Many of you have worked through what has been a challenging year for us all, and particularly for community organisations run by volunteers. Perhaps your U3A has experienced a drop in membership that has led to financial challenges that were not anticipated, planned for or easily overcome. At Network, we congratulate you on coping with the shutdowns and the challenges brought on by the pandemic and being able to keep your local U3A operating through tough times.
As the year draws to a close, I reflect on the highlights and the moments that have, for me, defined the U3A Network Queensland’s year:
- My election to the role as Network President.
- A successful Network Conference hosted by U3A Pine Rivers.
- The launch of the new Network website.
- The restructuring of the incoming Network committee.
- The establishment of the Network Liaison program.
- The mentoring of U3A Rockhampton & Districts as they plan for our 2023 State Conference and the celebration of 50 years of U3A worldwide.
Of course, the highlight of 2023 will be the Network State Conference in Rockhampton in May 2023 that will include the celebration of 50 years of U3A worldwide. I hope you and members of your U3A can join us for this historic event and celebration. For more information about the Conference and celebrations please go to our website here.
For all management committee members, the Network Liaison program has been particularly satisfying, with all our member U3As welcoming the committee members assigned to liaison duties across the State. During my visits to Warwick, Granite Belt, Ipswich & West Moreton, Rockhampton & District, Capricorn Coast and Gladstone U3As I have been so appreciative of the welcome and hospitality afforded to me on those visits, also the genuine appreciation that Network has come to find out what they have to say.
The pleasure to chair Presidents’ Council meetings in Townsville and Beaudesert has also been a joy along with the opportunity to open the U3A Ipswich & West Moreton Art Exhibition.
You and your U3A members will have other highlights and defining moments that demonstrate the significance of belonging to the Network, including the value of sharing information, consulting with our colleagues on common issues and having the option of tapping into the experience of others. These benefits are beyond measure and we aim to build on those important benefits during 2023.
As is always the case, the optimism, enthusiasm and positiveness of all U3As will be the key to ensuring that 2023 will be a year of growth and development.
To each and every volunteer, regardless of where you are in this beautiful state, I say a heartfelt “Thank You.” Thank you for your dedication, loyalty and commitment. Our organisation would not exist without you, and the future success of U3A depends on you and your continued support.
To you and your loved ones I wish you all a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year. Together, let’s make 2023 a year to celebrate.