Mrs Libby Ellis OAM
President of the Royal;
Commonwealth Society South
Fifty-two countries are members of the Commonwealth. Our countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-one of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5 million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
All members subscribe to the Commonwealth’s values and principles outlined in The Commonwealth Charter.
Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
All members have an equal say – regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth
Local and International activities
Establishment of Associate Fellowships
I am pleased to inform you of a new development that will add breadth to the Royal Commonwealth Society and serve to attract new generations of support to our shared interest of promoting the Commonwealth and the values that underpin it.
The Council has decided to re-introduce the status of Fellows. The Royal Commonwealth Society in bygone years managed a Fellowship system. This fell into disuse but from the interest and advice received from various quarters, it is apparent that a contemporary scheme will be well received, especially by young people.
More than 60% of the Commonwealth population of 2.3 billion is under 30 and half of the membership is represented by small states and islands from where there are comparatively few opportunities for young people to broaden their perspective.
The new scheme will offer fellowship at associate level to young people who demonstrate an enthusiasm for the Commonwealth ideals as expressed in the Charter and an empathy for its relevance and purpose. In due course, the Council will give consideration to more senior and honorary levels of membership.
In all cases, the Council will authorise the status granted. The Council has decided to initiate the new scheme by inviting outstanding young applicants for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme to become the first group of Associate Fellows.
The primary aims of the new scheme are to connect young supporters with each other across the Commonwealth and to promote shared discussion and debate on contemporary issues and concerns. It is to be hoped that the Associate Fellows will be a fresh influx of young people for RCS branches and that you will encourage them to engage with your branch activities. Full criteria for the new RCS fellowship will be sent on request.
Each year the Commonwealth Day Observance is based around an annual Commonwealth theme. In 2015, the international theme was ‘A Young Commonwealth’, underlining the fact that people aged twenty-five or under account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population, and recognising their capacity, contribution and potential.
Boris Johnson laments over Maldives exiting the Commonwealth
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in London Friday that Britain "regrets that the Maldives has chosen to leave" the Commonwealth.
Oct 14, 2016
The Maldives said Thursday it had decided to leave the group of mostly former British colonies after what it called “unjust and unfair” criticism of its human rights record.
Associate Fellowship awarded in
Minh Tan Pham
The Royal Commonwealth Society was founded in 1868. It was given its present name in 1958 and is constituted as a charity. Over the years, the role of the Society has evolved to meet the changing nature of the Commonwealth and the needs of its Supporters. It is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. It is non-partisan, is independent of governments and is supported solely by public generosity.
Through its educational, youth and outreach programmes, the Royal Commonwealth Society seeks to encourage young people to develop their skills and, with an increased understanding of their role as global citizens, to engage with challenges facing the international community. It aims to bring alive the fundamental principles of the modern Commonwealth-–tolerance, diversity, freedom, justice, democracy, human rights and sustainable development-–to a generation living in an increasingly interconnected world. RCS projects seek to enable young people to engage with their counterparts across the Commonwealth in youth leadership programmes, creative writing such as the Commonwealth Essay Competition.
The RCS Ensemble
Office Bearers for 2015—2016
President: Liibby Ellis OAM
Vice Presidents: Margaret Lord
Treasurer: Allan Perryman
Historian Ken Pennell
Secretary: Julie Gameau OAM
Councillors : Chris Ashton
Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth the Second
International Patron of the
Royal Commonwealth Society
At the local level, the RCS (SA Branch) has commenced a photographic competition and an art competition. Each year a theme is chosen and entries are sorted into different age groups. In line with these youth objectives, the RCS (SA Branch) provides financial support for the Plain English Speaking youth public speaking competition, identified a need to foster young emerging musicians in South Australia and to provide opportunities to develop these artists by establishing the RCS Instrumental Ensemble to present a series of high quality chamber music concerts. Some of the diverse organisations The Royal Commonwealth Society in SA has supported are Co-Opera, Desalyne Dancers, Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia., Recitals Australia and charities such as Legacy and Guide Dogs SA./NT.
Members enjoy a lunch to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC
Patron of the South
Australian Branch of the Royal
A winner from the 2016 Art/Photography competition