An Australian Icon Retires

Geoff Johnston retires as Regional Director of the Australian Programme after 13 years of dedicated service.

Geoff Johnston Retires as Australian RD

L-R: Geoff Johnston (Retiring RD), Scott Monson (Incoming RD), Mark Irwin (ASEA President)

Over 60 graduates of the Australian Programme attended the recent course in Melbourne to pay tribute to a national icon. Geoff Johnston joined the programme in 1999, and took on the role of Regional Director in 2001. After 13 years and 70+ courses in the position, he was touched that so many graduates travelled across the country to thank him in person for the inspiration, motivation and dedication he has shown in helping so many on their road to freedom.

On the final morning of the course, Geoff received a book of messages from those unable to attend the course as well as a crystal 'trophy' that is sure to take pride of place on his mantle. Mark Irwin, McGuire graduate and President of the Australian Speak Easy Association, also acknowledge Geoff's contribution to the broader support of people who stutter in Australia.

Geoff will by no means be lost to the Australian programme. He will continue his involvement as a course instructor and primary coach, and as mentor to myself as I step into his shoes as the Australian RD. Geoff has often said that the role was the most important and rewarding 'job' of his career, but that it never felt like 'work' because he felt privileged to be able to help so many on their quest for speaking freedom.

So we did not say goodbye to Geoff in Melbourne. We did say thank you, enjoy your 'semi'-retirement and see you again soon on a future course!

Scott Monson
Incoming Australian RD