Black Swan April 2013

Black Swan
April 2013

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Vicky Post

In this issue

Select the link to go to the story




My inspiration this month came from the Southern Division final held at Bull Creek Community centre on Sunday 28th April. I thought this a fabulous event, but that could be because I finally beat Peter Law!

How sad is it when your life is reduced to wanting to beat Peter Law in the International speech contest? The good news, however, is that I get a second opportunity to do so at the District finals at the convention held in May.

In my mind, what makes a good speaker? Somebody who puts it all on the line and competes. When you compete you pitch your skills against everybody else’s. The standard was incredibly high, as it had been at the other two division finals so we can look forward to a phenomenal District final.

Even if you don’t have the time or the finances to attend the entire convention in May, at least come along to the speech contests. You will hear some of the best our district has to offer. You will hear some really funny and inspirational speeches with messages that may stay with you for some time to come. Who knows?

Personally, I believe competing should be a part of the accreditation for the DTM, just like judging should. Will that happen? Probably not. It is a voluntary option and one that some will never attempt. Personally I think they miss out. But each to their own.

In short, though, come along to the 4 contests. They will all be fabulous events that we can all take something away from.

I look forward to seeing you all at Convention.


Vicky Post, DTM

Black Swan Editor

Back to Menu


District Governor Report

District 17 is leading the way in the Distinguished District Program in Region 12. Region 12 is made up of all the Toastmaster Districts in Australia and New Zealand.

District 17 progress in the Distinguished District Program is listed on the chart below:

Western Australia as at 4 May 2013

District Goal

to date





Rank in

in world

Rank in

Paid clubs









Mem payments









Dist. clubs









That’s right. Western Australia is currently ranked number 1 in Region 12. District 17 is well on track to be a Distinguished District this year.

I have had the privilege of attending the remaining Division Evaluation and International Speech Competitions. The competition at all three Division Finals was of a very high standard.

These competitions will culminate at the “Jewel in the Crown” District 17 Convention at the Kings Hotel, Perth on the 24, 25 and 26 of May 2013 and the winner of the International Speech Competition will represent District 17 at the International Convention which will be held in Ohio Cincinnati in August this year.

I encourage you all to attend the District 17 Convention to support your Division competitors in their respective Speech Competitions. You will also fast track you Toastmaster journey by attending the workshops and activities that have been arranged for the Convention.


Ross Wilkinson, DTM
District 17 Governor 2012/13

Back to Menu


Gosnells Foothills 21st Birthday Celebration

 21st birthday GFTM 21st birthday8 GFTMGosnells Foothills Toastmasters celebrated their 21st birthday at the meeting  held on 8 April 2013 at Southern River College, Gosnells.


It was a fun and enjoyable evening. There were speeches, surprises, party games, supper and, of course, a birthday toast and cake to celebrate our birthday. The theme of the night was ‘A Black and White Affair’ and members entered into the spirit of the theme and came appropriately dressed.

 Two of our founding members, Les and Valda Ross, were present. We are very grateful to all our club members, both past and present, who have helped to create a friendly and vibrant club during the past 21 years. We look forward with anticipation to the next 21 years.

Barbara Coles, President

Back to Menu


Charter Meeting for Northern Gourmet TM Club

sponsors mentors NG Gourmet charter 1Our inaugural meeting was held in March and by that time we already had 22 members with another 2 joining on the night.

Our charter dinner was held in April and the presentation conducted by New Clubs Coordinator David Nicholas.

Check out our Website

LIKE us on Facebook


If you would like to come along and experience a gourmet monthly advanced club, please contact myself or Lizze Hornby  next meeting 9 May

Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans
Co-Sponsor Northern Gourmet
VPE Stirling Toastmasters
Mob: 0438 902042

Back to Menu

City of Swan Connect Event at Ellenbrook

Ellenbrook event 2 Ellenbrook eventThe City of Swan held a community event recently at the Vale Lakefront Park. Community groups were invited to set up a stand from 4pm to 6pm. Ellenbrook Toastmasters had a stand there and had some interest from visitors. We had Toastmaster flyers and magazines, but interest was sparse. We thought about how we could improve our presence, and thoughts like “Have a raffle” “Give a FREE TICKET/PASS/TWO FOR ONE/DISCOUNT MEMBERSHIP to our next meeting” “Have a video display of a speech or table topics session” (difficult as there was no power). “Have a live demo of a speech, invite the audience to table topics” “Have some giveaways, like toastmaster pens, balloons, free chocolate” “Provide free sunscreen prominently displayed”.

It can be difficult to be noticed at such an event, I guess the key is to be inventive, be persistent and be there. We will be better prepared next year. Think about how your club could go the extra yard to stand out and be noticed.



Martin Lindsay, DTM

VPE Ellenbrook CLub


Back to Menu


What is Convention?

There I was again standing on my soap box spruiking attendance at Convention.

A club member asked,              “What is Convention”? 

To me it is so obvious but instantly filled my mind with the unasked questions.

Why should I attend?                 What is in it for me?        

soapbox-pixIn a nutshell:-  A gathering of likeminded people who share experiences, learn from each other,  reward or recognise  members achievements.  Energise, enthuse, reinvigorate, club officers and members helping to achieve excellence during the year ahead.    (Ian Pickens 2013)



I know if I listen to the International President of Toastmasters and our international motivational speaker Rory Vaden during their workshops, master class, and addresses, I will learn.  I will pick up tips, or see things that will change the way I present and speak. 


DURING THE 3 DAYS Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May 2013.  I will talk with, and listen to many people I enjoy the company of.

I will laugh at the humorous contest Friday night; I will laugh at Table Topics contest answers Sunday.  I have seen great humour and presentation skills already in the International speech contestants in the Division finals.  I can be sure to relax and enjoy the Royal Gala Dinner Saturday night.  (could be a speech in that)


I am sure I will meet new people, new toastmasters and talk about their journey and goals.  It is possible I will find a life long best friend or something like that.  Whatever it might be and however it may end I feel certain I will enjoy the company of many.

That is what is in it for me.

Many organisations have an annual conference or convention.  They charge the business owners large sums of money and make it compulsory to attend.  They meet to present achievement awards, to discuss new corporate guidelines or directions,  to train their staff,   but most of all so staff can learn from another’s experiences.

Our convention is little different in many ways.

We charge very little money about $100 per day meals included.  ($295 full registration) It is not compulsory but I cannot stress enough how valuable the time will be.  There are no new rules or directions.

We do however, offer learning,  we do reward achievers, we do showcase the best in the District with 4 contests, you will walk away with new ideas, new enthusiasm, new energy to improve over the next year.  You will probably learn more about speaking and leading in the one weekend than during the next year.

If you go to convention you can be assured of some fun, some education and fellowship.  You can be assured the reason you joined toastmasters will be accelerated.

That is what in my opinion is in it for you.                            


Ian Pickens new photo

Ian Pickens, DTM
District PRO 2013


Back to Menu