Black Swan January 2016

Black Swan January 2016

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Auriole D'Souza






The Christmas holidays are behind us and most people are back at work. Now that the pace of life has picked up and nearly back to normal, put on your thinking caps and send in your articles. Your personal toastmaster experiences might be just what we are waiting to read. Give it a go!

In this issue read about the activities leading up to District 17’s Annual Convention which will be held in the last week of May here in Perth. You will also find tips on where we can find information on our club’s progress with the Distinguished Club Program and other interesting articles.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards



Auriole D'Souza
Black Swan Editor
Back to Menu

District Director's Report

Goodbye Christmas and January.

Hello February, training, Contests and Convention.

The excitement of the New Year is settling into assisting our current and new members plus preparing to celebrate our success and increasing our knowledge at training and convention.

Club officer training

All through February our leaders meet for training. There are 3 Perth based sessions to ensure your club leaders are trained on how to meet their targets and goals. I look forward to meeting with all club officers during February.


I am excited again to have the International and Evaluation contest season right upon us. I am looking forward to hearing some great speeches and our members deliver their evaluations.

I encourage everyone to challenge themselves to be test speakers outside of their club area and division. It really is a learning experience not to miss, volunteer as a speaker.

Convention Registration

In the past we have had early early bird, then early bird, then full, then late registrations available. Registrations have started later this year.

Our experience is that only a few registrations have been received before Christmas previously and the majority registered in February and March. This year our early bird registration lasts until mid March.

Get in now at $280 (plus booking fee) it is still a great weekend at a wonderful price.

Friday Opening ceremony keynote speaker Mark Brown and the evaluation contest.

Saturday International Speech Contest, Table Topics Contest, Mark Brown workshop, District Council Meeting, Dress up for your dream job at the dinner dance.

Sunday Humorous Speech contest, Closing Ceremony, Masterclass workshop,

The weekend is full of educational workshops, learning from each other, fun with friends, long time and new, plus food. All this and more included into one low price.

See the full convention program on the website.


Aug-DD D17 Ian Pickens
Ian Pickens DTM
District 17 Director 2015-2016
Back to Menu

December 2015 Distinguished Toastmaster


Bill Hewittdistinguished TM badge








Congratulations to Bill Hewitt

During the month of December, a very special member has achieved, for the second time, the highest award bestowed upon a Toastmaster - the Distinguished Toastmaster Award! Bill's contribution to Toastmasters in District 17 has been inspirational. You are an inspiration to many of us! On behalf of District 17, I thank you for all your determination, courage and for mentoring our members.

Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

Back to Menu


Two Membership Building Contests


Talk Up Toastmasters 1 FEBRUARY 2016 – 31 MARCH 2016

Join up 5 new, re-instated or transfer members during the months of February and March

and your club will be awarded as a winner in the annual

Talk Up Toastmasters Contest

If your club qualifies, your will receive a “Talk Up Toastmasters” ribbon to display on your club banner.

Make sure that the dates that members join or re-join are within the period for the contest.


District 17 Membership Contest – 1 July 2015 - 30 April 2016

To meet the criteria for Marvellous Membership your club needs to:

Obtain the 1st DCP point for 4 new members then

Obtain the 2nd DCP point for 4 more new members

8 new members in total across the competition period

The second criteria is to pay the semi-annual payments for 20 members by 30th September 2015 and 31st March 2016

Awards will be presented at the 2016 District 17 Convention in May 2016


Sue Fallon
District 17 Club Growth Director

Back to Menu

It's Semi-Annuals Time - Membership Fees Are Due Soon!

A reminder that the Semi-Annual membership fees are due to be paid to Toastmasters International (TI) by 31st March 2016.
Members and Judges who are competing or judging in the next round of contests and the coming District Finals at the District 17 City of Dreams Convention can be impacted by our clubs not collecting and forwarding their semi-annual membership fees in a timely manner.

To be a Member in Good Standing

  • Members need to pay their semi-annual membership fees to their club, preferably by the 20th March
  • Club Treasurers need to forward the payments to TI prior to, or by 31st March

To be a Club in Good Standing

  • Club Treasurers need to forward a minimum of 8 payments, but preferably more payments to TI before 31st March
  • Payments for Contestants and Judges must be included in the payments forwarded to TI before 31st March

I recommend that you send out a request to members to pay their semi-annual membership fees by mid-February, which allows everyone a little more time to make the payment.

Don’t forget the Marvellous Membership Contest – If you transferred a minimum of 20 payments to TI by 30th September and will meet the 2 membership DCP point requirements of 4+4 new members aim to pay 20 or more payments to TI before 31st March.

Remember you don’t have to wait until 31st March – your club can aim to get all payments in the system by 28th February if you wish, or earlier in the month of March.


Sue Fallon
District 17 Club Growth Director

Back to Menu

Communication Is Not Only About The Oration

I am writing a book. What has this to do with Toastmasters you ask? Everything!

Think back to your first Ice Breaker speech (there may have been many Ice Breakers for some of you). What was the first thing you did when formulating your maiden speech? Put your thoughts down on paper of course. In fact, some Toastmasters still uphold the practice of scripting their speeches. Although I have opted for other ways of crafting my speeches, I personally like the idea of putting pen to paper to facilitate subsequent fine-tuning and recall.

Now, compare authoring a book to writing out your speech. What is the difference? Nothing except a lengthier essay. As a matter of fact, there is much we can borrow from our Toastmasters skills in producing a book.

In writing my book, my first thought goes to content, giving Knowledge-value to readers. However, facts haphazardly put together will only serve to confuse. This is where organisation comes in to start with an introduction to the subject matter, support with the body of content and end with a purpose (Organise Your Speech - Competent Communication [CC] Project 2). Obviously, a non-fiction work with nothing but facts will bore your audience. So now, I weave in the Entertainment value to create and maintain interest. For this, I use the tools of rhetorical devices (How to Say It - CC Project 4) and tips from the Humorously Speaking, Storytelling, The Entertaining Speaker, Technical Presentations and Speaking to Inform Advanced Manuals. Where I want the audience to apply a recommended process, I will start with a hook to draw in the reader, provide the information interlaced with stories, anecdotes, metaphors, statistics and quotations, then conclude with a call to action (Persuade With Power - CC Project 9).

All too often, Toastmasters focus on delivering a speech rather than in crafting one. While impromptu 5 to 7 minute speeches may be gaining increasing popularity among some clubs, especially to fill in a last minute empty slot on the Agenda, I feel that this does not do real justice to the speech. That does not mean that we do not work towards consistently nailing a worthy speech while thinking on our feet. However, for most of us still “learning the ropes”, it remains a good habit to “plan out” our speech.

In my opinion, the thought process that goes into a speech is equally if not more vital than the delivery. I recall what Ryan Avery, 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, said at our last District Convention. He recounted the numerous re-writes of his speech until it became award worthy material. Hence the storyline is an integral part of an informative, entertaining or provocative message.

Toastmasters who are familiar with my presentations will know that I always like to conclude with a moral of the story. What takeaways can you draw from this short article?

  • There are many Toastmasters skills you can apply and they are not all related to the oration (verbal delivery).
  • Try your hand at writing (articles, books or blogs). There are more similarities in writing your speech with these other channels than you think and you hone your speech writing skills in more comprehensive ways.
  • There are other avenues you can take your Toastmasters skills to other than public speaking, some of which may even pay you.
  • Do not discount the power of the written Planning your speech out adds value to your message.

Be a well-rounded Toastmaster, strong in both speech crafting and speech delivery. There are so many more applications to your Toastmaster skills. Don’t squander your opportunity to explore these other creative outlets. Have fun in exploring the equally fascinating side of speech writing!

stepanie c

Stephanie Chan
Southern River Toastmasters Club

Back to Menu

Educational Corner


There are many fantastic recipients of awards that I would like to share with you. Up to now our clubs have achieved:

92 Competent Communicator Awards

32 Competent Leader Awards

21 Advanced Communicator Bronze Awards

13 Advanced Leader Bronze Awards

11 Advanced Communicator Silver Awards

5 Advanced Leader Silver Awards

6 Advanced Communicator Gold Awards, and

7 Distinguished Toastmaster Awards.

In total 187 educational awards have been received. Congratulations to our club leaders for striving above and beyond to ensure our members are obtaining the very best of Toastmasters. I hope all of you are enjoying your club experience, achieving your personal goals and gaining valuable experience. Excellent results! Congratulations!

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



Bhudia, Asvin M. 3 ALB, CC, CL

Chan, Stephanie 3 CC, ACB, CL

Fisher, Elizabeth 3 CL, ACG, CL

Foster, Michael P. 4 DTM, CL, ALB, CC

Hughes, Colin 3 CC, ALS, DTM

Law, Marianne 5 CL, CL, ALS, DTM, CC

Law, Peter C. 5 CC, CC, CC, CC, CC

Liew, Yi-Choong 3 ACS, CL, ACB

Lindsay, Martin 4 CC, CC, CC, CL

Lloyd, Robyn 4 CC, CL, ALB, ACB

Macdonald, Graham R. 3 ACS, ALB, CL

Naidu, Michele 3 ACS, CL, ALB

Nicholas, David R. 3 ACB, ACS, CC

O'Brien, Catherine 3 ACG, ACB, CC

O'Connor, Martin J. 3 CC, ALB, ACS

Palmer, Mike 3 ALS, DTM, CC

Veluthakkal, Karunakaran Kutty 4 ACG, ALS, DTM, CC


The above 17 members have achieved their Triple Crown (these members have achieved three or more awards since the 1st July). Well done to you all for your outstanding achievements. I am looking forward to presenting a “Triple Crown Pin” to each one of you in the coming few days.


Our next Training Leadership Institute (TLI) Club Officers Training (COT) days are:


1. 13th February 2016, Saturday, The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley. 1:00pm registration for 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Click here to register online. Thanks.

2. 18th February 2016, Thursday, The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley. 5:30 pm registration for 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Click here to register online. Thanks.

3. 21st February 2016, Sunday, The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley. 1:00pm registration for 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Click here to register online. Thanks.

Club officers and future club officers can choose to attend any of one of the above training sessions. It would be great if you could register as soon as possible for the TLI/COT training sessions you will be attending. By registering early, you will have the opportunity to select the most convenient time. We can only accommodate a maximum of 125 officers for each of the sessions. After we reach the 125 mark we can't accept further registration for safety and comfort reasons.

For the second round of Club officer training there were 86 members that attended TLI/COT training in November and December. Five of our clubs have achieved the second round of training:

Shell Australia Toastmasters Club 6

Sandgroper Toastmasters Club 5

Canning Vale Toastmasters 5

AECOM WA Toastmasters Club 4

Risky Toast 4

Congratulations to the above leaders and clubs and we look forward with anticipation to the remainder of the 76 clubs achieving this goal. Trained officers run fun and successful clubs. As a result of running our TLI/COT in early December our Canning Vale Toastmasters Club achieved the 10th DCP (Distinguished Club Program) goal and qualified as a President’s Distinguished Club and the first club with 10 goals in our District and the second club in the world to reach 10 goals. Well done, Canning Vale toastmasters club members we hope that you are enjoying your club experience.

I hope that you take as many opportunities to either attend or to be a presenter. The opportunity is there to make a difference and to become involved. If you wish to volunteer to present at TLI/COT or at one of the workshops, please let me know. I know that many of our members need to present a workshop to earn one of the requirements for your Advanced Communicator Gold award. The last date for volunteering for this round of officers training is three days after the publication of this message. I welcome your constructive comments and feedback. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact any of our district leaders or myself. I’m always very happy to hear from you and if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to reach out.

I very much look forward to the next five months of education and achievements in our District 17. Let’s keep “Dreaming Big”. I believe that together we can confidently meet both our educational awards and distinguished club’s goals.

Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

Back to Menu

Three New Toastmasters Clubs Under Way in Perth Metro Area

Just to let you know that we have 3 new clubs coming together in Perth Metro at this time. You may have friends, family and work colleagues who cannot make it to your club – so one of these may be a better option or location – Please pass the word around!

Butler Toastmasters (community) ClubButler
Butler Community Centre
Kingsbridge off Connolly Drive, Butler
Meetings 7:00pm – 9:00pm, every 2nd & 4th Monday
Contact Laura on
or Almarie on 0438 949 720




Ranford Toastmasters (Community ClubRanford

Ranford Primary School (oval side of school)
Orkney Crescent, Canning Vale
Meets 1st and 3rd Mondays at 6:15pm for 6:30pm
Contact Cathy on 0416 292 860



Competitive Speakers PerthCompetitive

Advanced Club for members interested
in Competing
Irish Club WA
61 Townsend Rd, Subiaco
Meets 2nd & 4th Wednesdays
at 6:45pm for 7:00pm
Contact: Lisa at


Sue Fallon
District 17 Club Growth Director

Back to Menu

DCP 2016

The Distinguished Club Program (the DCP) is the Toastmasters International model for club and member success.

Current records on the District 17 website

We maintain detailed records of the current state of the DCP on our District website. It's easy to find them - there is a general link on the Left Hand Menu bar - look to the menu on the left. It is the 6th item.

DCP Current Results

That takes you to a sub menu with these individual folders. You can go immediately to the particular folder by selecting the links detailed below.

Distinguished Club Program 2015/16

This sets out the current results for all our clubs. It is sorted by Division, Area and Club. It is updated each weekend and the date of the update is recorded.

Member Awards for 2015/16

In the same way this is sorted by Division, Area and Club. The club records are sorted by the different awards. It is also updated each weekend and the date of the update is recorded.

Early Distinguished Clubs 2015/16

The goal of all our clubs is - or hopefully is - to achieve Distinguished status by the end of the Toastmaster year in June. The full awards - Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President's Distinguished - are not made until the membership criteria is achieved after the March/April Renewals figures are in. Some of our clubs have already achieved provisional status. They are sorted by the DCP award.

Some current notable results

President's Distinguished

Canning Vale has already reached provisional President's Distinguished Club status with all 10 DCP Goals.

Our Strongest Clubs by Membership

Canning Vale has 42 members with 12 new members this year
Victoria Park has 39 members with 17 new members this year
Victoria Quay has 38 members with 14 new members this year
Applecross has 36 members with 17 new members this year

Member Awards

5 Awards Marianne Law, Peter Law

4 Awards Michael Foster, Martin Lindsay, Kutty Veluthakkair, Robyn Lloyd

3 Awards Martin O'Connor, Catherine O'Brien, David Nicholas, Michele Naidu, Graham Macdonald, Colin Hughes, Elizabeth Fisher, Stephanie Chan, Asvin Bhudia

Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)

Colin Hughes DTM Victoria Quay
Marianne Law DTM Kwinana
Mike Palmer DTM Canning Vale
Cathy Kunzel DTM Cannington Communicators
Michael Foster DTM Mandjar
Kutty Veluthakkai DTM DTM Pathway
Bill Hewitt DTM Kalamunda

Queries and Corrections?

David_151125AIf you have any, contact me.
David Nicholas
0401 011 212






District 17 Webmaster
VP Education Netmasters

Back to Menu