Black Swan February 2013

Black Swan
February 2013

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Vicky Post

In this issue

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When the summer heat hits us in November or December, we are so grateful and happy for about five minutes and then we start complaining that it is too hot. This continues till the weather changes in April and we have to start wearing jackets again. Then we start complaining about the cold.

We humans are not easy to please. When it is hot, we complain and want cooler weather and when it is cold, we seek more heat.

We do not restrict this whimsical attitude to the weather but apply it to all areas of our lives. If we have a full time job, we complain that we have no time available. If we are out of work, we complain that we have too much time on our hands. When we are single, we want a partner and when we have a special somebody in our lives, we are smothered and need space.

We are not ungrateful creatures, just victims of our whimsical spirits.

Out spirits by nature are contradictory in their life choices. On the one hand we need security but we also want excitement and adventure. On the one hand we desire stability in a relationship but we also want to be swept off our feet and be surprised. On the one hand we crave safety but on he other hand we need to experience danger and excitement. You get my drift?

You need to have seen darkness to appreciate the light. You need to know hunger to appreciate nourishment and you need to experience loss to appreciate love and affection.

Keeping this in mind always, stop beating up yourself when you seem to crave something different from what you have. Ensure you have diversity in your life and enjoy what is on offer in this country in terms of different cuisines and cultures, adventure and excitement and include this in your life. Spice up your relationship with romantic dinners, weekends away, notes left in the lunch box or small messages of affection left on the bathroom mirror. Stop taking life, family or friends for granted.

Give your spirit a run for it’s money and enjoy it’s whimsical desire for change and challenge. I’ll guarantee that you will move from the land of the living dead to the land of the living.

Don’t delay till tomorrow. Start living today!



Vicky Post, DTM

Black Swan Editor

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District Governor Report

February has been a very busy month for District 17.

District 17 is progressing exceptionally well in the Distinguished District Program. Just like clubs the District has targets to achieve that are set by Toastmasters International. The targets that are set reflect the Clubs in our Districts performance in the Distinguished Club Program. If the clubs look after their members and thereby achieve their Distinguished Club Program goals the District achieves their goals. The program is designed to recognise the clubs looking after their member’s needs, goals and achievements.

Toastmaster Leadership Training incorporating Club Officer Training was well attended by District 17’s Club Officers during the three session run in February. I firmly believe the new format for TLI is the correct one to follow for future Club Officer Training. I also believe that we need to make it more globally appealing to Club Officers so that they “want to attend” instead of “having to attend”. Your feedback forms will form the planning of future TLIs to meet your needs. TLI is a “work in progress” and will continue to improve in the future.

A highlight for February was our Central Division Governor, Leonor Ragan being awarded her second Distinguished Toastmaster Award. To achieve one DTM is a milestone, but to receive a second DTM really shows a member’s true dedication and passion for Toastmasters. Leonor is an inspiration to us all.

Congratulations to Ellenbrook Toastmasters on their 100th meeting and Stirling Toastmasters 18th birthday celebration. These are significant milestones for both clubs.

I look forward to the forthcoming Club, Area and Division Evaluation and International Speech Competitions. These 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

Let us all make 2013 a year to remember in Toastmasters.


Ross Wilkinson, DTM
District 17 Governor 2012/13

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Ellenbrook Celebrates 100th Meeting

Ellenbrook Toastmasters club celebrated their 100th meeting in style on Wednesday 30th January, with invited guests including West Swan MLA Rita Safiotti, Toastmasters District Governor, Ross Wilkinson, and other Toastmasters District officers from District 17.

EllenbrookThe Ellenbrook club was formed in November 2010, and chartered in June 2011. The club meets weekly to enable its members to practice effective public speaking and leadership skills. It has only taken a little over two years to reach the milestone of 100 meetings.

MLA Rita Safiotti was invited to speak and took the opportunity to inform us of the proposed Metro Net rail line to Ellenbrook, which was announced earlier in the day. District Governor Ross Wilkinson spoke of the formation and history of the club, Peta Rakella, a relatively new member, spoke of the down side of text messaging.

Each of the speakers was evaluated, with positive feedback and strategies for improvement being offered.

A light supper was enjoyed, and the club sponsors and mentor helped with the cutting of the cake to seal the celebration.

Membership to the club is open to anybody over the age of eighteen who wishes to improve their self confidence, public speaking and leadership skills. We meet every Wednesday at 6:45pm for 7:00pm start in the meeting room above the library, 90 Main Street Ellenbrook.



Martin Lindsay, DTM

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18th Birthday Celebration at Stirling

Stirling Toastmasters celebrated their 18th Birthday at the meeting held on 7th November 2012 at Tuart College, Tuart Hill.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and many guests helped share in the celebrations. There were speeches, surprises, birthday cake and of course a toast to celebrate our Birthday! There was a pirate theme for the night and a few people got into the spirit and wore eye patches and pirate hats. Our photos show a cross selection of members who were at the meeting and helped to celebrate this special milestone.

We were privileged to have one of the club’s founding members, Karen Tragenza at the meeting and she gave an enlightening speech regarding the history of the club.

Since its inaugural meeting in November 1994, Stirling Toastmasters has gone from strength to strength and was awarded Toastmaster Club of the Year for the Northern Division in August 2012.

We are very proud of and grateful to all our club members past and present who have helped to create such a dynamic club over the past 18 years.  We look forward to the next 18 years being just as amazing!

TM 20121 11 07 N21 Stirling 18th

 Cheryl Marron


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Club Contest for City of Perth

City of Perth Toastmasters held the International Speech and evaluation contest at Comfort Inn Wentworth Plaza 300 Murray Street Perth

Domagoj Basic, with his speech titled The Silent Killer took out the first place. Why did Dom win? I think that beyond the obvious speaking ability and outstanding delivery, he had one of the most touching stories and powerful messages I have ever heard.

Dom told of how his life was touch by suicide and depression and the importance of talking to each other and asking the simple but meaningful question “how are you” with the emphasis on listening (hence the title). Dom’s story was so moving you could have heard a pin drop at any time.

Second place Garry Morris also had an outstanding speech titled “Will We Lose Book Shops”. He told of his attempts to find a book in a shop and his attempt to avoid downloading a copy. He told of how he tried to order a hard copy of the book on the internet only to be confronted by a message “not available in your region”. His message was strong, about the need to support the local book store rather than downloading copies off the internet.

The contestants were wonderful, presenting the judges with a great challenge!

The Evaluation contest was capably lead by contest chair Kathryn Sturrock who introduced the evening describing the contest rules with confidence and poise.

Angeline Honggowarsito‘s speech “How to Improve Your Love Life” was the test speech for our three contestants. It was a captivating and fun story that gave the contestants a good challenge.

Leith Cohoe started the speech evaluation and did well enough to place second.  I went second, with a great start, even if I do say so myself, using the commendation, recommendation, commendation method. However, when I noticed the green light, although I was on track, I went to water and neglected to summarize. I trust, though, that Angeline and the audience benefited from my honest and personal recommendation. Having a go is just the first step to success so I will have another go and improve next time.

Tony Ford won the contest. He demonstrated a fluent speaking ability and consistent delivery, reminding us of some of the more memorable lines in Angeline’s speech, commenting on the well rounded and positive message she delivered and recommended some areas she could improve. It was a fantastic job giving all listeners an insight into his skills and demonstrated why he was a deserving winner.

This contest demonstrated great skills in speaking and evaluating and was well done by all.

Nothing beats watching competition at any level. The preparation, the skill, and the execution give all of us something to aspire to. If you missed the contest, come to the next City of Perth Toastmasters meeting. Guests are always welcome and you should contact the Club via email by noon the Sunday prior to the meeting on

Baldy King

VPPR City of Perth TM Club


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Open House at Gosnells

We’re holding an OPEN HOUSE MEETING on Monday, 25 March 2013 at 6.45 pm for a prompt 7.00 pm start. We meet in the library at Southern River College, Southern River Road, Gosnells. Refreshments will be provided.

We enjoy welcoming visitors to our club and would love to see you at our Open House meeting.  Our new venue is working well and there’s plenty of parking.

For further information or any questions, please contact Barbara Coles (President) 9390 9716 or 0408 950 515 or email


Barbara Coles


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Northern Gourmet Toastmasters Club

An exciting new club for Northern Division – a Gourmet Toastmasters club.

The club meets monthly on a Thursday evening at the Kingsley Tavern, Kingsley. The inaugural meeting is on the 14 March at 6:45 PM. It would be great to see YOU there!

Northern Gourmet is an Advanced Toastmasters club, which is open to dual members, i.e. you must be a current member of another Toastmasters club.

The Gourmet club is a fantastic opportunity for more speeches as well as detailed feedback from the group evaluations.

The Kingsley Tavern has a separate comfortable room for us with plenty of parking and a varied menu. Food and drinks are very good value.

The Gourmet club is ideal for those complex and long advanced projects.

If you would like to belong to a club which combines more speeches and evaluations with great networking opportunities in a social atmosphere while enjoying a meal/drink we would love to hear from you.

Come along as a guest on 14 March at 6:45 PM and consider being one of the charter members.

For more information and to RSVP for the first meeting please contact Co-Sponsors Lisa Evans or Ross Wilkinson

Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans

VPE Stirling Toastmasters

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