Introducing WEA Sydney

Welcome to WEA Sydney

Established in NSW in 1913, and originally working in partnership with the University of Sydney, the WEA was a movement founded to promote the higher education of working men and women.

The WEA has since grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious adult and community education organisations in Australia and every year attracts thousands of students from all walks of life.

WEA Sydney’s current educational program is very broad and ranges from humanities, languages and arts, to computer, business and vocational training. For those who can’t attend classes in our city-based college, a range of web-based training courses is offered, and in homes throughout NSW, scores of WEA Discussion Groups meet to study and discuss a fascinating range of topics.

WEA Sydney has a corpus of over 250 professional tutors and trainers who are dedicated to achieving quality educational outcomes. Our college is on Bathurst Street in the heart of Sydney and is just two minutes walk from Town Hall station and all the major bus routes. Click here to find where we are. Our classrooms are fully equipped and we have a state of the art computer training facility. We maintain a library with some 13,000 volumes and a range of journal and periodicals. The library is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday. The Library is closed on weekends. You can browse the collection by clicking here.

At its heart, WEA Sydney remains a non-profit community-based adult education organisation, and all those who support the ideals of an educated democracy are encouraged to get involved in the governance of the association.

Mission Statement

WEA Sydney is a voluntary, independent, not-for-profit adult education organisation. Our mission is to provide adults with stimulating and varied educational activities which develop their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Within our program we place special emphasis on providing opportunities for the serious and objective study of the arts, humanities and sciences.

We are committed to:

  • Maintaining excellence in all aspects of our work
  • Encouraging students to participate in their own education and in WEA’s democratic management structure
  • Facilitating access for all who seek to take part in our activities

We believe that WEA activities are of value both to individuals both in their personal life and in their role as citizens in a democratic society.

Educational Policy Statement

WEA Sydney is an Adult Education Organisation and a member of Community Colleges Australia.

  1. Our aim is to provide opportunities for adults to engage in the serious and objective study of the arts, humanities, sciences, business, training and IT.
  2. We offer alternative courses as long as we consider that they contribute to the overall well-being of WEA Sydney, (for example, courses which may contribute financially, or introduce students to our core program and courses).
  3. We believe that quality education involves competent and dedicated tutors, well-chosen material and open discussion. We consider the selection of tutors to be crucial to us achieving and maintaining our aims.
  4. We encourage systematic work and wide-ranging reading and maintain our own library as part of this policy.
  5. We are truly independent and impartial; we promote no particular point of view about politics, social or political movements, or religion.
  6. All relevant views are welcome in our activities. We cherish and promote freedom of thought, discussion and expression.
  7. All of our courses are open to the public. However, periodically we may offer activities to particular groups of people, or to target particular educational needs within the community.

WEA Sydney’s Computer & IT Training Facilities

  • WEA’s computer lab is equipped with computers running Windows 10 and ADSL 2+ broadband connection to the internet
  • There are 9 workstations in the lab and each student has exclusive use of a PC.
  • WEA Sydney’s teachers are all fully qualified, highly experienced and dedicated to developing each student’s skill set

The WEA Sydney Difference

Value, Quality, Location and Experience

Founded in 1913, WEA Sydney has over 100 years experience in providing courses packed with quality. Excellence runs through every WEA Sydney activity, whether it be the tutoring of its classes, the range and variety of supporting student material, the value which the WEA library brings to students, the top-notch performance of its enrolment staff, and the maintenance and upgrading of its teaching and student areas within WEA House. These comments were completely validated in the student survey (carried out in winter term 2011), with the results illustrating just how highly WEA students value the Association’s work.

Survey Results

  • Course meets expectations: 94% excellent or good
  • General course enjoyment: 90% excellent or good
  • Staff helpfulness: 88% excellent or good
  • Student support services: 84% excellent or good
  • Classroom environment: 75% excellent or good

Quality of tutors
The best judge of the quality of WEA Sydney’s tutors is the student body. Here are some examples of recent direct feedback:

LANGUAGES – Italian Beginners 3 (Cristiana Palmieri)
"I feel so lucky to be in this class – great tutor and class notes."

ANCIENT HISTORY – Women in Ancient Greece (Sally Morris)
"A great course – very knowledgeable tutor."

SCIENCE – Philosophy for Science Part 4 (Tibor Molnar)
"Educational, entertaining and extremely well-presented."

SOCIAL SCIENCES – China: World Power (Simon Gentry)
"Extensive material, thoroughly covered. He always wore snazzy ties!"

WRITING – Writing the Truth (Carolyn Gerrish)
"Course was very rewarding – very well run in all aspects – tutor excellent."

HEALTH – Dynamic Tai Chi (Caroline Noble)
"It was a great course – really meditative and beautiful."

PHOTOGRAPHY – Urban Photography (Anke Stacker)
"Great variety of exercises; encouraged me to pursue ideas, enjoyed the collaborative aspect too."

PRACTICAL ART & CRAFT – Lino & Woodblock Printing Weekend Workshop (Helen Young)
"The teacher catered to all levels of ability and the class moved along at a nice pace."

COMPUTER TRAINING – Word for Seniors (Luci Tavener)
"A most constructive and rewarding course delivered by Luci in a most professional manner. Ms Tavener’s methodology is thorough and supportive."

TRAINING – TAE Certificate IV (Keen Wan)
"Teaching method was great. The tutor has put a lot of effort into his learning resources and it makes the learning more enjoyable."

Student Representation

WEA Sydney is a Democratic Organisation.

Since its foundation in 1913, the WEA has been governed democratically by its students and members through the WEA Board and Council. Why not become an active participant in this unique educational institution?

Students enrolled in current WEA classes can nominate as a Student Representative on the WEA Sydney Council, the association’s monthly democratic forum for representatives of students, tutors and members.

Council meetings are held in the WEA building, 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney 2000, at 5.30pm on the third Friday of every month except January.

If you become a Student Representative and attend any three Council Meetings you will receive a Course Enrolment Voucher worth $70. Attend more meetings and gain more vouchers!

Pick up the Why Not Get Involved leaflet in any of our classrooms or from WEA reception.

Michael Newton
Executive Director