IN what is believed to be an Australian first, the magnificent new 5-Star Country Club at Seachange Village Arundel now hosts the Moncrieff campus for the University of the Third Age (U3A).
The arrangement, which sees a range of `learning for pleasure’ courses offered at the over-50s luxury residential resort, has been hailed as a win-win situation for both Seachange residents and U3A members.
According to Seachange community manager Carmen Auer, who brokered the partnership, courses on offer include art, mah-jong, Mexican studies, origami, armchair travel, appreciation of musicals, a discussion group, book club and a weekly jazz jam.
Two of the courses are being taught by Seachange residents.
Planning is underway for water aerobics and yoga to start later in the year.
U3A was founded in France in 1972 and the concept of a self-help community organisation working to improve the quality of life for people in their `third age’, quickly spread around the world.
It arrived in Australia in 1984 and took off on the Gold Coast not long after, thriving as today’s over-50s become more determined to stay active and involved.
Dedicated volunteer tutors giving freely of their time and knowledge have been the mainstay of the movement’s success.
The Seachange Village campus has been set up as part of Moncrieff U3A, which services the northern end of the Gold Coast. It has around 360 members and offers more than 31 different courses from headquarters in Billington Street, Labrador.
Moncrieff U3A president Sue Spicer said the new link with Seachange Village was both groundbreaking and exciting.
“The 5-Star Country Club is the most wonderful building, with incredible facilities that have been designed specifically for a wide range of leisure, craft and learning activities.
“The relationship that has been set up with Seachange really is of great mutual benefit.”
Seachange development manager Philip Goodman said the U3A partnership was a great opportunity for Seachange residents to undertake courses in their own country club.
“The Seachange philosophy has always been for the village not to sit in isolation, but to be part of the wider community,” he said.
“It is great this new link with U3A will enable its members to appreciate the facilities we have created here and to observe the wonderful lifestyle our residents enjoy.”