2018 Victorian senior age-friendly award

U3A Network Victoria is very excited to share the news of our success in the 2018 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards.

Firstly, an individual award was presented to Margret (Marnie) Sloane, from Seymour and District U3A in the Healthy and Active Living Award category.  She was nominated by her peers for her volunteering work for the Cancer Council of Victoria and as a deliverer of Meals on Wheels for many years.

Secondly, the U3A Network Victoria. President, Susan Webster, accepted the Age-Friendly Award on behalf of the U3A Movement in Victoria at a Government House ceremony hosted by the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.  It was a wonderful experience to be part of the proceedings in the Great Hall of Government House and to hear of all the volunteering achievements of senior Victorians. Seniors, aged well into their 80s, received awards for their inspiring volunteer work, tirelessly performed over many years.

U3A Network Victoria and the U3A Movement received the award in recognition of their commitment to the engagement of older people at all levels of the organisation and for the well-established presence of the U3A movement in Victoria.  The application that was submitted highlighted the establishment of the movement in Victoria in 1984 as a volunteer-based education and social movement for seniors and how the work of the movement and of U3A Network Victoria, the peak representative body for all U3As in Victoria, embodies the principles of an age-friendly organisation and builds communities that are inclusive of older people.

The concept of age-friendliness is being developed within organisations and cities and is a recognition that we all have a contribution to make to our communities irrespective of our age and that the community is made stronger through positive interaction.  In her address to the audience, the Governor, herself a senior, talked about the outstanding contribution that seniors made to the community and how today’s seniors are redefining what it is to be an older person.  U3A members are a great example.  They are actively engaged in their own wellbeing through education, involvement and action in community issues such as climate change and the environment and being physically active.  

Meirav Dulberg