It is a great pleasure to rise today to speak about the University of the Third Age, Canberra, a fantastic organisation that provides lifelong learning opportunities for its members, who are in their third age. U3A Canberra has more than 4,000 members and offers more than 200 long and short courses across a broad range of topics.
My mother is involved in a U3A group in Melbourne—it is called Current Affairs—and I have been along to speak to her and her group at Box Hill. I have been a long-time fan of U3A. Since I have been the member for Canberra, I have been fortunate to meet with and speak to a number of U3A groups. Recently, I met with the U3A Current Affairs group in Weston, where we spoke about a number of foreign policy and strategic issues.
There was a strong sense of community and friendship. It really reiterated to me just how important U3A is in stimulating people and joining people together in community. Not only do U3A members have the chance to continue to learn; they also have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. U3A gives Canberrans and other older Australians a strong sense of belonging to community.
That is important for all of us, no matter what our age, particularly as we age and become more isolated. I would like to thank U3A Canberra for all it does in the community. I look forward to being involved in the years ahead. I would also like to send a hello out to U3A Farrer and U3A Hughes.