I had never been to Chinchilla or a district conference before, so this was a whole new experience for me! Julie Anne and I travelled by car on the Saturday. A leisurely road trip of over 5 hours, along the Warrigo highway, through Toowoomba, and numerous other towns I had only heard of, but not yet visited.
Place getters in the Evaluation Contest: Alison Cleaver (Centre) - 1st place
Getting to the outback town of Chinchilla may well have been a deterrent for many toastmasters in D69, especially if coming from further afield such as Darwin or PNG Divisions.
It didn’t matter though, as the large function room of the RSL was filled with plenty of enthusiastic, well ‘scrubbed up’ Toastmasters and guests from around District 69.
Billy Jazz, Teresa Brake (Southern Division Director), Sarafina Zubovic, Julie Anne Cantwell , Alma San Antonio (from PNG) and ?
We know that as speakers, things don't always go to plan, and that includes speech contests. We have to learn to stay calm, adapt and improvise....
Then …. at 6pm sharp , the PA system kicks in automatically– filling the room with the beautiful sounds of the bugle and the “League Ode” as happens every night apparently, at that time in most RSL's.
You then join the rest of the audience, standing up in respect to this traditional tribute to commerate "the fallen" RSL soldiers.
Finally, the decision is made to ditch the microphone altogether, asking all of the 13 judges to sit closer to the front to ensure the speakers could be heard clearly – which they were.
So, I was impressed too with the way contestants and district officials dealt with these microphone/sound system 'problems' in a calm and professional way.
Well done Marilyn, who will be the district 69 representative at the TM International Conference and world championship of public speaking contest in Vancouver, Canada, in august this year.
International Contest : Mahongo Fumbelo - 3rd place, Marilyn Freeman - 1st Place
and Billy Jazz - (from Southern Division) 2nd Place.
Teresa Brake, Julie Anne Cantwell, Christine Lennon and Sarafina Zubovic enjoying the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening at the Chinchilla RSL
Five different educational workshops were on offer. I attended Carolyn Shaw's very interesting and worthwhile workshop: ‘Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?'
Based on the work of Wiseman & McKeon, showing how to play to others intelligence, using more empowering and effective relating styles.
The Table Topics and humorous contests were held later that same day. Julie Anne Cantwell represented Southern Division in the Humorous contest and although she didn’t get placed, she did a great job and of course did our club and division proud. Well Done Julie Anne! A Terrific achievement reaching District level in only 1 year of your TM membership.
Teresa Brake (Southern Division Director) and Sarafina Zubovic (VPE, Helensvale Daybreak TM ) enjoying the conference and speech contests.
Late Sunday afternoon, we piled into 3 busses and were taken on a guided 'mystery tour'. Out into the Chinchilla countryside, our guide showed us the local coal seam gas (CSG) extraction site and then, as the sun was setting, we arrived at the Condabilla Fish farm, for a guided tour, followed by a BBQ dinner.
later that evening, It was fabulous to witness the stunning star filled sky with the half moon, making this mystery tour in the Chinchilla countryside, all the more worthwhile!
Another D69 conference "in the bag".
Although I did not attend the full conference, it was overall a positive and different experience. I was glad I made the trip and enjoyed the company of my fellow club and district members.
I take my hat off to all the contestants (especially to Julie Anne) and to the organisers of this huge event. Very well done.
Perhaps, I may see some of you at next year’s District 69 Conference at Ipswich - whether as a speech contestant, an official or a regular attendee.
Round 2: Area 24 Conference and speech contests - Oct 2016
Round 1 : Helensvale Daybreak Club speech Contest - Sep 2016
What are your thoughts on D69 conference? how did it compare to other conferences you may have attended? do you feel inspired to attend next year ? Please leave your comments below
Some extra photos: