Third age teacher takes top award

A LONG-serving tutor at the University of the Third Age’s, or U3A’s, Ballarat branch has had a busy month of accolades.

Having already been honored with a life membership, Steve Walsh was one of five volunteers throughout the state to receive the U3A Network Victoria’s Tutors’ Excellence Award.

A jewelery and silversmithing tutor, Mr Walsh was presented with the award last week and said he was “very embarrassed” to win it.

“I really get more out of volunteering than I think what the students do. I love teaching. I love to pass stuff on and just those challenges that come with that,” he said.

“Just being able to pass my skills on to someone and have the social side of this is the real highlight of this.

“Some of these people here that I teach are absolutely brilliant at what they do. If they’d have started 10 years ago, who knows where they’d be now.”

U3A is a global movement of collaborative learning groups with classes led by volunteer tutors and coordinators providing creative, technical and educational skills.

Mr Walsh started tutoring at U3A Ballarat the year after he’d retired from his more-than-30-year career teaching metalworking at Ballarat Grammar in 2011.

He’d initially signed on to learn Italian for an overseas trip, and was soon passing on skills of his own as a tutor.

President of U3A Ballarat, Nina Netherway, said Mr Walsh more than deserving of the award.

“We’re pretty proud and pleased for Steve. This isn’t just about what he does in his jewelery class. He makes things for his students. He has patience. He’s devoted to his class,” she said.

“He also does stuff outside the class. When repairs and things like bookshelves need to be made, Steve’s there helping. He’s always there to support us.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.