U3A Gold Coast Inc.

Enjoy and enrich your active retirement!

U3A Southport welcomes all senior gold coast residents to join our organisation, meet new friends and enjoy their active retirement across a breadth of activities - languages, arts and crafts, exercise, technology, discussion groups, lectures and social activities, just to name a few. By pursuing your passions and finding new interests, you can improve your mental and physical health and quality of life. You can keep your brain stimulated, improve your fitness and increase social activity! We offer over 60 activities for you to enjoy. U3A requires no prior learning and there are no tests, exams or formal recognition. It is learning for the sheer joy of learning! Members are encouraged to participate by learning whatever takes their interest or by teaching a subject of their choice.

As a not-for-profit organisation, all our course leaders are volunteers, bringing a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to a breadth of activities.

As the first U3A on the Gold Coast, the Southport U3A has been around for over 30 years, has a membership of around 500 and is still growing. The Australia Fair Shopping Centre, located in Southport's CBD, is home to our office and a well-equipped study room. We also hold classes at our two-storey hall in Margaret Street, Southport and the Southport Community Centre in Lawson Street.  

The U3A's Origins

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community - those in their third 'age' of life. The 'third age' is defined by a time in your life (not necessarily chronological) where you have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake.

University of the 3rd Age (U3A) started in France at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Toulouse in 1973. It was started by Prof. Pierre Vellas. In France the Third Age University is mostly associated with a local university.

By the early 1980s, the scheme reached the United Kingdom where its nature was radically changed to be more a self-help organisation. This model is also used in Australia, Cyprus, Dominica, New Zealand and South Africa where it was recognised that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal educational links.

Many English-speaking countries have followed this model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model. For historical reasons, lifelong learning institute is the term used in the United States for organisations and similar groups. There is no universally accepted model for the U3A.

The first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne in 1984 with many other U3As rapidly opening across the country. There are now about 300 U3As in Australia, with about 100,000 members. The Australian model has U3As established as autonomous groups, with their own administration and curriculum according to the needs and interests of each group.

In Queensland, U3A is the largest provider of adult education programs for retirees. All programs are provided by volunteers. There are now 35 U3A groups in Queensland.

Rules & By-Laws - Click Download button below to view.


Amendments to the above Act in December 2001 do not allow U3A Gold Coast Inc. to publish an address or phone number if a member notifies us to the contrary. If you do not want your street address published on our membership list, please provide a Post Office Box number as an alternative. STREET ADDRESS IS COMPULSORY BY LAW FOR ADMINISTRATION FILES. The information provided is for Registration records, which we are obliged to keep as a non-profit organisation.