National Newsletter of Rostrum Australia


Series 2 volume 19   ISSN No 22077448

December 2019


Dear Paul

Welcome to the final edition for 2019 of Rostrum Australia's newsletter, Taking ACTION.

10 tips for Rostrum ZOOM Meetings - Rostrum Clubs of WA - Ben Riley

1. Set up in a room where you aren’t going to be interrupted (the kitchen table probably isn’t the best place!)

2. Ensure your camera (video) and microphone (sound) work (we want to see you and hear you)

3. Check the background of your video and that there’s nothing there that you don’t want the rest of your audience to see (no distracting pets or paintings in the background please)

4. Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking (it can be embarrassing if you think you’re muted but you’re not…)

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From the President - December 2019

David Matters pref Your executive at ARC wishes all Rostrum members a very Happy Christmas and a successful, healthy and happy 2020. May your Club grow and prosper and may new friendships develop through Rostrum.

Our newest club and our only Online Club has now been officially affiliated with Rostrum in Victoria and has a core of about fifteen members. Everyone is welcome to log onto one of our meetings (via Zoom) on the second and fourth Monday of each month. We have welcomed visitors from India, Pakistan and Azerbaijan. To find out more visit the website at or email the club at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members of Rostrum are reminded of the rich assortment of valuable resources for speakers and coaches available on our website Of course, such an asset is offered only to Rostrum members, so you will need to be registered as a member on the site. If you have received this newsletter via direct email then you are registered on the site. Log in and then use the Search facility to find documents, videos and audio resources on all manner of topic of interest to members.

It has been another successful year for Rostrum members, with the usual enthusiasm for what we do. The successful clubs continue to grow because of their varied meeting-agendas, specialty meetings with educational focus, great coaches and their involvement with Rostrum outside their club via interclub debates, participation in State dinners and speaking competitions. One club (NSW 21) is even writing another book of fiction, written by their members and loosely based around Madame Bovary; their seventh so far! Find them on Facebook and MeetUp. Just imagine what your club could do!

I was fortunate to recently visit Brisbane for Rostrum Queensland’s annual Convention and I send my thanks for your hospitality. Most notable for all Rostrum members was the launch of a brand-new professional publication A Brief History of Rostrum Queensland 1937-2017 written by Freeman Bill Smith. It contains a wealth of photographs and stories of amazing Rostrum people; those who made Rostrum Queensland a powerhouse of the nation. Thank you, Bill, for a priceless contribution to our historical records.

As you know, after four years I am stepping down and Freeman Jenny Blain is taking over as National President. I am confident that Jenny will get the same support I have received and I wish her well leading Rostrum in our 90th Anniversary year in Australia and beyond.

Our 90th celebrations will be led by Jenny Blain when we reach the milestone on 21st July 2020. It’s appropriate that our Australian Rostrum Council (ARC) and Rostrum Voice of Youth National Final will be convened in Canberra, our national capital. I hope many of you will join us there.
So many people deserve thanks for their contributions to our progress as an organisation, that, of course, I cannot name them all, but you know your work is appreciated by all our members.

Special thanks go to my ARC Secretary Freeman Ross Hayes, ARC Treasurer Freeman Greg McKay and Newsletter Editor Freeman Paul Halliday. Freeman Neil Murray, our National Webmaster, Freeman Meg Olsson our National RVOY Coordinator and especially the seven Executive Members of ARC (your State and Territory Presidents) all receive many thanks for their great support, their enthusiasm for Rostrum and our joint efforts in attracting new members to our wonderful organisation.

Yours in Rostrum, David Matters

Re-inventing Rostrum in ACT - focus on 2025

ACT 2025 Team 20191124 124651 1The ACT Rostrum 2025 Team - Fmn Andrew Sellars, Spr Lizzie Waddell, Fmn Roger Lines, Spr Kleber Osorio (Rostrum 2025 Leader). Not pictured: Spr Amanda Robertson.ACT Rostrum has had a proud history, and it has achieved a lot for the community. Rostrum has also been shrinking steadily in recent decades. Neither fact should be ignored. The ACT once had more than 15 Clubs, and hundreds of members. After a period of mergers and Club closures around 1990, the ACT has five Clubs and about 65 members in 2019.

Recognising these realities, the ACT Zone established a ‘Rostrum 2025’ team to look at the big questions: What should ACT Rostrum look like in 2025, and what needs to be done to make reality match that picture? The team committed to a consultative approach.

The team identified five critical and highly debatable propositions, that go to the core of the vision for ACT Rostrum in 2025:

  1. That the most important reason that Rostrum should continue is because speaking effectively to an audience makes the speaker successful in life.
  2. That ‘meeting procedure’ is off-point for Rostrum in the 21st century.
  3. That in the 21st century, Rostrum must teach members how to speak effectively into a camera.
  4. That public speaking skills are really about confidence, personal development, and clear thinking.
  5. That Rostrum’s success is about the amount of development it delivers to those who need it in the wider community.

In the next stage, 

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Induction at Rostrum SA Club 26 - Helen Bowen President

RC26 Group PhotoOver the past eighteen months, Rostrum SA Club 26 (aka the early morning Club for people on their way somewhere) has grown in numbers and diversity: of cultures, backgrounds, ages, gender and Rostrum experience.

As a consequence the frequency of Inductions of both new and transferring members has increased. Inductions have provided a great opportunity for learning and building culture and have been adapted to align with different meeting themes eg history month, persuasive speaking exercises etc.

Both new and experienced Club 26 members have responded well to the incorporation of the history of Rostrum and explanations of the values and operating principles.

The Rostrum Promise succinctly underpins both the history and principles of Rostrum. An article in a Taking Action letter newsletter by an experienced long term Rostrum member helpfully articulated the behaviours that constitute the ‘discipline’ of Rostrum.

Rostrum SA Club 26 has chosen to make reading The Promise aloud optional. Most new members to the Club choose to recite it...however on occasions, eg if there is more than one person being inducted, or someone with English as a second or fourth language is not as confident with their level of English language skill, members are invited to collectively recite The Promise. Always an uplifting experience.

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Rostrum Testimonial - Anne Jones, Rostrum Online Club - Tasmania

Anne Jones 97x8CxMR3C9VAZCrhvJZw thumb 27eeIn the short time I have been attending Rostrum meetings, I have achieved success in several key areas. In particular, I received a HD for an oral presentation I was required to do for my university course. 

Over all, Rostrum has more than increased my confidence in public speaking, I am learning the skills required to speak in public. I am training to be Auslan interpreter, and my club is coaching me on how to deal with my nerves, it can be daunting when you feel all those eyes watching you work.

Thank you, Rostrum, for all the coaching, the fun, the laughs and the friendships.

Anne Jones, Secretary, Online Rostrum Club

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Rostrum Tasmania is active

Founder AllanCrookAward Linda BenneworthC14 RodFraser Tess msDonaghC11 2019 DSC02194 1Photo of Tasmanian President Fmn Rod Fraser with the two outstanding entries for the Tasmanian Founder Allan Crook Award- Launceston Club 14 Spr Linda Benneworth and Burnie Club 11 Fmn Tess McDonagh. Both clubs are very active with Voice of Youth schools. This annual award in Tasmania is made on the basis of club activities, engagement with other Rostrum clubs, the local University campus, and with the wider community.

Club 14 was adjudged the better of these two great contributors to Rostrum in Tasmania, and the trophy presented at the State final of the Sir John Morris Speaking competition, and the final of Tasmania’s Novice speaking competition. All held in Launceston Saturday 23 November. Four senior finalists, and 5 Novice speakers (first year in Rostrum). Winners: Lynne Ellis Burnie C11, and Bree Hunter Hobart C2.

Fmn Dave Asten, Tasmanian Rostrum - Marketing

The power of Rostrum - Dr. Chris Clohesy

My biggest regret is that I didn’t join Rostrum earlier in my career. The skills learnt from Rostrum have given me the confidence to say ‘yes’. When asked to chair a committee or give a presentation or be the master of ceremonies at an important event, I can confidently say ‘yes’. And when you say ‘yes’, the career opportunities come.

I am often amazed how the skills learnt and developed at Rostrum are so core to not just my workplace, but every workplace. Having these skills gives you the power to influence and change things for the better.

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Editor Paul Halliday - Rostrum Ideals now and in 2030

PHH   adj  IMG 3931Rostrum Members and Freemen promise to uphold the Ideals of Rostrum, including enriching fellowship and holding to an educational Ideal. Our founders 90 years ago, seemed to recommend this approach to sustain Rostrum's decisions and relationships. 

During the year, have enjoyed visiting Rostrum Clubs in South Australia, Canberra and Melbourne. Seems the Rostrum 'vibe' of friendship and holding to a learning Ideal are not dependent on geography. 

Rostrum ACT has commenced a 2025 Rostrum review. Rostrum Clubs of WA continue with their Rostrum reinvention. Rostrum Victoria's constitutional change incorporates the Online Rostrum Club, bringing 2020 multi-zone Rostrum membership and overseas members.

Thanks for the great contributions on why we are in Rostrum. Your contributions are welcome. Have fun in Rostrum, Paul

Paul Halliday, Editor Rostrum Taking ACTION - Seeking contributions on Rostrum marketing and development

February 2020 Editon Series 2, Number 21 closes 10th February 2020; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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