In 1993 Dianna Speed wasn’t just speedy, she had foresight to boot. An employee of the Australian Customs Service, Dianna put up a case arguing the benefits for Australian Customs Service workers of establishing a Toastmasters Club to The Collector of Customs, and the ACS or Australian Customs Service Club was formed.
An impressive 27 charter members joined the fledgling club. It was ably mentored by Joyce Rogers and Dudley Cowan of Ipswich Toastmasters, Gael Grooby, a Customs employee, with me, Jennifer Marshall, as club sponsor. The Charter Lunch was held on 1 September 1993. We met at the Customs Headquarters in Sir Samuel Griffiths Place, Adelaide Street.
The years flew, the Customs members dwindled as the Service started an in-house training programme, so we opened to the public. About ten years ago we merged with Torque, a bonus bringing to the club Tom Smith and Marina Bruno, who have been a strong backbone to our club. The venue moved through various city locations until we were lucky enough to snag the meeting room at the Brisbane Square Library, a convenient place for everyone. We kept the ACS name, but we gave it a twist: Accomplishing Communication Skills.
Many have benefited from membership of ACS and have been supportive of the club. Recently we lost some very experienced members such as Lindi Bowen-Needs, Wilma Schouten and Annie McGill. We love having visitors and welcome new faces to our club.
Like most clubs we have had ups and downs, but 20 years on ACS is still here encouraging, enthusing and assisting our members to achieve communication skills in a fun and friendly atmosphere. We aim to keep flying high.
Jennifer Marshall DTM, CL.
Member ACS and Ipswich Clubs