U3A Healesville

University of the Third Age

Victoria, the Roadmap

Dear All,

By now you will have seen the Premier’s road map out of this awful lockdown we are experiencing. While it may not have met all of our expectations, it at least provides us with a timeline and that is good news. We have been asked to stay the course, to be patient and to comply with the Chief Medical Officer’s orders.

Sadly, the Roadmap means that we will not be returning to normal classes and activities until 5 November when it is expected that 80% of 16+ Victorians will be fully vaccinated. When we reach that mile stone we should be able to resume face to face classes and activities in most of our venues. It is possible that our exercise classes may find it difficult but we will notify you closer to the date as to how we will proceed and the regulatory requirements, once we have greater certainty. Some minor easing of restrictions will occur on 26 October, when it is expected that 70% of 16+ Victorians will be fully vaccinated, but this will offer us little since community facilities can only operate outdoors with to up to 50 fully vaccinated people.

For the safety of us all, we are required to abide by all regulations regarding social distancing, wearing of masks, which projections suggest will not be required outdoors once the 80% target is reached, and above all ensuring that everyone is fully vaccinated. Your Committee is currently seeking advice from the Yarra Ranges Council and Network Victoria about how best to implement these regulations taking account of the medical issues and genuine concerns that some may have about vaccination, while maintaining the safety of all. It may well prove to be the case that we can only accept those members in face to face classes who have been double vaccinated, possibly excepting those who have underlying medical conditions. We wait to be advised. We realise that for some of you this may be asking too much, but our concerns are for the safety of all our members, and we are obliged to abide by the rules. For that I apologise. Your committee has unanimously agreed that we must follow all instructions by the Medical Officer and the Shire which are designed for the safety of us all.

One casualty is that our planned musical performance outside the Library for Seniors Month has been cancelled. On a brighter note, we are pursuing some other ideas to keep us connected and get you involved. This means that, amongst other things, ‘Friday at 5’ will return – perhaps one in November and one in December. We are also exploring ways of making the outdoor grounds of the Courthouse more amenable to outdoor classes and gatherings. Finally, a reminder that the AGM is on Monday 4 October at 11am – a zoom meeting – and that Registration Day has been set for 2 December.

As we move towards reopening and the opportunities of being together, may I remind you of what I said in my previous email – that we are very fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful parts of Victoria and that as we continue our daily walks we have each other to meet along the way.

This letter will be available on the website if you wish to read it there.In the meantime,

Take care, stay well and stay safe.

John Pascoe (President)