Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

A Short History of U3A Mornington 1991 - 2016


Some six years after the first U3As opened in Melbourne, a move began to establish an independent U3A in Mornington. Frankston and Southern Peninsula already had U3As up and running and in November of that year Bobbie Moorfield chaired a meeting of 25 people in the Mornington Gardens (now Mornington Park) where it was decided to offer ten classes from the beginning of the following year.


A Steering Committee was formed, with Bobbie Moorfield as Acting President. By the time classes began, U3A Mornington had forty-two financial members. Bobbie Moorfield’s backyard studio acted as both office and classroom. Classes were predominantly held in people’s homes but also in other venues such as the Art Gallery, Mornington Yacht Club and Currawong Community Centre (CCC). 


An active membership drive doubled the membership. This increase resulted in accommodation pressures and the Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS) offered the current two-storey office/reception space at the CCC for U3AM’s exclusive use.


Computer classes were offered for the first time, using donated equipment.


The new U3A Mornington Theatre Group presented its inaugural productions; a Cabaret in August and a Christmas Pantomime in

December. This group continued to be active for several years.

The Committee of Management decided to publish a quarterly newsletter, tentatively called The Tanti Tattler and renamed in 2003 to its current Four Seasons.


Tragedy struck on 21 February when the CCC Hall was burnt to the ground. After consideration of a range of alternatives MPS decided to rebuild the Hall. Despite many frustrating delays the new Hall was finally completed and officially opened in October 2006.


The U3AM Choir began meeting and gave its first public performance at an end of year recital at St Mark’s Uniting Church Hall in Mornington. In 2016, the choir still operates under the baton of founding director Warwick Taylor and is a great source of pride to U3AM.


Accommodation pressures again surfaced and the Committee of Management began to plan for the purchase and installation of a portable classroom on the CCC site. This became protracted and frustrating process.

The portable finally arrived, however, it took another year to complete the modifications required to permit occupancy.


Rent payable to MPS increased substantially and necessitated a significant membership fee increase. The high rent issues continued until 2015, when a rental agreement was

negotiated between U3AM and MPS. 


U3AM established a website and email address and the thriving Computer Department was providing IT for both class and office


MPS announced plans to refurbish the Stables, mindful of the heritage overlay. The refurbishment was completed by the middle of 2012.


In September U3A Mornington celebrated its 21st Birthday with a full-day of exhibitions, demonstrations and many fun activities at the Peninsula Community Theatre in Mornington.


U3AM developed an on-line enrolment system with a private provider. This system was successfully implemented at U3AM and became the system recommended by U3A Network Victoria and was adopted by a number of other U3As in Victoria and interstate.


U3AM together with the U3As of Hastings and Southern Peninsula were jointly awarded The Order of Australia for services to the community of the Peninsula.

An intergenerational program between U3AM members and students at local schools and tertiary institutions grew.


A Celebration of Tai Chi was held at the Peninsula Community Theatre. U3AM was now the biggest provider of tai chi on the peninsula.

U3AM together with U3A Frankston and other Peninsula U3As, sponsored a series of dialogues on healthy ageing with Monash University.

In the summer of 2015-16 a summer program was offered for the first time and members embraced the opportunity to be involved in a range of events over this time.



Celebrations of twenty-five years of friendship and learning at U3AM with a number of events and publication of a 60 page full colour history entitled Shelbourne to Currawong: 25 years of learning at U3A Mornington 1991-2016. Copies of this publication can be ordered at the U3AM Office at a cost of $30.00. A 4 page pamphlet with some highlights from the history can be downloaded.


Throughout the years, U3A Mornington has combined the development of a learning community with a strong social focus for the growing numbers of retired and

semi-retired people in the Mornington area and the Peninsula in general.