What do two boys and one pair of thongs have to do with a guest speaker at Sherwood Probus Club? Our guest speaker in June was Rhonda Faragher, a mathematics educator, who shared a photo of her welcome in East Timor by two boys who shared one pair of thongs: one wore the right thong and the other wore the left one!
Rhonda went to East Timor at the invitation of fellow educator, Dr Jo Brady, a Jesuit nun who was involved in training mathematics teachers in East Timor. Rhonda was tasked with writing a mathematics curriculum for the teachers’ training college.
She not only shared her experiences of working in East Timor but illustrated these with a wide range of photos: these included photos of the teachers’ training college, students playing sport, especially soccer, and the amazing scenery. This physical map of East Timor comes from Ezilon maps.
Times are tough , but the East Timorese have a thirst to learn and break the cycle of poverty. Some students were willing to walk for two hours to get to school.
Rhonda’s talk was extremely inspiring and we wish the students and East Timor well in the future.
Our Guest Speaker for May 2017 was Jacquie Kennedy, whose early career was in television in Australia and then 10 years in Los Angeles. Through her young son’s love of animals, she shared his passion, and on returning to Australia she joined Animal Welfare League, Queensland (AWLQ).
Jacquie spoke with warmth and passion about the work of the League. It was founded after 1959 when the local government practice of routinely putting down stray animals was stopped.
The League was formed to take in stray animals. While based mainly on the Gold Coast, it does have centres in Brisbane including acreage at Beenleigh (for all kinds of animals) and at Willawong. When given a stray animal they (i) try to reunite it with its owner; (ii) if not possible, bring it to optimum health, microchip, then (iii) find a new owner. There is no time or age limit in housing an animal.
Since foundation the League has found homes for over 130,000 animals. On any day they would have 1000 animals in their care. Jacquie was instrumental in developing a unique program called Golden Hearts Seniors Pet Support Program. A world first, it ensures pets of Senior Citizens are looked after in emergency situations. It is free to join. Whereas other Welfare Agencies charge large sums to care for an animal left in their care by a will, AWLQ does it for free.
Professor Roly Sussex of the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation at The University of Queensland was our guest speaker at our April meeting. His topic was “Australian English and where it is going”. Roly is well known through his weekly broadcast on the ABC and his column in the Courier Mail Weekend Magazine.
He is an entertaining speaker and throughout his talk he gave examples of Australian English, which has increasingly become more acceptable. An early written example was the Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis published in 1915. He was able to drop into a wide range of accents and colloquialisms to demonstrate his points and show the many regional differences.
What are the common features? A preference for using first names instead of titles and surnames; use of Americanisms in some spellings and words; and especially the use of diminutives, such as Rocky for Rockhampton, Bundy for Bundaberg. Other well-known diminutives, which don’t need explanation, are cab sav and barbie (not the doll). I find though that we tend to lengthen short words and shorten long ones! Apparently women are more responsible than men for changes in the way we speak, such as the high rise tone at the end of sentences.
Neil Page thanked Roly for his interesting talk and presented him with a “Certificate of Appreciation” and a Probus Pen.