Black Swan March 2016

Black Swan March 2016

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Auriole D'Souza





In this newsletter Judith tells us how Swan Toastmasters celebrated their 25 years as a Club.  In fact her article is so well written, that it has been described as an ‘excellent standard for all clubs to refer to‘ when writing an article.  Thank you Judith!  Now, I look forward to receiving many more articles from you our readers, for our next Issue of the Black Swan Newsletter.

Tom reports on the Positive Promotion Premiership table for this toastmaster year.  See who is on top of the ladder!

Where would we be without our educational awards – Leonor gives us all the latest on those who have received awards as we come to the last few months of the toastmaster year and finally Stephanie gives us an interesting insight into the use of the Competent Leadership Manual.

Kind regards



Auriole D'Souza DTM
Black Swan Editor
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District Director's Report

The toastmaster year is rapidly descending into its final days.

I remember writing about my first 100 days and today I use my crystal ball looking into my last 100 days.

No-one can tell

  1. What details the future holds for the hopes and dreams of all our members.
  2. What the future holds for the ambitions or aspirations of our leaders
  3. How we personally will reflect in the future about the last 100 days of our TM year 2015/2016.

My crystal ball tells me there is a lot of work to do in renewing membership.

The Presidents have a lot of work to do to return their club back to base and leave it with no less members than when they started.  Maintaining or increasing your membership base is a reflection on the health of the club, an indicator on the way we have looked after our membership and looked after the reason our members joined in the first place.

My crystal ball tells me there is work to do in education and submitting awards.  Many of our clubs have achieved 5 or more goals which is excellent to see and although they do not all have 20 members I am sure the members will praise the way they have been supported to deliver speeches and actively participate in the club leadership and management.

It is not for me to see points or goals achieved, each of those points is a mirror image of the club and its members.

The point is, I joined toastmasters to improve my speaking / leadership / or confidence, by submitting my award the club shows they have considered my self development,  and assisted me on my path.   By submitting this award the club has achieved one indicator - they look after members.

That is the point.

Do not chase points over the benefit to members.  It is the members growth, development, achievement and enjoyment that is the point

CONVENTION  27 – 29 May 2016

If there was ever a word to put on your lips, or a toastmaster event to attend, this would be the one.  We have a wonderful weekend planned for you with some incredible learning experiences to be absorbed.  Not only that you will be able to support your club members and friends at the contests being held over the weekend.  I encourage you to get your club members to convention.

Mark Brown, 1995 world champion of public speaking will enthral you with his humour and powerful presentation style.  He will engage you with his knowledge and experience relating to speaking and leadership.  Mark is world-renown and sought after as a key note speaker and educator, don’t miss the chance to see him in Perth.  Attendance at any of Mark’s non toastmaster workshops costs a lot more than 300 dollars for one session.  We have 3 days of Mark Brown, make the most of this chance.

In closing I encourage you to make the most of your toastmaster time.  We know statistically there are a lot of members who do not stay with us a long time and make the most out of the environment.    We know the reason is we do not meet their specific needs and I have found over 13 years that is mainly because we do not really know what the new member wants.

Some clubs only have 3 meetings, some have 6 or more left in their year and they have to have renewals finalised, awards finalised, new committee voted in, member goals finalised.

Let us dream of success, believe we can achieve, and make it happen.  Leave a legacy of success in your club.

Aug-DD D17 Ian Pickens
Ian Pickens DTM
District 17 Director 2015-2016
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New Mobile Phone App For Club Meetings - Toastmasters International

3a-latest news

Have you heard of the new Mobile App for Club meetings?

The official Toastmasters mobile phone app is the first real-time app that we can use simultaneously in club meetings.  It is designed to help us to perform our role at club meetings with convenience and ease.

Features include:
-             Member Roster

-              Ah Counter

-              Grammarian

-              Timer

-              You can also keep track of your progress in the History session

You can watch the video and access the FAQ at:

Mobile App

And To find out how to use the mobile click on this link.

For support with the mobile app contact:

I hope this new App can assist in the future.

Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Educational Corner 

Educational Achievements from July to March

Up to now our clubs have achieved:

117      Competent Communicators

42        Competent Leaders

27        Advanced Communicators Bronze

16        Advanced Leaders Bronze

13        Advanced Communicators Silver

7          Advanced Leaders Silver

8          Advanced Communicators Gold,

9          Distinguished Toastmasters

2          Leadership Excellence

In total there are 241 educational awards.  Congratulations to our club leaders, Area Directors and Division Directors for striving above and beyond to ensure our members are achieving and getting 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!!!!

March Education Awards Recipients

DATE                  AWARD     NAME                                     CLUB


3/02/2016          LDREXC     D’Cruze, Patricia Ann             Perth Justalk

3/09/2016          ACB           Mullett, Adam                        Banyandah

3/11/2016          CC             Gilbert, Melissa                      Western Founders

3/11/2016          CL              Perreault, Alex                       Fremantle Gateway

03/13/2016        ALS            D'Cruze, Patricia Ann             Perth Justalk

03/14/2016        CC              McMurray, Cathryn E.           Banksia Speakers

03/15/2016        CC              Kosowitz, Paula                      Noranda

03/16/2016        ALB            Harrison, Peter                       Currambine

03/17/2016        CL              Kadota, Jill                              Victoria Park

03/19/2016        CL              Mazzotti, David J                    Murdoch Southsiders

03/20/2016        ALB            Tay-Brighton, Rosalyn            Guildford Stars

03/20/2016        CC              Tebbutt, Mark Pat                  Murdoch Southsiders

03/20/2016        CL              Pavic, Anita                            Highgate

03/21/2016        CC              Hall, Lisa Anne                       Mandjar Speakers

03/21/2016        CL              Hall, Lisa Anne                       Mandjar Speakers

03/22/2016        ACB            Boyle, Angela                         AECOM WA

03/23/2016        CC              Poona, Jackie                          Netmasters

03/25/2016        CC              Bielski, Tom                            DTM Pathway

03/25/2016        CC              Bielski, Tom                            Sunday Sundowners

03/25/2016        CL              Bielski, Tom                            Sunday Sundowners

03/28/2016        CC              Fisher, Charles A.                   Western Founders

03/28/2016        CC              Johns, Patricia Kathleen         Western Founders

03/28/2016        CC              Marshall, Eric                         Murdoch Southsiders

03/30/2016        CC              O'Brien, Catherine                 DTM Pathway


March Triple Crown Award Recipient

Bielski, Tom                            3 awards         CC, CC, CL

As of 31 March, 20 Members have achieved their triple crown. (these members have achieved three or more awards since the 1st July).

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



I would like remind everyone that we have one workshop for this year.

Get The Most Out of FreeToastHost Website Workshop

Sunday, 9th April, The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.
Registration at: 9:15 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. start Click here to Register

Workshop will include:

  • Setting up a New FreeToastHost (FTH2).

·         Members Access.

·         Club Officers Access

·         Administrator Access

·         Inspirational FTH 2

·         Where to get help and Q&A

Please bring your laptop and the FHT2 administrator password for your club.


If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me I’m always very happy to hear from you and if have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to reach out.

I look forward with anticipation for all our clubs to continue to “Dream Big”.


Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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The Premiership Comes To A Head

The final posting of the Positive Promotion Premiership (PPP) table for this year is on the District 17 website.  If you want to know how your club is doing, click here.

This is the final posting, because the last month of the PPP, April, will not be posted; we will find out who the winner is when their name is called out at the 2016 District 17 “City of Dreams” Convention.

This month, March, Subiaco Earlybirds, under the leadership of Caleb Tan, earned the most points with their prolific social media and website updates, frequent guests and high rate of member conversion.

With only a month to go, Mundaring, under the stewardship of Judith Allen has raced into the leadership position, followed by (Judith’s) Swan with just 1 point less.  Canning Vale, Plain Speakers and other clubs are still in the running, and I am sure that all clubs will be making a great PPP effort to maximise their points for the year.

The purpose of the Premiership is to encourage clubs to promote their clubs; to ensure that minimum meeting standards are kept; and to provide an excellent Member Experience (ME) to all participants.  I hope that all members, and in particular the Vice Presidents, Public Relations have enjoyed helping their club grow or maintain an enthusiastic learning atmosphere.  I have enjoyed tremendously keeping track of clubs’ promotional activities, and in particular helping out some clubs with their activities.  It has been a fantastic PPP year so far, and I am looking forward to the last month of the PPP.  Don’t forget, promoting your club does not end in April, so keep up all the good work you have done with the PPP and keep promoting your club and finish strong for next year.

Happy promotions!


Tom Bielski

Tom Bielski, ACB, ALB
Public Relations Manager District 17 (2015-2016)
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Swan Toastmasters Celebrates 25 Years

Swan Toastmasters Club celebrated its 25th anniversary meeting on 9 March with District 17 leaders, past and present members and visitors.

After a warm welcome and a short history of Swan club by President Syd Bignell, Toastmaster Judith Allen got the meeting under way.  An Inspiration by Eastern Division Director Peta Rakela set the tone for the evening.

The meeting finished on a high note with District 17 Quality Progam Director Leonor Ragan reading a message of appreciation from past member John Pawley, who left Swan Club to work in Canberra.  Sue Fallon, District Club Growth Director, gave words of encouragement to continue the quest to increase club numbers and maintain a high standard.

7a - Swan's 25th

Swan Toastmasters Club chartered in Midland on 14 March 1991 with 20 founding members only a month after a very successful Demonstration Meeting held in Guildford.

Like most clubs, Swan’s fortunes have ebbed and flowed.  Within four years of its auspicious start, numbers had dropped and club coaches came to the rescue.  By the early 2000s membership had risen to the mid 30s but has since declined.  Maintaining a membership of 20 continues to be a challenge.

Another challenge is finding suitable and available meeting rooms.  Over the 25 years, the club has met at seven different venues in and around Midland:  hotels, church halls, school rooms and a senior citizens centre – even the Progressive Log Choppers’ club room in down town Midvale.

As a community club, Swan Toastmasters has always had a diverse membership which contributes to its success - a diversity of age, experience and background – brought together by the common interests of personal growth and quest for excellence.

In its 25 years there are many who have embraced Toastmasters beyond being a club member – taking on leadership roles from club through to district level, competing in Speech contests, enriching their own lives as well as strengthening the organisation.

Swan has provided 12 Area Governors and 3 Division Governors - a fantastic achievement.  Not only have they made their mark in leadership, Swannies have an enviable record of competing at District Convention in all four contests: the International and Humorous Speech contests, Table Topics and Evaluations - and we’ve had a few District Champions over the years.   Swan has also sponsored and mentored three new clubs – Kalamunda, Touch of Gold in Kalgoorlie and Mundaring.

In a testimonial from past member Robyn Lloyd, she says:  “With my first visit to Swan Club I was so impressed I returned, returned again and enjoyed it so much couldn’t wait to become a member.  One of the best decisions I ever made! The professional standards in the conducting of Club meetings, and in planning and organization, set benchmarks that I have striven to achieve.  Additionally, the skills I gained at Swan have influenced my Toastmaster journey and the clubs I have been involved with over the past seven years.”

This is the standard Swan Toastmasters Club members strive to maintain.  As a member of Swan for 21 years, I am confident the club will continue to do so.

7b - Judith

Judith Allen DTM
Vice-President Public Relations
Swan Toastmasters Club

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Know Your Competent Leadership Manual

(1).  This slogan clearly defines the Toastmaster mandate of building leadership capabilities.  Leaders, however, manifest both communication and command skills.  Yet, how often do we focus on the oral aspect and overlook the directional and management attributes?
The result is that the Competent Leadership (CL) Manual ends up being a wedge for a wobbly table, a coaster for the wine glass or a paper weight to hold down speech transcripts.  While these descriptions sound exaggerated, in many cases there’s a ring of truth to it.  Some members (clubs) have even been known to abandon the manual altogether.  The under-appreciation of the leadership piece had prompted the District to remind clubs and members to get their CL manuals signed at the end of each meeting.

Recently, the Southern River Toastmasters Club conducted a “Know Your CL Manual” workshop to address any gap in the understanding and use of this Leadership manual.  The training unearthed a range of deficiencies which we had taken for granted as being ubiquitously known by all members. In fact, some aspects were an eye-opener for individuals who have been a Toastmaster for more years than they can remember.

Here’s a quick glimpse of some foundational aspects to encourage greater appreciation and application of the CL Manual:

  •  Why do we need to use a CL Manual?

Similar to what the Competent Communication (CC) Manual does to build up Communication skills, the CL Manual provides members with a guide on how to hone their Leadership skills. There are 10 Projects in your CL Manual, each focusing on developing a specific skillset.  Once you understand the objectives of each role, you will then know how to go about fulfilling those requirements to improve.

There’s also a written-Evaluation section for each role performed and feedback is what expedites our improvement process.

  •  How do we use the CL Manual? Do we have to complete every single role in the 10 projects in this manual?

Some of the project skillsets are present in a few roles performed.  Our purpose is to develop each skill through undertaking the roles which require that skill, albeit competence in the roles also translates into skill-capability.  By and large, the roles are the “means” and skills achievement is the “ends”.  For this reason, we have the option to practise each skill via some of the roles (and not necessarily all the roles listed in the project, unless otherwise stated) in order to be assessed competent in the particular field.

For example, a Speech Evaluator needs to be a critical listener, analyst and feedback provider.  For that reason, the role of “Speech Evaluation” appears under 3 projects respectively focussing on different skills - Project 1 (Listening), Project 2 (Critical thinking) and Project 3 (Giving feedback).

The number of roles that need to be completed for each Project is clearly stated in the CL Manual Project Completion Record page.

  • When can we start using the CL Manual?

You can start using your CL Manual when you take on any of the required roles in your Club Meeting Agenda.  There are no pre-requisites to when you start on your CL Manual.

  • Why are some leadership roles repeated in various CL Projects and not others?

Some roles comprise a range of skills to be applied to reach competence.  Hence a particular role may be repeated across leadership Projects.  For example, successful performance of a Toastmaster role needs capabilities in Time Management, Planning & Implementation, Facilitation, Motivation and Team Building.  That is why you will see the role appearing more than once across various Projects.  This particular role is then assessed for different abilities under the respective Project.  Thus, when signing off on your role, you have to be wary of which Project it falls under so that you will be properly evaluated on that particular project skillset.

  • Where do we go after the CL manual?

The CL Manual covers your foundational leadership proficiency.  Upon completion of the CL requirements you will be awarded a Competent Leader Award.  The next step in your leadership education journey is your Advanced Leadership Bronze, followed by your Advanced Leadership Silver Award.  These next steps cover Leadership through “show, tell and practice”. You can find more information on this through the Advanced Leadership Program on the Toastmasters International website (2).

While most members may consider knowledge of the CL as a taken, it is worthwhile to note the 4 levels of cognisance and their implications

  • I don’t know that I don’t know -- thus I need to be enlightened
  • I don’t know that I know -- thus teach me what I am not aware of
  • I know that I don’t know -- and may be too shy to ask because I should know
  • I know that I know -- thus I should enlighten those still in the dark

We all have a responsibility, whichever cognisance group we are in. If you are not in the know, ASK; if you are in the know, TEACH.

  • Source: Executive Director’s Report, February 2012

  • Source: Toastmasters International, Advanced Leadership


Stephanie Chan, DTM
Southern River Toastmasters Club

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