U3A Castlemaine was formed in June 1988. In 2017 there were more than 500 members. A survey conducted in 2015 provides a comprehensive look at our membership. Click here if you would like to see the Survey.

What is the University of the Third Age?
Meetings and Courses
Who runs U3A Castlemaine?
Who teaches the courses?

What is the University of the Third Age?

Third Age refers to active retirement, following after youth and work/homemaking. In Australia, U3A doesn’t have formal connections to universities, though arrangements exist for U3A Castlemaine members to attend some LaTrobe University lectures.

U3A facilitates members sharing their expertise and passions with other U3A members in non-threatening, informal situations. U3A Castlemaine offers courses in subjects ranging from History, Art and Design and Lifestyle to Travel and Science, Maths and Technology.

U3A (University of the Third Age) began in France in 1973 following legislation requiring universities to provide more community education. Since then, U3A has spread around the world, arriving in Australia in 1984. U3A Castlemaine was founded in 1988.


Membership of U3A Castlemaine is open to anyone who is retired or semi-retired. You don’t need to have any expertise to share — simply be open to learning new things that interest you. See the New Members page for more details.

Meetings and Courses

U3A Castlemaine has a regular meeting and coffee morning on the first Friday of each month. This is where the formal business of the organisation is conducted, but these meetings also offer an opportunity to meet other members from across the various activities and courses. A guest speaker is usually on the agenda. See the Noticeboard for the date and location of the next meeting. Visitors are welcome.

Courses are conducted throughout the year and are open to all members. There are no prerequisite qualifications needed, no exams held and no qualifications or certificates awarded. Classes may be held weekly, fortnightly or monthly, run for the whole year, or just be a short course. Members can enrol for as many courses as interest them, but should keep in mind their time commitments and limited places available for some courses. All details can be found on the Courses page.


Under the U3A Castlemaine Constitution, an annual subscription is levied on all members and approved by members at the AGM. Annual subscription is the main source of income and is used to cover, among other things, administration, course costs and room hire. Membership for 2018 is $60.

Associate membership ($30) is available for members of other U3As.

Generally there are no charges to attend courses, however some courses require a small fee to cover materials. In such cases, costs are detailed in the course information.

Who runs U3A Castlemaine

U3A Castlemaine is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation run by a Committee of Management which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. See the Governance section under Documents page for more details of the AGM and the Constitution. The Committee has recently introduced working groups, comprised of Committee members and ordinary members focusing on specific administrative areas, which report to the Committee on a regular basis. There are no paid staff.

Who teaches the courses

The purpose of U3A is to utilise the skills and abilities of its own members. Course Leaders are members with interests or knowledge from their previous work experience, hobbies or recreation, who volunteer to run a course.

Some members lead groups because they enjoy the challenge of learning and sharing with others. Yet others act as convenors using the knowledge and skills available from members within the group.

Member Satisfaction Survey

In 2018 a survey was conducted to help keep us abreast of what members want from U3A Castlemaine.  Click here if you would like to see how members responded.

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