2014 Annual General Meeting

MAD’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is coming up, as it is both annual and a general meeting. For those of you who are new to the club, the main agenda item is the election of the Executive for 2015. Being on the executive is a fantastic opportunity to develop leadership and administrative skills, have your say in running one of the most active clubs on campus and get more involved in the greatest debating society in the world! All members are invited to vote and attend and we’d love you to come along.

The details of the AGM are as follows:

Monday, September 15
1.15pm, Campus Cinema
Campus Centre, Building 10, Monash University Clayton

Candidacy statements, should you wish to submit one, will be due on 11:59pm, Monday 12th September. Details of the candidacy statements are below.

Election of the 2015 MAD Executive

The following positions will be elected at this meeting:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • IT Officer (Webmaster)
  • Members Without Portfolio (MWOPs) x 7

N.B. While MWOPs lack any specific portfolio, the portfolios for this year were: Socials, Externals, Internals, Schools Training, Member Training, Sponsorship, and Member Services.

To find out more about any of these positions you’re strongly encouraged to contact the current office holder.

Voting and Running

Any Clayton based student who has been a member of the club for 10 days prior to the AGM is eligible, and strongly encouraged, to run for any position on the executive and vote at the meeting.

To run for a position you may be nominated by two other voting members at the meeting (no advance notice is required). If more than one person is running for a position there will be a secret ballot and each candidate will have the chance to present a brief speech.

Candidates for all positions are also encouraged to submit a short candidate statement that will be distributed in Tastebud, although this is not required to run for a position on the day. The statements are due by Monday, September 8th, at 11:59pm

Maximum speaking times and word lengths for optional candidate statements

The election of positions will be in the order listed:

President 2 Minutes 500 Words
Vice President 2 Minutes 500 Words
Treasurer 2 Minutes 500 Words
Secretary 2 Minutes 500 Words
Assistant Treasurer 2 Minutes 500 Words
IT Officer 2 Minutes 500 Words
Members without Portfolio 1 Minute 200 Words


If you are unable to attend the meeting you’re strongly encouraged to submit a proxy to vote on your behalf. This is extremely important because it allows you to have your say over important club decisions and helps the meeting make quorum.

Any voting club member may hold the proxy of one other eligible member. To proxy your vote please email your name plus the name of your proxy (you may list more than one preference) to our Secretary, Swetha, by 1:15pm the day of the meeting. If you cannot find someone to hold your vote, we will happily find someone for you so please get in touch.

Meeting Agenda and Other Business

To place an item on the agenda to be discussed at the meeting please send your agenda item(s) to the Secretary at least two days prior to the meeting. If you wish to propose a constitutional amendment this requires additional procedures detailed in the Club Constitution.

Candidacy Statements

You can find below all of the candidacy statements submitted for the upcoming AGM! Please note that you can still run even if you haven’t submitted one.


Andrew Elder

I want to be the President of MAD in 2015. I think I have the necessary skills, experience and – most importantly – enthusiasm for the job. I love this club and have ever since I joined it in the very first week of 2012. That’s my biggest promise if I’m elected: I promise to be at tournaments, at training, at practice debates, at meetings, and at socials throughout the year, always keen and always involved. You can believe me because that’s exactly what I’ve done for the last three years.

I think MAD is going in a great direction at the moment. 2014 has seen some great changes – things like the novice program and sponsorship contracts stand out – and I think the club should continue on this path. That doesn’t mean there aren’t rough edges to smooth over, and if elected I look forward to consulting with members before next year about how exactly these (and other) programs should evolve. That being said, the current good-health of the club goes beyond discrete executive policies. My favourite thing about MAD is the consistently supportive environment we try to create. I will do my best to maintain this culture, ensuring we remain welcoming for all members (KPI #1 will be remembering Easters Novices’ names).

My experience as Treasurer this year means I’m very familiar with the often hidden administrative side of the club. This often-messy, always-boring work is essential to keep everything running, and I’m confident I’m in a good position to oversee it.

To conclude: I want to be President because this club is great and I want to keep it great.


Andrew Belyea-Tate

Hi everyone! Next Monday I will be running to be your Vice-President in 2015. I am eager to further contribute to the organisation of the club I have loved participating in for the past three years. I have greatly enjoyed my time on MAD’s executive committee as Internals Officer in 2014 and previously Sponsorship Officer in 2013. I consider that the knowledge and skills I have learnt during the course of these roles has prepared me well for working with next year’s executive. My priorities for next year include further developing recent policy initiatives such as the novice mentoring program and strengthening our sponsorship base, while ensuring MAD can continue to deliver a quality experience for all members as we increase in size. Although the position I am running for (VP) rhymes with the acronym most debaters call me, I will resist the temptation to sign off with a cheesy cringe-inducing slogan. I hope to have your support at the AGM!


Shara Teo

Hello fellow MADdies! Hopefully most of you know who I am, if you don’t, my name is Shara and I’m running to be Treasurer of MAD in 2014. I’m sure most of you have encountered me at some point this year, either as part of my role as Sponsorship Officer (a bit of shameless spruiking here – I hear the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Debate is coming up and it sounds fantastic!) or the Easters logistics committee. I think my heavy workload this year has placed me in good stead to take on the responsibilities of Treasurer. I think I am organised and willing to devote the time necessary to fulfill my obligations to the club. Although I haven’t had direct experience with the Treasury, I’m definitely willing to put in the effort to learn and am excited by the prospect of this more challenging role. But more importantly, I can assure you that a vote for me will be a vote on the executive for policies that are more egalitarian and reflect the interests of the less vocal within the MAD community. I think we have made positive changes in the club this year, especially with regards to the novice program, and I want to make sure we continue to move in the right direction next year. I’m strongly believe in cultivating a more inclusive culture at MAD, and I promise that if elected to the 2015 executive, I will endeavour to make that happen.


Sam Scott

As someone who has served on the secretariat in the past, I understand the key role that the Secretary plays in the functioning of not just the executive, but the club as a whole. It is a position which requires a huge amount of organisation as well as strong liaison with all other members of the executive. I think I would be good in filling this position therefore for a few key reasons. To begin with, as Treasurer in 2013, a position which, like Secretary, requires a large volume of work on a regular basis, I was able to succeed in completing all the necessary tasks as well as engaging as an active member of the club and the executive while still fulfilling my university requirements. In a similar way, I am confident that I will be able to manage the workload of Secretary with other commitments that may arise.

Secondly, I am aware of what the Secretary needs to provide to other members of the executive, in particular the other members of the secretariat, in order to ensure that their jobs are as smooth as possible. These things include ensuring that minutes are kept up to date, available to all executive members as soon as possible and confirmed with regularity as well as organising executive meetings and bookings. To the extent that is difficult to reform any aspects of the Secretary’s role and in general I think the position is effective, my aim would be to ensure that all these routine commitments of the Secretary were achieved with the highest level of efficiency possible.

However, further to this, I think the Secretary plays a major role in keeping ordinary club members informed as to the decisions that are being made and the effects that the decisions have on them. I think this is a key aspect of the Secretary’s job which I would definitely like to focus some time on as I think at times one criticism of the executive is that it is seen to be a little aloof and elitist by other members of the club and breaking this down through regular updates and open meetings is an important step forward for the club.

In terms of what I bring to the executive in general, as someone who has served on the executive previously but is not currently doing so, I am in a good position to understand both the ways in which the executive works but also things that have and haven’t worked in the past, as well as the successes and failings in presenting decisions to the club as a whole. To the extent that having people with experience on the executive is important, I think this experience that I would provide would be invaluable in forming an effective executive moving forward into 2015 and for these reasons, I think I would be an excellent candidate for Secretary of MAD, 2015.

Nathan Steinkoler

I would like to be part of the 2015 Executive because I would like to continue the fantastic work of this year’s Executive in making MAD a better place to learn, have fun and make new friends.

I am drawn to the position of Secretary because I think it is the best way I can utilise my skills to assist the club.

The first thing I think the position demands is the ability to stay on top of all the minutes, emails and tastebud. I believe I am well placed to do this. I have been a Secretary in the past for Monash International Affairs Society and have learnt a lot from that experience. I also have managed groups before such as my indoor soccer team and a delegation to a Model UN Tournament in Montreal. Moreover, the year I have spent on the Executive in 2014 has given me good experience in how the club functions.

The second thing I think the position demands is an all-consuming love for the club. During 2014 I have taken on the position of Production Manager for MDR, spearheaded the opening of a new bank account so the club could earn more interest and even baked my own main course for Regressive. I have attended every social and almost every Monday session and Executive meeting this year, as well as participate in MAD cricket, soccer and dodgeball. Whatever it is, the club can always count on me to come down and lend a hand.

For these reasons I hope to remain part of the Executive in 2015, with Secretary my preferred position.

Ambika Wakhlu

I would love to be the Secretary for MAD in 2015.

The past two years I’ve spent at the club have been amazing but particularly this year I really felt the difference this year transitioning to a pro. I realized just how important it is to have passionate older members to help develop and engage the younger debaters, and hopefully I would be able to do this as secretary.

Whilst secretary will involve a lot of work, I think my previous experience in similar roles will make it very manageable. In other organisations I have been responsible for minute-taking and bulk-emailing, along with organization of a variety of different people (and their schedules). I think the upside to this work is that it will allow me to have a key role in the success of the club. The necessary organization of various activities may be uninteresting but I think it is vital to allow the funner aspects of debating and socials to run smoothly. To be honest, as a Med kid who’s probably on some OCD spectrum, organizing things gives me a sense of satisfaction. I really believe I would enjoy the role next year and hopefully continue and improve the MAD culture and successes.

Assistant Treasurer

Swetha Prabhakaran

I am running for the position of Assistant Treasurer for next year. As the current Secretary of MAD, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to MAD, and I am keen to help it become bigger every year. There have been many new initiatives this year, such as the novice and sponsorship programs, aimed at ensuring that all club members, particularly younger ones, have a good time at MAD – and I look forward to ensuring that they are developed into long-term programs.

Generally, I am organised, timely and dedicated to the commitments that I take on, qualities that are crucial in being Assistant Treasurer. Having helped organise Easters, and having handled the daily workload of a Secretary while taking on a full academic load, I am sure that I can continue to do so next year. I will put in more than the required time and effort to learn the nuances of being an assistant treasurer, and will work hard to ensure that the accounts of MAD are in safe hands! I’ve been around almost every week from the first week in 2012, and I’m passionate about seeing it grow and evolve. I hope to contribute to making this club even better next year as your assistant treasurer.

IT Officer

Liam Tomlinson

This year, I am going to run for the Webmaster/IT Officer portfolio on next year’s executive. I feel that I can complete the job to a high standard, and build upon the immaculate work of the previous Webmasters, in particular Stephen Moore. In respect to skills required to complete this job, I feel like I can satisfy the requirements. Firstly, I have skills in handling AV/lighting equipment, gained through an extensive period of time in theatre projects and feel that I can add to the MAD YouTube page in that respect. Furthermore, I have been exposed to the WordPress program, the program that the MAD website was recently transferred over to from HTML. In respect to any gaps that I may have in my skill set, I am someone that puts a lot of effort into grasping new areas of knowledge quickly, and have a good relationship with previous Webmasters to ensure that the running of this portfolio can progress and continue to provide many important services. I am also committed to providing a shake up from some of the humour that has been exhibited on the MAD twitter account!

In respect to more general skills, I feel that I am a hardworking person, as evidenced by my work as this year’s Schools Training officer for MAD. Many of the skills required to run a functioning and successful portfolio are, in my opinion, transferable. These include hard work, perseverance and a willingness to work productively with other members of the executive. On that note, during my time this year on the executive, I have learnt how to become a productive and co member in meetings and in other projects that the executive have embarked upon, and I would love to further contribute to the executive and the association as a whole. Being a part of the executive has provided significant enjoyment for this past year, and I hope to continue to be an important member for years to come.

Members Without Portfolio (MWOPs)

Keefe Chan

Hi! I’m Keefe, a 3rd year MADdie and law student, and I’ll be running for an MWOP position with an interest in taking up the Member Services or Internals portfolio. Being in charge of the Member Training portfolio this year, I’m no stranger to executive duties, and it would be a pleasure to spend my 4th (and unfortunately, final) year in service of MAD yet again. I’m running for these portfolios because I’ve always had an interest in making sure the younger members of MAD do well, and I think these portfolios best serve that purpose. I also intend to spend some time helping out whoever will be running the Member Training portfolio (knowing the large responsibilities that come with it).

Another reason to vote for me is because my age (with me not being on the extreme end of the old or young spectrum of the club) allows me to represent a variety of perspectives in making executive positions.

I look forward to serving you on the exec! ☺

Kimberly Clarke

In case I hadn’t wasted enough of my life in the pit of debating, I’m now running for MWOP so now that I can truly say I have nothing better to do with my time. Now you might be thinking, “why would I wanna vote for Kim even though she is ridiculously attractive and studying an incredibly useful degree?” and wow, I’m so glad you asked because there’s only one real answer. YOU! And by you, I actually mean you can help fuel my ego by voting for me and mimicking my style of army pants and flip flops, classic joke.

But in all seriousness, I am actually very enthusiastic in giving back to the club and it’s members. Debating has always been a haven for me and somewhere I’ve gained loads of friends and knowledge. My love for debating demanded daily training from Stephen in the lead up to Easters so you can rest assured that I can equally devote a lot of time to MAD.

To conclude, myself like my name (capsikim, pumkim, mexikim) has many uses and I’d like, even love, for one of them to be a greater responsibility within MAD.

So vote 1 Kim Clarke for a rocking MWOP.

Amy Gilbertson

The reason why I’d like to run for MAD socials in 2015 is because I think I can organise a great piss up. The social aspect of MAD has been my favourite part and I would really like to be apart of it’s organisation. It is important to me that people have an avenue outside of tournaments to feel included and I would love if I could help in that regard. Plus, there are more brownies where the others came from.

Stephen Moore

As someone who has been on the executive for many (5) years, I hope to bring much experience to every aspect of the executive. I have served in a number of positions (including President, Vice-President and Secretary), and so understand the way that virtually every portfolio operates. But as much as I can bring insight to sponsorship, selections, and socials policy, I know that I am very old. While I do have policies I am committed to, I also want this executive to be able to decide for itself how to prepare for the future.

It is to that end that I want to serve as Member Training. Much as my role as Webmaster this year has been to make myself redundant, I know that senior members of the club, such as myself, bear the burden of preparing for our collective departure. And I hope that I can prepare training resources, run sessions, and create a member training programme that can serve the needs of all our members.

Alternatively, I also hope that I could serve in any other position the Executive needed. Member Services, Internals, and Externals all serve essential functions, and are areas I could contribute to significantly.

Tom Stansfield

MAD is essentially the woman in my life. She’s been very good to me (let’s face it, she’s hot, smart and extremely supportive) and I want to do right by her and raise her children. My regime would have three policy initiatives to try and improve the quality of member training:

1) No Post-Structuralism – The overall training program needs to be designed ahead of time: the sessions should intelligently complement each other in a gradual progression over the year.

2) Training Trainers – Try as we might, us old hacks won’t be around forever: we need to train the next generation to replace us. So I want to implement a plan to support younger trainers, including: pairing with older mentors, training sessions on research, helping them find subjects to present on, etc.

3) Resource Overhaul – The truly obsessed need more than just one or two training sessions per week. I want to massively reform the training materials MAD has. Some of these are realistic, like a bigger, badder (I don’t mean worse) training handbook. Some are a little crazy but I’ll do my best, like a weekly “speaking tips” YouTube video.

I’d go into more detail, but the 200-word cap is ridiculous…ask me if you need more information!

Nathan Steinkoler

The last few years has regrettably seen a trend towards tamer MAD evenings. If we don’t act now we may lose an entire generation of Maddies to proper hydration, safe driving, and worst of all, high achievement.

If elected MWOP and appointed socials officer I intend to fix this by promoting later evenings, more music (get ready to dance to ‘Shout’ by the Isley Brothers) and more alcohol at social events.

Is the era of great MAD parties over? Well it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour, and it ain’t over now!

Ambika Wakhlu

I would like to go for an MWOP position at the moment. The past two years I’ve spent at the club have been amazing but particularly this year I really felt the difference this year transitioning to a pro. I realized just how important it is to have passionate older members to help develop and engage the younger debaters, and hopefully I would be able to do this as an MWOP.

I believe I have the organizational skills and enthusiasm to fill any role that an MWOP might present with. I think this work is key in the success of the club and I would love to play an integral role in the exec.

Rohan Waring

I’m running to ensure that the incoming executive make decisions that benefit the whole club, as opposed to overly focusing on tournament success and highly skilled debaters. Coming from a non-elite school, without any training before starting at MAD, I want to make sure that these people still have a meaningful chance to engage in the club, even when they aren’t the best at debating. I believe that still involves making sure that all people get a chance to develop, even beyond their first-year and making sure we have a diverse range of regular socials, to keep everyone involved.

After 4 years at MAD, I’m also able to add institutional knowledge on decision-making, so that we can find the balance of inclusion and achievement that is so important.

Within the exec, I believe I would be a good fit for externals – I’m very capable of running the admin side of the role and will work to make sure all young kids that are keen to get to tournaments (especially minis) get a chance to go. However I’m happy to take on any role, including School Training – I don’t currently have independent coaching jobs, so I’d have no conflict here.