WA Branch Newsletters

The Australia Britain Society Western Australia produce a quarterly NEWSGRAM and regular NEWS ALERTS to keep members informed of activities and relevant nNewsGramews.

Please contact the editor to request the latest copy:                        Evelyn:  (08) 9349 5043


ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN RELATIONS                                                                                                      

WA State Winner attends National Final in Sydney
The Australia-Britain Society Western Australia once again supported the annual Plain English Speaking Award (PESA) public speaking competition for senior school students sponsored by the Australia-Britain Society Foundation. The competition, initiated in 1977, will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2017.

This??????????????????????????????? year’s WA State Winner, Natasha Tonga from Shenton College, was presented with the PESA State Shield by the Minister for Education, Hon Peter Collier MLC, at a Gala Event at the Royal Perth Golf Club on the 23rd July 2016.
The competition is keenly contested throughout Australia with the winner from each state travelling to Sydney to participate in the Australian National Final. The winner of the National Final will travel to London to participate in the International competition sponsored by BBM Youth Support and conducted in England by the English Speaking Union.
Natasha joined the other State winners in Sydney in August for what must have seemed for her a very long week-end. Prior to the major event the students, coordinators and Foundation Trustees had the opportunity to meet and greet each other at their centrally located accommodation in the historic Castlereagh Boutique Hotel.
The National Final was held on Monday 15th August in a theatre of the NSW Art Gallery. A full house listened intently to the prepared and impromptu speeches and learned something personal about each student during their onstage interview. Brief speeches were given by the CEO of BBM Youth Support and the NSW President of the English Speaking Union with a musical interlude by Laruen Olofsson.

There was a hush in the theatre when the adjudicators returned to the stage to announce their decision. Runner-up was Tandee Wang, of Sydney Technical High NSW; and the winner of the 2016 National Plain English Speaking Award went to Luke Macaronas, of St Kevin’s College Victoria. All of the finalists are to be congratulated on their preparation and performance, but the two young men gave outstanding presentations.
Although WA’s Natasha Tonga , is not the National winner, the Australia-Britain Society WA, her school, her teacher and her family can be proud of her presentation in Sydney and her role as a WA State representative.

Students between the ages of 16 – 18 years can speak to their teacher about registering for PESA by 31st March 2017. Teachers organise classroom sessions for students in April & May to select two school representatives.  The school representatives participate in the State Semi-finals and Final to be held in June & July.  The winner of the State Final will travel to Melbourne to compete in the National Final in August 2017.  Each state will have a representative in the National Final. Travel and accommodation for all State Winners and State Coordinators is generously funded by the Australia-Britain Society Foundation.  The winner of the National Final will represent Australia in the international English Speaking Competition in the UK.

Members of The Australia-Britain Society with 2016 award winner Luke Macaronas

Members of The Australia-Britain Society with 2016 award winner Luke Macaronas

Please refer to the Australia-Britain Society Foundation webpage for more information about the Plain English Speaking Award.


ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN RELATIONS                                  


(Inside WAAPA  Issue 42  Page 5)

Earlier this year, WAAPA students Robyn Constable, Robyn Buss and Cara Le Provost were awarded Australia Britain Society Scholarships to enable them to travel to Britain for secondments in their chosen fields.

The Australia Britain Society is an independent Australian organisation whose role is to maintain, encourage and strengthen the numerous links between the two countries.

Supported by her scholarship, Arts Management student Cara Le Provost enjoyed a ten-week secondment with Lil and Kate London Ltd, a private accommodation booking agency based in the heart of the film and production hub of White City in west London. Having worked previously for booking agencies in Sydney, Le Provost was keen to in extend her experience to the international sector. Her secondment involved researching and reporting on some of London’s most luxurious private housing, penthouse apartments and hotel room options for cast and crew filming in the UK. “It was a very serious introduction to the UK film industry and all its complexities,” says Le Provost.

Robyn Constable and Robyn Buss, both Costume students, used their scholarships to cover their accommodation during their secondments with London’s Tower Theatre Company in July. Constable and Buss worked on the Tower Theatre’s production of Time and the Conways, joining the rest of the company in turning their talents to whatever was needed. The students helped with the ‘bump-in’ process (preparing the theatre for the show, where the set, props and costumes are made ready in the theatre, and the lights are rigged), did painting touchups on the set and organized the dressing rooms.

Robyn Constable also ended up being the lighting operator for the show – not something she was prepared for but which she ended up enjoying.  “It was a very small show that we worked on and so it had very simple lighting plots,” she explains. “They were in desperate need of a lighting operator so I ended up falling into that role. It was a very interesting and, to begin with, nerve-racking experience but once I knew my cues I was all set to go to do the lighting for the show. We had six shows that week that were all pretty successful. After the last performance everyone then helped bump the show out of the theatre. Even the actors!”

Constable found that the generosity and kindness of the people at Tower Theatre made the experience far less intimidating than she initially thought it would be. She was also impressed by how versatile and resourceful the company was in working on a small budget. “People in this company would swap between sound, lighting, set and costume from show to show just to get a chance to work in a different area and see what they preferred. And because they all have experience in the different areas they are all more than willing to help each other out when they are in need of it.”  Constable loved her secondment, summing it up as “great fun and a good learning experience.”



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