Publication Details

Beckett, R. C. & Jones, M. (2011). Active Ageing: Using an ARCON framework to study U3A (University of the Third Age) in Australia. In L. Camarinha-Matos, A. Pereira-Klen & H. Afsarmanesh (Eds.), 12th IFIP Working Conference on VIRTUAL ENTERPRISES (pp. 189-196). Amsterdan: IFIP.


There are more than 200 U3A groups in Australia where senior citizens collaborate to provide recreational learning opportunities to more than 60,000 other senior citizens. The movement continues to grow through the efforts of thousands of volunteers with very limited government support. We chose to use a collaborative network organisation modelling framework, ARCON, to both guide questions we asked in our research and to represent data from different instances in a consistent way. This provided a coherent view of the status quo, but supplementary questions were needed to consider the future viability of U3A groups. Spinoff network activities associated with some U3A groups were noted, suggesting the U3A model might be adapted for a variety of purposes. In such cases, it is hoped that the structured view provided by the ARCON framework might inform their design.

Link to publisher version (URL)




Link to publisher version (DOI)