Life Member: Jill Thompson

Awarded 2016

Jill Thompson has made an outstanding and distinguished contribution to the U3A movement generally in Australia and more specifically to U3A Melbourne City. An instigator of U3A in 1984, on her retirement in 2006 Jill brought her passion and skill to many volunteer roles in U3AMC, a continuing contribution to this day. These can be summarised in the following areas:

Committee of Management

Jill served on the Committee for 8 years from her election in 2008. Becoming Vice-President in 2009, Jill was subsequently President for two periods 2010-2012 and 2014-2015. During this time, a number of significant events took place for which Jill provided leadership and energy, steering the organization to desired outcomes and improving our standing within the community. These particularly included:

· Three Strategic plans/reviews (2008, 2010, 2013) that shaped future directions and priorities

· The development of organisational policies (Code of Conduct Policy; Privacy & Harassment; Student Feedback; Foreign Languages) and Position Descriptions for key roles

· The creation of the Patrons Program to enhance U3AMC’s financial security

· Development of our Seniors Week presence- sample courses 2008 & lecture series 2010; photos display, logo and banner in 2009

· Undertook Baby Boomers Focus Groups (2012) to inform future directions

· U3AMC’s 20th Anniversary (2010) and 30th Anniversary (2015) major events

· Three Photography exhibitions (2014-2016)

· Liaison & consultations: with City of Melbourne especially and other community groups (eg CALD community); a frequent speaker at various groups/festivals and relationships with students for overseas (Asian) universities

· U3A Network involvement- our representative and on Network’s Policy sub-committee for some time

· Attended U3A conferences – National Conference 2009; Qld 2010; International Conference 2013

Coordination Roles

Jill jointly held the role of Course Coordinator between 2007-2009, during which time she convened the Tutors Working Group and developed the course program.

In 2010 she was also the Forums Program Coordinator, and provided ongoing support to her successor.


A passionate photographer, Jill has each year from 2013 co-tutored short courses in Digital Photography at Introductory and Advanced levels. Well organised class presentations, field trips, and class sharing have developed many students skills and proved a rich source for U3AMC Photography Exhibitions.

Tour Leader

In addition to these roles Jill designed and led two tours to Turkey for U3A members, which generated commissions for U3A Melbourne City.Based on her sustained and conspicuous level of contribution, Jill was strongly commended for and awarded Life Membership of U3A Melbourne City in 2016.