Black Swan April 2016


Black Swan April 2016

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Auriole D'Souza




Reaching milestones on any occasion is cause for a celebration!  In this issue we get an insight into how three clubs celebrated their milestones - Durack's 800th meeting, West End's 400th meeting and Gosnells Foothills celebrating 25 years as a toastmasters club. We also feature an article on two toastmasters clubs who took on each other in 'The Great Debate' to discuss a pretty sensitive issue - how did they fare?

Kind regards



Auriole D'Souza DTM
Black Swan Editor
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District Director Says:

We have now started the two most exciting months of the toastmaster year.  I can say that - now that July and August (when we started our year) have well passed and the excitement of new beginnings are distant memories.

May is convention month a very exciting period of time when all the speech contestants finalise their preparation and we see the very best in the west, on stage at convention.  If you cannot attend the three days ensure you register for at least one day, or one contest to support your club member in their quest for district champion status.

May is the month to hold your club officer elections and the current committee finds out who they will be mentoring for the next twelve months.

The current committee has worked for 10 months to ensure all members are looked after.  They have ensured speeches are completed and evaluated, and you have encouraged leadership roles to be evaluated in the Competent Leader Manual.

You have done what you are able to, to encourage retention and membership renewal.  It is time to write up your hand over notes and set the correct trend for the incoming officers.

When the TM year started most of our clubs were at, or close to, charter strength.  It is now time to ensure all membership payments are made to Toastmasters International and the club membership is back to the same or greater number as your club had at the beginning of the toastmaster year.

It is never too late to start a new club.  If you have options or contacts discuss them with the Club Growth Director.  We have seen in the past more clubs charter in June than any other month of the year.  An exciting time in the new club arena.

June is the month of consolidation.  Membership numbers, member goals, Distinguished Club recognition, are some of the June functions.  There is a reason for that; Convention is finished and Mark Brown or our previous guest presenters have generated so much excitement, energy, and enthusiasm in the district by all who attended convention.  It is a natural transition to success.

As West Australians, we seem to leave everything until the last minute and June is the last minute.  May is the best time to save last minute panic and last minute rush.  Take the easy drive by completing your ‘to do list’ in May.

We all have played the game or at least understand the rules of the game 'Simon Says'.

I want to play a District Director game.  (Same rules)

District director says build your club numbers to 20 or more.

District Director says register your member achievements.

Drop the ball

Think it is too hard

District Director says give yourself, your club, and members reason to be proud by fulfilling your club success plan in the month of May.

These are the exciting two months.   Dream big Team together and Make it happen. Remember Toastmasters is all about Members Experience. (ME)

Aug-DD D17 Ian Pickens

Ian Pickens DTM
District 17 Director 2015-2016
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Educational Corner

Educational Achievements from July to March

As of the 30 April our clubs have achieved:

130      Competent Communicators

49        Competent Leaders

29        Advanced Communicators Bronze

19        Advanced Leaders Bronze

14        Advanced Communicators Silver

7          Advanced Leaders Silver

11        Advanced Communicators Gold,

10        Distinguished Toastmasters

3          Leadership Excellence

In total 272 educational awards were achieved.  I hope all of you are enjoying your club experience, achieving your personal goals and gaining valuable experience.  Our members are continuing to excel and I hope that you are presenting speeches, conducting educational workshops, bringing guests to your club, mentoring your fellow members and leading your clubs to success.  Our District 17 team acknowledges your personal achievements.  Well done !!!

To see who has achieved educational awards this year. Click here.

April Education Awards Recipients

AWARD           DATE               NAME                                     CLUB

CL            04/03/2016    Anderson, Jane Lee                    Curtin GSB Club

CC            04/04/2016    Harrington, Matthew                  Curtin GSB Club

ALB          4/04/2016      Kaur, Jasmine                            Curtin GSB Sundowner

CC            4/04/2016      Octaviany, Sisca                         Electric Toasters

CC            4/04/2016      Peachey, Jacqueline A               Applecross Toastmasters

CL            4/05/2016      Kumar, Bharath                         Curtin GSB Sundowner

CC            4/05/2016      Mott, Mitchell                           Curtin GSB Club

CL            4/06/2016      Bignell, Sydney A                       Mundaring

ACG         4/06/2016      Yau, Henry                                 City of Perth Toastmasters Club

CC            4/08/2016      Meyer, Almarie                          Dynamic Speakers

ACG         4/09/2016      Godfrey, Kym                             Banyandah Toastmasters Club

ACB          4/10/2016      Foster, Michael P.                      Mandjar Speakers

CC            4/11/2016      Bailey, Aimee Louise                 Rockingham Toastmasters

CC            4/12/2016      Harris, Steven                            Project Managers

CL            4/12/2016      Ragan, Leonor                           Dynamic Speakers

ACB          04/13/2016    Newboult, Greg                         Ellenbrook Toastmasters Club

CL            04/15/2016    Foster, Michael P.                      Rockingham Toastmasters

ACS          04/18/2016    Telenta, Christopher J                Sunday Sundowners

LDREXC    04/20/2016    Hahn, Allen Edward                   Durack Club

ALB          04/20/2016    O'Brien, Leon P                          Rockingham Toastmasters

CL            04/20/2016    O'Brien, Leon P                          Rockingham Toastmasters

CC            04/21/2016    Yau, Henry                                 Electric Toasters

CL            04/21/2016    Yau, Henry                                 Electric Toasters

CC            04/22/2016    Mills, Lan Pham                         Armadale Toastmasters

ALB          04/22/2016    Renner-Hahn, Scott J.                UWA

CC            04/23/2016    Giuntini, Edna L                         City of Cockburn Toastmasters

CC            04/24/2016    O'Shea, Morgan                        Curtin GSB Sundowner

ACG         04/25/2016    D'Cruze, Patricia Ann                  Perth Justalk

DTM        04/25/2016    D'Cruze, Patricia Ann                   Perth Justalk

CC            04/26/2016    Lindgren, Elena                          Canning Vale Toastmasters

To see who has achieved educational awards this year, click here.

April Triple Crown Award Recipient

Almarie Meyer                                     3  Awards        ACS, CL, CC

Henry Yau                                           3  Awards        CC, CL, ACG

Leon Obrien                                        3  Awards        ACB, CL, ALB

Patricia D’Cruze                                  4  Awards        ALS, ACG, DTM, LDREXC

As of 30 April 24 Members have achieved their triple crown. (these members have achieved three or more awards since the 1st July 2015).

To see all the Triple Crown recipients for 2015 to 2016, click here

Save the Day for the Upcoming Training Leadership and club Officer Training 2016-2017

Saturday 11 June - District Officer Training 1- Division Directors 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Saturday 18 June - District Officer Training 2- Division Directors and Area Directors a Leadership Summit  9:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Saturday 25 June, TLI/Club Officer Training I, 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.

Thursday, 17 July TLI/COT - Corporate.

Sunday 10 July TLI/COT 2 - 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.

Thursday 14 July, TLI/COT 3 - 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.

Sunday 17 July TLI/COT 4 - 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Innovation Centre, Technology Park. 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.

Sunday 24 July Southwest TLI/COT 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Sunday 28 August, Kalgoorlie TLI/COT 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.

We look forward to seeing you soon.


Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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April 2016 Distinguished Toastmaster 

Felicitations to Patricia D’Cruze

congratulationsdistinguished TM badge

Congratulations on reaching the highest level of achievement possible to an individual toastmaster. The DTM recognizes a superior level of achievement in both communication and leadership.

IMG_2666On behalf of District 17, I thank you for all your perseverance, diligence and hard work.  Your achievements have inspired all of us.  We are very proud of you!!!


Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Special Message From International President, Kim Kokocki, DTM Encourages All Members


Watch the President's message here

International President Jim Kokocki DTM has created a special video message to remind you to take advantage of all Toastmasters has to offer.


Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Call For Area Director Role For 2016-2017

 area director role

How would you like to further enhance your communication and leadership skills, increase your self-confidence and make new friends outside your home club?  Well, I have a suggestion for you - and the good news is that applications are now being sought!

The District is currently seeking applications for the role of Area Director for the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year. What is an Area Director?  I hear you ask.  An Area Director is the direct liaison between the District and its members. Each Area Director looks after 4-5 clubs by visiting them regularly and supporting them in their growth and development towards achieving goals.  While each member earns credit towards their ALS/DTM award for taking on the AD role, this is generally secondary to the skills and benefits that are gained from doing taking the role but the most rewarding experience is knowing that you have help others to achieve their goals.

Would you like the opportunity to gain important and transferable skills that will benefit you in your personal and professional life? Many of the skills that you gain from taking on the role are:

Motivating, inspiring others, event management, team work, friendships, networks, time management, and delegation.

Training will be provided twice a year.  First training day is on Saturday, 18 June and the Second training day is on Saturday 19th November.  You will receive support from your Division Director, your fellow Area Directors and past Division and Area Directors. During your year you will discover so much about yourself, which will enable you to identify strengths and development skills and grow as a person.  You will learn more about how to work and interact with others.  You will develop lifelong friendships and connections. And your self-confidence in communication and leadership will thrive, particularly as you take advantage of the numerous opportunities that are made available to you.

For further information, please take a look at the Area Directors Guide  Click here

We look forward to hearing from you.  Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Beat The Clock 

Beat the Clock


Sue Fallon
District 17 Club Growth Director 2015-2016
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A Memorable Milestone Meeting DURACK 800th 

800 and I don’t look a day over 500!

Meeting Toastmaster, Robyn, was quick to clarify that the meeting wasn’t about her, but all about Durack members. Members, that through their commitment, had seen the club reach a memorable milestone, the 800th meeting, achieved since the clubs inception in 2000.

Then it was ‘thank you’ to everyone in attendance, guests, Districts Executives, current and past members, and two visitors.  The meeting had it all!  Absent friends were acknowledged, those who took the time to send apologies and congratulations from around the world!  It is these small gestures that are the glue that keeps a club together.

The program captured the spirit of the special occasion with guest, Past Central Division Director, Henry Yau, delivering an Inspiration, encouraging, and speaking of Toastmaster’s opportunities, and the benefits of taking them up, as he had.

Ash, Area Director, Toasted the Club’s success.  Success acknowledging, Durack, a club having achieved Presidents Distinguished status since inception, which means they perpetually guide their members to excellence by meeting club targets.

Robyn's 2nd picpacer
(Presidents pictures, left to right:

Allen Hahn, Gil Alexander, Ash Bhudia, Robyn Lloyd, Sara Eaton {current}, Medhat Takla)

A club, that over 800 meetings, produces finalists in District speech contest representatives meaning they are clearly guiding their communicators and have excellent mentor and support experience.

Responding and meeting the public speaking needs of Western Australians, Durack was established as one of the first morning clubs, and changed the way WA viewed meetings.   One hour meetings before work for the early birders, and 16 years on are still catching the worm!

Durack was a leader in giving back to the Toastmaster community, by raising funds to support the district speaker finalists to travel to the east coast where every convention was held so they could represent WA.   Robyn shared that this was her introduction to Durack Club when offered support in 2009.  The rest is history - and the Club still supports its finalists.

Sam in his testimonial, sold the benefits gained as a member, demonstrating his selling and persuasive skills, those he has transposed to his professional life and auctioneering assignments.  Bang!  Sold!

Impromptu speaking, Table Topics lead by the Master Dan, with questions in the theme of the day encouraged enlightened responses.  Veteran and founding Club member Gil responded sharing one of his memorable Toastmaster moments (and he has a few, including success in District contests at the Vines Convention).

In summary, Durack a club still kicking goals!

5a-Robyn Lloyd

Robyn Lloyd DTM
Vice President Public Relations

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The Great Debate

A small but enthusiastic group of Toastmasters from Guildford Stars, Mundaring and Swan Clubs met at Whiteman Park on Sunday morning April 10th to pit their wits against opposing teams in an Interclub Debate organised by Gladys Lavell for her High Performance Leadership award.

The emphasis was on fun rather than formality, but that didn’t stop the competitive spirit of the debaters.  The rules for debate were clearly outlined beforehand, and the timers were given strict instructions to stop the speaker at the red light.  The Affirmative team from Swan/Mundaring argued that “It is better to have puppies than children”. This was hotly contested by the Negative team from Guildford Stars.  Needless to say, there were some outrageous claims and some scathing rebuttals from both sides.  In the end, the judges diplomatically decided that the debate was a draw.  Janette Edwards’ summary as 3rd speaker for the Affirmative was judged worthy of the best individual speaker award.

6c-Judith 2

One of the objectives of the Great Debate was to encourage Toastmasters from clubs in Area E13 to meet and socialise.  It was unfortunate that only three of the five Area clubs participated, but it was encouraging that some newer members took part and met Toastmasters from other clubs.  In true Toastmasters’ style, the event started with morning tea and ended with a light lunch organised by Gladys so everyone had a chance to mingle.

Another goal was to challenge members to speak in a public venue and at the same time to raise awareness of Toastmasters.  Each club displayed their banner and had some promotional material on hand.  The debate attracted some bemused looks from passing visitors and we took the opportunity to spread the Toastmasters’ message to a group of netballers who were gathered next to our shelter, and in fact took shelter when rain threatened.  We had a captive audience, including a puppy which the Affirmative side saw as supporting their argument.

However, there were many more children in the group, so the advantage was lost.6d-Judith 3

I’d encourage other clubs to consider Interclub debates as an opportunity to get together, perhaps on a club night for a special occasion.  It’s a lot of fun, and provides a challenge to experienced speakers as well as an opportunity to meet other Toastmasters.  Although debating is not usually part of a meeting, it is recognised by Toastmasters International, whose Debate Handbook contains basic principles of formal debate, with sample debate formats and judging tips.  Give it a go, and have fun.

7b - Judith

Judith Allen DTM
Vice-President Public Relations
Swan Toastmasters Club

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West End Toastmasters Celebrates Its 400th Meeting 

On the 9 March 2016, West End Toastmasters celebrated its 400th meeting.  Invited guests to our special meeting included Ian Pickens, District 17 District Director, Leonor Ragan, Program Quality Director, Sue Fallon, Club Growth Director, David Nicholas, District 17 Webmaster and Kevin Sansome, C5 Area Director.  Also in attendance was Patricia D’Cruze, Central Division Director and our Club Treasurer.

West End 400th 160309EdA

Mike Helm, Past International Director and one of our senior members, was Toastmaster for this milestone meeting.

Jasmine Kaur, our Club President, enlightened us with her speech ‘What Makes A Good Team’ and Gerry Prewett, our VP Public Relations had us all guessing with his version of ‘Would I Lie To You’, a fun TV game show.

Auriole D’Souza, the only charter member who is still a member with West End Toastmasters, delivered a brief history of the Club.  West End Toastmasters was chartered in January 2002 as a corporate club with the Department of Transport at 441 Murray Street, Perth.  David Nicholas and Jeff Oliver were the Founders and Kaye Hastings was the Mentor of the Club.  The Sponsor Clubs were Victoria Quay and Western Founders.  As is the case with some Toastmasters clubs, membership dropped in 2007.  The Club then opened its doors to other agencies and the private sector in the area, and membership was increased and the Club grew from strength to strength.

Perth Division Governor Mike Helm joined West End in May 2007 to help reinvigorate the Club.  Mike went on to become an International Director on the Toastmasters International Board of Directors in 2012-2014.

Some of our members, Auriole D’Souza, Patricia D’Cruze, Charles Fisher, Jasmine Kaur and Gerry Prewett have served as Area Governors, and Charles went on to become a Division Governor and Patricia a Division Director.

Jasmine Kaur was a finalist in the District 17 International speech contest in 2012 and 2013.  She will be representing Central Division in both the Evaluation and International Speech Contests in May 2016.  Gerry Prewett will be representing Central Division in the Humorous Speech Contest in May 2016.

West End Toastmasters was Select Distinguished in 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015, and Distinguished in 2007-2008.


Auriole D'Souza was the first member of the Club to receive a Distinguished Toastmaster Award.   Ian Pickens formally presented this award to her at the 400th meeting of the Club.

West End can look forward to a bright future with a growing recruitment base and a strong core leadership group of experienced Toastmasters.


Auriole D’Souza DTM
VP Membership
West End Toastmasters
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Gosnells Foothills Celebrates 25 Years 

While it is always a pleasure to visit Gosnells Foothills, it was an even bigger surprise and joy to attend the 24th Birthday Party complete with a delicious and artistically homemade cake and all the trimmings including show bags, trophies and a glitter hat.  Well done to foundation member Valda Ross who baked and iced a delicious cake.

9a-Gosnells groupIt's the members over the years who have sustained the club.  The club has a great spirit and a justifiable sense of pride in its achievements.  The way that members look out for each other and support each other is indeed a quality that makes this club unique.

Well done to all members - the fresh committee, brand new members as well as foundation members who have seen the club through the years.

Gosnells Foothills Club meets on the first, third and fifth Monday at 7:00 pm at the Southern River College Library on Southern River Rd, Gosnells.

9b-Andre PP Photos 001

Andre Sequeira
Area Director S31
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