Introduction to the ESU

Our Origin & Vision

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) was founded by Sir Evelyn Wrench in London in 1918 as

“a movement to draw together in bonds of comradeship the English speaking peoples of the world.”

Who We Are

The ESU Victoria Branch is an educational and cultural charity, established in Melbourne in 1919. We are a non-government body, reliant on our members, volunteers, supporters and donors to undertake our work and fund our activities.

What We Do

The ESU promotes friendship and closer ties between the peoples of English-speaking democracies through our common heritage and language. We work principally with young people, providing opportunities to build skills and gain experiences to help our beneficiaries realise their full potential. The ESU supports people-to-people learning, exchanges, conferences, awards and work experience programs. We offer a range of competitive funded opportunities including bursaries, grants and scholarships - click AWARDS to read about these and to access the online application forms.

We sponsor and run educational and cultural programs with a focus on public speaking and the celebration of national and cultural events relevant to the English speaking peoples. The ESU also promotes worldwide communication through the English language. For more information, see the links under EDUCATION and CULTURE.

We host talks and social functions, and support local initiatives aligned with the ESU's objectives. To find out more, click EVENTS.

Our Branch is a member of the Australian English-Speaking Union (Australian ESU), a national body comprising all English-Speaking Union branches in Australia. The Australian ESU holds annual conferences and sponsors national initiatives. For more information, click Australian ESU.

We are part of an international network which convenes international meetings and events such as the International Public Speaking Competition, involving over 40,000 young people in 50 countries each year. Our Branch is twinned with the ESU Wellington Branch in New Zealand, with reciprocal membership benefits.

Join us, and get involved!

Social Membership provides a pathway to full membership of the organisation. We also welcome volunteers who are willing to assist with our work. For more information, see the links under GET INVOLVED.