A new year begins and as we get back into work and other activities our Rostrum year gets underway. In my email message a few weeks ago I suggested ways in which you could make your Rostrum experience more meaningful. As well as enjoying your weekly meetings and taking on roles in your club, most people find it rewarding to venture outside the comfort zone of their own club.
For a start, come along to the first Dais meeting of the year on Friday 19 February, 6 30 for a 7pm start at the Wembley Recreation Centre. Dais is the governing body of Rostrum WA and anyone is free to attend the quarterly meetings and hear what is happening. Only your club Dais representatives can vote, but anyone can speak.
After the meeting we will be conducting a training session for club programme directors. The plan is to give PDs techniques for managing their role more efficiently, plus ideas for varied, interesting meetings. This is important not only to retain existing members but to attract visitors and convert them into members.
The quality of meetings is absolutely vital in increasing our membership – our number one priority. We can have all the advertising campaigns in the world but if they succeed to the point of drawing in visitors, who are then put off by a boring or badly run meeting, then we have failed.
As well, there is a critic’s training course in late February/early March. Make this the year you finally take the plunge and train as a critic.
There are many other ways in which all members can support and improve Rostrum, including talking about it in your private and professional lives, directly or through social media. Club 2230 had six visitors at its first meeting, most of whom had come along through personal recommendation.
Another of my more prosaic goals for the year is that everyone – members and club executives – becomes more familiar with Rostrum WA’s constitution and regulations. I know, it sounds utterly boring but the more knowledgeable everyone is, the more effectively (and cost-effectively) the Dais Board and the Rostrum Information Centre can manage your affairs.
For instance, time has been wasted this year on clubs requesting exemptions for re-joining members, life members and older, unwell members. The rules are quite clear – everyone pays fees unless they are one of the very few people who are Rostrum WA life members. Clubs may make someone a club life member, but the club is then responsible for paying their fees to Dais. I’m sure it is obvious that these regulations are only fair to the vast majority of members who pay their fees every semester.
I am really looking forward to the year ahead and I wish you all well.
Freeman Sue Hart, President, Rostrum WA