Rostrum Taking ACTION | December 2020

Rostrum Taking ACTION | December 2020

Series 2 Volume 23

December 2020 ISSN No 22077448


Dea‍r ‍Rostrum Member ‍

Welcome to the latest edition of Rostrum Australia's newsletter, Taking ACTION. I hope you enjoy it.

From the President - November 2020


What do you get when you cross technology with face to face meetings?

A hybrid meeting.

Let's reflect a little on the past year. Rostrum members have achieved an amazing feat keeping our members connected during isolated times. Take a bow and pat yourself on the back. Neither technology nor the pandemic have stopped our meetings - interrupted occasionally but not stopped. This is an amazing achievement.

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Lauren O'Neill President Rostrum Clubs of WA and WA Club 19


I am a proud member of Rostrum Clubs of Western Australia and I have been lucky enough to have led the organisation over the past eighteen months.

My Rostrum journey started back in October 2015, when I was recommended to attend a Rostrum club meeting by a former employer who could see that I had lost my confidence and direction after taking a new job. I have never looked back!

My day job is as a Chartered Accountant in a boutique tax advisory firm. The skills I have developed over my five-year Rostrum journey are utilised almost every day in my profession. From giving internal presentations, to dealing with clients in an assertive yet friendly and professional manner, and running meetings on schedule and with productive outcomes, Rostrum has taught me so much.

For now though, my Rostrum journey will be coming to an end, as I take on the challenge of starting a family. 

Fmn Debbie Welsh, Vic Rostrum Club 45 Malvern


I started my Rostrum membership at Malvern Rostrum Club 45 Victoria and am Club Training Officer and coach. My extended Rostrum responsibilities currently include Victorian Assistant Secretary and Membership Secretary.

Other roles have been member of the Strategy Committee, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and developing Coach training videos.

Happily, I was able to be part of re-establishment of a Rostrum club in Werribee. Rostrum has taught me about structure, impact and most importantly, purpose. Knowing my purpose when speaking to groups or individuals invariably led to positive results. 

 It all began with a question from my dear friend Jenny Blain in 2003. “What are you doing at 7.30 on Tuesday mornings?”. 

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Rostrum Victoria’s Inaugural Online Speaking Competition


Rostrum Victoria conducted its first state-wide online speaking competition on Friday 23 October 2020. It is fair to say this would not have happened without the pandemic-induced lockdowns in Victoria. However, the competition was such a great success, it is now set to be repeated in future years.

The standard of the competition was exceptional, and equal to any Jo Davis state speaking competition. Each of the six contestants had to qualify for the event with excellent online speeches in leadup competitions. The speaking time was 8 minutes.

The six contestants were Dale Stevens (Club 3), Margie Potter (Club 6), Lena Staroshchuk (Club 45), Melody Yu (Club 68), John Ter Bogt (Club 5) and Vasish Vasireddy (Club 70). Vasish won after a fantastic speech on Artificial Intelligence.

Attendance of around 50 members indicated good interest.

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Alison Haertel Rostrum Club 17 Hobart Tasmania


I have been with Rostrum for a year now and I can see improvements in my speaking ability and confidence to stand up in different community settings, whilst engaging an audience.

As Executive Assistant to the CEO of a Tasmanian Not For Profit, I see people present cases to the CEO and Board, both from internal and external sources. In my spare time, I enjoy building an organisation that assists women touched by separation to grow and become self-empowered.

In both scenarios, I see the benefits of good presentation skills which includes preparation, pronunciation, pace and projection. These skills enable and enhance individual confidence.

Rostrum has helped me to find my confidence by providing the tools and the platform to advance my own skills.

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Hui Jiang - Secretary Rostrum Club 17 Queensland


My name is Hui Jiang. I have been a Rostrum member for more than two decades and the Secretary of Club 17 for more than eight years. I am a chemist spending many years in various research and commercial institutions and industries. I enjoy Rostrum because it has many educational programs and opportunities in public speaking and other related activities.

The techniques and skills I have learned from Rostrum help me significantly in my career, such as presentations, meetings, symposiums, seminars, and importantly job interviews. Rostrum helps me not only in public speaking, but also in logical thinking, and in use of colourful, wide, and humorous vocabulary. The diversity of members guarantees numerous speeches of interesting and inspiring personal stories. In addition, Rostrum provides a friendly, inclusive, harmonious, encouraging, and warm environment.

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Elizabeth Waddell - Phillip Rostrum Rostrum Club, ACT DAIS Assistant Secretary


The highest learning, I realize is “NOT assume one is a public speaker”.  I learned, after joining Rostrum, that everywhere and with whom I interacted, required the ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. 

We always have an “Audience!” and I wanted my “Audience“ to listen, be attentive and particularly, be inspired. This light bulb moment resulted in me courageously joining ROSTRUM, albeit later in life.

What I have enjoyed most is the camaraderie of speakers and activities where speakers share, come together, experience and learn from each other with opportunities to train and perform amongst like-minded models – ‘Gold!’ . Absolutely!

From of all my experiences, ROSTRUM has provided an opportunity beyond primary, tertiary or University studies. Being fully present to any interaction, is my ongoing aim as I continue to learn from others in ROSTRUM.

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Vale Fmn Mary Mauloni - Queensland Rostrum stalwart


Associate member Freeman Mary Mauloni passed away on 1st July 2020 following a long illness. Mary joined Club 41 (Redcliffe) after meeting the late Freeman Terry Smith, a member of Club 41.

Mary was Club 41 President 1984, an accredited coach since 1984 and was elevated Freeman of Rostrum in 1994. Mary adjudicated Rostrum Voice of Youth annually for more than 30 years right up to becoming unwell.

Mary advised historian Fmn Bill Smith that she won the first place in the first public speaking competition for secondary school children conducted by Queensland Rostrum and was placed second or third in the final. She chose a different topic for the final, “Man’s Greatest Achievement” (was to end all wars). A wonderful tutor and Rostrum member truely missed.

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Editor Paul Halliday - November 2020

Paul Halliday 3931Our approach to Rostrum and life in general has been impacted by Covid19. It reminds us that life is unpredictable and of our responsibility to consider the community environment we establish for others. 

My own Rostrum journey has been reinvigorated by also becoming a member of the Victorian Rostrum Zone through the Online Club #1. It brings opportunity to grow my Rostrum learning and importantly to learn from ideas of members in other geographic areas.

The opportunity of the newsletter brings visibility to the enthusiasm of members in many Rostrum Zones advocating and mentoring younger leaders to grow Rostrum.

Thanks for those submitting profiles, you remind all of our diverse and supporting Rostrum community.

Looking for your Rostrum stories.  Have fun in Rostrum. Next edition closes 12th February 2021 (

Paul Halliday Editor Rostrum Taking ACTION

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