In 1984 Queanbeyan Toastmasters asked me as their federal MP to be their patron. In 1996, now out of the parliament, I decided to join Queanbeyan Toastmasters. In 2010 I transferred to Wollongong following a move to the coast on medical advice. I have held club office in both clubs. Toastmasters has improved my impromptu speaking and speaking techniques and Table Topics experience was an excellent grounding when I was appointed as an election observer in Sri Lanka in 2000. I was sent to Jaffna to observe the election process there while the city was under threat from Tamil Tigers. Gun and bazooka noises were constant there. When I returned to the capital and appeared before international media I was understandably queried at length on the experience with plenty of questions without notice. Toastmasters experience has also been very useful in a number of launches for the book.
Born 15 September 1934.Served as member for Eden Monaro for 5 terms until 1996 and chaired the Keating government caucus from 1993-1996. Owned and managed pharmacies in Victoria and Canberra. Established Queanbeyan City Council’s Community Workers’ Department between 1975 and 1977. Raised stud angora goats for 17 years. Qualified at the Victorian College of Pharmacy (now part of Monash University). Voluntary youth probation officer Victoria, President and Secretary of the Salaried Pharmacists Association, Honorary Lieutenant pharmacist, Army Reserve for many years. Former convenor of Beyond Federation, and member of the Drug Law Reform Foundation.