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It Starts

With a Hello
Speech openings written and delivered
by Tony Wilson

MC
Conferences, Awards Nights,
Panel Discussions, Launches, Balls

Facilitator
Team building video making
exercises, Hypotheticals

Keynote speaker
“Creating a Creative Career”

To talk to Tony about hosting your next event visit
www.tonywilson.com.au

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Deacons Lawyers Networking Night

Illuminating Engineering Society
National Awards

Norton Rose Offices, RACV Tower
April 2002

Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne
March 2010

Thank you very much and hello.
I’ve decided to start with a ‘hello’, because if
ever this speech on networking is miraculously
transformed into to a self-help book, my first
choice for the title is It Starts with a Hello.
My plan for the book is to then spend the
next 145 pages using amazingly catchy headings
to define exactly what it is that the hello starts.
Certainly business contacts will be there. Business
contacts leading to financial success, leading to
more contacts leading to more financial success.
There’ll be testimonials from happy people on
how that first ‘hello’ changed their lives. Chapter
14 will be entitled, ‘How Good Is It Being Rich?’
and chapter 15 will be full of glossy pie-charts and
a colourful graph that plots number of people met
against number of Ferraris there are sitting in the
garage.
I can imagine it now. I’ll become the networking king of the world, speaking at networking
seminars and wearing really loud orange ties. I’ll
release a series of CDs that people can play in their
cars – and I’ll title that series Get Out Of Your Car
Quick Smart and Say Hello.

And then finally, in about the year 2016, I’ll
completely lose the plot and try to claim copyright
over the word ‘hello’, suing a woman for saying
‘hello’ to her husband and two daughters. I’ll lose
that case for the good of the people of Australia,
but hopefully, if things have gone to plan, at
least I’ll be able to say that I know most of them
personally.
“Presentation not only captured the theme of the evening, ‘It’s never
too early in your career to network’ – but was also entertaining,
witty and informative … I look forward to being able to invite you
back to Deacons in the future.” – Deacons Lawyers

Ladies and gentleman, 
My name is Tony
Wilson, and I stand here under the MC spotlight
asking questions I’ve never asked before, such as
‘what is the candela of this spotlight’, and ‘should
that be candela or am I really asking about lumen’?
Tonight is the IES’s night of nights, lighting’s
night of nights, lighting’s night of limelight, nighting’s light of night lights. You get the idea.
Tonight is the IES’s National Awards Dinner.
Think Oscars. Think Brownlow. And while you’re
thinking Brownlow, turn to the person sitting next
to you and ask yourself ‘am I looking at this function’s Brendan Fevola?’

“Tony Wilson was simply brilliant. His attention to detail, his
demeanor and willingness to assist with our evening was superb
and truly appreciated. His capacity to understand the ‘business of the
evening’ and yet bring his own interpretation, humour and delight
was remarkable. Cannot recommend him highly enough. With our
sincere thanks.” – David Poulton, Illuminating Engineering Society

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Australian Corporate Law
Association
Legal Hypothetical

Sport is the New Literature
Melbourne Writers Festival Debate

Invivo Mock Trial
Australian Society of Anaesthetists
Conference

Federation Square
August 2007

Federation Square
August 2009

County Court of Victoria
October 2010

Ladies and gentleman,
Sport is the new literature. This is clearly a
self-evident statement and I can hardly believe
we’re bothering to have a debate about it.
What can literature do that sport cannot?
Stories? For sure, literature gives us stories, but I’m
going to argue that sport gives us the same stories,
except quicker and with fewer Russian famines.
Insight into the human condition? Do you really
have time to wade through A S Friggin Byatt and
her world of impenetrable grey to find out who
you are, when you can look up Shane Warne’s
wikipedia entry? Success, failure, love, infidelity,
triumph, defeat, addiction, slight of hand. It’s all
there.
And as for the power of words, I hope our opponents don’t talk to us about the power of words.
Literature has had its day on that front. From
the day Ron Barassi wrote his famous ten by two
letter words manifesto, ‘If it is to be, it is up to me,’
sport has been leading the way with respect to the
power of words. Sports stars and coaches now set
the language agenda, and I have little doubt that if
Charles Dickens was starting ‘A Tale of Two Cities’
today, he wouldn’t be opening with ‘It was the Best
of the Times, it was the worst of times’. He’d be
opening with ‘Yeah … nah …’

Hello and welcome to the County Court of
Victoria for this Mock Trial, brought to you by
Invivo Medical Indemnity Insurers.
If you ask any tipstaff around here, they’ll
tell you that we’re just one more big budget deficit
away from real trials having sponsors as well –
‘Today’s case, the State of Victoria versus McBain is
brought to you by Four ‘n Twenty Pies… the great
Australian taste.’

Hello and welcome to the inaugural ACLA hypothetical here at Champions at Federation Square.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I’m sort of well
known in legal circles for my work as a writer and
broadcaster, but probably better known for my
ability to spin the same few anecdotes gleaned over
a 425 day legal career into a lucrative public speaking career.
For those of you who have missed them,
there’s the one about the time I snuck the word
‘Rocktober’ into an actual letter on actual Minter
Ellison letterhead. There’s the one about smashing
up a photocopier in a field to the Carmina Burana.
There’s the one about dressing up as a chicken and
storming the foyer at Blakes. There’s the one about
asking the question ‘what is a writ?’ on the first day
of articles. There’s the one about being described
as the ‘best goddamned Santa Claus in the history
of the firm’ at the partners’ picnic. There’s the one
about nearly getting charged for impersonating the
Australian Electoral Authority.
And of course there’s everybody’s favourite
— the one about chasing a man with a Ned Kelly
beard and a peg leg down William Street and
throwing myself across the bonnet of his car like
a character in The Sweeney, in order to serve him
with an affidavit.

“He absorbs his brief, makes constructive suggestions, and delivers a
product that has been an absolute winner at each of the functions.”
– Philip Rowell, Monahan + Rowell

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Linde Material Handling
Branch Launch

Scoresby
February 2012

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to
the Linde Material Handling Branch inauguration
here at Scoresby’s Caribbean Business Park. Take a
look around, ladies and gentlemen. The blue skies.
The heavy earth moving equipment. The beautiful
vistas where Stud Road meets the Monash Freeway.
I’ll wager that right now, there’s no Caribbean you’d
rather be sailing on than the Caribbean Business
Park in Scoresby, Victoria.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I’ll confess
that I’m not particularly involved in forklift world.
A good test might be “Would I be able to tell the
difference between 392 Series IC forklift and a 1401
Series Heavy Truck?”
And the answer to that question is ‘yes’ - if it
was running over my foot.

“I was particularly impressed by Tony. He is an excellent MC
and really added a lot of value today”
– Nicole Stanbury, Linde Material Handling Australia

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“Tony can be very satisfied with his performance
on Friday night. This group is always incredibly
excitable and social and the feedback was terrific.
Tony obviously loves talking to an audience
and it shone through.”
– Christine Collins, Stageright Events

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Australian Property Institute
Awards

Housing Industry Association
Greensmart Awards

City of Melbourne
‘Flush’ toilet art exhibition

Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne
August 2005

MAIA @ Docklands, Melbourne
October 2010

City Gallery
September 2005

Hello and welcome to the HIA-Boral
Greensmart Awards for 2010. As a great philosopher once said, ‘I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s
beautiful, And I think it’s what I want to be.’
That philosopher, first name Kermit, last
name The Frog, penned this thought in his Muppet
Show classic, It’s Not Easy Being Green. And Mr
The Frog was right. It isn’t always easy being green,
and had there been room for, say, fifty or fifty-five
more versus, I’m sure he would have got around
to crooning about air flow solutions or increasing
thermal mass, or attempting to find a word that
rhymes with double glazing.

Welcome to ‘Flush’, the quest for Melbourne’s
best public toilet-inspired art. And isn’t it a relief­­—
and isn’t it a shame that that’s my first joke of this
opening—isn’t it a relief to finally come across
an exhibition where Marcel Duchamps’ groundbreaking Fountain, his 1917 ‘urinal on pedestal’
work that was recently rated by 500 art critics
as the most influential art piece of the twentieth
century, would simply be appraised with ‘well, he’s
certainly done well with the theme’.

Welcome ladies and gentleman to the
Australian Property Institute Excellence in
Property Awards for 2005. My name is Tony
Wilson and it’s an absolute pleasure to be standing
up here in front of theses decorative gumnuts.
I’m a writer and can offer you a good line,
in case you’re single and looking for a bit of
Australian Property Institute action later in the
night:
‘Please be my snugglepot… and I can be your
cuddlepie.’
I wrote that for you property professionals for
free – although, if you like, you’re welcome to pay
me back with… free property.

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Australian Constitutional
Youth Forum
Welcome Address

Australian Teachers of Media
Awards

High Court of Australia , Canberra
May 2000

Capitol Theatre, Melbourne
October 2000

Chairman, members of the board, forum
delegates,
I’ll start by reading you the first line of the
Australian Constitution Act, 1900.
‘Whereas the people of NSW, Victoria, South
Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, humbly
relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have
agreed to unite …’.
Whereas the people? I can’t believe that in
the heat of nationalist sentiment in the 1890s, the
drafters of the Constitution sat down to pen that
all important first word and came up with ‘whereas’.
For mine, that opening sentence has always read
like it’s about to lead into some really bad news
about federation, but then, for some reason, that
bad news is missing. It’s as if the original draft read,
‘Whereas the people of NSW, Victoria, etc… have
agreed to unite, the people of New Zealand have
decided to bail, believing their own country to be
more beautiful, better located and containing of
less venomous spiders.’

Hello and welcome to Storey Hall for the year
2000 ATOM Awards.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I’ll be your host
for this evening’s award ceremony. For years now,
people have been saying this is the pre-eminent
awards ceremony of its type in the country. Indeed
there are a lot of people in the industry who are
saying the ATOM awards are right up there alongside the Academy Awards — alphabetically at least.
I’d also like to say thank you to the people
at ATOM for their longstanding commitment to
the word ‘of ’ in their acronym. If you look around,
you’ll see a lot of higher profile acronyms that are
simply not interested in ‘of ’. The United States of
America for example, is quite happy to go with
USA, rather than USOA. When West Germany
was the FDR, it didn’t go with either ‘of ’ or ‘von’,
which is the German translation of ‘of ’.
But the Australian Teachers of Media know
a good preposition when they see one, and have
backed ‘of ’ all the way. Mind you, they don’t have
much choice. Can you imagine turning up to the
ATM Awards:
‘And the nominations for cleanest teller
machine in a convenience store are:
The ANZ Night and Day Bank at the
Nicholson Street Food Plus.’

t“Tony’s speech provided a most entertaining and inspiring
beginning to what proved to be a marvellous event for young
Australians to participate in the current debates on Australian
constitutional issues.” – Donald McDonald, Chairman, Constitutional
Centenary Foundation

“ATOM highly recommends Tony Wilson as a host. Tony was articulate,
easy-going, entertaining, and had a sincere interest in what the
ATOM Awards were all about.”
– Jennifer Dawson, ATOM Awards Manager

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Superannuation Lawyers
Conference

Superannuation Lawyers
Conference

National Wine Centre, Adelaide
February 2007

Customs House, Brisbane
February 2008

Thank you for having me here tonight. I’ve been
told that this is the biggest professional development conference for superannuation lawyers on
the calendar.
My understanding is that all of the other
speakers will be addressing the particulars of the
legislation and the increasingly onerous compliance demands that have transformed you from
regular humans, to super humans. With my
background as a writer and a filmmaker, I thought
that what I could do is suggest some creative ideas
to take the profession of superannuation lawyer
to the mainstream. To make the general public
understand that yours is a job full of accumulated
knowledge, hard work and sacrifice. To have kids
running around playgrounds not wanting to be
firemen or racing car drivers, but experts on the
best interest test and prudential changes in the
aftermath of HIH.
I think it’s possible. And I think the answer is
Hollywood. The super films we should make are
many and numerous, but they should certainly
include: ‘Annuityville Horror’, ‘Love Actuarially’,
‘Girls Just Want to Have Funds’, ‘Honey I Shrunk
the Lump Sum!’ and of course everyone’s favourite,
‘Weekend at Bernie Fraser’s’.

Hello and welcome to the
Superannuation Lawyers conference dinner
for 2008.
My name is Tony Wilson, and you
may remember me from such previous
Superannuation Lawyers Conference
Dinners as last year’s. Yes I’ve been invited
back, and it’s a terrific thrill, because as I
explained last year, I’m both the spawn of
superannuation industry bloodstock (my dad
being former Wilson Dilworth founder Ray
Wilson) and a former lawyer myself.
I’ll actually always remember last year’s
conference, not just because it was such a fun
night — full of laughs and drunken songs and
grossly overwritten wine labels — but also
because I received a text message in the minutes
before we started from my partner Tamsin
telling me that my daughter had just smiled for
the first time.
Polly is thirteen months today, and I’ve kept
my phone on in the hope that I might get the ‘just
took first steps’ text. There’d be a beautiful symmetry to that. And given superannuation is about
investment over the long haul, I hope I’m still with
you for the 2022 conference receiving a text from
Tam that just reads ‘Smelt her breath. Suspect she
has just had her first cigarette’.

“Tony was very entertaining and approachable, very down to earth
and very enthusiastic to make the best evening possible. In our
committee’s view, he is the best MC and host that we have used.“
– Superannuation Lawyers Association

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1998

1999

2000

2001

2000
Vox pops for ‘Simply the Best’,
hosted by Ray Martin, Channel 9

2002

2003

2002
Travelled to Uruguay to cover World Cup
qualifier for The Age and Inside Sport

2001
Wrote and presented segments for
‘Law Matters’, ABC1

1998
Winner of the judges and audience vote
on ABC travel documentary show,
‘Race Around the World’.
Visited ten countries in 100 days

2004

2004
First picture book released,
‘Grannysaurus Rex’,
illustrated by David Cornish

2000
Travelled to Sydney Olympics to write
colour pieces for The Age and SMH
1989–1992
Hawthorn Football Club.
Played Under 19s and Reserves

1996–1997
Lawyer at Minter Ellison, Melbourne

1999
Wrote and presented stories for
‘The Late Report’, Channel 7

2002–2007
Member of the ‘Breakfasters’ daily
breakfast team on Triple R, 102.7
2001
Travelled to India to cover ‘Final Frontier’
Test series for The Age

2000–2001
Wrote and presented stories for
‘Dimensions: On the Move”, ABC1

2004–2008
Regular member of the Brains Trust
on ABC quiz show, ‘The Einstein Factor’

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2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2009
Co-hosted ABC Evenings fills on 774
Melbourne and ABC Victoria with Tony
Martin as ‘The Two Tones’

2008
Fourth picture book, ‘The Minister for Traffic
Lights’, illustrated by Andrew McLean

2005
First novel, ‘Players’.
Awarded Sydney Morning Herald
‘Best Young Australian Novellist’ in 2006

2007
Third picture book, ‘Harry Highpants’,
illustrated by Tom Jellett.
A CBCA Notable Book & a White Raven
selection at the Bologna Book Fair in 2008

2006
Attended FIFA World Cup in Germany and
wrote travel memoir ‘Australia United’

2012

2010
Attended FIFA World Cup and wrote,
presented and produced segments for
‘Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever’, SBS

2007
Recurring guest on ‘Get This’ hosted by
Tony Martin, Ed Kavalee and Richard
Marsland, Triple M Network

2006
Second picture book, ‘The Thirsty Flowers’,
illustrated by Julie Knoblock

2011

2011–
Regular panellist on ‘The Run Home’,
SEN 1116, Fridays outside football season

2011–
Regular panellist on ‘The Drum’,
ABC News 24 and ABC1

2010
Second novel released, ‘Making News’

2009
Fifth picture book, ‘The Princess and the Packet
of Frozen Peas’, illustrated by Sue DeGennaro.
Released in the UK, Canada and the USA and
declared a CBCA Notable Book in 2010

2006–2011 Occasional co-host of ‘The Conversation Hour’ with Jon Faine, and ‘Drive’ with Lindy Burns, 774 Melbourne and ABC Victoria

@Emperor’s

Neowthes
ClH rse
Tony Wilson
Sue deGennaro

2012
Sixth picture book,
‘The Emperor’s New Clothes Horse’
to be released in May

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Illuminating Engineering Society, Victorian Awards

Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne
October 2011

Ladies and gentleman, distinguished guests,
eminent lighting designers (who I like to call the
illuminati) and eminent luminaire designers (who
I like to call luminaire-ries)
I told my wife Tamsin that I was going to do
that introduction, and she said to me, you do know
that the Illuminati are a secret society, a bit like the
Freemasons, don’t you?
And I said to her, ‘No I didn’t’
And she said to me, ‘Well they are. I think
even Goethe was supposed to be a member?’
And so I went to the internet and looked
it up and found out that Geothe was indeed an
alleged member, as were Winston Churchill, David
Rockefeller, Ferdinand of Brunswick, and the
diplomat Xavier Von Zwack. Before I got around
to looking up who Xavier Von Zwack was, my wife
made me promise not to call you Illuminati.
I pleaded my case ‘But they illuminate stuff,
and they’re arty!’
‘Don’t do it,’ she said. ‘it’s a shit pun.’

‘Well what about luminaire-ies’ then?’ I
pleaded.
‘An even shitter pun,’ she said, disgusted. ‘You
think they won’t have heard that one before?’
‘I don’t reckon they will have.’
‘I bet you a week of morning nappy changes
that they’ve been called ‘luminaire-ies’ sometime
before.’
Hello ladies and gentleman, and welcome
to the IES Victorian Awards Dinner for 2010. My
name is Tony Wilson, and as you can see, I have
quite a large amount of shit riding on the show of
hands I’m about to ask for now. Have any of you,
the distinguished luminaire designers of Victoria,
ever been referred to as luminaire-ies?

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Franchise Council of Australia Awards Night

Bendigo Law Association
Annual Dinner

Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle
June 2011

Foundry Hotel Complex, Bendigo
June 2001

Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome to
the Franchise Council of Australia WA Regional
Awards Gala Dinner.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I’d like to
pretend I’ve had the initiative to franchise my business, which is me delivering speeches and writing
novels written by me, but at the moment I’m being
held back by the lack of mes out there willing to be
franchisees.
I am of course hoping that with improvements in gene technology, this situation is rectified.
There’s nothing I’d like more than to slug these
future replicant mes with a hefty franchise fee and
a decent royalty that starts earning me me money,
while these genetically created other mes do most
of the hard writing work.
Although from what I’ve read about the
franchise industry, the key to a successful business
model is finding quality people to be franchisees,
and then to treat them in a way that makes every
party feel like the arrangement is a beneficial one.

So basically I’d have to cut these others mes
a break… to make things work with them, even
if I thought some of these new mes were absolute
dropkicks, which I would, because sometimes I
already feel that way about me me, and so I can’t
imagine I wouldn’t have some problems with these
other ones.
I do have a good catchy name for the business
though: ‘Jim’s Tony Wilson’s Writing and Speaking’.

Ladies and Gentleman of the Bendigo Law
Association
I was only a practising solicitor for 425 days,
and for 2 of those, I was dressed up as Santa Claus
at Minter Ellison Christmas picnics.
By way of contrast, last year’s guest speaker,
the Chief Justice of Victoria, Mr Justice Phillips,
has worked in the legal profession for 14,765 days,
of which he has spent none dressed up as Santa
Claus.
I actually went to university with the Chief
Justice’s son, so rang His Honour during the week,
just to check that I could accurately say that he
had never spent a day dressed as Father Christmas.
He admitted that in his red robe with its fluffy
white trim, he sometimes skirts a pretty fine line,
but with the wig and without the gumboots, he
definitely manages to stay on the right side of it.

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Clean Up Australia Day Launch

Green’s List
Victorian Bar
Annual Dinner

PricewaterhouseCoopers
Client lunch

Southbank Promenade, Melbourne
March 2006

Bluestone Restaurant, Melbourne
October 2008

Freshwater Place, Southbank
April 2002

Hello and welcome to the 2006 Launch of
Clean Up Australia Day
My name is Tony Wilson, and you may know
me from such clean-ups as Merri Creek 2005, the
Grampians boneseed campaign 1983, and many,
many yard duty detentions at my secondary school,
Camberwell Grammar.

Hello ladies and gentleman of Green’s List.
The great thing about coming to speak to
a room full of barristers is that you know your
performance will be ruthlessly appraised by people
who are expert in the art of public speaking.
“Too much hand gesturing. Too little projection. Too much reading. Too little content. I
thought his microphone technique left a little
to be desired. I thought he sort of mucked up
the cadence on that story about being Shane
Crawford’s maths tutor. He put the stress on ‘tutor’
in the punchline when I reckon he should have
put the stress on ‘maths’. Did you notice that he
dangled that Shane Crawford maths anecdote in
the intro and then never went back to it? Hope we
didn’t pay him too much. Yeah, hope we didn’t pay
him too much.”

Ladies and gentleman, distinguished guests,
people who aren’t distinguished guests yet but are
really right on the verge of cracking it soon.
As any of you who have any sort of ability in
tie archaeology would be able to tell, I departed
the corporate world late in the last century. Yes,
this little baby dates back to 1997, a long-forgotten
time when men were men, women were women,
and articled clerks were shitkickers, waiting for
a new batch of articled clerks to come in so the
circle of shitkick could be renewed. In 1997, I was
in that role at Minter Ellison, and although I only
went along to seminars for the smoked salmon
sandwiches, I did see enough corporate speakers to
know that I should at some point talk about different coloured thinking caps, and say words like ‘the
challenge of change.’

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“Tony was really receptive to what we were trying to achieve with our event and he was a pleasure to work with.
He was well organised, slotted into the MC role beautifully and was well received by our guests.” – Irvine Club

15

Melbourne University Blacks
AFL Season Commencement
Breakfast

Society of University Lawyers
Conference

Australia Club
March 2010

University of Melbourne
October 2006

Hello and welcome to the inaugural University
Blacks Football Club AFL Season Commencement
Breakfast.
Not everyone has Commencement Breakfasts.
I’ve always thought this was a shame, as breakfast
is at the commencement of the day, and so that if
you’re really serious about commencing something,
you should do it at breakfast time.
But people don’t think like me. If you google
“commencement dinner” you get 820,000 hits.
Google “commencement breakfast” and you get
4070. This very function is listed twice, at number
one and number three. That means at the one
minute mark of the club’s first ever commencement
breakfast, we’re the most prestigious commencement breakfast, not just that’s occurring anywhere
in the world right now, but that’s ever occurred
anywhere in the world. It’s a lofty place from which
to start. I can only screw it up from here.

Hello SOUL Conference.
It’s good to be here SOUL. I love your
acronym. It has a gentle petuli-soaked air to it. It
gently pronounces, ‘Hey man, I got SOUL. Do
you got SOUL? Don’t tell me you’re still a-fussin
and a-frettin over dem little 6 minute units? Why
not come over here to your brothers and sisters at
SOUL, and commit yourself to a new life. A new
life that’s sort of a bit like your old life in the sense
that you’ll get to hang around at university, except
now you’ll get paid. A life where you are literally
“down with the kids”, except for those awkward
moments when you have to expel them for downloading essays directly from www.cheathouse.com.’

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Ausregistry
25 Years of .au

Melbourne International Comedy
Festival Legal Debate

Melbourne Museum
June 2011

Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne
March 2004

Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome
to the AusRegistry 25th anniversary dinner here
at the wonderful King Tutt exhibition at the
Melbourne Museum.
My name’s Tony Wilson, although in
this room I’m probably better known as
tonywilson.com.au, a domain name I purchased in
the heady days of the tech wreck in 2001. Yes, I’m a
dot au man through and through.
Just as King Tutt would have seen it as
an affront to his national pride if somebody
had have offered him anything other than
tutankhamun.com.eg, I’ll have no truck with
tonywilson.com. Leave that to the NFL Tony
Wilson, or the Factory Records Tony Wilson, or
Tony Wilson, the songwriter from Hot Chocolate,
or the Australian ice hockey player called Tony
Wilson, who I think will attempt to body check me
and slam me into a fence when he discovers I beat
him to the .au.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It says here on the running sheet – “6.04 Tony
talks for about six minutes - asks people to turn off
mobile phones”
Six minutes to tell you to turn off phones…
There it is – final definitive proof that lawyers
cannot do anything in less than 6 minute units
(charged out at nothing less than $30 per unit).
I’ve been thinking how I could go about filling
the 6 minutes. One thought was just to ask you to
do it slowly:
‘will – you – turn – off – your – phones?’
I also considered doing a powerpoint presentation, even to the extent of putting together this
powerpoint presentation, if we can have the first
slide?
Yep… Can you turn off your fucking phones?
“The Legal Comedy Debate was a huge success with 830 people
enjoying Tony’s fantastic performance of wit (and sarcasm). I have
received nothing but good feedback all week with most people
saying that it has been the best so far.”
– Susan Ng, Young Lawyers Section, Law Institute of Victoria

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Australian Institute of Credit Union Managers
Youth Achievers Breakfast

Grace Hotel, Sydney
October 2003

Ladies and gentleman, Mentors and young
achievers of the credit union community. Let me
start by wishing you a very happy International
Credit Union Day.
This morning’s talk shouldn’t be overtly
political, and I’m certainly not setting out here to
target John Howard, but I’m wondering whether
you knew that President Bush sent a message of
support to your American counterparts, wishing
them well with today’s celebrations.
[Hold up letter]
“I send greetings to those observing
International Credit Union Day.” (He makes it
sound like Yom Kippur or something.)
“This Year’s Theme, ‘Credit Unions: The Heart
of Our Communities’ reflects the spirit of the
dedicated individuals who serve in our Nation’s
credit unions. Your commitment to excellence
demonstrates the character of America.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes,
George Bush.”

Yet when you do a search on Google for
‘Howard’ and International Credit Union Day, you
get the following hit:
Raymond Howard, marketing manager
for New Zealand Credit Unions assisted in the
celebrations for Credit Union Forestland, based in
Whakatane. (And no, I’m not just reading this so
I can say Whakatane.) Howard attended two local
radio stations where listeners rang in and sang
the Credit Union Forestland song, which goes like
this…

18

Law Institute of Victoria
Annual Dinner

Camberwell Anglican
Girls Grammar School
Fathers’ Day Breakfast

Sofitel Melbourne
October 1999

Camberwell Anglican Girls Grammar School
September 2008

Ladies and gentleman, my name’s Tony Wilson.
I’ve been told that tonight I have the opportunity
of fulfilling the dual roles of Master of Ceremonies
and dinner speaker, which gives me the rare opportunity to introduce myself.
“Ladies and gentleman, tonight’s first speaker
is Tony Wilson, an absolute belter of a bloke,
whose only real failing is a tendency to talk about
himself in the third person.
“In 1998, he was involved in a television show
Race Around the World, which contrary to popular
belief was not an open-water yacht race, but a
documentary series screened nationally on the
ABC. Over 100 days he spent your money making
10 four-minute documentaries around the world,
and at the end of the series was declared the person
who had spent your money to greater effect than
any of the other contestants on the show.”
“This has subsequently led to a career in the
media, writing articles for The Age and a regular
appearance on Channel 7’s ill-fated The Late
Report, a show which was a bit like The Panel
except it was awful.”

“The reason he is here is that he was formerly
a lawyer at Minter Ellison, where it is alleged he
enjoyed more square metres of window per minute
of experience than any other lawyer in the history
of that firm. Ladies and gentleman, please extend a
warm welcome to our guest speaker, Tony Wilson.”
[Walk off stage /Walk on stage]
Thanks Tony.

“Tony spoke so well at the President’s Luncheon at the Law Institute
that he was asked to entertain members and guests at the Institute’s
major social event of the year, the Annual Dinner. Again he did this
with style and wit.  He was a big hit.”  –­ Law Institute of Victoria

Hello girls of Camberwell Girls Grammar
School, and a big almost Fathers’ Day good
morning to your dads.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I am both a
father of a one year old, and a former student of
Camberwell Church of England Boys Grammar
School.
That means that exactly 21 years ago, I stood
in the church hall on the corner of Mont Albert
Road and Burke Road, and danced the cha cha
cha with your long gone alumni sisters. Ahhh, Mr
Huselmann and his red hot assistant whose name
I’ve forgotten but whose corseted bust I have not.
I’m not sure whether Mr Huselman’s still kicking
on 21 years later, but I can certainly still hear his
voice. Barking ‘one two threes’ at me, telling me to
‘pull ze girl closer. She von’t bite’. And all the while
I’d desperately wipe my hands on the front of my
pants so that I wouldn’t get a reputation amongst
those long-departed Camberwell girls as ‘one of
the sweaty palmed ones.’

19

Apprenticeships Plus
Graduation Ceremony

Ray Wilson Retirement Speech
Wilson Dilworth Limited

High Street Receptions, Preston
August 2002

Windsor Hotel Ballroom
February 2003

In 1995, I was sitting in a hall like this, about
to graduate and worried as hell that four hours
had been set aside for a walk and a handshake I
reckoned could be knocked over in thirty seconds.
And I was right to be nervous. That night,
like tonight, there was a speaker, and he was an
old wobbly academic with a white moustache. I
remember praying to that old man – “Old man,
please don’t go on and on. You might not have
that long left, mate. Don’t waste the sunset years of
your life telling kids who are on board for a thirty
second walk the meaning of life, as discovered by
you in the year 1923.
But praying did no good, and the man did
go on and on, and because he was an agricultural
scientist, not only gave us the meaning of life, but
also tied it in with some anecdotes on the mineralogy of soil.

Ladies and Gentleman, distinguished guests.
I have to admit that I rang my father earlier
today and asked him whether or not we had any
distinguished guests here tonight, and he paused
and said … ‘no, not really’… . So that’s how he
thinks of you all.
Still, don’t feel too down about it. Deep down,
Ray has always liked to think of himself as a bit
of a socialist, as an egalitarian, and the ‘no distinguished guests’ thing fits right into that. And what’s
doubly impressive is the way he has managed to
maintain that ideology whilst fitting in quite as
much skiing as he has.

“Entertaining and focussed on the ‘theme’, genuine effort to tie our
business interest area into his talk.” – Apprenticeships Plus

20

Department of Education
Cook Off

Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
May 2003

Hello and welcome to the Education Week
2003 Brunch Cook Off.
This is a very exciting moment for me. I have
a mic. I’m next to the fruit and veg section. This is
my chance to enter the bullring and give my very
best against the very best. Let’s see how I go:
‘Cheap cheap cheap, ladies and gentleman!
Everything half price! I gotta the apples. I gotta the
bananas. I give you a boxa avocada for a dollar.’

21

Serviceworks
Christmas Party

Book Tastings Event

Essendon Grand Final Brunch

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne
December 2002

Fitzroy Library Reading Room
August 2010

Sofitel Ballroom, Melbourne
September 2004

Hello ladies and gentlemen,
Most of you don’t know me, but you should
because I’m a regular contributor to the ‘Contact
Us’ section of the Serviceworks website.
‘I love the font you’ve used for the ‘submit
details on the Aussie Post online Billpay site. You
haven’t fallen into the Times New Roman trap.’
James from Lower Plenty. That was me.
“Excellent work with the multi dimensional
scaling … keep it up.’ Beryl from Beaumaris. Me
again.
“If my relationship was going as well as my
third party supplier relationship I wouldn’t have
to sleep with my best friend’s wife’. Bob from
Frankston. Um. Me.

Like so many writers, I am the son of readers.
Mum and Dad both read to us, prolifically and
ritualistically, as the last thing that happened
before we were presented with a goodnight slice
of apple. The picture books that have stayed with
me are ‘Flat Stanley’, the story of a kid who gets
flattened to one inch thick and gets around sliding
under doors and being posted through the mail,
Ruth Park’s ‘When the Wind Changed’, about the
boy who pulled hideous faces until the day the
wind changed and his face stayed hideous, and
‘The Giant Jam Sandwich’, by John Vernon Lord
about how the town of Itching Down was invaded
by four million wasps, which the villagers then
trapped in a jam sandwich the size of the village
common.
The books flowed through later childhood
as well. We read May Gibbs’s ‘Sungglepot and
Cuddlepie’ at Wilson’s Promontory, and my six
year old brain developed an actual fear of banksia
bushes and the big bad banksia men they produce.
When the Easter Bunny set us a rhyming, easter
egg treasure hunt, one of the clues began with the
expression ‘Sharp’s the Word’, a phrase lifted by
Dad from one of the Narnia stories, but used on
this occasion written with a music symbol, and
sending us kids scurrying to the piano stool to find
the next egg.

Ladies and Gentleman. Welcome to the 2003
Essendon Football Club Grand Final breakfast.
This is a day for all football fans, a celebration
of the code, and we’re all hoping for a fantastic,
closely fought game today between the Pies and
the Lions.
Mind you, for most of us, if the day’s to end
absolutely perfectly, the following things have to
happen:
1. By about 1 pm or so it has to be revealed
that both Colllingwood and Port Adelaide played
unregistered players in the last fortnight;
2. Between about 1 and 2pm, 22 Essendon
senior players have to be roused from barbecues,
parties, end of season trips etc to pull on the boots;
and
3. The boys have to storm home to win
an exciting, albeit somewhat controversial 17th
premiership for the club.
Not impossible, although unlikely perhaps.
So most of us are getting used to the idea that the
day won’t end perfectly. Nevertheless, it can start
perfectly and we’re hoping this breakfast will be
the perfect start to your grand final day.

22

Eltham High School
Graduation

University of Melbourne
Law School Valedictory
Alumni Speech

Asthma Foundation
Bubble Ball

George Wood Performing Arts Centre, Ringwood
November 2011

Prahran Town Hall
November 1998

Crown Palladium
August 2008

Graduating students, staff, friends of Eltham
High School, ladies and gentlemen.
On my last day at school, I became the second
person in the history of Camberwell Grammar to
be sent home for an inappropriate costume. The
first instance occurred in 1988 when a guy arrived
wearing Rambo style fatigues, a semi-automatic
and live ammunition. He didn’t actually fire any
rounds, and I’m not sure anyone could find a
specific school rule dealing with semi-automatics,
but the police were nevertheless called, and he was
sent on his way.
When I was given my marching
orders two years later, it was for the
lesser offence of smelling of rotten fish.

Justice Cummins, Professor Crommelin,
faculty staff, guests, graduating students and last
but not least, people who just rooted up their
Equity exam and will be back again next year.
Let me start by saying that as an alumni
speaker, I feel I have an underlying obligation to be
boring. After all, I am if nothing else a traditionalist, and figure that if it was good enough for my
year to sit through a meandering fifteen minute
anecdote about an amusing water cooler incident
in 1963, it’s good enough for you guys.

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Asthma
Foundation’s Bubble Ball for 2008.
I’m Tony Wilson, your Bubblemaster for this
evening, and I’ve pretty much been preparing
for this role all my life because I can only do two
impressions. One of them is Grover explaining
“near” and “far” on ‘Sesame Street’, and the other is
a Ventolin inhaler…
“K-chhhhhhhh…”

23

Essendon Grand Final Brunch

Penleigh and Essendon
Grammar School,
Year 12 Graduation

Royal Geelong Yacht Club
150th Birthday Celebration

Sofitel Ballroom, Melbourne
September 2003

Moonee Valley Racecourse, Essendon
November 2000

RGYC, Geelong
October 2009

Hello and welcome to the Essendon Football
Club 28th Grand Final Brunch. I counted back the
28 years to work out what frame of mind Essendon
was in when it decided to first start having these
brunches, and if you do the maths, the year was
1977, smack in the middle of the biggest premiership drought in the club’s history.
Some of the things you should know about
that first brunch are these:
Firstly, it was a breakfast not a brunch, for the
simple reason that brunches were not invented
until the development of skim milk in the mid
1980s. In 1977, a meal between breakfast and lunch
was a snack.

Ladies and gentleman, graduating students,
PEGs staff, and last but not least, Moonee Valley
punters who have stumbled into the function by
accident and have no idea what’s going on.

Hello and welcome… My name is Tony Wilson
and I’m your MC for this wonderful occasion.
One hundred and fifty years. It’s such an
incredible length of time that my first reaction to
the news was ‘did they have boats back then?’ But
then of course some of my genographic friends
informed me that all humanity started in Africa,
and that the boat was well and truly up and firing
by the late 1850s. But the great innovation of the
Royal Geelong Yacht Club here in Victoria is that
you thought to race them, instead of just transporting convicts on them.
To state my yachting pedigree, I’d like to
say that I won a 1998 event called Race Around
the World. I’m not planning to elaborate further,
because I’m hoping that like dozens of others over
the years, you will just assume that I am a veteran
saltie who mastered the Straits of Magellan and
zipped on home with the Roaring Forties at my
back, frying fish on hubcaps and writing poetry
under the stars. The truth actually has something
to do with a television documentary series, but as I
stand here before you tonight, you have to believe
that I’m willing to be anything you want me to be.

“Well judged in terms of tone, content and length, Tony Wilson
enthralled an audience of almost 800 people with his fine mix
of acute wit, considered advice, subtle motivation and relevant
anecdote.” – Tony Larkin, Principal, PEGS

“Tony was excellent, he managed the crowd of well oiled yachties
extremely well.” – RGYC

24

Melbourne Writers Festival
Opening Night interview
with Dave Eggers
Melbourne Town Hall
August 2007

Hello and welcome to the Opening Night of
the Melbourne Writers Festival. Tonight’s special
guest is known to all of you, or at least all of you
save the tiny minority who have been dragged here
tonight with Dave Eggers fans, and are already
contemplating that after-the-show hot chocolate.
But to recap, Dave Eggers is of course an
American, Boston born, Chicago raised and currently resident in San Francisco. At 30 years of age
he wrote a bestselling memoir that reclaimed the
word ‘staggering’ from people rolling home drunk
from the pub. ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering
Genius’ was a mega-hit, and earned the author a
nomination for the Pulitzer Prize – surely the first
book traversing the topics of Frisbee, ‘Party of Five’,
nudie runs and death to have achieved such an
honour.

25

State of Design Festival
Iron Designer II

State of Design Festival
Iron Designer III

BMW Edge, Melbourne
July 2009

BMW Edge, Melbourne
July 2010

One year ago, one studio’s dream became a
reality in a form never seen before when they
turned Trades Hall into Derwent Stadium, a giant
design arena. The motivation for Studio binocular
to build Derwent Stadium was to encounter new
and innovative designs, knocked up in 20 minutes,
out of stuff you’d find in the Play School useful box.

Twenty four months ago, one studio’s dream
became a reality in a form never seen before when
they embarked upon Iron Designer, a project so
ambitious, so difficult and so full of other people’s
intellectual property that many people didn’t
believe it was possible.

“Tony was absolutely fantastic. He kept the show alive with witty
commentary. humorous banter and was willing to go above and
beyond the call to ensure a great night was had by all - even eating
capisicum live on stage.” – Ben Wundersitz, Studio Binocular

“Thanks again Tony for all your help and willingness to go with our
crazy vision.” – Studio Binocular

26

The Institute of Engineering
and Technology
‘Inspire’

International School Libraries Day
Dinner

Hilton on the Park, East Melbourne
August 2007

Duxton Hotel Ballroom, Melbourne
October 2005

Hello and welcome to the IET Inspire 07 event.
It’s a great pleasure to be here.
My name is Tony Wilson, I am not an
electrical engineer, and have indeed have gone on
the record for many years as saying that my major
phobias in life are sword grass and static electricity.
The static electricity thing was so bad in the late
80s that I refused to go to The Arts Centre with
anyone who couldn’t be trusted to lift their feet out
of the carpet. Indeed it was during this staticenforced hiatus that I fell out of love with ballet.

Hello and welcome school librarians of
Australia.
Can I hear a big hip hip hooray for
International School Libraries Day! Hip Hip…
[Hooray!]
Shhhhhhhhhh!!!
“We really enjoyed Tony’s relaxed style and appreciated that he
had done some background research regarding the event. He was
easy to work with and fun - a very personal and inclusive speaker.”
– Mary Manning, School Librarians Association

“We’ve loved having Tony MC our ‘Inspire’ events for the last two
years. Thank you for making them a success.”
– The Institute of Engineering and Technology

27

Franchise Council of Australia
WA Division
State Conference

Law Institute of Victoria
Annual Awards

Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle
June 2011

Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne
November 2009

Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome
to the Franchise Council of Australia, WA State
Conference. My name is Tony Wilson, and I’m a
Victorian, although if you change one letter in my
name you can get Troy Wilson, who is, as we all
know, the East Perth spearhead who debuted for
the West Coast Eagles at the ripe old age of 29, and
topped the goalkicking in his first season.
If you’d like to pretend I’m Troy Wilson, then
you’re welcome to do that, although I’m probably
not going to do the same, which might lead to
confusing situations where you go home to your
partners at the end of tonight, and say, ‘Hun, did
you know Troy Wilson’s written eight books, one
of which is about a Grandma that turns into a
dinosaur?’
And your wife, if she’s the Troy Wilson
completist that I’m suspecting she is, will say, ‘Gee,
I knew Troy Wilson raced late model sedans and
rally cars, but I didn’t know that he wrote books?’
And you’ll say, ‘Yep, 8 books, and he was on
that show called ‘The Einstein Factor’, and won
that ‘Race Around the World’ schmozzle that was
handed out at the taxpayers’ expense in 1998?

And your partner will say, ‘Troy Wilson won a
Yacht race?’
And you’ll say, ‘No, apparently it was some
sort of TV travel documentary show. The one John
Safran was on.’
And your wife will say, ‘Troy Wilson knows
John Safran?’
And you’ll say, yes, and then walk out of the
room, because you’re sick of the conversation, and
it will only confuse things further if you say what
you want to say, which is that Troy Wilson looked
more like Simon Beasley than Troy Wilson.

Hello ladies and gentleman, it’s a great
pleasure to be here and to be your MC for the 2009
LIV Legal Awards Presentation Lunch.
It’s a huge thrill for me to be involved, particularly as I picked up multiple LIV awards during
my illustrious two year career at Minters. Probably
the most prestigious of these was my 1996 gong
for ‘Safest Passage Across Little Bourke Street
Whilst Court Filing During Peak Hour’. But that
same year I also won ‘Most Impressive Extended
Smile During Senior Partner’s Anecdote At Friday
Morning Tea’ and ‘Most Square Metres of Window
View Per Unit Billed For the Financial Year
1996–97.’
“It was a delight to have Tony MC our awards function, he was easy
going in his approach and had a very professional manner.  Tony
struck the perfect balance on the day – adding a humorous touch
whilst maintaining the formalities required.  Guest feedback has
been brilliant.” – Law Institute of Victoria

28

IWIRC Grand Final Lunch

IWIRC Grand Final Lunch

Crown Palladium, Melbourne
September 2004

Crown Palladium, Melbourne
September 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen
Hello and welcome to the annual finals lunch
for the IWIRC or the International Women’s
Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. My
name is Tony Wilson and looking strictly at the
acronym, I think today we can break the group
today into two parts.
First there’s those of you who are here to hear
about international women. Can I get a show of
hands on how many of you fall into that group?
Okay, that leaves the rest of you wanting to
hear about insolvency and restructuring - and
as MC, ladies and gentleman, I can promise you
we have an incredible array of insolvency and
restructuring treats lined up for you this afternoon.
Indeed, we’ve even chosen the venue for today’s
lunch with insolvency in mind, and for those
of you who are keen for what my year 7 science
teacher Mr Murray might have called an insolvency prac, you can finish off today by hotfooting it
over to the roulette tables, cashing in the contents
of your wallet and then doubling down on black
until you lose.
As for my own background, I have a history
with both international women and insolvency and
restructuring, which made me an ideal choice for
MC this afternoon.

It’s my great pleasure to be back here at Crown
again as MC. In 2004, I had an absolutely wonderful time, hosting and then chatting and then
drinking and then gambling with a lovely bunch of
insolvency professionals. And you all showed terrific self-control as I dropped a couple of hands of
blackjack, saying all the right things like ‘bad luck,
oh that’s a shame, and this streak can’t continue
even if your eyes said “pick me, pick me, if you
need someone to do your Part Ten.”’ Some of the
less subtle of you even left business cards next to
my diminishing pile of chips.
But that was last year, back when I still looked
like a 1987 Simon Beasley, as opposed to the 1989
Simon Beasley that stands before you today. Yes,
the great shame of the last 12 months is that it’s
emerged that I am aging at a rate of two Beasley
years for every year, which for those of you who
have seen the 2005 Simon Beasley (and who have
a good head for maths), means that I’ll actually be
an older version of Simon Beasley than Beasley
himself in the year 2023.
“Tony’s commentary was funny and witty. His preparation for the
function was clearly demonstrated by the questions he asked our
guest speakers and the response received from our audience. The
IWIRC committee highly recommends Tony’s skills as a Master of
Ceremonies.”  – IWIRC

29

Monash Blues
Grand Final Lunch

Monash Blues
Grand Final Lunch

Melbourne Writers Festival
Chair, Comic Fiction Panel

Jim Stynes Room, MCG
September 2008

Harrison Room, MCG
September 2011

ACMI, Melbourne
August 2010

Hello and welcome to the second Monash
Blues grand final lunch. Hands up if you’ve never
been read out at the front of a speech as a distinguished guest? C’mon, you know who you are. You
probably don’t have Mr Honourable at the front of
your name. Okay let’s see how you go today.
[Introduce Guests]
Okay, who came out of that finding that they
have still never been acknowledged as a distinguished guest? Hands up? Keep your hands up if
you’ve never been acknowledged as a traditional
owner of the land either? I just want all of you
lesser lights to know that your time will come at
the top of a speech. Stick at it. Don’t get too drunk
in the foyers of your future, because you just never
know when your day will come.

Ladies and gentleman, distinguished guests,
current players, former players, members of the
committee, friends of current players former
players or members of the committee, workmates
of current players former players or members of
the committee, and last but not least, workmates
of a friend of a current player, former player or
member of the committee.
I hope that’s everyone. Hello and welcome
to the 2011 Monash Blues Grand Final lunch. My
name is Tony Wilson and I got this gig before the
inaugural lunch in 2007 - when the organisers
thought they were hiring my look alike, Simon
Beasley, and signed me up to a four year deal.
As the lunches have slipped by, it’s worked
out beneficially for all concerned. It’s given me an
annual opportunity to bathe in the glory of the
nine goals one behind I kicked against Monash in
the wonderful winter of 2003, and it’s worked out
for Monash because Beasley would have struggled
to do some of these lunches, what with spending
so much time in jail and all.

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome
to our Comic Fiction session at the Melbourne
Writers Festival.
I’m hoping we have at least one person in the
audience today who is here for a discussion about
comics. ‘Should Detective Comics #27 be rated as
a superior collector’s item to All American Comics
#16, the first edition to feature the Green Lantern’?
‘Why did Flash Comics #1 serialize into Whiz
Comics #2, and does that mean that there is now
no Whiz Comics #1?’
To the members of the audience who are
hanging out for the answers to these questions and
more, I’ve got some bad news.

“The Committee would like to thank Tony for his work at the Monash
Blues Grand Final lunch.  He was again a highlight and I received
many positive comments.  In fact, I emailed a number of past players
seeking feedback and everyone commented on how good Tony was. 
He hits the right note every year!!” – Jane French, Monash Blues FC

30

“He’s not the traditional “bell ringing” MC
but rather a quick thinking, talented,
light hearted, entertaining, and great
impromptu performer under pressure.“
– Institute of Body Corporate Managers 

31

Texts in the City

Old Camberwell
Grammarians Association
Annual Dinner

Popcorn Taxi
Murray Whelan DVD launch

The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne
March-August 2011

Boulevard Restaurant, Kew
August 2003

ACMI, Melbourne
September 2005

Hello students, teachers, ladies and
gentlemen.
Thank you for the thousands of letters of
complaint saying that ‘Texts in the City’ only
perpetuates the misnomer that the series ‘Sex and
the City’ is called ‘Sex in the City’.
The organisers have taken your heated objections on board, and have decided to obstinately
stick with ‘Texts in the City’, because the Wheeler
Centre is actually geographically located in the city,
and so are the texts, if you bring them in here with
you.
So it feels better to say that we are enjoying ‘Texts in the City’, rather than saying we are
enjoying ‘Texts and the City’, especially as the text
discussion can sometimes get so enjoyable and
all-consuming in here that you’ll barely notice “the
city” at all.
So tough luck. March on Parliament House
if you have to. It’s ‘Texts in the City’ — for two
more terms at least, or until we receive a letter of
complaint from HBO.

Headmaster, Old Camberwell Grammarians
Association committee members, Old Boys,
Students, and last but not least, Outsiders ­—­that’s
those of you who cannot use the word ‘unsullied’
well and in context and who’ll struggle with the
hours and hours of material I have on a strange,
mythical room once known as The Buttery. (The
Buttery was of course named after the thousands of
buttered rolls that landed butter side down on its
floor over its 25 year lifespan.)
I was at Camberwell Grammar School
from 1983–1990, which for those of you who are
interested, were the exact years of Charlie Yankos’
career with the Socceroos.
Interestingly it was also the exact period of
manufacture of the Mitsubishi Nimbus. Today of
course, there are only a tiny number of Nimbuses
left in captivity, and with each one that disappears,
I’m reminded that time slips inescapably away, and
we’re all going to get old and die.

Hello and welcome – It’s my great pleasure
to welcome you all to Popcorn Taxi, the Murray
Whelan Unplugged edition.
My name is Tony Wilson, I’m your host
or moderator for what is described in the press
release as a fireside chat with Murray Whelan
creator Shane Moloney and adaptor John Clarke.
Obviously there’s no fire or fireside, which is
disappointing, until you find out that FDR didn’t
have a fire either, and he still managed to sound
reassuring and think up the New Deal. So even
though the press release has lied about the fire –
cut the press release some slack… it was doing its
best.

32

Plaintiff Lawyers Association

Great Hall Parliament House, Melbourne
March 2002

Hello Plaintiff Lawyers
I was a lawyer once. More specifically, I was a
lawyer for 425 days, two of which I spent dressed
up as Santa Claus.

33

Serviceworks Next Generation
Utilities Conference

Short + Sweet Theatre Finals

Centre for Sustainability
Leadership

Marriott Hotel, Gold Coast
November 2010

Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
December 2005

Sebel Hotel, Albert Park, Melbourne
November 2011

Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome to
the Serviceworks NGU Conference Smart Meter
Discussion Panel.
My name’s Tony Wilson, and I’m going to
be the panel facilitator here this afternoon. In the
invite for this event, I was described as ‘not an
expert in anything to do with the Utilities industry’.
As if to prove that description, I filmed the first
version of my intended jokey video invite in front
of an electricity meter which went pretty well, until
everyone at Serviceworks had to quietly tell me
that my electricity meter was actually a gas meter.
Nevertheless, in preparation for today, I’ve
undergone something of an education, and so
I’m now in my 14th day of knowing what a smart
meter is. By the end of the seminar, I’m guessing
I’ll know even more about them, and might even
be tossing over Paul Kelly and Mohammed Ali to
include a smart meter amongst my top ten dream
dinner party guests.

Hello and welcome to Short and Sweet. My
name is Tony Wilson and I’m a Shakespearean
actor. I played the Second Murderer in the 1989
Camberwell Grammar School play production of
Macbeth.
For those who don’t recall, the Second
Murderer is allocated exactly no lines, to the First
Murderer’s 12 – but, with the sort of eye for egalitarianism that Camberwell Grammar is famous for,
I was allocated one line in sympathy.
And what a line. It’s the bit when the murderers are killing the children McDuff, and the
Murderer exclaims ‘What you egg, young fry of
treachery!’ Although of course I acted it much
better at the time, giving more of a gritty ‘what you
egg, young fry of treachery’ … or was it ‘what you
egg, young fry of treachery.’? Suffice to say, there
was yolk flying everywhere.

Hello and welcome to the Centre for
Sustainability Leadership Graduation Event.
My name is Tony Wilson, and I’m the MC for
this terrific celebration of sustainability leadership
tonight. I was chosen, not for any personal involvement with the program, but because a nationwide
search went out for anyone with three compost
heaps, a worm farm, and a Bokashi bucket to put
his hand up and run this show. I don’t actually
even know what a Bokashi bucket is or does, but
my wife Tamsin got us one, and it’s meant that we
no longer attempt to feed the dog left over cheese
on toast.
“Tony’s intro was superb and his content, style, witty ad-libs and links
perfectly matched the tone of the evening. He was a key part of the
overall success of the evening.”
– David Seignor, Program Manager, CSL

“We will use Tony again and I can’t thank him enough for the great
work he did for us.” – Serviceworks

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World Vision
VGEN Graduation Ball

Certified Practising Accountants
of Tasmania

Victorian Institute of Sport
Annual Awards Night

Sebel Hotel, Albert Park
November 2003

CPA Head Office, Hobart
December 2000

Crown Palladium, Melbourne
April 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, graduating students.
I too have been a graduating student, and
remember the event vividly because I can’t
get enough of the video I bought on the day,
‘Graduation ’95’. It’s not exactly a classic, and if you
check out Leonard Maltin’s critic’s guide, he has
this to say about it:
“’Graduation 95’ opens well with a wide shot
which does a reasonable job of capturing Wilson
Hall in all its vinyled glory, but then hits some
problems, failing to move from that wide shot for
two and half hours. The centrepiece of the film is
undoubtedly the stairs up to the stage, as about
three hundred people, thrown together because
their names fall in the same half of the alphabet,
trudge up and down these stairs. The acting from
the Chancellor is nothing short of superb, as he
manages to seamlessly feign excitement and interest, even on handshakes numbered 200–345. In the
so-called climax, the Zs do get to graduate, which
wasn’t enough of a surprise to keep this reviewer
awake. In summary - awful. No stars.”

Ladies and Gentlemen
The last time I came to Tasmania, I was
suspended for drinking on my Under 15 football
trip, so Mum was initially greatly relieved that
I would be spending this trip with accountants.
Unfortunately, my Dad works in superannuation,
almost exclusively with accountants, and he knows
what you’re really like, especially at Christmas
parties, so he’s just asked me to drink more
sensibly than I did on that Under 15 football trip.
So long as you guys don’t fill up shampoo bottles
with Malibu and coke, I think I’m going to be able
to manage that.

Hello and welcome to the 2005 VIS Annual
Awards of Excellence. My name is Tony Wilson,
I’m a writer, a broadcaster on Triple R and it’s
strange to be able to say this, but I’m also a Brains
Trustee on ABCTV’s ‘The Einstein Factor’. It’s
made filling in passports forms a helluva lot of fun.
Where the form says ‘occupation’ - I write
‘Brains Trustee’. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I
sometimes sweep my remaining hair back, pull up
my collar and just write ‘showbiz’.
As athletes, I urge you all to be similarly creative with your customs forms. Weightlifters in the
lighter divisions, you have an obligation to yourself
and your country to fill out your occupation
as – ‘Pocket Dynamo’. If you’re a male heavyweight
wrestler, I urge you to put down ‘Man Mountain’. If
you’re a left inner with the hockey team, ducking in
for a goal or two a game, be proud and write down
what you are, which is a ‘Wil-o-the-Wisp’. And if
you’re a modern pentathlete - again, the passport
form is the place to state clearly what you do which
is best described as ‘Imitating an 18th century
French castle invader by shooting guards, sword
fighting, swimming the moat, stealing a horse and
then sprinting for the drawbridge’. Customs might
end up taking a little longer, but it’s certainly more
interesting than putting down ‘sales clerk’.

“Your recommendation of Tony Wilson, a superb Master of Ceremonies,
for the event ensured that the night was a fantastic success. I was
particularly impressed by the amount of research Tony conducted
prior to the event on each of our speakers, and on World Vision’s
work.” – Steven Carey, World Vision

“Tony was absolutely fantastic and entertaining”  
– The Society of Certified Practicing Accountants

35

Victorian Water Industry
Association Conference

National Pharmacies
Award Night

RACV Club, Melbourne
June 2011

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne
November 2004

Hello water industry. It is a great pleasure and
privilege to be here tonight.
I love water. I love drinking it, showering in
it, luxuriating in its covalent bonds, taking photos
with stuff reflected in it. I love freezing it and plopping it in gin and tonics. I love the role water had
to play in the cover art on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’.
I love Slip and Slides. I love Wet and Wild. I love
the job water has in swimsuit model photoshoots.
I love bathtime with the kids. I love the seal enclosure at the zoo. I love both the deep end and the
shallow end at Northcote baths, and I love water
for its essential role in supporting life on earth.
For all these reasons, I love you people.

Hello and welcome to the National Pharmacies
Staff Awards Dinner
I’m Tony Wilson, and for the second year in a
row, we’re here at the Hilton Hotel Ballroom. Like
last year, tonight’s awards are a two-city extravaganza. And like last year, we will be beamed into
the Adelaide Convention Centre on a big screen.
Naturally, it’s important that we look like we’re
having more fun than them, so if a camera comes
near you, lie back and feed each other grapes.

36

“Tony captivated the audience and was able to communicate with them
on their level and in their language.” – Swinburn University

37

Women In Insurance
Annual Dinner

Monash University
Viewpoint Debate

Young Accountants Association

Park Hyatt, Melbourne
October 2000

Caulfield Campus
April 2010

CPA Offices, Melbourne
November 2000

Thank you very much.
I was flattered to be asked along to speak
tonight, and not just because with the theft of my
car CD player insurance has suddenly become a
priority in my life. It’s also a great honour because
I come from an insurance family. For 20 years, my
father was an insurance broker. I have two uncles
who are insurance brokers. If I were a racehorse —
and thank god I’m not because for the last five
years I’ve had terrible shin-splints — they’d say
that I have insurance on both sides of my bloodlines — something that was useful for having an
early understanding of words like ‘prudential’ and
‘amortize’, but probably not so good when it came
to picking up chicks.

Hello ladies and gentleman and welcome
to the Grand Final of Viewpoint, the Monash
Economics Debate for secondary students.
The Viewpoint competition is staged by the
Department of Economics at Monash University
in conjunction with the Debaters Association of
Victoria (DAV) and supported by the Monash
Association of Debaters (MAD).
You might think MAD is an odd acronym
to choose to represent the great Socratic traditions of debating, and it’s only when you find out
that MAD’s great rivals over at the University of
Melbourne are called MUD that you realise that it’s
not exactly an acronym smorgasbord out there in
tertiary debating land.
My name’s Tony Wilson, my own acronym is
TW, and as this is a grand final, I am truly looking
forward to what the DAV and MAD have arranged
as pre-match entertainment. I’ve been doing my
own lobbying — hoping we could get a big screen
presentation of slow motion highlights from ‘Order
in the House: The Best of Parliamentary Question
Time’, but I was overruled.

I spent some time as a young lawyer, and heard
a few corporate speakers, so I just want to kick off
by solemnly swearing to avoid the expression ‘the
challenge of change’ for the duration of this speech.
Not only that, I also promise not to talk about
‘making time work for you’, or the importance of
writing down short, medium and long term goals.
My number one short term goal in those seminars
was getting out of the room as quickly as possible
with the maximum amount of free food and
alcohol.
What I am going touch on is a topic that is
too often ignored on the corporate speaking circuit,
that topic being - me.

“We were extremely positive about Tony Wilson’s performance
moderating our debate.… We’ll certainly consider him again for
next year.” – Susan Chong, Monash University

“Tony was very relaxed and easy to work with. His presentation was
fun and lighthearted.” – CPA Australia

38

“Tony, thank you for doing such a good job
at Melbourne’s Longest Cake on Sunday.
You had the whole of Crown Palladium
eating out of the palm of your hand.”
– Laura, Melbourne’s Longest Cake

39

Law Institute of Victoria
Young Lawyers Lunch

MIAA (Meetings and Events
Industry) Awards

Powercor
Business Innovation Awards

Snail & Bottle Restaurant
April 1999

Melbourne Town Hall
October 2003

Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne
October 2006

If there is an item I own that symbolises the
experience of Race Around the World more than
any other, it is undoubtedly this bronze arm wrestling trophy I won at the European Arm Wrestling
Championships in June last year.
The tournament was held in Brescia, Italy, and
as I understand it, I remain the only Australian to
have ever competed in the championships. This
is not good news for people trying to enhance
Australia’s international reputation as an armwrestling power. My scorecard at the end of the
tournament was four bouts in the 95 kilogram
division for four, complete, motherless jelly-armed
shalackings.
One of my opponents from the Ukraine
told me that I was the weakest opponent he
had encountered in five years on the world tour.
Fortunately however, the organisers handed out
participation trophies to competitors from each
of the countries represented at the championships,
and so I am now the proud owner of one of these.

Hello ladies and gentlemen - and tonight
it’s an especially warm hello, because as events
industry professionals you hold my precarious
little career in the palms of your hands.
My name is Tony Wilson, and you may know
me from various writing, radio and television
endeavours. The most notable was probably ‘Race
Around the World’, although the most watched was
yesterday on Channel 7. Yes, that was me in the
fifteenth row of the Davis Cup Fanatics wearing
a plastic kangaroo and singing, ‘They call him
Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you
see, serves aces like he’.’

Hello ladies and gentlemen of the power
industry. As you would all be aware, the Business
Innovation Awards is the time of year when your
businesses recongnise the original and valuable
contributions that can be made by people right
across the corporate structure. It’s about people
power. I don’t want to turn this into a tongue
twister, but it’s about people power producing
peerless power. To expand slightly, it’s about
people power producing the pinpricks of potential
to problem solve power pole imponderables. To
expand slightly on that … now I’m just being silly.

“Excellent.  Tony was fantastic. His light hearted jokes throughout the
awards presentation kept the audience laughing.” – MIAA Vic 

“Tony was a great MC who was able to create interest about our
awards ceremony with his sense of humor and stories of his ‘innovative ideas and experiences’.  All of our delegates were entertained
and pleased to have the opportunity to listen to Tony speak.”
– Lyndall King, Powercor 

40

Dandenong Chamber of Commerce,
Premier Regional Business Awards
Platinum Year

Davids Timber
Launch LOSP Treatment Plant

Crown Palladium
March 2011

Dandenong South
November 2011

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome
to the Premier Regional Business Awards Platinum Year, celebrating 20 years of awards.
This year we are presenting the best of the best.
Remember when Salman Rushdie was awarded
the Booker of Bookers? Remember when Time
Magazine made Albert Einstein their Person of the
Century? Remember when Daryl Somers won the
Logie of Logies? Well, okay that might not have
happened. But hang on tight, ladies and gentleman,
because it’s all going to be happening tonight.

Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome.
Two hundred million years ago, an early homo
sapien picked up a stick and grunted the word
‘wood’… ‘Wooooood!’… ‘Wooood!’… And that was
the first ever timber launch…
Except it was in an early African dialect…
As I understand it, the speeches today will be
a little bit longer, but not too long, which will give
us plenty of opportunity to enjoy the barbecue afterwards. My name is Tony Wilson, and I’m filling
in for Sam Kekovich today, which is something I
do more often than you’d think.

‘In what was a very difficult MC role, with nearly 40 awards and
presentations, Tony did it all without a hitch. His professionalism
and humour was spot on with a mixed crowd of 800 business people”
– Brian Challinor, Gener8 Marketing and Events

41

Further testimonials
“Tony was all too willing to accommodate our requests. This often
required impromptu changes to program of events or to Tony’s
responsibilities on the night. We are very appreciative of this.
Feedback from senior management and individuals who were part
of the audience confirmed Tony was very entertaining. They enjoyed
his sense of humour and his ability to interact with the audience.” 
– Chisholm Institute
“We engaged Tony to help us at the very early stages of an idea we
had for an upcoming conference.  Tony responded immediately and
didn’t just take our brief and deliver on it, he helped us to evolve
the original idea and really drive the outcome.   Tony put together
a vox pop video that underpinned a panel discussion involving
key industry leaders, arranged editing and even did a 30- second
teaser video to help us promote our session prior to the day.
The
resulting video and the session at the conference that Tony led
himself achieved all of our objectives and more.  The attendees
had fun and I received great feedback on Tony (he was also bloody
funny!).  In short, he brings a great deal of intelligence and insight
as well as humour and makes his audience feel immediately
relaxed allowing them to enjoy themselves and take on the key
messages.  We will use Tony again and I can’t thank him enough for
the great work he did for us.  You can view the video for yourself at
www.serviceworks.com.au” – Andrew Duncan, CEO Serviceworks

“From a very short briefing, Tony ‘got it’-he understood our
objectives, did copious research and prepared meticulously.  He
presented us with a hypothetical-“A Difficult Day”- that was
timely, relevant and thought provoking.  His presentation was well
written, and delivered in a relaxed, but business-like style, balancing
humour with challenge and constantly adapting to the group’s
responses, ensuring that we were  fully engaged throughout the
session. It was a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable part of our
programme.”  – Elizabeth M Board, Director of Development, 
Camberwell Grammar School 

“Tony was wonderfully entertaining and contributed to the overall
success of the evening.” – Newman College Students’ Club

“I have experienced the pleasure of Tony Wilson facilitating or being
master of ceremonies at two major client based functions conducted
by our firm over the past two years. I had not known Tony before
meeting him at the first of these functions.
Tony has a degree otf professionalism which resonates strongly
with me. He absorbs his brief, makes constructive suggestions, and
delivers a product that has been an absolute winner at each of the
functions.
His performance on each occasion indicated an attention to
detail, as well as to client expectations that was second to none.
His sense of humour was engaging and entirely appropriate to the
audience on each occasion.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending him to others.
In summary, professional, humorous and happy clients!!”
– Philip Rowell, Monahan + Rowell Solicitors

“Despite the last minute nature of our booking, Tony did an
exceptional job as MC of our launch event.”
– Better Place Launch, Cathy Fleetwood, n2n Communications

“The dinner was a huge success. Tony contributed a large part to
this success. He poked fun at various people attending the dinner,
including Sir Anthony Mason and the Honourable Rob Hulls, in a
way that only a good comedian can. There was a lot of laughter
during the auction and many people commented on how much they
enjoyed his auction style.” – Emma Hunt and Paula O’Brien, CoExecutive Directors, PILCH [Public Interest Law Clearing House]

“Tony was really well prepared, both for his audience and for the
slightly unusual format we asked him to use . He did a fantastic
job of drawing what we wanted out of the panellists and his sense
of timing was superb. He was flexible, appropriate and had great
presence. He was the last speaker in what was a huge week for 500
plus people of all ages and he held his audience for the entire hour
with his content, manner and sensitive treatment of the diverse
panellists.”
– Round Square Conference, Judy Hewett, Ivanhoe Grammar

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To talk to Tony about hosting your next event visit
www.tonywilson.com.au

43

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