This will be my last communication to you before 2022 (I promise!)
I wanted to update you on what has been happening.
The timetable is now on the U3A Geelong website. There continue to be minor changes to arrangements so keep checking. New classes will be added.
I am pleased to inform you that History: Meet Renaissance Italians with Dirleen Bufton is a late but most welcome addition.
I am also pleased to inform you that the U3A Choir will be starting up again next year under the direction of Jeanette John.
If you did not return to U3A Geelong this year due to COVID-19 concerns please take heart from the fact that our return next year will be fully compliant with all government regulations. I have spent time this week with a representative from the Council and there has been work done on improving ventilation, we will employ a strict COVID-19 policy with controls on class sizes and social distancing. We hope you will join us.
*_NEEDED:_* Our choir desperately needs to service of an accompanist. If you know of anyone who could spare an hour and a half once a week to help us please email the Office.
*Thank you* To those of you who have emailed your Proof of Double Vaccination as well as those who came in to Cobbin Farm this week. Goodness, it was great to speak with such happy and excited people! If you haven’t presented your Proof of Double Vaccination and you wish to return to face to face classes next year you will need to do so on enrolment day, the 19th of January. A reminder that this will slow down the enrolment process considerably.
We are currently in the process of compiling information regarding classes that can be accessed on Zoom. These will be available to all U3A Geelong members. This will include a range of offerings from U3A Victoria Network. For those of you interested in Italian I am hoping that class will be available on Zoom next year as well.
*Spread the word!* I have had reports that not everyone is receiving newsletters and/or bulletins. At present we have no explanation for this but I am working to remedy the situation. If you are in touch with any U3A Geelong members can you mention this and check if they are receiving our communications. It is very important that you all know what is going on, especially with enrolment day.
*Contact * If you need to contact us please understand that the Office is closed so do not ring as no-one will be able to accept your messages. This has been the case for some time now. Your best option is to email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Warmest Christmas wishes to you all.
This contains important information in relation to U3A Geelong for the rest of this year and 2022. Please read it carefully.
- the 15th of October members of the Committee of Management attended a Zoom meeting with over 200 members around the state. The focus of the meeting was the vaccination mandate and this meeting was to help us clarify not only our legal responsibilities in relation to U3A administration but also to remind us that when making decisions we must act with care and diligence on behalf of our members.
This meeting was then followed by another Zoom meeting this time of the Geelong Committee of Management, in order for us to discuss and draw up a Vaccination policy. A sub-committee was formed and this will be worked on over the next two weeks. This policy must be in-line with the Government policy, Public Health Orders and the Local Government directions. Once ratified by the full Committee it will be published on our website for you to refer to. The policy will be progressively updated as regulations change.
Make no mistake, the day required us to make some challenging and confronting decisions.
As an adult education group we must adhere to the Victorian Government Vaccination Mandate. Today I am therefore required to inform ALL members, including tutors, general members and office volunteers, that only people who are double vaccinated can enrol in face to face classes – indoors and outdoors – for 2022. We know that the vaccination mandate will extend quite deeply into next year.
It is also important to note that I have received emails regarding our venues and they are of the same decision as us.
We appreciate that this decision will impact the small number of people who cannot have any of the available vaccines on offer, as well as those people who have exercised their right to not have the vaccination. We believe that our decision has been made on the basis that we need to protect all members, vaccinated or not, from the deadly and highly infectious, Delta strain. Any member, vaccinated or not, can enrol in the Zoom classes that are available within our U3A. We will have more information for you about Zoom classes that are available through U3A Network Victoria. These classes are presented by a lot of U3As around the state.
PROOF OF VACCINATION AND RECORDING
In order to accurately record proof of vaccination there will need to be changes made to the enrolment system. This has to be done through the Network and we have no timeline from them as yet. We will notify you of how all of this will be implemented when arrangements are finalised – there is much to be done.
Due to the fact that we are unable to process proof of vaccinations at this stage and the fact that we are still confined to the same density requirements the Committee of Management decided that we will close ALL indoor and outdoor face to face classes for the rest of this year. Zoom classes will continue until December. Tutors, if you want to use Zoom, we can provide links for you.
Details of enrolment procedures will be published after the next Committee meeting at the end of this month.
Members, this has been an incredibly hard year and we have done our best to provide you with opportunities to attend classes. We are not conceding defeat – we are working now towards making 2022 a great year.
President, on behalf of
The Committee of Management.