About Us

What is U3A?

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a worldwide self-help organisation promoting learning for personal enjoyment and satisfaction.

U3A is a worldwide movement that started in Toulouse, France in 1973. The idea spread rapidly in France and then to other European countries and to Britain in 1981. The first U3A in Australia was established in Melbourne in 1984. Mackay is one of many similar U3A organisations in Australia and was formed in 1991. Currently, there are over 500 Members. It offers mature age people the opportunity to follow new interests and to share with one another the knowledge and skills they have acquired.

What is the Third Age?

It is that time of life when the duties of full-time work and of raising a family are over, which for most of us usually comes at about 50’s and 60’s, leaving time and energies for us again to follow our own interests and needs. We find we’d like to resume activities for which we had not had time. Or there is something we have always fancied trying, perhaps an academic study, an artistic pursuit, a physical exercise or a game.

University is a loose term. There are no academic requirements for membership and no exams or certificates. U3A Mackay is a voluntary association.


Our courses are governed by the interests of Members and the expertise and availability of tutors. If Members ask for any particular subject or activity, then we try to find a volunteer tutor and a free place to meet – and away we go!!!