Crow takes over U3A Surf Coast presidency

June 18, 2020 BY

THE University of the Third Age (U3A) Surf Coast announced Susanne Crowe as the organisation’s new president at last week’s annual general meeting.

Ms Crowe has been part of U3A Surf Coast for about three years and said she was eager to begin her new role.

“I’m looking forward to begin working with an amazing group of people. It’s an amazing way to become a part of the community, and that’s definitely what’s happened to me.”

Ms Crowe’s current challenges as a president revolve around U3A Surf Coast adapting to coronavirus restrictions.

However, she said in the long-term she would look to the community to help U3A deliver the best and most cost-effective programs possible.

“We’re looking to communicate with other groups in the area. We’re always looking for venues because venue hire is our main cost.

“We’re totally a volunteer organisation. We apply for the off grant, but otherwise we depend on our membership fees and the community we live in.”

John Bartlett stood down as president of U3A Surf Coast after two years in the role.

He said it had been a rewarding experience.

“I’ve enjoyed it very much. There were so many people prepared to support me, so I never felt like it was a one man show at all.

“I learnt a lot and it’s been a great experience. But I think it’s important to have new blood coming in all the time.”

Mr Bartlett will remain on the committee as vice president.

Ms Crowe said she was happy to have his support.

“It’s big shoes to fill. I’m very glad that he is still going to be vice president. I’ve got a wonderful committee.”

U3A Surf Coast is currently working hard to give their tutors the technological skills to run their third term classes by distance.

Ms Crowe said this was an important transition to make but one that could have long term benefits for the organisation.

“Into the future, we’re hoping we might be able to offer hybrid courses, where people in nursing homes or who are in more distant areas might be able to link up on Zoom.

U3A Surf Coast’s third term program will likely be on their website by mid-July, with the term beginning on July 27.

Ms Crowe said she was confident about how this would run despite the circumstances.

“We’ve had new members since the shutdown, which is astounding.”

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