Black Swan December 2016

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Welcome to the December edition of your very own Black Swan newsletter. This is a great read, I encourage you to have a good look at all the articles. There is entertainment as well as important information here. In particular, please note the article from Sue about the New Contest Forms that are available from the Toastmasters International website (links below). There is a great article from Charles Fisher about the quiz night, be sure to check out the photos! See how the Terrace Speakers can enjoy their coffee AND promote their club and Toastmasters International. See how the City of Cockburn celebrated their 25 year anniversary. All this as well as the monthly updates from Leonor, Sue, Patricia and Almarie. Read, enjoy and enlighten!

We encourage articles from members, this newsletter is ‘written by Toastmasters, for Toastmasters’. Guidelines for authors are at the end of this newsletter.

Lisa Martin Black Swan Editor

Lisa Martin
Black Swan Editor


District Director’s Update December 2016

by Leonor Ragan

November was another busy month in our District with The Northern, Southern and Central Division Finals for Table Topics and Humorous Speech Contests, and our District Council Meeting which was preceded by District Officer training. It was very exciting attending the Division Finals, getting to meet many of our members and new members. It is such a rewarding moment to witness the high quality of our speech competitions. We congratulate all our contestants for your excellence and thanks to all the officials, organisers and Division Directors for an amazing job to run such smooth, fun and professional contests.

Our Area Governors were extremely busy helping with Division Finals, finalising those club visits, submitting their reports to Toastmasters International and encouraging members to aspire to greater goals.

Congratulations to all our Area Directors for your outstanding achievements. You all achieve at least 80% or higher

  • Central Division 86%
  • Eastern Division 100%
  • Northern Division 96%
  • Southern Division 100%

It is to you credit and tireless work that these results were achieved. Well done and many thanks.

Our District Council meeting was well attended by 60 delegates representing a quorum of clubs in our district. I would like to thank you for your presence. We finished the District council meeting one hour ahead of the scheduled time. The Council Meeting could not have run so smoothly without much work behind the scenes and prior to the day by District Parliamentarian, Mike Helm, Ross Wilkinson and District Secretary, Tracey Hudson. Thanks to all. I am very happy to report the weekend of the 18 to 20 of November was a great success and our visit with our Region 12 Advisor, Ellie Young was very productive.


CongratulationsHelp me to congratulate Lisa Martin our Newsletter Editor for winning the best oral presentation prize at the School of Surgery Symposium at the University of Western Australia which was held on the 19th November 2016. At this event the Higher Degree by Research students present their PhD results. We are extremely proud of her achievements. Well done Lisa!!!

Make the Most of Your Presence

Creating and maintaining a Facebook page can be a valuable way to stay connected with current members while also informing prospective members about the terrific things your club and district are doing. Keep club and district members engaged and post more easily and frequently

To see the five tips use this link:

Promote Your Event:

If you have any questions, please contact our Public Relations Manager Almarie Meyer at: or

Can Guests Find Your Club?

Help prospective members find your club by ensuring your club information on the Toastmasters International website is current. Log in to Club Central then select “update my club meeting information” and to update your club’s meeting location, and include a phone number, email address, club website and Facebook links.

Call for Nominations for New District Leaders for 2017-2018

Toastmasters D17 Call for NominationsComplete info here: Nomination Process & Forms

You may submit more than one person’s name (including your own) for each position. The District Leadership Committee will consider all candidates received by the deadline, COB Tuesday February 28, 2017. Copies of all documents required are available on the District 17 website: Nomination Forms

Applications and forms can be submitted to the District Leadership Committee or contact Mark on Phone: 0407 595 161

It is amazing how much we have achieved. I’m happy to report that up today we haven’t lost any clubs and now the six struggling clubs have a coach/coaches and there are two clubs on the way to be chartered. I look forward to, celebrating many milestones and serving you in 2017.


Leonor Ragan, DTM
Leonor Ragan DTM
District Director 2016-17
The Passion to: lead, communicate and achieve your goals

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District 17 Education Awards for November 2016

Congratulations to all of you who achieved your awards in November. You are all doing an amazing job.

ACB 11/27/2016 Ong, Marlene Sue-Hooi Sunday Sundowners Toastmasters Club
ACB 11/20/2016 Morton, Alexandra Kathleen Aspire Toastmasters
ACB 11/17/2016 Allen, Judith L. Guildford Stars Toastmasters Club
ACB 11/02/2016 Harris, Duncan Ellenbrook Toastmasters Club
ACG 11/08/2016 O’Brien, Leon P Rockingham Toastmasters
ACS 11/26/2016 Smith, Alan F. Victoria Quay Club
CC 11/30/2016 Gomes, Sean P Maylands Toastmasters Club
CC 11/29/2016 Jakso, Laszlo Armadale Toastmasters
CC 11/23/2016 Lloyd, Robyn Terrace Speakers Toastmasters
CC 11/23/2016 Lloyd, Robyn Terrace Club
CC 11/19/2016 Eyres, Fiona Subiaco Early Birds Club
CC 11/15/2016 Lindsay, Martin Guildford Stars Toastmasters Club
CC 11/13/2016 Lacson, Rey F. Aspire Toastmasters
CC 11/12/2016 Al-Ghamdi, Abdullah Victoria Park
CC 11/12/2016 Cockburn, Robert Murdoch Southsiders Toastmasters Club
CC 11/08/2016 Haynes, John H Sunday Sundowners Toastmasters Club
CC 11/08/2016 Nguyen, Le City of Perth Toastmasters Club
CC 11/06/2016 Liu, Rachel Murdoch Southsiders Toastmasters Club
CL 11/23/2016 Lloyd, Robyn Terrace Club
CL 11/22/2016 Lloyd, Robyn Durack Club
CL 11/08/2016 Suman, Talukdar City of Perth Toastmasters Club
DTM 11/18/2016 Nicholas, David R. Victoria Quay Club

Make sure you are achieving your goals, and be sure to let your Vice President Education know about your personal goals.

Sue Fallon District 17 Program Quality Director Perth Australia

Sue Fallon
District 17 Program Quality Director 2016-2017

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Become a new club sponsor or mentor

by Patricia D’Cruze

sponsor-targetDistrict 17 is looking for new club sponsors and mentors for clubs in-formation in the new year.

As a new Club Sponsor, you can get on board from the moment it is decided that a new club will form and help with the club application process and the demo meeting until the club charters.

Once the new club is chartered you can assume the role of a new Club Mentor and help a new club firmly establish itself.

Interested? Contact the Club Growth Director Patricia D’Cruze DTM to find out about this exciting role and share your skills and knowledge. You will receive credit towards the Advanced Leader Silver award as a new club sponsor or mentor.


Club Coaches needed

coachingLooking for a challenge? Then a club coach role may be just for you.

A club coach is someone who works with a club that has fewer than 12 members.

Up to two club coaches may be appointed per club. A club coach is recognised and receives credit towards the Advanced Leader Silver award if the club to which he or she is assigned achieves Distinguished Club or better by June 30 of the current year or by the following June 30.

Coaches may not be a member of the club at the time of the appointment.

The following clubs are in the need of a club coach.

  • Rockingham
  • Gosnells Foothills
  • Swan
  • Mundaring
  • Northbridge
  • WesCEF
  • Noranda

Contact the Club Growth Director Patricia D’Cruze DTM, if you would like to take on a Club Coach role and help revitalise a struggling club.


Club Coach Appointments

thank-youThe District Team appreciates and recognises the efforts of the following members for taking on the role of club coach to help revitalise and grow the following clubs:

  • Liz Fisher – Banyandah
  • Ray Brestovac – Highgate
  • Sophy Gotsis – City of Cockburn
  • John Haynes– Talkabout
  • Morrie Goodz – Touch of Gold

Would you like to be part of the team? Contact the Club Growth Director Patricia D’Cruze DTM


Patricia D’Cruze DTM
District 17 Club Growth Director 2016-2017

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Bob Hooey visit to District 17

by Almarie Meyer

Bob HooeyWe were very lucky to have Bob Hooey, one of the accredited speakers, visit us and present two workshops. Bob lives in Canada, but volunteered his time freely to us when he passed through Perth on a visited to family. I attended the Speaking for Success workshop held in Bentley on 5 December and here are the key points that resonated for me.

Know your Audience

This is something we should all know, but possibly we also don’t keep it front of mind. If you know your audience then you will start with a story that captures their imagination and draws them in. Every speech you give is not about you but about them. Make it easy for your audience to follow you.

Share your Experience

All of us have different experiences and expertise. Find the interesting stories in your own life to share. For every point you want the audience to remember there is likely to be a story somewhere in your own life that will fit. Telling your own story makes your speeches both unique an authentic.

Show your expertise

Why should they listen to you? Give people a reason to believe you by showing them why you are an expert on your topic, but be careful not to overload your audience with information. Show research that supports your ideas and then make it personal.

Don’t be afraid of failure

Ask yourself what would be the worst thing that can happen. This is something a school teacher shared with me many years ago and that I have never forgotten. In Toastmasters the worst thing that can happen when you fail miserably in front of an audience is probably that they will remember you. And that is a good thing. Is it not?

If you missed out on attending one of the Bob Hooey workshops, then keep your eyes open. More overseas visitors will be around in 2017 and will be advertised both on the district website and in the events reminder emails.

Enjoy the festive season, have a good break and come back refreshed in the new year.


Almarie Meyer
District 17 Public Relations Manager 2016-2017

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District 17 Annual Quiz Night 2016-17

by Charles Fisher


maryanneOur annual quiz night was held at a new venue, the Karrinyup Community Centre, on the evening of Saturday 29th October. It was sold out with about 160 Toastmasters and guests in attendance. It seemed that everyone had a good time, especially the brainy ones at the winning table from Durack Toastmasters Club!

I was very proud to have some great Toastmasters on my committee and each of them worked effectively together to make the event a great success! I’d particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of our committee members:

I’d like to start with our two Masters of Ceremonies – Almarie Meyer (District Public Relations Manager) – who posed the questions to the audience, and Maryanne Toms (Belmont Toastmasters) – who provided the answers and led the between round-table games. Both kept the proceedings moving along smoothly in true Toastmasters style. Maryanne also created and maintained the Facebook events page for the event.

Rachel Huynh (Maylands Toastmasters) was a multi-skilled member of our committee who co-ordinated the prizes for the night and did an excellent job in wrapping them all so they were ready for the raffle draws. Rachel sold raffle tickets on the night and served as our committee secretary keeping detailed minutes of our meetings.

Equally multi-skilled was Michelle Zhao (Maylands Toastmasters) who organised the data projector, PowerPoint presentation, and the PA system, and also sold raffle tickets on the night. She served as the committee Treasurer, and led the way on our quest for sponsorship from the many businesses at the Karrinyup Shopping Centre !

Distinguished Toastmaster Pascale Amberville-Colby- Medling, DTM and Catherine O’Brien, DTM (Northern Division Director) did a great job serving as the tally counters and were kept very busy during the night !

almarie-leonorCathy Kunzel, DTM (Cannington Communicators Toastmasters) filled the quizmaster role and judged the best hat on the night – both of these were a tricky jobs I think !

Ana Choutova (Maylands Toastmasters) compiled the quiz night questions, and Adam Duda (Area E12 Director) prepared the quiz night flyer, and liaised with the District webmaster. Adam assisted me in transporting a large amount of stuff to the venue!

I am very grateful for the assistance that Allen Hahn, DTM (Central Division Director) provided. Allen served as the event photographer, helped out on the registration desk before we got started and assisted Almarie with counting the takings at the end of the night.

I’d also like to thank Mike Palmer DTM (Southern River) who helped out as auctioneer and Ross Wilkinson DTM (Fremantle Gourmet) who encouraged us to attend the District convention in May next year.

Finally a special vote of thanks for our District Director – Leonor Ragan, DTM who helped with the ‘Pot of Gold’ and sold many raffle tickets. Well done Leonor. (I did like your hat!).

CharlesFisher 1306
Charles Fisher
Committee Chair
District 17 Quiz Night 2016-17

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City of Cockburn Toastmasters Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Style!

by Shogo Williams-Matsuoka



City of Cockburn Toastmasters Club (Club # 8453, Southern Division, District 17) celebrated its Silver Anniversary on Thursday 17th of November 2016 with some of our charter members, club sponsors, current members, visitors and other Toastmasters at the Coolbellup Community Hub.

The club was founded as the Exchequer Toastmasters Club in the Australian Taxation Office in Perth and held its first meetings in July 1991. The club was then chartered on October 21 1991. In 1992 the tax office split into two locations; Cannington and Northbridge. This lead to the Northbridge office forming their own club whilst Exchequer moved to Cannington.

In 1996, the club opened its membership to outside members because its membership had been halved by the split. By 2000, the club moved back into Northbridge but was struggling to retain members. In 2006, some members tried to form another club in Beeliar but had insufficient numbers to charter. It was then decided that this club would merge with Exchequer. It was known as Successful Toastmasters but retained the “8453” club number from Exchequer.

At the anniversary celebrations Gladys Lavell DTM, a charter member, and still an active member of the club after 25 years, gave an inspirational speech about the club, from its origins till present. Her speech provided new and existing members a special insight into the club. Table Topics Master Shogo Williams-Matsuoka invited some former club members to reflect on the past 25 years, which evoked delightful memories from the history of our club. Holly Buykx’s speech on “Growing up, growing old” inspired all members and visitors to look forward to the future that our club has to look forward to. Toastmaster of the evening Edna Giuntini kept the meeting alive and amusing throughout. The club President, Chandrika Akilan, gave her closing address before inviting everyone to share supper.


Shogo Williams-Matsuoka
City of Cockburn Toastmasters Club

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‘The Real Thing’

by Robyn Lloyd


The real thing, public speaking, in the very real sense of the word! Early one morning in late November, an intrepid troupe of Toastmasters gathered for a demonstration meeting at a supporting CBD café. They breathed in the early morning air, and the alluring aroma of brewing coffee, to participate in an open air meeting overlooking a busy walkway.

So what was this meeting all about? Organised by Central Division, this meeting was aimed at raising awareness of District 17 Toastmasters and city clubs with the wider community, and that it did! Early morning passers-by were given something different to look at on this morning. They were bemused, amused, and curious. Some stepped closer to take promotional material, while others, including fellow toastmasters, chatted, waved and took photos of the meeting!

As a demonstration meeting it was ‘show and tell’ all the way. Highlights included Charles delivering an inspirational opening, providing an insightful account of innovation and ingenuity through adversity, in a way which greatly touched the audience. He also brought the speech to life with several props. The Table Topics session was a lively event. It was led by Nathan with energy and enthusiasm, and invited responses to a wide variety of subjects.

Allen delivered a comprehensive overview of our organisation in his project speech, “What is Toastmasters?” District Director Leonor followed with an inspirational, motivational address covering everything everyone needs to know about Toastmasters.

It was agreed the meeting was successful on all levels. It provided a readily accessible, Toastmasters meeting in a public place, showing who and what Toastmasters is about. As a bonus, it was also a great opportunity for networking and fellowship, connecting fellow toastmasters from across the district.


Robyn Lloyd
VPE Terrace Speakers Toastmasters Club

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To boldly go where no one has gone before

“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her continuing mission to explore strange new worlds; to seek new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.” (Star Trek)

This iconic quote of the 1960s’ sci-fi series brought back a flood of childhood memories as I watched a programme which celebrated Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. I realised how Southern River Toastmasters Club’s mission resembles that of The Enterprise. We have our own Captain Kirk in Club President Roger Davenport, a man with vision and a mission; someone who’s not afraid to look outside the box for solutions. Our Southern River Toastmasters Club Starship is a battle-worn vehicle, with do-or-die stalwart crew.

After years of successful battle our nemesis (the Romulans) has sneaked up on us. Our arch-enemy blindsided us with their cloaking device. To us, this weapon of invisibility is called “Apathy”. But, the hero always wins. Led by our Captain Roger, we will engage Apathy and gain the upper hand because we now have a Vision and a Mission.

Our VISION is to be THE Club that other clubs will look up to for doing things creatively different. Our MISSION is to explore unfamiliar new markets (strange new worlds”); seek out new niches of individuals who desire to become effective Communicators and Leaders (“seek out new life and new civilisations”).

What thrills us most is to strategise a masterplan to transform from apathetic victim to take-charge visionary.


  1. To devise a Success Plan that covers education; meeting vitality; club leadership and succession planning. President Roger will develop this as a High Performance Learning (HPL) Project. Identified weaknesses will become respective HPL projects for other members.
  1. To forward plan our meetings for 12 months. These are available in our website calendar and will be announced in Facebook and Meet-Up.
  1. To engage junior members in Leadership roles. Our VPE who joined the Club in January is working on his HPL project to create a harmonious Toastmasters family bonding event through our end-of-year function.
  1. Succession planning. Another HPL Project will to document a list of expectations for each Club Officer role to aid role handover. This will cover the do’s and don’ts; the practical aspects of the role and the ubiquitous checklist of reminder tasks.
  1. Guidance for new members. The Club will create a new post of “Club Ambassador for New Members”. The Ambassador will oversee a structured orientation and mentorship program.
  1. Getting back to basics. We have:
  • a Club Handbook for members.
  • handover procedures and checklists available.
  • continually updated visitor’s packs.
  • a fully stocked Speech Contest file on demand

As the Star Trek monologue goes, this is a continual mission. We are putting a fortified infrastructure in place to build the next generation and instil in them a reason to stay to be part of our club’s success. If you would like direct contact with our very own Captain Kirk please contact Roger Davemport here:


Stephanie Chan
Southern River Toastmasters Club

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New Contest Forms – Evaluation Contestants Notes Sheet and Results Form

Evaluation Contest – There is a new Evaluation Contest Notes Sheet available to download from Toastmasters International, (Item 1187)

A new form has been created for evaluation contestants to use during their five-minute preparation time. This form ensures consistency and fairness by standardising the materials contestants can use to prepare.

This is a blank form and is to be provided to all evaluation contestants to make preparatory notes during the speech using this notes sheet only, in order to prepare for their verbal evaluation.

Clarification from Toastmasters International:

“After the test speech, the contestants will have five (5) minutes to use the same notes sheet to prepare their evaluation. Additionally, the rulebook does not specify how many notes sheets should or can be given to the contestants. As such, the quantity is considered to be a leadership opportunity for the contest chair. Any decision made must be considered fair for all contestants.

In regards to using other paper (i.e. palm cards), because the Evaluation Contestant Notes Sheet is the only item listed, this is the only item that evaluation speech contestants are intended to use to prepare for their evaluation. Please also be aware, the notes sheet should not be used prior to the contest. Furthermore, the sheet should be blank prior to the start of the test speech.“

All Contests

A new Results Form (Item 1168) is also available and gives the Chief Judge instructions to follow when the Chief Judge and Tally Counters leave the speaking area in order to determine the winners.

When the form is handed to the Contest Chair there are further instructions to make the order clearer for contest chairs when announcing results

Sue Fallon District 17 Program Quality Director Perth Australia
Sue Fallon
District 17 Program Quality Director 2016-2017

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Black Swan Newsletter Guidelines for Authors


  • Articles must be relevant or of clear interest to Toastmaster members.
  • Articles must reflect the TI core values; integrity, respect, service and excellence.
  • Articles must reflect the education and communication programs and goals of TI

Document Format

  • Please supply as a MSWord document
  • A template is available for easy use on the D17 website
  • Please save document as YourName.ArticleTitle_MM_YYYY eg JoeBloggs.Toastmasters_are_amazing_ 11_2016
  • Preferred length 300-400 words. Articles must not exceed 500 words without prior agreement.
  • Please use Headings 2 for title.
  • Please use Headings 3 for subtitles.
  • Please use arial or calibre font – including signature There is a template available if you want to make it really easy (just request by email:

Image format

  • Please supply images as JPEG format, with the best picture quality available
  • Please supply images separately to the document
  • Please save images as YourName.ArticleTitle_pic1; YourName.ArticleTitle_pic2 etc
  • In the text:
    • indicate where to insert eg Insert Picture 1 about here
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