Black Swan June 2013 Edition

Black Swan
June 2013

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Vicky Post

In this issue

Select the link to go to the story




Twelve months ago I had a vision to make Black Swan the most widely read online publication in the Southern Hemisphere.

Did we get there?

I can’t with certainty say yes or no to that as I do not have the statistics to tell me how many of our members read our newsletter. But I do know that the newsletter is in much better shape than it was a year ago.

We have had so many fabulous articles from members about events and special occasions in their clubs. Most have been with photos and we have had some interesting ones over the past year.

It has been a pleasure for me to act as your editor during this exciting time and I’m pleased to hand the reign over to two suitably proficient and experienced ladies who will do doubt take Black Swan to new heights. I will not mention any names but leave it for the two ladies to introduce themselves to you in the next edition.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being a part of our “spread the word” movement over the past year. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you.

What about me? I hear you ask. I shall continue my rants elsewhere and put more effort into getting my speaking business going. As VPPR for two clubs in the new Toastmaster year, I shall make sure to use Black Swan as a vehicle for promoting my two advanced clubs.

To all of you out there, please continue to support our newsletter and make sure to keep those articles coming. Who know, this may the year when Black Swan becomes the most widely read online newsletter in the Southern hemisphere.


Vicky Post, DTM

Black Swan Editor

Back to Menu


Immediate Past District Governor Report

What a year District 17 has had. The District has exceeded all expectations and goals set by Toastmasters International.

Due to the end of the Toastmaster year rush of awards and new clubs the final figure for 2012-2013 will not be available from Toastmasters International until the end of July. A full list of our District achievements will be in the July edition of the Black Swan.

Vicky Post has excelled in her role as the Black Swan Editor for 2012-2013. We are a communication organisation and the Black Swan is the medium that informs our members of what is happening in the District. As District Governor I would like to thank Vicky for her dedication and service to the District over this past year. 

There are a multitude of dedicated Toastmasters who have made this year so successful for District 17. The District will be recognising many of these Toastmasters at the Awards Night and Change Over Dinner on 5 July.

I look forward to the new Toastmaster Year with our new Executive. We should again achieve outstanding results for the District and its members in 2013-2014.

I look forward to sharing the District results with you all in the July edition of the Black Swan.



Ross Wilkinson, DTM
District 17 Governor 2012/13

Back to Menu

 Incoming District Governor’s Report

Welcome to the new Toastmaster Year. I am humbled and inspired by the commitment and enthusiasm of our members and leaders. Congratulations to all members who have taken on a club officer or district officer role. Your service to District 17 will have a positive impact on the lives of our members, in the growth of our clubs, areas and divisions, and contribute to the expansion and success of District 17.

The 2012/2013 Toastmaster Year.

We have emerged from our most successful year yet. The District’s President’s Distinguished Status was the culmination of hard work, perseverance and commitment from the District 17 leaders and members. Congratulations to Immediate Past District Governor Ross Wilkinson for boldly leading the District to achieve this success.

Pascale Amberville-ColbyWe were both privileged and honoured to have our International President John Lau attend our Jewel In The Crown District Conference in May.

The 2013/2014 Toastmaster Year.

The year ahead will require an equal commitment and perseverance to maintain the success and growth of District 17. I am proud to be serving alongside a very driven and dedicated team of district officers and club officers.

There are four vital areas and goals which will be the main focus of this year:

  1. Membership Growth & Membership Retention – we need to ensure that we are maintaining our Toastmaster Pledge and Promise to new members and existing members. The membership is the most important component in our District.
  2. Club Growth & Club Stability – we will be supporting the growth of new clubs and assist existing clubs with rebuilding and stabilising membership.
  3. Promotion of the Distinguished Club Program to help our members achieve their individual goals, clubs achieve and benefit from the success of their goals. Encourage all clubs to achieve a minimum requirement of Distinguished Club Status.
  4. Promote and implement the Mentorship Program into every club within the District. The most successful districts in our global network all have succinct mentorship programs, for both new and existing members.

The First New Club Charters

I am proud to announce that our first club KPMG Toastmasters has chartered. The new Toastmaster year is barely a week old with our first success.

Congratulations to Robyn and Mark Richards who were the driving force in making this success a reality.

Toastmaster Leadership Institute – District Officer Training

Our new team of Division and Area Governors have completed successful training at our recent District Officer Training. I will acknowledge the hard work of our Lieutenant Governor Education & Training, Robyn Richards in organising a very informative and successful session.

Please remember that Your District Officers are here to be of service to our members. Please contact them if you require their assistance. We are here to help all of you.

Toastmaster Leadership Institute – Club Officer Training

Our first sessions of Club Officer Training commences on Saturday, July 13th. For all club officers this is an integral part of your training which will lead to you benefiting as a leader and your clubs benefiting from your service.

When a Toastmaster member commits to a Club Officer role, they commit to serve each of their club members effectively and enhance meeting quality. To achieve this goal it is vital that they attend Club Officer Training to learn and understand their responsibilities. The training is designed to expand their knowledge of toastmasters and improve their individual leadership development.

We will focus on the responsibilities and requirements of each of the seven club officer roles. We have tried to enhance the TLI to give members an added benefit to their membership by including relevant workshops they can learn and benefit from in their world outside Toastmasters.

You have a choice of three sessions to attend. Please register for the session most convenient for you to attend.

Distinguished Club Program – Educational Awards

Last year, 11 Toastmasters achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster Award.  This is the highest award Toastmasters bestows on a member as it recognises both the communication and leadership skills that the member has completed. An estimated 12,000 of toastmaster’s 4 million past and present members have achieved the elite Distinguished Toastmaster status.

R.I.S.E To Every Toastmaster Occasion

Remember the four foundation stones of Toastmasters.

1. Respect for all members.

2. Integrity in following up on promises and commitments.

3. Service to the membership

4. Excellence in dedication to do your best.

I have been humbled and inspired by the commitment of our members, our club officers and our district officers.

We have an exciting, successful and rewarding year ahead for all of our members.



Pascale Amberville-Colby DTM
District 17 District Governor 2013-2014

Back to Menu


Balang Award 2013

Balang award 2013Each year our District awards the club with the most members attending the annual convention The Balang Award.

Balang is a Noongar word for “many”. The Noongar people are the indigenous Australians who dwelled in the south western corner of Australia, roughly from Geraldton to Esperance. Their language originally had thirteen dialects but sadly, today only five remain.

We are grateful to a charter member of Canning Vale Toastmasters, Jean Boladeras, who is an elder of the Noongar people for her help in naming this award. In 2011, when we reformed into District 17, we needed our own award with a truly Western Australian name. Jean researched her heritage language for appropriate words and The Balang Award was born.

Since its inception last year at our inaugural convention, the Balang Award has been presented at the opening ceremony at our annual convention. It seems fitting that both years Canning Vale Toastmasters have received this award and I know they proudly display these trophies at every meeting.

This year the recipient was announced by Lieutenant Governor Education & Training, Pascale Amberville-Colby. Canning Vale Toastmasters Club President, Michele Naidu was very proud to accept the award on behalf of all the members from District 17 Governor, Ross Wilkinson and International President of Toastmasters, John Lau.

I feel sure Jean will be very honoured that her home club achieved this once again with 17 members attending all or some sessions of The Jewel in the Crown Convention at the Kings.

Mark  Robyn

Mark & Robyn Richards, DTM

Back to Menu


Marvellous Membership Winners

At the beginning of my term as District Lieutenant Governor Marketing I wanted to implement a challenging contest to our clubs which would serve two purposes. One was to give clubs a reason to strive for new members and to submit renewals in on time and the other was recognise the clubs who are looking after their members and guests with a ribbon to proudly display on their club banner. I believe The Marvellous Membership Award has achieved these two intentions.

To earn this award clubs needed to achieve both new member goals in the Distinguished Club Program and submit member renewals before the due date at both renewal periods. To make this even a little more challenging I only gave clubs until April 30, 2013 to achieve these criteria.  

For each of the two member goals in the Distinguished Club Program clubs need to add four (4) new members. In addition, clubs must have twenty (20) renewals submitted and paid to Toastmasters International on or before October 1st and twenty (20) renewals submitted and paid to Toastmasters International on or before April 1st   This means clubs need to be diligent in collecting renewals from their members and paying the correct amount to Toastmasters International – ON TIME!

This year we had seven very worthy recipients of this inaugural award.

They are:

  • Stirling
  • Victoria Quay
  • City of Perth
  • Young Guns
  • Project Managers
  • Gourmet Guns N Roses
  • Canning Vale

 The clubs achieving this award were presented their ribbons at the opening ceremony of our Jewel in the Crown Convention by International President of Toastmasters, John Lau.

I know this was achieved by diligent work from each club’s executive and on behalf of the entire district, I congratulate these clubs. If you visit one of these clubs, be sure to look at their banner for the new burgundy ribbon that is unique and indicates this is a special club.



Robyn Richards, DTM
LGET District 17 2013-14

Back to Menu