Another Rostrum Year
Well, we’re nearly halfway through the year with two Dais meetings and the AGM done and dusted.
So far this year I’m pleased to welcome two new members to the Board: Derek Sparkes (Club 33) as Treasurer and Jay Antunovich (Club 11) as Webmaster. In addition, Luke Matthews (Club 2230), who originally took on the role of Secretary, has also agreed to take up the position of Vice President. Dais at the AGM ratified all positions.
Luke is already making himself known at different clubs and I’m looking forward to all of them bringing new thoughts and ideas to the Board.
We had a really good Dais meeting in February, with more than 14 Dais Reps and members attending plus Board members, and most staying for the Workshop. Our plan is to include relevant workshops after all these meetings so if there’s something you think we should address please let us know.
There was a query from one Dais Rep regarding Friday nights not being such a good night for Dais. We tried to address this last year by running Dais meetings on different weekday nights but numbers were consistently down on Friday meetings. To try something different this year, Wayne Passmore suggested that we try holding Dais meetings at different clubs to give members other than Dais Reps an idea of what is involved in running Rostrum. This was accepted and Wayne offered his club, Club 15, as the first host.
The resulting AGM and Dais meeting at Club 15 at the end of April was a great success, attracting about 30 members. As part of the Workshop I presented our new marketing initiative. We have been working with a local marketing group to develop a new look and feel for Rostrum WA. We are also liaising with National because they are undertaking a similar exercise, which includes a completely revised website.
We’ve embarked on this because of Rostrum’s declining membership. During last year we went from 286 members in January through a high of 308 in May, dropping back to 265 in June, after term returns, and then climbing up to 300 in November. Unfortunately, after the December returns, we found we had dropped down to below 250 members! We have picked up some more members since then but, as you can see, this is a continuing overall downward trend, which we obviously need to reverse.
I’m sure the outcome of the new strategy will help clubs address their marketing and grow our numbers back to where they should be.
Incidentally, we are looking for a Director of Marketing and Membership to join the Board and take the lead in helping clubs to implement the marketing plan once it has been finalised. If you have a marketing background or skills in the area, and would like a challenge, please contact me.
In addition, National is seeking a representative from each Zone to manage social media (Facebook). If you’re interested in this or any aspect of the web, please let me or Jay know so we can get things moving.
The Workshop after the AGM also included presentations by Club 15 members Sarah Bellow (Facebook – Tips for your Rostrum club), Todd McSweeney (A ‘Welcome Pack’ for new members) and Damien Roberts (Preliminary results of a survey of recent past and current Rostrum members), which were well received. Club 15 is happy to pass any of these ideas on if clubs are interested.
Club 50 will host the next Dais meeting on Thursday 24 July at the Canning Arts Centre in Riverton.
Planning for the 2014 Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year Competition is well underway with the Final scheduled for Saturday 22 November at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Freeman Karen Reid is once again co-ordinating the competition – see page 2 for more details.
Finally, I’m planning to get around to all clubs this year, as I’ll be retiring as President at the end of 2014. If you have any special events that you want me to attend, just send me an invite and I’ll try to be there.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
2014 AGSOY Competition beckons
The Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year Competition is the most esteemed event in the Rostrum calendar. It’s an opportunity for speakers at all levels to test themselves in the performance of a 10-minute speech before a wider audience than that of their own club. Past speakers in this competition have enthused about the boost it has given to their personal progress, and the powerful feeling of exhilaration at having taken up the challenge. So why not enter the ring?
Mark these dates, and watch out for more information:
JULY 14Competition opens. Topics and entry
SEPT 8 to 19 OCT 13 to 17
Heats will be run. Semi-finals will be run. Details will be circulated to all members.
NOV 22FINAL and Rostrum Annual Dinner held at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Questions? Contact me email@example.comFreeman Karen Reid, Coordinator, AGSOY
Freeman Karen Reid, Coordinator, AGSOY
Club Speaker of the Year who went walkabout
Claire Hamersley won Club 19’s Speaker of the Year Competition in 2013 with her speech ‘Crossroads’ about her trip to Turkey.
‘Whilst in Turkey I learnt that Istanbul for many centuries was known as the Crossroads of the World, attracting traders, sea farers and many peoples from across the world
With that in mind, I remembered the disparity between the wealth and the tourism that now is very prominent across Istanbul and parts of Turkey, but also how the majority of the Turkish population is still quite poor and some of the hardships that they endure.
This was driven home to me when I saw a small child selling roses on one of the main roads in Istanbul. It made me look very hard at my reasons for being in Istanbul and Turkey and I became mindful of the way in which I was spending my holiday in the country; I came to a crossroads with my conscience.’
[The email from Club 19 got lost at the ‘internet crossroads’ and missed being included in the last issue. My apologies to Claire and Club 19—Ed.]
Introducing Luke Matthews
ROSTRUM WA SECRETARY AND VICE PRESIDENT
G’day everyone, name’s Luke. I have thrown my hat into the ring taking up the role of Secretary. Pleased to meet you.
Enjoying a challenge, and having a thirst to learn, I joined Rostrum in July 2012. Being a member of Club 2230 is extremely rewarding, we have a great fellowship full of characters.
My uncle recommended that I join Rostrum. I was sold on learning more effective communication skills. Communication skills are what make tomorrow’s great leaders. And Rostrum makes leaders great.
I had no idea of the benefits Rostrum offered. I joined with a plan to work through and quickly earn certification, then move on. Though a naive notion, it was the door I opened leading me to where I am today. I completed the PDP, in less than six months, and craved a bigger challenge. Wanting to complete an IDP exercise before my club broke up for Christmas, I recited A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. I pondered where is my next challenge? A little voice answered back, “the real world.” Tapping my reserves, I requested to orate at my work Christmas party. In front of hundreds of people I got my butterflies flying in formation, and recited the poem gleefully. Afterwards, many people complimented me.
We all have reserves of potential. You just have to reach deep within and tap them. You will be surprised at how much you have, once they are tapped. Your biggest restraint is yourself. “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainly is absurd.”(Voltaire) You will be amazed at what you can do, if you try. With failure you learn, with success you grow.
Learning is a thirst. And no matter how you satisfy your thirst, it returns. So take up the chalice of knowledge with both hands, drink greedily, and keep drinking until you have a brain-gasm. “Live everyday like you will die tomorrow. Learn everyday like you will live forever.”(Mahatma Gandhi.)
Taking up the role, as Secretary is my professional development challenge, one I will take up with enthusiasm. I look forward to working with a great team and learning everything I can. I will make mistakes, I will make blunders; I am fallible, I am human. We learn the most from analysing our failures, endeavouring not to repeat them. “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.”(Ralph W. Sockman.)
Luke Matthews, Secretary and Vice President, Rostrum WA
‘Make us Laugh’ Comedy Night
Club 15’s inaugural Comedy Night on 13 May at the Perth Hockey Stadium had the audience not quite rolling in the aisles but definitely laughing out loud as 11 courageous ‘comedians’ from Clubs 11, 15, 19, 2230 and 50 competed for $350 prize money up for grabs.
The event, in place of the ANZAC Day Breakfast, which this year clashed with the Easter break, aimed to provide an evening of fun and fellowship for all Rostrum members, somewhat reminiscent of Club 15’s Tall Stories competition.
MC Mark Roberts got the ball rolling with some essential housekeeping, requesting that any complaints be sent firstname.lastname@example.org the automated system (aka Auto delete) would deal with them in less than 0.03 seconds. He then introduced the speakers with his usual wit and aplomb.
With the simple directive to ‘Make us Laugh’ the speakers entertained the 90-strong audience with a selection of stand- up routines and humorous stories. The offerings included ‘True stories from a retirement village’, ‘Australian origami’, ‘Teaching someone to drive’, ‘The joys of going on a cruise (a slow boat to China?)’, ‘Connections’, and ‘Foot-in-mouth disease’.
Ellita gives advice on beating the Budget, while Wayne models the latest in high-end fashion for burglars.
There could only be one winner, and Club 15’s Ellita Hart proved beyond doubt that she can deliver a clever, funny speech on a topic as dry as the federal Budget: her ‘Budget benefits for you’ had everyone, including the adjudicators, in stitches. That it came on Budget Night was pure coincidence (or so she says). Director of Training and fellow Club 15 member, Wayne Passmore, came a close second with his speech on the ideal work wear for burglars.
Congratulations to Ellita and Wayne, and thank you to all the speakers for the laughs. Thanks also to the Club 15 committee for organising the evening and to the adjudicators, Freeman Ruurd Speelman, Freeman Karen Reid and Joanna Whitney for getting it right. Hopefully ‘Make us Laugh’ will become a permanent fixture in the Rostrum calendar.
Photos by Wilf Hendricks (Club 15). There are more photos from the evening at facebook.com/rostrumwa
Foothills Club 11’s South of the River Speaking Competition
Winning smiles from Peter Hickey, Max Stan-Bishop, Kelly Hogan
Such is life. First a cradle, then a hearse. Might have been better but it could have been worse.’ Max Stan-Bishop (Club 11) really couldn’t complain when his speech ‘Such is life’ won him the 4thAnnual South of the River Speaking Competition on 28 May. Grandpa Thomas’s failure to invest in BHP and great-uncle Charlie’s misfortune in Coolgardie may or may not be why Max isn’t a millionaire today, but he did take home the prized John Barton trophy for his effort.
The competition, held by Foothills Rostrum Club 11, gives novice speakers experience presenting a competition speech to a larger audience than is possible at a club meeting. The event this year attracted three speakers who have been in Rostrum for less than two years, and a large audience.
Kelly Hogan (Club 15) addressed the obesity epidemic in ‘A recipe for disaster’ and suggested the ingredients needed for change are education about nutrition, tighter food regulation, and price penalties for unhealthy food. Peter Hickey (Club 21), also on the topic ‘Such is life’, advised against a defeatist attitude to life, citing his 91-year-old father-in-law as an example of someone who embraces life.
At the conclusion of the competition, long-time Rostrum member and seasoned
traveller, Clive Carrington, presented an engaging speech in which he gave tips on what travellers need to be able to say in the language of the countries they visit – in seven languages! The surprise came when Freeman Bill Smith, himself a wordsmith, presented an unsuspecting Clive with a Certificate of Honorary Life Membership of Club 11. Congratulations Clive!
Honorary Life Member, Clive Carrington