District 17 Conference 2023 - Caring for your Future

We are excited to announce this year – Caring for your Future – District 17 Conference commencing on the 21st and 22nd May 2023.

Members and guests this is a chance to connect with us over 2 fun filled days. A fantastic opportunity to be inspired by our prestigious keynote speakers as well as the very best speakers from our own District, as they compete to be crowned the district champion of the four district contests.

Due to the Covid situation, it has been a challenging year for all of us, we approached it with enthusiasm and passion, supported by our commitment to serve all our members.

This year's conference will be held over two fun-filled days:


Day 1 – Be inspired by the very best international and local speakers, and support our members in the Humorous Speech Contest and the Speech Evaluation contest


Day 2  – Be Entertained by more international speakers and support our members in the Table Topics Contest and the Speech Evaluation Contest.


Let's Connect

Day 1 - Saturday 20 May

Keynote - Monique Tonna - Inside Out: Toastmasters behind the Wall

Monique joined Toastmasters In 2011 after completing her Master of Business Administration (MBA). She realised that when presenting she got nervous and tongue tied when asked questions and couldn’t formulate responses properly or succinctly. Table Topics and District Leadership has been a fantastic learning curve in developing these skills.

Monique spent 15 year working in Finance and now owns a Pilates studio where she gets to combine her love of fitness and helping others achieve their wellness goals.

In 2019 Monique first walked into Macquarie Correctional Centre to run a Speechcraft course and thinks this is the best thing in Toastmasters she has ever been a part of. The men in the maximum security facility have developed in both communication and leadership and there is now a fully chartered Toastmasters club called the Algonquin Table Toastmasters Club. This 4 year journey has seen inspiration, tears and a lot of laughter and Monique will take you on the journey “Inside Out: Toastmasters behind the wall”.

Humorous Speech Contest

Meet the contestants representing each Division

Sue Fielding

Neilane Liew

Heny Yau

Joe Nader

Pascale Amberville-Colby

Michael Lester

Xin Hou

Keynote Presentaion - Rosalyn Kahn - Reset for Success

Rosalyn Kahn is a College Professor or Public Speaking at Los Angeles City College. She is serial entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Speech Coach.

Ms. Kahn has been an educator for the last 20 years teaching Public Speaking, English as Second Language in colleges and high schools throughout Southern California.  Several years ago, she attended her first TEDx conference in Pasadena. She was immediately drawn into the TEDx fever.

Rosalyn Kahn is a charter Member of Leaders Worldwide. She has won over 20 awards including the Spring 2023 Part Time Professor at Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Business Journal Non-Profit and Corporate Citizenship Award and recent finalist for the Woman of Hearts Award held in England for her work supporting women and children.

Her true passion is teaching people how to perfect their talk to best represent themselves.

If you want to become an effective speaker, Rosalyn can show you how to do that.

Speech Evaluation Contest

Meet the contestants representing each Division

Sue Fielding

Samatha Craig

Heny Yau

Melanie Jackson

Kym Godfrey

Amos Lin

Elodie Castagna

Angenita Van Tonder

Keynote Presentaion - John Lau - Hearts and Souls of Success

Datuk Dr John Lau is a Past International President of Toastmasters International.

He holds a double PhD, one in strategic marketing (1995) and the most recent one is in Sociology with emphasis in Criminology (2019).  He strongly believes in continuous learning through his life model of Learn, Unlearn and Relearn formula.

He and his team led the then District 51 in 2002-2003 to President's Distinguished District and Number one in the world.  John was their District Governor.

He has received two awards from the King of Malaysia -  2013 he was conferred Johan Mangku Negara (JMN) and for 2024 he was conferred Panglima Jasa Negara (Commander of National Service) which carries the title of Datuk.

In his Keynote address, he will touch on the following points:

  • What are hearts and souls of success?
  • Getting the skills  needed
  • Self leadership and discipline
  • Reaching out to help others
  • District leaders Care

Day 2 - Sunday 21 May

Keynote - Fursey Gotuaco

Fursey Gotuaco is a 3-time Toastmasters District Champion winning in both China and the United States.

As an Executive Speech Coach, he combines his experience as a Theatre Teacher of 30 years, with his success of being a Finalist at the World Championship of Public Speaking and synthesizes it through the lens of leadership that he has refined as a School Principal.

He has helped actors, speakers, and leaders in New York, Los Angeles, and Shanghai and now he is ready to help you take your skills to the next level.

Check out Fursey's Linked In profile.

Table Topics Contest

Meet the contestants representing each Division

Sue Fielding

Renata Kanagaratnam

Taylor Berry

David Slater

Judith Allen

Samantha Craig

Xin Hou

Workshop - John Constant - How to Achieve a Doctorate in Evaluation

Distinguished Toastmaster John Constant is a Toastmaster with over 10 years of experience in corporate, community and advanced clubs, as well as having a variety of leadership roles, including Area Governor and a President’s Distinguished Division Governor. 

John has been a TEDx speaker coach for the past 3 years, a District Finalist for Table Topics, Evaluation and International Speech contests.

He has also provided officer training for several club officer positions and led workshops on evaluation, speeches,  judging and table topics to Toastmasters and Gavel Clubs throughout District 86. 

Perhaps one cannot, yet, achieve a Doctorate in Evaluation but let us look at doctors as a whole and see the similarities between a doctor with a patient and an evaluator with a speaker.  At the end of the workshop you will learn more about how to diagnose your 'patient' and perhaps your 'patient' and you will be a bit better for it.

International Speech Contest

Meet the contestants representing each Division

Sue Fielding

Wendell Pether

Juliana Martins-Pereira

Diana Simich

Angela Booker

Samantha Craig

Luke George

Matthew McCoy

Keynote - CJ Marks - From TM to TEDx (How to and how not to) get a TEDx Talk

Californian-born and currently living in Japan, C.J. has been in education for over twenty years and he is currently teaching at a university in the Kobe area. In addition to being a consultant for public and private sector as well as government entities C.J. is a presentation coach, working with young learners and adults alike to improve their confidence and presentation skills.

A PechaKucha event organizer, C.J. is also a TEDx Presentation Coach. In this role he does not only coach individual TEDx speakers but trains entire TEDx speaker teams and supports TEDx event organizers.

C.J.'s hobbies are enjoying life and helping people.

In addition to being a Toastmaster and having done presentations for Toastmasters from all over the world C.J. Marks has given a TEDx talk and has become a TEDx Presentation Coach. He has heard, and seen, the challenges that many people (especially Toastmasters) face with achieving their goal of speaking on the TEDx platform in front of a live audience and would like to see, and help, people (especially Toastmasters) achieve this goal.

In his own words, "I have the maps and I have the keys...I can show you the way and help you open the doors".

This will be an interactive session with plenty of time for questions and answers.

If you would like to learn how to go from Toastmaster to TEDx speaker this session is for you.



Check out his Linked In profile.

Register for the 2023 Toastmasters District 17 Conference here:

You can register for the two days of the conference separately.