In July 1984, a public meeting was arranged in Melbourne to gauge public interest in U3A. As a result the first U3A was established in Melbourne City, followed by another in Hawthorn and the first courses were offered at the beginning of 1985.

During that year two other U3As, one at Monash and one at Ringwood, were inaugurated. There are now over 60 U3As in Victoria with some 16,000 members and more than 100 Australia-wide with a total national membership exceeding 40,000.

Whilst there are common objectives shared by all U3As, there are also broad differences of interest patterns, structure and organization, determined by the particular needs of each U3A and the resources available locally to meet those needs.