Season’sGreetings to All
Well it’s nearly here. Only a few days to go as I write this, then we can all have a rest from Rostrum. But what’s amazing is what we’ve done since I last wrote.
It started with the final of the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year competition! I said in my last report that the competition was hot! And I doubt if any of the 125 people who attended the dinner and final were disappointed. It was a great venue–so we’ve already booked it for next year –and the speakers all lived up to my expectations. The overall winner was a relatively new member from Club 50–Wendy Wardell, closely followed by Shilna Shah, who only joined in March, from Club 42 as runner up. Well done both!
At the same occasion we also recognised club achievements, with the Club of Excellence awards- the R Alan Crook Award for all clubs, which was taken by Club 2230, off some strong competition, and the David Price Award for country clubs, which was won by Club 63 in Albany.
The following week we completed the2011 Critics’ Training course. While we started with 10 on the first day, we wound down to five on the last day. Two of those are preparing for accreditation early next year, another two are working as club critics and the last one is moving to Melbourne early next year, where we hope she’ll apply her skills to a club over there. However, the ones that couldn’t complete are all primed for the 2012 course.
Over the past few weeks it has been a succession of club visits, starting with Club 11’s 50thanniversary dinner in the hills. That’s right, 50 years since the original Club 11 held their first meeting! This was followed by attendance at Clubs 42 and 50, to present Shilna and Wendy with their engraved 2011 Speaker of the Year trophies.
A couple of weekends ago it was the long haul to Albany to present Club 63 with their David Price Club of Excellence Award for country clubs. It was also their 150thmeeting and Christmas dinner, including their Speaker of the Year final. The Club is doing really well with 18 members and three potential new members in the wings. It was a lovely evening and my wife and I were made to feel very welcome.
Unfortunately, only a few days before this, I received an email from Lyn Clarke of Club 23 Bunbury, advising that the club is going into recess for six months due to only three members willing to renew. These are Lyn, Marie Bruce and Gilbert Matthews. They are hoping to resurrect the club later next term, so if you’re going to be down there around then, please contact them.
In between club visits we had the November Dais meeting and your Dais representative should have provided you feedback from that meeting. I included the election of office bearers for 2012 and, with the exception of Freeman Terry O’Meara taking over from Jason Lim as Treasurer, the Board remains unchanged for next year. Our thanks to Jason for his contribution during the year.
As part of the Dais meeting, we received a summary, compiled by VP Marianne McAdam, of the recent survey, which was also sent to everyone electronically. The results were very interesting and we will be using them to guide our activities next year.
The survey revealed the performance of the Dais Board to be the area of least satisfaction, a point which was also raised at the Dais meeting with the question ‘What does the Dais Board do?’ I have prepared a separate article on the structure, roles and responsibilities of Rostrum WA, which I hope addresses this area (see later in this newsletter). Please speak to your Dais representative or call me if you have further questions.
And so to next year: We will be having Convention next year–it will be on Saturday 5 May. Freeman Terry O’Meara will be the organiser but I know he’ll need assistance. So, if you are interested in helping, please contact Freeman Terry. The Speaker of the Year final will be held in early October, so start thinking about entering. It could be the culmination of a great year for you. Also you should start building material for your Club of Excellence submission. It helps a club to recognise its strengths and achievements. It’s also much better to start early rather than leaving it until October! Our newest club, Club 64, have already started preparing their submission!
I didn’t get to as many clubs as I intended to this year, so if I didn’t visit your club you can expect to see me during 2012. If you have any special occasions coming, send me an invite and I’ll do my best to be there.
Finally, I wish you and your family a happy, safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
Worthy winners at the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year final!
The 2011 Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year final at the Rostrum Annual Dinner on Saturday12 November saw six of Rostrum WA’s best speakers compete for the coveted trophy and a cash prize. This year, a trophy and prize money were also awarded to the runner-up. The competition attracted many of Rostrum’s newer members who all cited the challenge of the competition as their reason for entering. And meet the challenge they did. Both the winner, Wendy Wardell from Club 50, and runner-up, Club 42’s Shilna Shah, had been in Rostrum for less than a year when they entered the competition.
Master of Ceremonies Freeman David Price, resplendent in glittering gold jacket, ensured the evening’s program went to plan. Dr Jenny Brockis, winner of the 2010 AGSOY trophy, proposed the Rostrum Toast, extolling the virtues of Rostrum both as an effective training ground and a hub where likeminded people can improve themselves and enjoy the camaraderie. The 125 members and guests who filled the function room at the Karrinyup Country Club wholeheartedly embraced the toast. This was followed by an address by President Freeman Tony Lightman
Wendy’s speech ‘Winners and Losers’ about healthy eating and making sensible lifestyle choices, evoked menacing images of a knife and fork as weapons of mass destruction. Her warning to a certain rotund member of parliament to ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ could easily apply to a significant proportion of the general population.
A jubilant Wendy Wardell receives the AGSOY trophy from President Freeman Tony Lightman
Shilna’s speech was ‘Spice of Life’. She urged the audience to make the most of their opportunities, with a message to ‘act NOW –No Opportunity Wasted’. She cleverly told her migrant family’s story using Kenyan, Indian and Australian accents.
Freeman Tony Lightman presents Shilna Shah the AGSOY Runners-up trophy as Chairman of Adjudicators Freeman Ruurd Speelman looks on.
Joanna Whitney (Club 11) spoke about ‘enabling the disabled’, relating the stories of a deaf trainee teacher and an autistic student in her speech ‘Great Expectations’. This was also the topic chosen by Susan Broughton from Club 1/2 who suggested that what limits many people is what they allow themselves to believe they are capable of achieving. Frank Butler (Club 50) told the story of C Y O’Connor, the brilliant design engineer who doubted his abilities. The plight of thousands of AIDS sufferers in Africa was the topic of Dominic Faraone’s speech. From Club 2230, he used the example of an innocent child to make his point, calling on the audience to support medical aid.
AGSOY 2011 finalists with Freeman Tony Lightman (centre) (l to r): Frank Butler (Club 50), Joanna Whitney (11), Susan Broughton (1/2), Shilna Shah (42), Wendy Wardell (50) and Dominic Faraone (2230)
President of Club 2230 Terry Walker accepts the R Alan Crook Award for Club of Excellence from Freeman Mavis Carruthers
More worthy winners at the AGSOY final
Congratulations to all the finalists, and thank you for giving us such wonderful speeches. Chairman of Adjudicators Freeman Ruurd Speelman remarked on the high quality of the speeches, and said it had been difficult to decide on a winner. The clubs to which the finalists belong are fortunate indeed to be able to listen to and learn from these speakers each week. If you were unable to attend the AGSOY final, do yourself a favour and visit their home clubs and see them in action.
Freeman Don Duck receives his Bronze Medallion in recognition of 35 years service to Rostrum
Freeman Don Duck(Club 4) and Freeman Graeme Byass (Club 52) were presented Bronze Medallions for their many years of service to Rostrum in WA. Don Duck has been a member of Rostrum for 35 years. He was made a Freeman in 1984 and is an Honorary Life Member of his club. Graeme Byass has been associated with a number of clubs during his 40+ years in Rostrum. Currently with Mandurah Club 52, he was elevated to Freeman in1991 while at Club 30, where he is also an Honorary Life Member.
Freeman Graeme Byass accepts his Bronze Medallion in recognition of over 40 years service to Rostrum
Freeman Mavis Carruthers announced the winners of the Club of Excellence Awards. Southern Star Rostrum Club 63 in Albany won the David Price Award for best country club. Freeman Julian Price accepted the award on their behalf. It was noted that Club 63 is doing well (see their article later in this newsletter) whilst the Albany Toastmasters branch has not fared so well.
Freeman Julian Rice accepts the David Price Club of Excellence award for country clubs on behalf of Albany Rostrum Club 63
Club 2230 won the R Alan Crook Award. Club President Terry Walker recounted how the two ailing clubs, 22 and 30, amalgamated in 2010. Club30 members, who were meeting fortnightly, were invited to ‘come whenever you feel like it’ –and were soon attending meetings every week. The combined club adopted the suggestions in David Price’s book led to revitalise clubs and the club has gone from strength to strength. It currently has 25 members, with most new members being recruited via the internet. Individually, Clubs 22 and 30 have won this award six times in the past.
Many thanks and congratulations go to Freeman Sue Hart and her helpers in organising and running the competition and the evening. Thanks also to the Adjudicators in all the heats, semis and the final.
Freeman Sue Hart and Freeman David Price–doing what they do so well
We look forward to the AGSOY final next year which will be held at the same venue in early October.
Club 11 – 50 years strong
On Wednesday 30 November, Foothills Club 11 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner at Roley’s on the Ridge restaurant in Roleystone – a picturesque location overlooking the Darling Range escarpment.
President Ivan Miles opened the meeting and proposed a toast to Club 11. Invited guest Dais President Freeman Tony Lightman congratulated Club 11 on its achievement and made a presentation to Ivan who also celebrated his personal milestone of 25 years membership of Club 11.
Ivan Miles with his portrait, handiwork of Rick Staker (right)
An excellent meal of tiger prawn cocktail martini, roasted turkey and honey glazed ham with roast vegetables was followed by plum pudding with brandy custard for dessert. Interspersed throughout the evening were various speaking items including a PQ, a lively General Business session and a hilarious Monty Python script read by Rick Staker, Freeman Graeme Longworth and Martin Powner. Freeman Osmund Perera rounded off the evening’s agenda with an entertaining Christmas-themed speech.
Members and guests were treated to a trip down memory lane photo show. Table placemats detailed Club 11’shistory from its registration as Armadale Club 11 on 30 November 1961 and its evolution into Foothills Club 11 in May 1977. How far has Rostrum progressed in the last 50 years? A Club 11 meeting agenda for 1977 included a toast to the ‘lady visitors’ and a response from a member of Penguins.
A merry time was had by all–signified by the clinking of glasses and the occasional contented ‘Rrrr!’
Rick Staker, Club 11
Rostrum is alive and doing very well in Albany
On 3 December, Southern Star Albany Rostrum Club 63 had a double cause for celebration. We held our 150thmeeting and also celebrated winning the David Price Club of Excellence Award for country clubs.
From modest beginnings Club 63 has indeed risen like the phoenix from the ashes of past Rostrum clubs in Albany. We’ve been going since October 2008 and in that time our membership has grown from 8 to 18. Club President Catena Skalko chaired the 150thmeeting and very capably managed a varied agenda.
We were honoured by the presence of Freeman Tony Lightman and his wife Ros. Freeman Tony presented the David Price Club of Excellence Award and also gave a vigorous answer to the PQ and provided some invaluable adjudication in the club’s Speaker of the Year competition.
The Club Speaker of the Year for 2011 was Mike Reed, Most Improved Speaker was David Cronin, Clubman of the Year was Alf Frater and Freeman Chris Walker was awarded Chairman of the Year.
Left to right (back row) Alf Frater, Mike Reed, David Cronin, Subash Bhargava, Niruphma Bhargava, Freeman Chris Walker; (middle row) Freeman Tony Lightman, Shashi Holla, Wilma Ferguson, Brian Burns; (front row) Sam Stevenson, Anne Vigar, Club President Catena Skalko, Vanessa Hawkins, Karen Stone and Ingrid Walker. Members absent on the night were Charlotte Powis, Kaye Hansord, and Suzanne Yewers.
Congratulations to all speakers on a truly memorable evening and we now look forward to our 200th meeting.
Freeman Chris Walker, Club 63
Leedy Speakers display their excellent PHORM
Rostrum Club 64, the Leedy Speakers Club, have been shaking things up recently by injecting some creativity and fun into the usual meeting line up.
Thursday 29 September saw the club hosting the fictional ‘Leedy Cheerios Cheerleading Club–End of Season Awards Breakfast’. Club members donned cheerleading attire and not a pompom was spared as speakers reminisced on the previous year, toasted achievements and presented awards and acceptance speeches. And let’s not forget the roving reporters with their pertinent and somewhat contentious on- the-spot interviews.
Queen Lizzie (Barbara Clarkson) and ‘Jules ’Gillard (Susan McDonald) keep an eye on proceedings at Club 64’s PHORM
And then there was the inaugural PHORM meeting (yep you guessed it, the Perth Heads of Rostrum Meeting). Chaired by ‘Jules Gillard’ and overseen by ‘Queen Lizzie’, who delivered a right-regal speech to welcome member nations. The meeting was attended by members who represented (and of course dressed up as) Commonwealth countries from around the world. Many an important issue was discussed including a three way debate on whether to have the next meeting on the International Space Station and speeches on aspects of some of the lesser known member nations. The highlight came at the close of the meeting with a rousing thanking of the tutor–in SiSwati.
A SiSwati ‘thankyou’ from Sara Gagliardi
Both meetings were a fantastic way of taking the essential meeting procedure and public speaking skills of Rostrum and creating a fun, friendly learning environment that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
A program of themed meetings is planned to be interspersed with our weekly meeting schedule for 2012.
The Leedy Speakers Club meets every Thursday morning at 7.45 till 8.45 at the Department of Sport and Recreation located at 246 Vincent Street, Leederville. New members and visitors are always welcome!
Nerisa Finau, Club 64
‘Club 15 ers’ end the year in style
On 13 December 36 elegantly attired flappers and gangsters, reminiscent of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, descended on the Perth Hockey Stadium in Bentley for Club 15’s final meeting of the year cum Christmas function.
Chaired by Mike Kapitola, the meeting included plenty of humour, games and carol-singing…accompanied by Terry O’Meara on guitar (keep practising, Terry). Lady Santa was there to spread some Christmas cheer and everyone participated in Kris Kringle gift-giving. The club were pleased to welcome guests Derek Sparkes and Nik Varga from Club 17 to join in the revelry.
A feature of the evening was the presentation of trophies and awards. President Mark Roberts presented the award for the Most Improved Speaker of the Year to Carol Aitken (above) and the David Mead Speaker of the Year trophy to Todd McSweeny (below). Well done both speakers!
The New Year will start with a BANG in January with the President’s picnic/bbq. The club’s first meeting for 2012 will be on Tuesday 31 January at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Freeman Terry O’Meara, Club 15
Rostrum in WA
Dais President Freeman Tony Lightman prepared this article in response to a question about the role of the Rostrum WA Board.
Rostrum WA is governed by its Constitution and Regulations, both of which can be accessed from the Rostrum WA websitewww.rostrumwa.com.au.
It’s not a laborious read, only eight pages after the title page, but it is interesting to read the roles and responsibilities of Dais, the Executive (Board) and the Clubs.
Dais is the controlling body of Rostrum WA and Clubs are the members of Dais through their Dais representatives. The Officers of Dais–President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer–are appointed by Dais and form the Board (Executive). Dais delegates their powers and all their actions have to be ratified by a meeting of Dais.
So, as you can see, all power rests with Dais; and the Clubs are Dais. If the Clubs and Dais don’t like what the Board is doing it can vote to remove the Office Bearers. If they want a particular approach taken they can direct the Board to do it.
What does the Dais Board do?
Well, in its simplest form it does what Dais tells it. But it also carries out routine activities and addresses matters that arise between Dais meetings. These include:
- Secretarial: communicating with clubs, dealing with correspondence, setting agendas and calling Dais meetings, keeping and distributing minutes, etc
- Managing the Secretariat (this is a paid role, currently Debie Brockhoff–not that she needs much managing!J). Debie keeps all the records, maintains the membership database, prepares bills for payment, runs the Rostrum Information Centre, liaises with Clubs, etc
- Finance: keeping records of Dais finances, submitting payments for approval by the Board, preparing and presenting regular financial reports to Dais
- Running and reporting on other Board activities. This includes: Training Council, which trains and rosters all critics/tutors, preparing and publishing the Informer; running Speaker of the Year competition, Convention, Rostrum Voice of Youth, etc.
But the Board also aims to be proactive and is always looking to find ways to help clubs to improve and attract members. We’ve done that this year through workshops at each Dais meeting.
The first, in February, was on ‘How to Increase Your Membership and Make Your Club Thrive’. Freeman David Price ran it and he provided material he had developed and trialled to make meetings more varied and interesting, even exciting. It attracted 41 attendees, the most we’ve had in a long time. At the same meeting, we cut the formal meeting down to about 30 minutes by removing the verbal club reports, while still allowing time for clubs to raise any items of interest or importance.
The April meeting was the AGM but also included another workshop run by David on ‘Meeting Procedure–Effective Decision Making’. Probably because it was the AGM it only attracted 14 representatives. At this meeting, David agreed to develop a new A5 booklet on simplified meeting procedure by the end of the year. This has been achieved and is currently undergoing peer review. It will be available early next year.
The August workshop was devoted to ‘Feedback–What Has Your Club Gained from the February/April Workshops?” A total of 19 people took part and some interesting ideas came forward.
The final November meeting didn’t have a workshop but still attracted 17 members. Ideas and discussions covered the results of the recent membership survey, club development and marketing ideas and ARC 2012 levy, among others.
What else has the Board done this year?
In addition to the quarterly Dais meetings and workshops, and related materials for Clubs, we have organised and run:
- Quarterly Training Council meetings for Critics with related workshops, allowing critics/tutors to further develop their skills.
- The metro Critics Training course with 10 people participating. Unfortunately, they couldn’t all complete it but we still ended up four potential critics engaged with clubs next year.
- A Critics Training course for Club 63 Albany, which provided another three critics to the Albany Club.
- Monthly Speak Up, Speak Out courses for new and intending members. These are free to members and $60 to no-members but with $50 able to set against the joining fee if they join a club within three months.
- Rostrum Voice of Youth, which makes us known to teachers, parents and, of course, students. This year culminated in the National Final being held in Perth.
- Convention. Although only 50 members attended it was, by all accounts, a very worthwhile event.
- Membership Survey. With a 33% response rate this has given us a great insight into what’s important to you and what you are satisfied/dissatisfied with. We will use this feedback in developing our 2012 plan.
- Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year–heats, semi-finals and final. The latter culminating in our annual dinner, with 125 attendees. A real success.
- The bi-monthly Informer, which keeps you informed of what’s happened or about to happen, plus other educational articles related to Rostrum.
All this is undertaken by Board and Training Council members, with occasional help from other members but, remember, they are all doing this voluntarily and all have other things in their lives, so if we occasionally drop a ball or two, please forgive us.
What didn’t it do?
Well, the big thing we didn’t achieve was getting the webpage working really well. I’m planning to engage some new web developers to take what we’ve got and improve it. We have the money and a plan; we just need to make it happen. However, once we’ve done that, we really need a web team to manage the content, liaise with the national web team and identify further improvements.
At a personal level, I didn’t get to as many clubs as I hoped but I’m planning to redress that in 2012.
What can’t it do?
We cannot deliver members to your club. You have to find, attract and convert visitors to members. That means looking at all aspects of your club–location, venue, food, program–to make sure visitors will want to come back.
We also can’t run the club for you. We can give you ideas and share different approaches but, ultimately, it’s your decision on how, when and where your club meets.
What about next year–2012?
As well as the regular things, we’re aiming to:
- Develop new marketing approaches, which we’ll trial and then make available,
- Develop new brochures to assist with marketing, finalise the revised meeting procedure approach and distribute it to clubs,
- Reintroduce the Club Management workshop, and, most importantly,
- Get the web site sorted.
What can you, as a member, do in 2012?
The key thing is to get involved with your club! Rostrum isn’t just about going to the club to deliver an exercise when you’re rostered. It’s about going every week, getting involved with the committee, putting forward ideas, becoming one of the management team, going to a Dais meeting/workshop and, eventually, becoming a Dais representative to be the conduit between your club and Dais.
All of these activities will develop you as a person and help Rostrum to develop. With more experience, you can assist the Board in areas that interest you and, eventually, perhaps take up a Board position. Rostrum WA is lucky because it has so many experienced members but, if new members don’t step up to develop their skills, the older members will not be there to continue giving and sharing their knowledge.
So, to paraphrase JFK:
‘Don’t just ask what your Club/Rostrum can do for you, ask what you can do for them, to ensure Rostrum remains relevant and that you and Rostrum continue to grow.’
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
My Favourite Things
All together now (with absolutely no apologies to Julie Andrews):
Prawns on the barbie and zinc cream on noses, Kids keeping cool under sprinklers and hoses, Blue skies and bare feet on hot sand that stings, These are a few of my favourite things.
Beetroot in burgers and redbacks in dunnies, Footy shorts, boardies, bikinis and sunnies. Tinnies, Blue Winnies, black singlets and thongs, These simple things get the top Aussie gongs.
Swagmen and jumbucks and tea made in billies. Hoons with big Holdens and very small ****** s. Eddie McGuire, Hugh Jackman and Rove,
These are all part of our Oz treasure trove.
When the snake bites, when the bee stings, When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my fave Aussie things, And then I don’t feel so sad.
Emus, echidnas, white pointers, merinos, Wombats, koalas, blue heelers and dingoes. Quokkas and bull ants and roaches with wings, These are a few of my fave Aussie things.
Meat pies and Thai food and pasta with vino. Icy-cold beer, a hot cappuccino.
Yabbies and marron and Vegemite toast. These are the things that we Aussies love most.
Delta and Kylie and Missy and Noni, Kerrie-Anne, Bindi, Olivia and Toni.
Elle and Dame Edna and Cate and Nicole, Top Aussie chicks who are good for the soul.
Eagles and Dockers in AFL matches,
Gilchrist and Clarke taking brilliant catches, The WACA, the WAFL and sport in the West, These are the things that we Aussies love best.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Informer
A big THANKYOU to everyone who contributed articles, notices, photos and other information this year! This newsletter relies on the material that members submit–the feedback was very helpful and much appreciated, too!
The next issue will be in February 2012. If you have a story about your club to share, or an event to advertise, please send the copy to me firstname.lastname@example.org.