Two Over One at Queensland Contract Bridge Club

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Most of the teachers who attended Saturday's Teacher Training Program stayed on for the second day to complete one of four Continuing Professional Development Days offered by the Australian Bridge Federation.  CPD Days are more content-based than “how to", although the methods used are always the same, following the STEAM principles. 

There’s no need for players or teachers to feel that 2/1 is hard, or that it means learning a totally new system. The best way to present it is to show where it “fixes” weak parts of Standard, and what the benefits are.

Even beginners are able to learn 2/1, so let’s embrace it! 

Teacher Training at QCBC

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Four tables of teachers or teachers-to-be gathered at QCBC in Brisbane for the first day of the Education programme that has been running in Queensland for 10+ years. The Teacher Training Program Day is mandatory for any teachers looking to obtain their ABF Teacher Accreditation.

Some had done the course (Methodology of Teaching - how to teach) before, but they commented that they picked up different things this time around. In fact, the first time you complete the Teacher Training Program, you’re likely to not absorb it all, as there’s a lot of ground covered in the STEAM principles. That’s S = Student Safety, T = Timing, E = Energy, A =Attitude, M = Materials and Methods. These are proven successful areas to focus to improve teaching. 

Teachers hailed from Mt Tamborine, Kenmore, Arana, Tableland, Dalby, Hervey Bay, Sunnybank, QCBC, Toowoomba, Toowong and Redlands. 

2/1 Game Forcing in Glen Innes

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What a fun group gathered at the lovely Town & Country Club (home of the Glen Bridge Club) for an ABF Continuing Professional Development Day, an Introduction to two over One Game Forcing! 

We had teachers from Inverell, Tenterfield as well as Glen Innes.

Most of the country players and teaching team were not familiar with this system, but they gave it their all, and at the end of the day were keen to take it on board. 

The beautiful roses all around, combined with the food, and the lovely country atmosphere really made the day a pleasure. After seven hours of work, neither the players nor the roses were showing signs of wilting.

Thanks to Sandra McBain, ABF Accredited teacher for organising such a lovely experience. I was delighted to receive the following feedback from Sandra after the event!

Today our club was abuzz with everyone trying 2/1. I had lots of queries and they had lots of laughs," she said. 
"I’m so pleased they took it and ran with it. One of them said that what impressed her most was is that the ABF is trying to bring them into the 21st century and helping them improve their game.”

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Modern Bidding at VBA

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It was a small but “select” group of teachers at the VBA on Saturday, November 11. Christopher Leach’s presence was most welcome, and the off the cuff involvement of the new VBA Manager, ex-teacher and bridge player, Andrew McCready Bryan was really stimulating too.

The topic for this Continuing Professional Development Day was Modern Competitive Bidding Methods. The group covered a whole lot of ground, but mainly the workshop focused on emphasising how important it is to develop your own judgements about hands, and that sometimes it pays to bid a whole lot with a little, and at other times, the very opposite! 


Of course the hard bit is to recognise when to do what! 

Some of the teachers had done this course before, but it was so good to hear that they’ve picked up new things the second time around. It was also great to see newly accredited teacher Stella Hammond, who showed me her smart new business card which advertises her ABF Teacher Accreditation status.

Accredited Teacher: Birgitt Bingham

Birgitt Bingham
Surfers Paradise, QLD

I started bridge in 1994 while living at Sanctuary Cove. A small group of keen golfers asked Kathy Johnson to come out to teach. I started playing in earnest around 2002  joining Tweed Bridge Club first, as my Mother played there. Around 2005, I began to help with supervised play at Surfers Paradise Bridge Club. 

When the club was looking for a new teacher, I was asked to fill the gap. Being a qualified teacher helped greatly so here I am still today. Contributing to the success of a club is most rewarding.  I enjoy the challenge of the game, the constant and continual learning, the friendships which develop and the joy on the faces of learners when a concept is grasped.

For 10 years I lived and worked in many  exotic countries, putting my hand to a variety of occupations here and overseas.  I speak several languages which helps when I am directing and teaching bridge on cruise ships.

Accredited Teacher: Noel Daniel

Noel Daniel
City of Melville Bridge Club, WA

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How did you discover bridge?
I played bridge as a teenager with my parents and family at home. It was Rubber Bridge in those days. I retired at the end of 2006 and joined Melville Bridge Club and started playing bridge in 2007.

Why did you decide to become a bridge teacher? 
After playing bridge for four years, I started conducting Supervised Sessions at MBC and became a Director. My passion and interest in the game, led me to read a lot of books on bridge and do a lot of Bridge courses to improve my own knowledge and skills in the game. I later started teaching bridge at the Club.

What do you enjoy most about playing/teaching Bridge? 
I enjoy the mental stimulation, bidding and playing of challenging hands and making contracts in the game of bridge. In teaching bridge I enjoy promoting the game to new comers and teaching them the simple and basic rules of accurate bidding andcard play.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
Besides being a Bridge Addict, I like to cook!

Accredited Teacher: Vickie Busteed

Vickie Busteed
Peninsula Bridge Club

How did you discover bridge?
I always knew I wanted to learn when I stopped working full time. I started playing at Grand Slam Double Bay in 1999.

Why did you decide to become a bridge teacher? 
About four years ago when the Peninsula Club supported a focus on growing the club through education. Cath Whiddon was also very encouraging and supportive.

What do you enjoy most about playing/teaching Bridge? 
I love teaching people who are keen and excited to learn a new skill. Bridge keeps your mind active, solving problems and is social.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
I am very interested in politics and world news.

Accredited Teachers: Malcolm & Lyn Carter

Malcolm & Lyn Carter

For Malcolm and Lyn Carter the Queensland Contract Bridge Club is their home club, but over the years they have taught bridge in a variety of places, including on many cruise ships.

Malcolm started playing at the age of 11 when he bought a bridge book and taught himself to play where Lyn came from a bridge playing family and learnt at the age of 16 by attending lessons run by the ACT Bridge Association in Canberra.

“We have both taught bridge, off and on, for a long time, including at schools where we worked at as teachers of maths and science,” Lyn said.

The couple regularly teaches bridge on cruises and have made some good friends in the bridge world. Lyn states that the people she meets are what she enjoys most about teaching and playing bridge. This isn’t surprising when you consider how Malcolm and Lyn met. 

“We first met when my mother (Jean Read, who many might remember) introduced us whilst we were all playing at the Australian National Championships in Melbourne in 1975, not long after Malcolm arrived from England. We were married 18 months later.”

Accredited Teacher: Cecily Critchley

Cecily Critchley
Gold Coast Bridge Club, QLD


How did you discover Bridge?
Through family and friends.  I learnt to play at Queensland Contract Bridge Club (Brisbane) at the beginning of 1984 and was immediately hooked!

Why did you decide to become a Bridge Teacher?
I first taught bridge at Brisbane Bridge Centre in the 1990’s, long before I moved to the Gold Coast in 2006. Why? I love(d) teaching and love(d) the game of bridge.

What do you enjoy most about playing/teaching Bridge?
Probably the intellectual stimulation and challenge. But it also continues to fascinate me how closely the game mimics life. Probably true of most intense games and among the reasons that sports psychologists are hired to work with elite athletes, bridge and chess players.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
That my first university degree, before I became a psychologist (via BA, Dip Psych), was a Bachelor of Divinity, majoring in Theology (all University of Queensland).

Accredited Teacher: Lynley Jenkins

Lynley Jenkins
Gold Coast Bridge Club, QLD

How did you discover Bridge?
Through my grandparents and mother. As a family, we often played Auction Bridge at home. My mother also was a very keen club duplicate player.

Why did you decide to become a Bridge Teacher?
It just happened one day. I accepted an offer to conduct Beginners’ Lessons at Brisbane Bridge Centre back in the early 1990s. Although I had never attended Beginners’ Lessons myself, I was fortunate enough to be playing against the best players in Queensland and to have been tutored by some of Australia’s best, including Paul Lavings. I enjoyed teaching immensely and found I had a good rapport with students. I felt I had something to offer in the area, and it evolved from there.

What do you enjoy most about playing  Bridge?
I love playing bridge. I am an addicted bridge player because the challenge never ends.

What do you enjoy most about teaching Bridge?
Passing on what I have learned to those who wish to master (the impossible dream!) the great game is one important aspect. But probably the most important aspect these days is seeing friendships formed and forming friendships with my own students – many of whom are my age or older – and who are just starting their bridge careers. I love to watch those lightbulb moments. This is the most rewarding and exciting part of all!

Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
That in my late teens (1960’s) I was very involved in live theatre in Brisbane, performing in plays at Brisbane Repertory Theatre, Twelfth Night and Brisbane Arts Theatre. Many of my friends from that era are household names in the world of Australian theatre, film and TV – Barry Otto, Jack Thompson, Gerard Kennedy, Michael Caton, Judith McGrath, Rowena Wallace and (the late) Carol Burns.

Accredited Teacher: Susan Falkingham

Peninsula Bridge Club, NSW

It didn’t take long for Susan Falkingham to get hooked on bridge. The Peninsula Bridge Club teacher said from the beginning she would have been playing bridge “every day of the week except for that pesky need to have a job interfering”.

Susan now teaches beginners, takes supervised play and directs at Peninsula Bridge Club at Warriewood.

“I also run the bridge sessions at Warringah Bowling Club and Harbord Diggers Club. I have done casual directing at a number of clubs. Bridge is now my career and I love it,” she said.

Susan credits her terrific first teacher Catherine Collins with getting her addicted to bridge. 

“Within a couple of years, I found myself more interested in what was going on in the room and how the movements were set up.  I completed the director’s exam and then under the mentoring of John McIlraith have been directing for the last few years as well.”

Susan became involved in the Bridge Education program at the Peninsula Bridge Club under the stewardship of Cath Whiddon.

“I love teaching, I love my supervised groups, and occasionally I even play with my long suffering bridge partner Dot,” she said.

“What I love most about teaching is when I see people I have taught playing in sessions, enjoying themselves and with a thirst to improve and learn more.  

“I get a buzz to think I helped them find that enjoyment.  I also play golf, so I am fortunate to have two great activities in my life.”

ABF Teachers Update - March

New look ABF Education Section + Teaching Tips

If you haven't checked it out in a while, I urge you to visit the Education section of the ABF website. This section, which is dedicated to teachers, has just had a bit of a facelift to make it easier for you to find what you need.  

As part of the overhaul, we've also added the content from the wildly successful ABF Summer School. You can find notes, videos and practice hands from the 10 different topics in the Improvers section as well as under Lesson Plans & Tips

Work will be continuing on this section of the ABF website, so if you find any broken links or have any feedback, please email us!

Teacher Accreditation Program Points Update

For some time, I have been receiving requests from teachers undertaking the accreditation process to be able to see their current point scores.  A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to make this happen.  I'm delighted to announce that the current points awarded for all teachers are now available on the ABF Website.

If you are not listed on the website, please register here. Alternatively, if you would like to be removed from the list, please email us.  

Congratulations to our new Accredited Teachers 

Congratulations to our newest Accredited Teachers.  You can find all Accredited Teacher profiles on the Accredited Teachers page

Jill MacRae

Illawarra Bridge Association, NSW

Upon retirement, Jill began providing supervised sessions at her club to attract new players and more importantly keep them playing.

“In my experience there had been a large gap between the knowledge gained at introductory lessons and skills needed to play confidently in a competitive situation. We set up a small team and now run weekly sessions with 1-hour lesson followed by supervised play. We also hold daytime introductory lessons once a year and night lessons later in the year.”


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Christine Hadaway 

Brisbane Water Bridge Club, NSW

“I teach and direct at Brisbane Water Bridge Club, and live in Ettalong Beach on the Central Coast. I started playing bridge by chance twenty-five years ago.

“I began teaching bridge as I wanted to share the experience of this amazing game with others. Since retiring from being a high school teacher, I have been lucky enough to do 30 cruises teaching over 1000 people to play bridge. It has been so rewarding to see so many people enjoy playing the game.”


Donelle Foate

Grange Bridge Club, NSW

After moving to the Hunter Valley, where she planted a vineyard, Donelle was approached by local golf club members to teach bridge. 

“The golf club members asked me to teach them bridge, which eventually became 6 tables at my home followed by Supervised bridge and then Open. Outgrowing my home, I started Grange Bridge Centre which is now 5 years old with a membership of 80.”


Susan Falkingham

Peninsula Bridge Club, NSW

It didn’t take long for Susan Falkingham to get hooked on bridge. The Peninsula Bridge Club teacher said from the beginning she would have been playing bridge “every day of the week except for that pesky need to have a job interfering”.

Susan now teaches beginners, takes supervised play and directs at Peninsula Bridge Club at Warriewood.

“I also run the bridge sessions at Warringah Bowling Club and Harbord Diggers Club. I have done casual directing at a number of clubs. Bridge is now my career and I love it,” she said. 

Read More... 

Cath Whiddon appointed ABF Teacher Trainer


Cath Whiddon was the first teacher to be accredited by the ABF. She is now joining National Teaching Coordinator Joan Butts in the Education Department in the role of Teacher Trainer.  

Apart from her role as the Director of Bridge Education at Peninsula Bridge Club, Cath has been the NSWBA bridge education representative and the Metro rep for all bridge clubs in Sydney.
Cath currently teaches beginners and improvers; directs duplicate and supervised sessions; convenes fun events to introduce new players to duplicate match point pairs, teams & swiss pairs; and also works as a bridge teacher and director on a couple of cruises each year – as well as competing in ABF and NSWBA congress events to improve her game and network with other teachers.
As a Teacher Trainer, Cath will be conducting Teacher Training Program days. 

Upcoming Teacher Training Workshops

Teacher Training Program (15 points)


CPD Day 1 - Modern Competitive Bidding (10 points)

  • No dates scheduled yet.


CPD Day 2 - All About Defence (10 points)

CPD Day 3 - Teaching Two Over One Game Force (10 points)

    If you are interested in hosting an event, please email me via


    Joan Butts
    ABF National Teaching Coordinator