Asia Mensa annual gathering 2017 Gold Coast header

Mayor Tom Tate

Tom Tate was re-elected Mayor of the City of Gold Coast, in March 2016.
Tom is a civil engineer by trade, having graduated from the University of NSW in the early '80s. He started his career in the construction industry and later moved into the tourism and hospitality industry.

He is an active member of the Gold Coast business community, having served for many years as a director for a variety of business associations and organisations, including Gold Coast Turf Club, and as Director and Regional Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland. Tom is a Life Member of the Surfers Paradise/Broadbeach Chamber of Commerce.

As Mayor, Tom is working to return that 'have a go' spirit back to the Gold Coast.

The multicultural Mayor was born in Asia and speaks three languages.

Subject to mayoral commitments, Tom has agreed to welcome Mensans to the Gold Coast at the opening ceremony.

Jellurgal Cultural Centre

Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre offers us an amazing and accurate insight into the spirituality and society of the Yugambeh Aboriginal people, one of the oldest living cultures in the world.

The 'welcome to our country' ceremony is a small, formal ceremony where traditional owners, usually elders, welcome people to their land. It involves a speech made in Aboriginal dialect, translated for those in attendance, to show respect to the traditional custodians of the land.

At this ceremony, the traditional owners give their blessing to the event taking place on the land. How this ceremony is best conducted may vary according to the location of the event and the traditional practices of the Aboriginal community.

There will be dance performances, including corroborees, dreamtime stories, didgeridoo music and songs, a mesmerising and inspirational showcase of Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Kurrawa Surf Club Beach Safety Demonstration

The Kurrawa Surf Club is our designated watering hole for the Gathering, in appreciation for all the help they are giving us, especially on the topic of beach safety.

This talk should be compulsory for all Mensa attendees, as it could literally save your life.

They will explain how you must ALWAYS swim between the red and yellow flags.These are the safe areas of the beach where lifeguards are always watching out for swimmers who might get into difficulties.

The main danger is not a shark, but a "rip" just under the surface of the waves, which can sweep even a strong swimmer out to sea.Do not go swimming after drinking, or at night.

Have a great swim, but stay alive!

St. John's Future Thinkers

The St. John''s team won the major award at the recent Future Problem Solving National Finals in Melbourne. This will be a complete departure from the usual Mensa speakers in that they are very young. They are also a good fit for our Gathering in that they are interested in the concepts for which Mensa was originally set up, i.e. to help humanity.

They will discuss workplace issues of gender equality. harassment, fraudulent credentials, hiring and firing, international law disparities, and cultural and language problems.

Their next goal is to win the International Finals.

Get your questions ready for them, and make sure you make them feel very welcome at the coffee break.
st johns

Jim Werdell
Mensa Research and Educational Foundation

Jim has been a member of American Mensa for more than 37 years, and is presently the MERF Vice President. He served on the American Mensa Board for 12 years and the Mensa International Board for 13 years, including a term as the Mensa International Chairman.

Founded in 1971, the Mensa Education & Research Foundation is a philanthropic, nonprofit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence in human intelligence. The mission and strategic focus are directed at scholarships, education, and awards.

Last year more than 400 Mensa volunteers evaluated over 11,000 scholarship applications, and awarded more than US$140,000 in scholarships in the U.S. and internationally. The Foundation also presents national and international awards in recognition of research, education, and practical achievement regarding giftedness, intelligence, and creativity, including a special US$20,000 award presented every other year. The Foundation also publishes the Mensa Research Journal, and sponsors award-winning educational activities and projects for gifted youth, such as the Mensa For Kids website.

Fatou van den Hoff

Yes, our very own Foxy (that's her on the left) visited North Korea in 2016, and will give us a unique insight into life in the country ruled by the man with the bad haircut (not the USA).

She writes "I'm not a scholar of DPRK politics, culture or society. It will be a personal story and my opinion about what I saw and how I felt."

Her talk will be accompanied by a slide presentation, and promises to be a talk of great interest to all of us.

Make sure you thank her properly, with multiple gifts of liquid refreshment.

David Bezanson PhD.

David is a member of Mensa USA, and is an accomplished speaker, who has extensive experience in public speaking and has presented at 3 previous Mensa gatherings.The subject for his talk is:

What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom? Why is it important? May either be learned?

Meet Mr Intelligence and see how intelligence without wisdom is often ineffective.

Meet Mr. Wisdom and see how wisdom is more ethical and effective for some goals and problems. Wisdom remains free from tradition, bias, and assumptions and balances social and task intelligence.

Does meditation enlarge the brain or increase intelligence? What kinds of measures have been used to test this?

Do Mensa admission tests measure intelligence, wisdom, or both?

We will gather in pairs to brainstorm about wise solutions to global problems.

Bernard de la Coeur

Bernard is a member of Mensa, and fronts a band called The Brass Taps.

Songwriting accolades

Winner, Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival Songwriting Competition 2016, with "Just A Pretty Girl".

Finalist in the Roddy Read Song Writing Award (Maldon Folk Festival) - 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 Finalist & co-runner-up in the City of Port Phillip Music Slam - 2010
Runner-up in the Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival songwriting competition - 2014
Full Swing Short Film Festival (Melbourne Swing Festival) - Best Film 2004, Runner-up 2005

Bernard hopes to supply some loan ukes to run a 'learn to play ukulele' workshop.
Other possibilities are that he could get some ukulele buddies to perform a set during one of the evening gatherings - and maybe even incorporate a ukulele workshop as part of it, eg during the poolside meet-and-greet or beachside BBQ, or beach activities on the Saturday arvo. (That's "afternoon" for non-Australians).

I may even be persuaded to bring along my own ukulele!

Teresa Wong

Teresa was a LEAP speaker in San Diego and Krakow last year. Her talks on “ Project Management for Smart People” led to her being on the MCIB (Mensa China Interim Board), where her Asian and Anglo Saxon business and cultural experience is invaluable..

Her subject will be "When East meets West - Transformational Management"

When businesses absorb businesses from a different culture, the management needs to consider how those cultures differ and how to manage the merger.

As at AMAG or any social meeting, we see how personalities are moulded by their upbringing, culture and age. We need sensitive recognition of how us as individuals can best communicate with each other. Do we simply bow to the stronger personality, or do we try to merge both cultures to work together for the best result?

She will reveal some startling facts, and looks forward to sharing some amusing anecdotes about what happens when East Meets West!