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SDTAWA at a Glance

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About

History

The Speech Teachers Association of Western Australia is one of the oldest professional teaching associations in the state. The Association has experienced a rather fascinating history which epitomises the passion and dedication of those foundation members to the subject of Speech and Drama.

The original term used for Speech and Drama was Elocution. In 1928, the Association was founded and it was originally known as the W.A. Elocution Teachers Association, the first of its kind in Australia. Later the name was changed to Speech Teachers Association of W.A. It became an incorporated body on the 20 November 1952. Music had flourished in those early years and had at the time a very well established incorporated body with some fine musicians, however during this time, a number of teachers, students and interested parents were stirring the community to promote the cause of speech, recognising the growing educational value of the subject. This was a period of trial and error and a voice was needed that could carry its message to those in authority - some united body was imperative to make an effective impact. From this, the Elocution Teachers of Perth formed an Association which was to prove invaluable to the profession.

The examining body, Trinity College of London, was very popular with music students and teachers, and later elocution was included with its own specific syllabus. Examiners, as they continue to do so today, were sent twice yearly from London to Australia for examination purposes. Dr C Edgar Ford, who was well known for his musicianship as well as being an outstanding man of literature and letters, became one of the first examiners of Speech and Drama. An Annual Elocution Competition was established and adjudicators from the Eastern States were engaged for this purpose. Some of those judges included: Messrs James Anderson, Trotmann, Montgomery Stewart, Douglas Caddy and Frank Johnston.

The Australian Music Examinations Board had been holding examinations in all branches of music across Australia for some years. In 1918 AMEB (WA) was established to provide music examinations. It was in 1928 that the Board introduced Elocution, or as it later became known as, Art of Speech. Over time entrants increased and special examiners were appointed and the AMEB grew in popularity. The Association was indebted to Professor A.D. Ross who was for many years chairman of the AMEB in Perth. Professor Ross urged members of the Board to consider the inclusion of Speech in the Examinations syllabus. One of the movements of the newly formed association was to approach the Public Examinations Board of the University of Western Australia with a request that Speech be put on the same footing as Music and Art, making it a subject for the Junior and Leaving Examinations. This was accomplished at this time in Queensland and Tasmania only. It was through persuasion of the ‘powers that be’ that the movement was ultimately sanctioned and speech formed part of the Junior and Leaving examinations in W.A.

Apart from examinations, the association was involved and associated with numerous activities such as Teacher’s Recitals, plays, Repertory Club, Concert Arts and other kindred societies. Miss Murial Bird’s studio in St George’s Terrace was generously used for many occasions, such as informal talks, social events and post examiners’ meetings. One such gathering was most profitable to the association when Mr Alexander Watson (Examiner; Elocution, Trinity College, London) gave a recital in the Karrakatta Hall and the proceeds were presented to the association for the purchase of a library. Mr John Le Tessier selected the collection of resources and the first home of this library was in a room in Forrest Chambers, St Georges Terrace. Dr. C. Edgar Ford, a great supporter of speech and drama, performed the official opening of the library. Later the library was moved to the basement of the West Australian Chambers and during the war years it was moved again to Miss Muriel Bird’s studio which was located in the same building as West Australian Chambers. Mrs Joyce Tate took over Miss Bird’s studio and later transferred her teaching studio to Forrest Place and the Watson Library went with her. Later venues for STAWA meetings included the Women’s Services Guild in Harvest Terrace, West Perth in the 1970s, and Drabble House, Nedlands in the 1980s. In the 1990s meetings were held at Wesley College, South Perth, and in more recent times meetings are held at the houses and studios of current council members.

In 1997 STAWA organized the inaugural Perth Speech and Drama Festival for its members and their students at Collier Primary School, Como. The Festival is still conducted and provides the opportunity for students to perform, at varying levels, works of prose, poetry and drama as well as public speaking and storytelling.

In 2006 the AMEB became co-presenters and sponsors of the Festival, awarding the Blue Ribbon Award for Year 12 Monologue.
In 2016 the City of Stirling also sponsored the Festival and donated a trophy for Year 11/12 Duologues. The Speech and Drama Teachers Association of WA also provides the STDAWA prize for the best Diploma Candidate which is presented at the annual AMEB Award Ceremony and Diploma presentation. And recently, SDTAWA sponsored a prize for the Best 2nd Year WAAPA poetry performance.

In 2017 SDTAWA approached Ms Julia Moody, Head of Voice at WAAPA to be our Patron. Julia accepted this honour and has already shown herself to be a worthy figurehead for our organization. We have for many years valued her sessions of Professional Development and adjudication prowess at our Perth Speech and Drama Festival.

Today, the Speech and Drama Teachers Asosciation of WA, SDTAWA (as it is now known), is very active and the horizons of the Association in the 21st Century have expanded greatly. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of communication both interpersonal and within the business and education spheres. Due to this expansion the Association will embrace a new target audience with a demand for services with a difference. Without the drive, vision, passion and leadership of those founding association members of Speech and Drama, the achievements of today could not have been realized. It is important to acknowledge and pay tribute to those inaugural members and their initiatives which established the path to the future.

This information is based on a small booklet which contains a potted history of the Association and it has been dedicated to the memory of the late Mrs E.M. McRostie who was the foundation president.

Included in this history are additional sections by Anita LeTessier where the names of teachers and supporters after the foundation of the Association are listed. This is followed by an outline of the history of the Association from 1977- 1986 written by Honor L. Nottage, who was President of the Association from 1977-1983. The author of the documented early history is not identified; however it could have been Honor L. Nottage.

Council Members

Deb Mitchell – President
Karen Goddard – Vice President
Maureena Lockyer-Benzie – Secretary
Angie Maher – Treasurer
Faye Donnes – Vocal News Editor
Lea Logie – Council
Julia Heptinstall – Council
Chris Lovering – Council
Jillian Gilbertson – Council
Andie Holborn – Council
Maggie MacEvilly – Council Member in Training Carlin Shelton – Council Member in Training Alice Hamilton – Council Member in Training

Sponsors

City of Stirling

Gallery

Testimonies

"Very Impressed"

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Mr Smith

Mr Smith

"Very Impressed"

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Id salutandi maiestatis eam. Numquam dignissim pro et, mel delenit alienum ancillae id. Labitur detracto oporteat at mea. Ea his tamquam labores volutpat.

Mazim philosophia ne vel. Mei an definiebas neglegentur, has etiam malorum labores id, ea his possit audire consetetur. Id ceteros moderatius mei, eu duo quot sapientem. Mei id veniam mediocrem, tollit ubique appetere sea ut.

Amet molestie disputando te pri, modus partem tincidunt in ius. No nec iudico nostro repudiandae, no oblique iuvaret his. Sanctus assueverit id sea. Invidunt referrentur et eam. Unum rebum interpretaris nec an, cu mea dico periculis assentior.

Learn

Calendar

2019

News

The Association produces a quarterly journal titled Vocal News. This journal offers a diverse range of articles associated with Speech and Drama, including information about forthcoming professional development workshops for teachers and students, as well as ideas for activities for our students.

To receive this journal you must be a member of the association, to become a member go to the join page.

Find A Teacher

The list below includes teachers who wish to have their details published by SDTAWA.

NamePhoneEmailLocation
Deb Mitchell0408195844deborahlmi@optusnet.com.auPerth College, Mt Lawley
Andie Holborn9341 6430andie@expressiondrama.com.auPrivate Studio, Wembley Downs
Karen Goddard0415597494dgoddard@iinet.net.auPrivate Studio, Como
Alice Hamilton 0457801714alicehamilton.98@gmail.comClaremont
Mary Sherborne0477056166mary@peakspeech.com.auPrivate Studio, Mt Lawley
Jillian Gilbertson 0408098345gilbojilly@gmail.com.auMelville Primary School
Chelsea Crowe0400237074chelseacrowe@mail.comPerth College
Sally Barendse0421492405sjbarendse@gmail.comPenrhos College

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Speech and Drama and why study it?

A: Speech and Drama is the study of, well, speech and drama. This can include public speaking, reading aloud, communication, voice projection, improvement of minor speech imparirments, such as clarity and nasailty (we recommend students seek professional advice from a Speech Pathologist for speech irregularities or abnormalities). In addition to voice and speech work, a Speech and Drama teacher also develops performance skills in a diverse range of performance genres such as acting, mime, creative movement, storytelling, public speaking, poetry and prose recitation.

Speech and Drama builds and improves life skills such as teamwork and cooperative learning, confidence and presentation. It encourages imagination and creativity, helps boost confidence and establishes a strong sense of commitment and ownership of tasks and decisions. Speech and drama programs will develop strong public speakers and instill in students a love of drama, literature and speaking.

Q: What is a typical Speech & Drama Curriculum?

A: There is no single curriculum that we teach to, and each teacher has their own program and method of teaching. However, things that you will see are poetry, play, prose, speeches, drama games and vocal exercises.

Q: Are Speech and Drama lessons just for children?

A: No. Speech and Drama lessons are available to people of all ages and abilities. All teachers are qualified professionals capable of teaching a diverse range of participants no matter what their age and ability. The Find a Teacher section of this site will help direct you to the appropriate teacher for your needs. Some teachers do have areas in which they specialise e.g. children and young adults; mature age students and adults; adults in all sectors of business.

Q: I have no experience in acting or public speaking, can I still join?

A: Students of speech and drama come from all walks of life and have a broad level of base knowledge. We welcome everyone no matter what stage you are at including ESL students.

Q: What performance opportunities are available to students of Speech & Drama?

A: A vast range of performance opportunities exist for students of our Members. Some of these include:

Preparation and performance in the Australian Music Examination Board exams and other examining bodies;

Participation in the Annual Perth Speech & Drama Festival

This Festival is open to students of members of the Speech Teachers Association. This is a unique, yet “friendly” Festival that recognises excellence in the performance of language, literature and drama within a nurturing, yet competitive environment; and
Individual and group ‘in house’ performance opportunities provided by your Speech and Drama teacher within their own studio setting.

Q: How do I find a Speech & Drama Teacher?

A: Please visit the Find a Teacher Section of this site.

Q: How much are the fees that Speech & Drama teachers charge? And what are the payment
options?

A: There is no published scale of fees so individual teachers will advise you of their range of charges depending upon whether you require individual or group lessons. Similarly, there is no one method of payment so you will need to contact the teacher directly.

Q: What is the difference between a Speech Pathologist and a Speech & Drama Teacher?

A: A Speech Pathologist deals with voice and speech irregularities or ‘abnormalities’ within a clinical setting. Patients are often referred by a GP, a School Screening Programme, Occupational Therapist or a Speech and Drama Teacher. A Speech & Drama teacher deals with ‘normal’ voice and speech and aims to embellish through strategies that enhance confidence and clarity in communication.

Q: What careers are there in Speech & Drama?

A: Students of speech and drama can of course go on to become actors and teachers of speech and drama, but this is not the only job opportunity. Speech and drama builds confidence and creativity, and plants the seed for strong communication and public speaking skills, this will set students up for a carrer in all kinds of fields such as lawyers, politicians, teachers & lecturers and reporters.

Useful Links

SDTAWA has affliations and links to a number of different organisations, locally, nationally and globally.

Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB)
National:
https://www.ameb.edu.au/speech-drama
Local:
http://www.ameb.uwa.edu.au/

There is always one representative of the Association on the AMEB Board as part of the Advisory Committee on syllabus and other educational matters. The present STDAWA representative is Dr Lea Logie and Karen Goddard is the Chairman, Assistant Professor Graeme Gilling’s speech representative. These representatives continue to forge the link established with the AMEB in those early years.

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)
Global:
https://www.lamda.ac.uk/
Local:
Roz Thomson [rozthomson8@hotmail.com](mailto:rozthomson8@hotmail.com
)

Trinity College London
Global:
https://www.trinitycollege.com.au/music/grade-exams/

West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
http://www.waapa.ecu.edu.au/

Black Swan State Theatre Company
https://www.bsstc.com.au/

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Please use the form below or email Maurenna at: marina@iinet.net.au