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




After 41 years the annual PESA event still remains a significant part of the Australia-Britain Society’s year and 2018 was no exception. PESA is a public speaking competition for 15 to 18 year old high school students.  The competition is sponsored in each state by the Australia-Britain Society Foundation. The Australia-Britain Society (WA Branch) Inc. organises the competition in WA.

The 2018 WA PESA Final was held at the Victoria League, Shenton Park, on Saturday 21 July between:

Jemima Reid – Santa Maria College.

Zachary Matthews – Guildford Grammer School

Luke Button – Eastern Hills Senior High School

Cooper Hagan – CBC Fremantle

The 2018 WA Winner was declared to be Jemima Reid. Jemima went on to achieve Second Place in the National final held in Darwin on 12 August 2018 against six other State winners.

The national winner was Justin Lai of Sydney Boys High School whose prize was a trip to UK to compete in the International final.

The last event of PESA 2018 in WA was the occasion of the Presentation Morning Tea, held at Royal Perth Golf Club on Saturday 4th August. 50 people attended this event along with ABS members, PESA participants and their guests including teachers, friends and family members.

At this event, MC Kevan Barrett read out a letter of goodwill from Sue Wittenoom who had been WA winner in 1979, then a student at John XX111 College. Guest speaker was The Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd, former Dean of Perth, who gave an inspiring speech on the values of public speaking. After Jemima gave her winning speech Dr Shepherd presented her with the WA perpetual shield which will be held at Jemima’s school, Santa Maria College, until the 2019 competition.
The Australia-Britain Society acknowledges the generosity of the Victoria League for their valued donation of hospitality for the semi-finals and final of this competition.

Mr Leon Cohen 1978 PESA Award Winner

Mr Leon Cohen, the first WA Plain English Speaking Award winner (in 1978) visited the 2017 WA competitors during their Semi-Finals.



          Students between the ages of 16 – 18 years can speak to their teacher about registering for PESA by 31st March 2018. 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 Darwin to compete in the National Final.  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.

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




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