Ryan Whidett

Reflecting on five years of membership of Rostrum Clubs in WA, it seems timely to now step into the role as the WA President.

My journey to Rostrum started in 2015 when some friends, members already of Rostrum, recommended I come along to a meeting as I expressed an interest in taking my public speaking to the next level.

It was around the time that I felt the workshops that I was delivering to university students as part of my job at the time were no longer having the impact I wanted. Now in my role as the Student Success Manager at StudyPerth, an organisation dedicated to supporting international students studying at Perth based schools, tafes, training organisations and universities, Rostrum is still as valuable as ever.

I use my Rostrum skills daily, whether talking to clients or businesses, speaking with students or facilitating workshops and training for staff and students. I very much value the meeting skills I have also become accustomed to, known now as the person to never accept a meeting request without an agenda, I greatly enjoy the efficiencies I’ve been able to learn through Rostrum.

I am excited for the year ahead.

Bernie Ketter

It wasn’t until about 25 years ago that I first heard an interesting, intelligent, well constructed and entertaining speech. Until that time I had only heard boring, uninspiring and lacklustre speeches devoid of any passion and usually made by politicians and other public figures who speak to a predictable formula of topic avoidance.

That was until I heard a speech made by a best man at a family wedding. As he dragged himself up to the microphone and flicked back his waist length hair he looked extremely uncomfortable in his ill fitted suit. He gave the best speech I had ever heard. It was witty, entertaining and gave enough information for the bride’s family to have a good understanding of the newest member of their family. I thought, if he can do it, why can’t everyone else, including me? 

It was at that time that I worked in the Landcentre building which was directly across the road from the Gabba Cricket Ground. The Landcentre had its own Rostrum Club.

PHH   adj  IMG 3931The key to Rostrum growth is to develop succession.

Great example in Western Australia where the members were able to welcome in a new President (Ryan Whiddett) to progress Rostrum, taking over from the previous President (Lauren O'Neill).  Lauren had her baby last November.  Rostrum is sustained by developing its members for leadership.

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 30th April 2021.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Paul Halliday Editor Rostrum Taking ACTION


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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