Short history of U3A Baw Baw

Over our twenty years U3A Baw Baw has been in many ‘homes’.

On 19 March, 1999, Elizabeth Fraser, a community health care worker with the West Gippsland Healthcare convened a meeting which was held in the Health and Community Care Services building (old shire office) in Young Street, Drouin to gauge the need for a U3A in the area. This venue was where our first meeting were held.

At first members met and ran courses in Vision Australia, which was then known as Pindari.

Some of the places in Warragul that we have used for our courses and meeting have been St Paul’s Grammar school for our first three years, the C.W.A. building, the library and Wesley of Warragul. In 2003 we lost all our records there in a fire. We’ve even made use of the Warragul Band practice room for a course.

In Drouin, we have met in the Anglican Church hall, the C.W.A. hall and the library. The former Baw Baw Shire Offices have also been available for our use.

In 2004 and 2006 courses were held in the Baw Baw Technical Centre in Trafalgar. Another building in Trafalgar used was their Customer Service Centre.

One of our most regular meeting places has been the Courthouse in Warragul where the Fine Film Group started in 2001. They meet there, on the last Friday of the month, to discuss the films whilst enjoying a meal.

For some years, Scrabble was played at Fairview Aged Retirement Centre so that some of the residents could join in the game.

In 2005 we started computer classes at the Nilma Primary school using the school’s computers. We were there untl 2008.

Over the years, some smaller classes have been held in members’ homes. One of our ‘strangest’ homes was the E.C.G. Building in Smith Street, Warragul. Some of the rooms were rather small and dark more suited for tutorial classes. We were there from 2011 to 2014.

In 2014 a group of seniors in Drouin’s Lyrebird Village were taught how to master the mysteries of the Internet, Skype and other social media.

Having our courses and meeting in all these various premises made it hard for the person organising the term brochure.

Finally, we moved into our current home in March, 2014. We share this building with Drouin R.S.L. and various other community groups.

Our inaugural Annual General MeeJng was held on 10 August, 1999. So in 2019, twenty years later, we celebrated on 9 August. Now in 2020 we have had to develop a new ‘home’, i.e. online courses via Zoom.