HAPPY TIMES: (From left) Betty Vann, Anne Griffin, Judith Mayell, Bernadette Knight, Dr Fuji Chamberlain OAM, Marie Phillips, Ann McAfee, Jennifer Ponting and Mary Wong. Dr Fuji Chamberlain OAM passed away last year. Fuji was a very highly respected member of the Japanese community, and a devoted POWERtalk member.
HAPPY TIMES: (From left) Betty Vann, Anne Griffin, Judith Mayell, Bernadette Knight, Dr Fuji Chamberlain OAM, Marie Phillips, Ann McAfee, Jennifer Ponting and Mary Wong. Dr Fuji Chamberlain OAM passed away last year. Fuji was a very highly respected member of the Japanese community, and a devoted POWERtalk member.

Confident social talking group celebrates 50 years

POWERtalk Brisbane Central will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 12, proving the enduring popularity of the group that helps people overcome one of their greatest fears: public speaking.

Similar to Toastmasters, POWERtalk welcomes anyone who has an interest in boosting self-confidence, learning new skills and making new friendships.

Age is no criteria.

"We have members in their 90s who still participate," president Mary Wong said.

"It helps keep the mind active and keep them sharp.

"And it's a social thing too. As people age, they lose people around them.

"They can end up living alone. Here they can come along and meet friends."

POWERtalk Brisbane Central meets twice a month on the first and third Tuesday.

"We train through participation and evaluation," Ms Wong said.

"It helps people gain confidence.

"We also do training in leadership skills and in speaking skills.

"People come from all sorts of different backgrounds, some are highly educated, and some are not.

"We do not discriminate. It is an inclusive, supportive organisation."

The feedback from members keeps organisers determined to ensure the club continues operating for another 50 years.

"The majority of people who turn up come because they are a bit nervous or shy of speaking (in public)," Ms Wong said.

"But we also get people who are very creative and want an outlet.

"The newer people joining now are generally business people who realise that to go forward in business they have to speak confidently, especially to give presentations."

Two of the current members have won Australian writing contests, one has won internationally, one member is a speaker for National Seniors International and three members will be attending an international convention in Seattle in July.

POWERtalk Brisbane Central started in 1966 and became charted in 1967.

This year the 50th anniversary will be celebrated no doubt with some public speaking followed by a lunch.

For more information, email the group at info@powertalkbrisbanecentral.org.


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