Advanced Development Program (ADP)

The Advanced Development Program (ADP) is the third tier of Rostrum WA's Public Speaking Development Programs. The ADP was first introduced in 

2004. Members who have completed their initial personal Development program (PDP) and Intermediate Development program (IDP) training courses may register 

for the ADP. Registration is conducted through the Rostrum Information Centre (RIC). RIC can be contacted at ric@rostrumwa.com.au

R Alan Crook Award / David Price Award

  • R Alan Crook Award
    • The R Alan Crook Award is an award presented by Rostrum WA, to the Public Speaking Club of Excellence in the Zone of Western Australia for the year running from October to September. The winner of the R Alan Crook Award is presented at the end of year Rostrum WA Speaker of the Year Dinner. 
    • Rostrum WA clubs who make a concerted effort to win the R Alan Crook Award, invariably grow because of the Experience
  • David Price Award
    • The David price Award was inaugurated in 1992 to recognise the Club of Excellence Country Club in the zone of Western Australia. 
    • The same judging criteria as the R Alan Crook Award is used for the David Price Award. 
The Clubs having won the R Alan Crook Award are:

The Clubs that have won the David Price Award are:

Rostrum WA Annual Dinner

The Rostrum WA Annual Dinner has three purposes:

  • The first is to celebrate Rostrum WA and provide a forum for club members to mix with other club members in a celebration of Rostrum. 
  • The Second is the announcement of the winners of the R Alan Crook Club of Excellence Award and the David Price Award for country clubs. 
  • The third is the running of the Grand Final of the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year Competition. 
Any member of Rostrum and their guests can attend the dinner and clubs are encouraged to make group bookings to secure a table. Payment is always required in advance for accurate planning. 

Annual General Meeting (AGM) Rostrum WA

Contiguous with the April Dais meeting, Rostrum holds and Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which Dais Treasurer presents the financial reports of the previous year along with the auditors statements. Any member of Rostrum can attend and speak at the AGM, but only the club's representative(s) can vote. Only agenda items, of which due notice has been given, are discussed at the AGM.

Arthur Garvey Trophy

This perpetual trophy is awarded to the winner of the Speaker of the Year for each year. Both it and the finalists' personal trophies are provided by the estate of the founder of Rostrum WA, Freeman Arthur Garvey.

Australian Rostrum

Australian Rostrum operates between seven zones, each autonomous, although there is national co-operation and agreement in many procedures, awards, titles and publications.

Australian Rostrum Council (RIC)

The Co-ordination of Rostrum nationally is carried out by the Australian Rostrum Council (ARC). This body comprises the Dais President from each of the seven Rostrum zones plus the National president, National Secretary, National Treasurer and the Chairman of the National Training Council. The ARC meets once each year in person and by teleconference at other times Dais administers Rostrum in this Zone. (See Dais).


All members of Rostrum WA are provided with their own Rostrum WA name badge. A name badge is part of the New member Kit and is usually sent separately from the kit. It takes about two weeks to produce. Replacement cost is $9.00

Club Executive

Being a club executive gives you the chance to learn useful skills which can be applied outside Rostrum. Most of these positions are for one term (six months), although many are only changing 12 monthly. However, clubs can re-elect a member for a second term. Seminars are run by Training Council near the beginning of th each year so skills and information can be passed on to newly elected club executives. The duties of each role follow:

  • Club President
The President is the leader of the club and sits on the right of the chairman. The reason is that in Rostrum clubs, the chairman runs the meeting on behalf of the President. The President ensures the club runs smoothly, that the office-bearers fulfil their responsibilities and that the club reaches its goals. Members are usually elected to the position of President after they have gained reasonable experience in Rostrum. Under the constitution, a President can only serve two consecutive terms. 
  • Club Secretary
The position of Secretary in a Rostrum Club is different to that of Secretary in other organisations. There is little in the way of correspondence and minutes. The Secretary may prepare the agenda for each meeting but this is usually carried out by the Program Director. In some clubs the roles are combined. Members are usually nominated for the position of Secretary after they have gained reasonable experience in Rostrum. Under the constitution a Secretary can only serve two consecutive terms. 
  • Club Treasurer
The Treasurer is responsible for the financial matters of the club. The tasks include collecting the money for the meeting and meals, banking, and paying the venue. The Treasurer needs to prepare a budget and inform members of the club's financial position. The Treasurer also maintains the club membership details, collects term fees and forwards data to the Dais via the Information Centre. People are nominated for club Treasurer anytime after their first term. The job is not onerous, nor time consuming, and is good experience for those who have not held a Treasurer's position before. Under the constitution, a Treasurer can only serve two consecutive terms. 
  • Club Program Director

The position of program director was created in this zone in 1986. Not every club elects a program director although all are encouraged to do so. The role is very important and some clubs keep the same program director for three to four terms. It needs someone with two or more years of Rostrum experience. The job is to plan and implement a varied and useful program that meets the needs of members and keep track of each member's progress through the different development exercises, i.e. PDP, IDP and ADP. It involves the preparation of the notice to speak and liaison with the Secretary to prepare the agenda. The most important aspect of the job is to keep the overall program for the club varied, interesting and enjoyable. 

  • Club Committee members
Committee positions (limited to three by the constitution) provide an opportunity for both new and experienced members to have an input into the running of the club. New members can learn more about the club and Rostrum. Experienced members can provide guidance and advice. 
  • Club Dais Representatives

Each club has one or two dais representatives according to the number of members. Clubs with less than 15 members have one representative, those with 15 or more have two representatives. It is at Dais meetings, held quarterly, that decisions about the organisation are made. This is why it is crucial that your club's representatives attend. Each Dais representative has a two year term but many clubs keep the same rep(s) for many years. Dais representatives have an obligation to their club to attend the meetings. If they cannot attend it is up to the President and the Dais rep to appoint a proxy. Country clubs who cannot attend should have a metropolitan based proxy who represents their interests. After every Dais meeting, the Dais representatives should give a report to the club on the decisions that were made. 

  • Club Committee

The committee of a club includes all the office-bearers, plus the critic(s) allocated to the club. In a Rostrum club the committee is responsible for the running of the club so the weekly meting can be devoted to speaking and meeting procedure exercises and not to administrative detail. This is a significant difference from other organisations where the business of the club is often dealt with during the main meeting. Most clubs have a short 'Club Business' section during the meeting, where information and whole of club decisions may be made. The Committee must meet monthly if it is to efficiently run the club for the benefit of the members. 

  •  Club Executive Training Workshop - See Club Executive

Early in the year, a seminar is held for the incoming office bearers. At this meeting strategies are presented for the successful running of a club. Those holding office for the first time will find the meeting invaluable, while those who had been before have the opportunity to impart their experience to others and pick up new ideas. The format includes separate discussions on the different roles - President, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director and Dais Representatives. 

Club Standing Orders

Many clubs have prepared a set of standing orders. These lay out the specific way in which the club operates. Standing orders should not be complicated or lengthy and are usually less than three pages in length. If they are at variance with the Constitution of Rostrum WA the constitution takes precedence.


Rostrum is an incorporated association and has a constitution. The constitution allows for amendment by any member, but Dais representatives have the option to approve whether a referendum is put to the membership or not. A copy of the constitution is available electronically on the website. 


Critic is the title given to a member of Rostrum who has been trained and accredited. The role of the Critic is to offer constructive feedback, instruction and guidance to members in effective speaking, chairmanship, and the conduct of meetings. All Critics in Rostrum WA are accredited by Training Council, via a mechanism of a mentor program, coupled with a training course. The accreditation is recognised nationally. The role of Critic is an important one for the health of the organisation. It also offers members another avenue by which they can further enhance their skills. In WA a Critic is re-accredited every three years. The accreditation process ensures that Critics maintain a level of competence and relevance. 


Although the basis of Rostrum is the club, much of the strength of Rostrum comes from the joining of clubs to form the state organisation, called the Dais, which is the parliament of Rostrum. Dais annually elects an Executive, who looks after the day-to-day running of the organisation. It is the Dais Representatives who approve major programs and who set the term fees through the mechanism of approving (or amending) the budget at the August Dais meeting. Dais and its executive develop Rostrum activities that are either beyond the resources of individual clubs, or are inappropriate for a club to undertake. These activities include; a bi-annual Convention; the Speaker of the Year competition, publishing the Rostrum Informer and the Syllabus, and the training of Critics. 

Dais meets once each quarter. Each club has a minimum of one representative. Clubs with a membership of fifteen or more have two. Dais representatives of country clubs often find it hard to get to meetings, and Dais encourages these clubs to appoint a proxy who lives in Perth. Each club elects its Dais representative(s) normally for a period of two years. If the representative cannot attend a meeting, the club President should arrange a proxy. Since Dais meetings are the governing meetings for Rostrum, all clubs should try to be represented. 

Dais Executive

The members of the Dais Executive are listed on page 1 of the Rostrum WA Syllabus (Which is issued to members of Rostrum WA at the beginning of each year) Please refer to Insert link to Rostrum Executive board for a list of the current Rostrum WA Dias Executive. Its function is to oversee the day-to-day running of the state organisation (with the help of a paid Secretariat). The positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are subject to election at the November Dais meeting. The President and Vice President of Dais must be a dais representative for a club. Other positions can be filled by any member of Rostrum whether they are a dais representative or not. 

Past Presidents WA Dais:

Development Programs

Rostrum WA has three Development programs designed to build confidence and develop skills. Please click on the links below for further information.

  • Personal Development Program
  • Intermediate Development Program
  • Advanced Development Program

Freemen's Council

Freemen's Council is made up of all Freemen in the zone. It undertakes projects upon request by Dais and provides advice on a range of matters affecting Rostrum. 

Freemen of Rostrum

This title is conferred upon members of Rostrum who have made an outstanding contribution to Rostrum over a period of time. The award is not made on the basis of merit as a speaker, although many Freemen, because of their long association with Rostrum, are accomplished speakers. Although the title of Freeman is awarded by the Australian Rostrum Council (ARC), the recommendation normally comes from a club. It is assessed by both Dais Executive and Freemen's Council and must be voted on by Dais, before it goes to the ARC. The National President has the power of veto. The title is conferred at a suitable public occasion. By tradition in this zone, the prospective Freeman is not aware that the title is to be bestowed.

A Freeman of Rostrum, visiting a club in any zone, is entitled to the same rights and privileges as a member, except voting rights. Upon elevation to Freeman, speakers are required to make the following promise: “Recognising my wider responsibilities as a Freeman, I promise to promote, by precept and example, the ideals, objects, and activities of Rostrum. I will support freedom of speech, loyalty to truth, clarity of thought and a love of the English language as vital elements to the art of public speaking.” 

Current WA Freemen of Rostrum:

History of Rostrum:

Rostrum was founded near Manchester, England on July 21st, 1923 by Sidney Wicks, a journalist, publicist and author. Several members of the original Rostrum club later came to Australia where Rostrum was founded through the efforts of R. Alan Crook. Alan Crook is known as the founder of Rostrum in Australia after the inauguration of the first club in Sydney on July 21st 1930, exactly seven years after the first meeting in England. Rostrum has around 1200 members in more than 150 clubs throughout Australia. It was established in Western Australia on May 21st, 1948 by Arthur Garvey. Rostrum WA has approximately 300 members. 

Induction Procedure

  1. Chairman asks President to go to the front of meeting.

  2. President addresses meeting on a theme of his or her own choosing, but impressing importance of Rostrum membership and obligations to the club.

  3. President asks the proposer to bring the speaker-elect forward.

  4. The proposer introduces the speaker-elect to the president.

  5. The chairman asks the meeting to stand.

  6. The President asks if the speaker-elect is willing to make the Rostrum Promise.

  7. The President asks the speaker-elect to recite the Rostrum Promise. This is usually done with the President reciting short, appropriately phrased, segments and the speaker-elect repeating them.

  8. When the promise is concluded, the President presents the Rostrum kit and briefly explains the benefits of its contents (avoiding just an inventory list). The President welcomes the new speaker to the club and then leads the applause.

  9. The proposer then takes the new speaker back to his or her chair. The members remain standing until the new speaker is seated.

  10. The chairman then asks members to be seated and congratulates the new speaker. 


The Rostrum Informer is a newsletter mailed out to all members and posted on the website. It contains news and views about Rostrum, as well as notice of coming activities. Any club or member can contribute by writing to the editor whose address appears on the Informer and on page 1 of the Syllabus. 

Intermediate Development Program (IDP)

This program builds upon the foundation of the Personal Development Program by offering more challenging exercises to develop the more experienced speakers. Registration is automatic on completing the Personal Development Program and a booklet is provided that includes records and tutorials. A certificate is presented when the program is successfully completed. Book replacement cost $7.50. 

Joining Fee

A joining fee, currently $75 is charged to new members upon completion of a nomination form. The form and fee are sent to the Rostrum Information Centre and a membership kit is sent to the club secretary. Dais representatives set the fee at a Dais meeting. Those who leave Rostrum and rejoin after an absence of less than two years are not liable for a joining fee, but the club must submit an application form. The joining fee is quite separate from the six monthly Dais fee, which is currently $75 (country clubs $55). A pro-rata term fee is charged for members that join during a term. Clubs may levy additional fees on top of these fees. 

Life Member of a Club

Clubs sometimes confer Life Membership of the Club upon members. This is a club decision which does not exempt life members, who are still active members of Rostrum, from Dais fees. Life members are identified separately in the club’s Active Members in the Syllabus. 

Life Member of WA Dais

This title is conferred on members of WA Dais who have made a long and significant contribution to the running of Rostrum in the zone. Life members of Dais are exempt from Dais fees. Current Life members of Dais are:

  • Freeman Harold Luxton; 
  • Freeman Julian Rice; and 
  • Freeman Don Watson 

Marketing Materials

A variety of marketing materials is available to clubs via a separate order form. Clubs can obtain the form from the Information Centre by email or download it from the website. 

Membership Kit

A membership kit is provided to each new member. It currently consists of:

  • Membership Certificate Syllabus
  • PDP booklet
  • Take The Chair Handbook Rostrum Wallet
  • Constitution (included as PDF in welcome email) Rostrum lapel pin
  • Name Badge (provided later) 

Personal Development Program (PDP)

This training program provides a structural base for new members to progress through a series of speaking exercises so development is incremental. A booklet is provided that includes records and tutorials. Program directors in clubs will roster people according to the outline of the Development Program. A certificate is presented when the program is completed. Book replacement cost $7.50. 

Promise - The Rostrum Promise

The Rostrum Promise is taken by all members of Rostrum when they are inducted.
"I promise to submit myself to the discipline of this Rostrum club, and to endeavour to advance its ideals and enrich its fellowship. I will defend freedom of speech in the community, and will try at all times to think truly and speak clearly. I promise not to be silent when I ought to speak." 

Publications and Stationery

For any Rostrum stationery items contact the Rostrum Information Centre on 08 9463 6433. Prices subject to change without notice and payment must accompany the order. Postage is additional and will be advised at time of order. 

Rostrum Medallions

The medallions are Australian Rostrum Council awards to recognise outstanding singular contributions or achievements. The Gold Medallion is awarded after approval by the Australian Rostrum Council. The Silver Medallion is awarded by the National President and the Bronze Medallion is a recommendation to the National President by the Zone President. The criteria are: Gold - exceptional performance in a major service to Australian Rostrum with impact at the national level; Silver - significant service over a considerable time frame – e.g. 6 years or more on a zone controlling body; Bronze - excellent performance of a significant service, or by extended high performance, beyond that expected in a role or duty. 

Previous WA Recipients:

Gold Medallion

  • Freemen Harold Luxton - Revision Take the Chair
  • Freemen David Price - Revision Take the Chair
  • Freemen Bill Smith - (Twice) Revision Take the Chair, Finalist (Winner) Sydney Wicks (1988) 

Silver Medallion

  • Freemen Brian Butterworth - Long and dedicated service to Rostrum WA Dais/Organiser of National Convention 2005 
  • Sp. Juliet Park - Continuous and untiring work as co-ordinator of Rostrum voice of Youth since 2002 

Bronze Medallion

  • Speaker Tom Brazier - Services to Training Council
  • Freemen Brian Butterworth - Outstanding services to Rostrum WA; National Convention 2005
  • Freemen Mavis Carruthers - Significant contribution to Rostrum WA and Training Council
  • Speaker Ev Correy - Untiring Service to Rostrum WA and Club 56
  • Speaker Brian Digby - Long service to Club 32
  • Speaker Roy Dowsett - Service to Clubs 39 & 48 and as a Dais Representative 
  • Freemen Neil Durston - Services to Training Council
  • Speaker John Gardner - Services to Training Council
  • Speaker Rob Gates - Services to Training Council
  • Freemen Adrian Grant - Service to Training Council and Special Events
  • Speaker Adell Griffiths- Service as Secretary to Rostrum WA Dais
  • Freemen Alan Ham - Service as Critic to Training Council & Dais
  • Speaker Phil Harman - Sustained contribution in creating the Rostrum database
  • Freemen Gloria Hancock - Services to Training Council
  • Freemen Ken Holzman - Services as Critic & Training Council Executive
  • Freemen Geoff Jones - Long service to Club 22. Service to Rostrum via Dais Treasurer and Dais President Untiring Service to Training Council, Rostrum WA and Club 50
  • Freemen Susan L'Herpiniere - Untiring Service to Training Council, Rostrum WA and Club 50
  • Speaker Tony Lightman - Services to Training Council.
  • Freemen Veronica Nimmo  - Instigator Club 53. Service to the IDP Service to Rostrum via the Secretariat. (RIC).
  • Speaker Chris Maxwell - Services to Rostrum voice of Youth.
  • Speaker Jenny Peachey - Instigator Club 8.
  • Freemen Colin Peacock (Twice) - Long service to Club 19. Service to Rostrum WA Dais as Bookkeeper
  • Speaker Nigel Penfold- Service to Dais as Treasurer
  • Speaker Charles Percsy - Instigator Club 48. Services to Training Council.
  • Freemen Julian Rice - Instigator Club 55
  • Speaker Mary Rice - Joint Instigator Club 62
  • Speaker Stephen Rice - Joint Instigator Club 62.
  • Speaker Les Ross - Joint instigator Club 57.
  • Freemen Marion Taylor - Services as Director of Special Events.
  • Speaker Derek Sparkes - Services to Training Council
  • Freemen Derek Walker - Long service to Club 22 and service to Rostrum.
  • Freemen Terry Walker - Outstanding services to Rostrum WA
  • Freemen Carole Webb - Joint instigator Club 49. Instigator Club 54
  • Freemen Elvern Webb - Joint instigator Club 49
  • Freemen Dave Williams - Long service to Club 14
  • Speaker Derek Wyers For promoting and organising Club 15’s Tall Stories Competition
  • Speaker Anita Thompson  - Club 44
  • Speaker Mark Roberts - Club 15
  • Speaker Mathew Lane - Club 15
  • Freemen Graeme Byass  - Club 52 For extended services to Rostrum
  • Freemen Don Duck - Club 4 For extended services to Rostrum
  • Freemen Ruurd Speelman - Services to Training Council
  • Freemen Rose Fogliani - Services as Editor of the Informer
  • Freemen Frank Butler - Services to Club 50 
  • *living recipients listed
Sidney Wicks Trophy

This trophy is named after the founder of Rostrum and awarded to the winner of the National Speaking Competition which is held every 6 to 8 years. 

Sidney Wicks Trophy Winners:

Speaker of the Year Competition

This is the major speaking competition held in the zone each year. Successful speakers may speak several times in their journey from the heats to the final. The competition normally starts in August of each year. Any member of Rostrum, with the exception of the Dais President, the Competition Coordinator, and the Chairman of Training Council can enter the competition. Country members are encouraged to enter the initial rounds by the use of video. The final of the Speaker of the Year is held at the Annual Dinner. 

Previous Rostrum WA Speakers of the Year:

Speaker of the Decade:

Approximately every ten years, Rostrum holds the Speaker of the Decade competition.


The cost is included in the term fees and is part of each new member kit. The Syllabus is available to members only. Replacement copies can be purchased. Member’s Price $3.00 

Take the Chair 

This successful publication is in its eighth edition. It was originally written in 1962 and revised and expanded in 1990. An invaluable guide to meeting procedure, it is also used outside Rostrum as a source of reference. Member's Price $10.00 RRP $27.95. 

Trainee Critic Program 

This program is designed to give prospective critics training in the principles and practice of criticism. Trainees work with a mentor before attending a Critics’ Training Course. After successful assessment at the end of the course and then in a club other than their own, their accreditation is confirmed. Completion of the PDP is a prerequisite. 

Training Council 

The Training Council is made up of all critics within the zone. The province of Training Council is any matter relating to critics. An executive committee is elected to administer such matters as; accreditation, rostering, training courses, adjudicators for the Speaker of the Year and to organise regular meetings (combined with workshops) of critics to decide on policy and maintain their standards. Critics are accredited for three years. During that time they must make themselves available for roster for four terms out of six and attend at least one seminar per year. Extenuating variations to these criteria can be approved by Training Council. 

Workshops and Courses 

A free introductory course on speaking is run for new members. Non-members pay a fee of which a portion is credited against the joining fee if he or she joins Rostrum within one month of the course. Quarterly workshops on Saturday mornings on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to communication and conference are also organised by Training Council. 

Visiting Other Clubs 

Members of Rostrum are encouraged to visit other clubs in this zone and in other zones. The list of clubs in this zone and their meeting times is in the syllabus and available on the website. 

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