vaccine;
  • Decide to remove any requirements for proof of vaccination.

When making their decision about whether to strengthen, retain current policy or remove requirements for proof of vaccination, committees will need to consider:

  • Current levels of risk to the health of members and how best to manage the risk;
  • The role of vaccinations as one precaution in the protection of member’s health, the others being maintenance of sanitisation of hands and equipment and other aspects of their COVID Safe Plan.
  • The requirements of venues used for U3A activities, as Councils and other venue owners may require proof of vaccination specific to the venue.

Please feel free to contact a member of the Network Committee if you have any questions in this regard.

Determining the Level of Digital Literacy

The NBN has developed a tool, named OSCAR, for use by individuals to determine their level of digital literacy and then improve their skills. The beauty of this tool is that it offers strategies to improve in areas where there is a shortfall.

Even better, OSCAR has been adapted to specifically service U3A members. It does this through use of a check-in code, which is used at the outset by the individual testing their strengths and areas for improvement. The user can then enter the program at a level that matches their digital competency in areas such as the Internet, smartphones and the like.

A report on the collective level of digital literacy can be made available by the NBN.

The OSCAR tool will be made freely available to U3A members via a variety of mediums. At a recent meeting with COTA-Q, Linda Herden of NBN Co volunteered to hold a webinar at 10.00am on Wednesday, June 15 to deliver vital information about the OSCAR program, and make the webinar open to all members of U3As.

So, please save the date of this important webinar that will be important to your members who want to develop their online and digital skills.

Further, there may be potential for the Network to partner with the NBN to develop electronic resources which could be made available for U3As to enhance their programs.

U3A Network Art Competition

U3A members are encouraged to showcase their artistic talent and take the opportunity to win substantial prizes in the U3A Art Competition, which is open to all U3A members. The competition has prizes on offer for first and second place winners in either painting or drawing.

You don’t have to be a member of an Art class in order to enter.

Check out the competition conditions of entry and prizes on the Network website here.

U3A State Conference, 8 and 9 June

Registrations are open for the U3A State Conference which will be hosted this year by U3A Pine Rivers. The conference will be held at the North Lakes Hotel and Conference Centre at Mango Hills.

U3A Pine Rivers has developed a fantastic program so please check it out via the U3A Pine Rivers website or the Network website.

To register for the conference please go to the Conference Website here.

Good News About U3A Volunteer Insurance

We are pleased to announce that our insurers have now agreed to restore the age-related conditions to provide volunteer insurance cover to all U3A volunteers up to the age of 95 years.

There was an additional cost involved in securing cover for volunteers over the age of 80 years, and this has been borne by the Network for the coming year.

Insurers have become increasingly hard nosed about the cover they offer due to the number of claims resulting from natural disasters and litigation payouts over the past few years.

Please Share

I would be grateful if Presidents would share the contents of this Communique as widely as possible so that U3A members are aware of happenings at the Network.

Best regards

Gail Bonser
Gail Bonser
President, U3A Network Queensland
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