Black Swan May 2013 Edition

Black Swan
May 2013

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Vicky Post

In this issue

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Imagine a duck gliding across a pond. How elegant and serene it looks. Now take a look under the water and see the webbed feet going a hundred miles an hour to make this happen. This is how the 21st century silent killer works. Stress, is what I’m talking about. I learned recently that although I look and feel calm and relaxed, apparently my body is a different story altogether.

Procrastination has long been my middle name. When it comes to keeping promises and getting things done for others, I’m your man. Well, woman, actually. But when it comes to getting my stuff done, Manana is the name of the game.

It turns out that my body is currently doing the same as a duck floating on a pond. It looks calm and relaxed on the surface but is actually running a million miles an hour on a cellular level. That’s not real good news and I have to make a few adjustments in my life.

I love the way the universe works. We can meander along, doing our stuff and our spirit will whisper directions in our ear. If we ignore these directions, our spirits will increase the volume. This could be in the form of a health scare. If we ignore that as well, the sledge hammer comes out. Once we are prostrate, helpless or in need of a serious overhaul, we start complaining. It would have been nice with a warning. Guess what? We did get the warnings, we just chose to ignore them.

Just think how easy our lives would be if we learned to listen to our bodies? When we get a cold or flu, our body is telling us we need a rest. Don’t start popping Codral and soldier on. Take a couple of days off and rest. Don’t have the time? If you don’t you will be paying the price down the line. You will end up with pneumonia or a serious viral infection that will take twice as long to recover from.

We could be eating poorly, drinking too much alcohol or not getting enough exercise. It doesn’t matter what it is, there is a price to pay and if we keep ignoring the signs, the end result will be much more serious and take much longer to heal.

What am I doing about my stress levels? I have taken up twice daily meditation and Reiki and will now start booking myself in for fortnightly massage sessions. I’ll focus on the tasks I need to do for myself as well as for others so I don’t have the stress of thinking about all the things I haven’t done. After all, even stress is all in your mind.

Vicky Post, DTM

Black Swan Editor

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District Governor Report

Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence are the Values of Toastmasters.

I believe Dr John Lau DTM our International President reinforced and instilled these values to myself and all the attendees of District 17 Jewel in the Crown Convention last weekend.


John Lau workshop


I first met John Lau when he gave an address at a luncheon for incoming District Lieutenant Governors of Education and Training at the International Convention in Las Vegas in 2011. He inspired and motivated me to be a better Toastmaster by serving the membership to the best of my ability. At the Jewel in the Crown Convention he again inspired and motivated me and many others about our commitment to Toastmasters members.  It was a pleasure to host John Lau DTM and his wife Rebecca Lau DTM during the five days of their visit.

 During the Convention, John acknowledged the exceptional success that District 17 has achieved so far in the District Recognition Program.

District 17 is currently Select Distinguished, number one in Region 12 and number sixth in the world in the District Recognition Program.

The current results of District 17 in the District Recognition Program as at the 30 May are:



Late Ren.

Oct. Ren.

Apr. Ren.

Total Ren.

Total Chart

Total to Date

Distinguished Status








Select Distinguished



Club Base


Active Clubs to Date


Paid Clubs to Date


Distinguished District Goal


Select Distinguished District Goal


President Distinguished District Goal


Membership Payments Base


Membership Payments to Date


Distinguished District Goal


Select Distinguished District Goal


President Distinguished District Goal


Club Base


Distinguished Clubs to Date


Distinguished District Goal


Select Distinguished District Goal


President Distinguished District Goal



The District only needs to charter one more new club and to have three extra clubs to achieve Distinguished Status in the Distinguished Club program for the District to achieve President Distinguished Status. District 17 should achieve Presidents Distinguished by the 30 June 2013. To achieve this status is a recognition of the dedication of the members and club officers in District 17. It is an absolutely awesome effort.

“Jewel in the Crown” District 17 Convention

The “Jewel in the Crown” District 17 Convention at the Kings Hotel last weekend was an outstanding success. My highlights of the Convention were:

Competition Champions

The Convention hosted the finals of the four District Competitions. The details of the competitions are:

International Speech Competition

Contest Chair                           Steve Barry

Chief Judge                              Valda Ross


International champ d17

 District 17 Champion             Martin Lindsay          “The Rose”

 Second Place                           Peter Law                    “The Getting of Wisdom”

 Third Place                               Ian Hart                        “Make Peace”

Other Contestants:


Lisa Evans                    “Do Not Look Down – Face Your Fear”

Jasmin Kaur                 “The Power of Self Belief”                              

Vicky Post                   “Apples and Bananas”

Martin will represent District 17 in International Speech Competition at the International Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio in August this year.

Humorous Speech Competition

Contest Chair                           Emma O’Hehir

Chief Judge                              Murray Jorgenson


Humorous winners

 District 17 Champion             Robyn Lloyd               “Creeper on Steroids”

 Second Place                           Neville Simmons           “BBQ, Teenagers and Climate Change”

 Third Place                               Richard Myles              “Shakespeare Would Have Wept”



Other Contestants:

 Martin Lindsay          “I’m a Man”

 Helen Clark                  “Getting Old”

 Kutty VK                     “To Choose or Not To Choose”

Table Topics Competition

Table Topic Question: “You are head of your department and you are made redundant. How would you train your replacement”

Contest Chair                           Henry Yau

Chief Judge                              Leonor Ragan


TT winners

 District 17 Champion             Stuart Hoare

 Second Place                           Maree Pickens

 Third Place                               Tom Bielski


Other Contestants:

                                                Peter Law

                                                John Pawley

                                                Ian Hart

Evaluation Competition

Test Speaker:   Kevin Sansome            “Danger on the High Seas”

Contest Chair                           Gill Alexander  

Chief Judge                              Mike Helm


Evaluation winners

 District 17 Champion             John Pawley

 Second Place                           Lisa Evans

 Third Place                               Peter Law

Other Contestants:

                                                 Kieran Browning

                                                 Mike Palmer

                                                 Paul Wilkins

Congratulation to all of the District level contestants and winners. The standard of the speakers at our District Competitions is improving each and every year.

Toastmaster of the Year

Leonor TMOTY 2013Earlier this year I emailed all District Officers, Club Presidents and Vice Presidents of Education a nomination form for District 17’s 2012-2013 Toastmaster of the Year.

I received seven nominations for this prestigious award. All the nominations were for Toastmasters who have been outstanding in their dedication to District 17 over the past year.

At the Convention Gala Dinner I announced that Leonor Ragan was District 17’s 2012-2013 Toastmaster of the Year for her dedication at the Club, Division and District level. Leonor has helped numerous Toastmasters, Club Officers and District Officer in all Divisions to achieve their personal and Toastmasters goals. She is a tireless worker for District 17.

Judging by the incredible response and standing ovation at the announcement of award, it was obvious that Leonor is held in exceptionally high regard within the District.

 Congratulation, Leonor. You are worthy recipient of this award.

International President Outstanding Toastmaster Recognition 

During the Convention, John Lau asked me to nominate 3 District Officers and 4 Club Members that have helped me lead the District in achieving the results this year.

I nominated District 17’s three Division Governors for their continued efforts supporting their Areas and Clubs to grow and achieve their respective goals:

Leonor Ragan            Central Division

Bronwen Jones       Northern Division

Allan Burt                   Southern Division

Div Govs with John Lau

I nominated the following four Club Members:

Lisa Evans for her efforts in setting up Northern Gourmet.

Anita Adhitya for her efforts as Area C2 Governor.

David Nicholas for his work as the District Webmaster and New Clubs Co-ordinator.

Steve Barry as my Toastmaster Mentor since I joined Toastmasters almost 8 years ago.


TM pins from John Lau

 John Lau presented each of the above Toastmasters with an Outstanding Toastmaster Pin at the Gala Dinner. I personally thank each of these awesome Toastmasters for their efforts in assisting me in my role as District Governor.


Rory Vaden workshop

This year’s Convention Workshops raised the bar for District 17. John Lau inspired us all about Toastmasters, Rory Vaden took us to a new level of excellence and the Experience Lab gave us different view of ourselves.



District Council Meeting


  New District Executive 2013

As part of the District Council Meeting elections were held for the 2013-2014 District Executive. The results are:

District Governor                                                                 Pascale Amberville-Colby

Lieutenant Governor of Education and Training   Robyn Richards

Lieutenant Governor of Marketing                              Ian Pickens

Public Relations Officer                                                    Leonor Ragan

Central Division Governor                                              Charles Fisher

Northern Division Governor                                          Sue Fallon

Southern Division Governor                                          John Palmer     

Congratulation for the incoming District Executive Team and all those who stood for election.

Distinguished Toastmasters

Newest DTMs 2013

John Lau presented this year’s District 17 members who have achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster Award at the Gala Dinner. The new DTMs were also recognised at the DTM Breakfast which was organised by Liz Fisher on Sunday Morning.

I would personally like to recognise and thank our Convention Chair, Janette Edwards and her team for their dedicated work behind the scene to make the Jewel in the Crown Convention such a success. District 17 is thankful for your dedication.




Ross Wilkinson, DTM
District 17 Governor 2012/13

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Starting Early

Bletchley-meetingJohn Palmer gave a workshop on Public Speaking to a group of senior students at Bletchley Park Primary School where the Southern River Toastmasters club meets. The children all need to make presentations at their school assembly over the next few weeks and enjoyed a few tips on preparation and presentation. Next term a new group of leaders will be elected and John has been asked to address the new group as well.



John Palmer, DTM

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City of Perth Toastmasters

City-f-Perth-1Here aCity-of-Perth-2re two valuable members of City of Perth Toastmasters club, Rohini Thomasand Dom Basic on a visit to Maputo Toastmaster while on a recent holiday in Mozambique.

Rohini is a valuable member of City of Perth Toastmasters and we are proud to tell you she wins the Tabletopics award on her visit to Maputo Toastmaster, during her recent holiday in Mozambique with fellow valuable member of City of Perth Toastmasters Dom Well done Rohini

Baldy King

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Youth Leadership Training


John Palmer and Alan LinesJohn Palmer and Alan Lines, Vice Principal, Caralee Community School have just completed a Youth Leadership program comprising 8 of the top year 7 students. The program culminated with a demonstration of skills learned over the last term to the teachers and parents of the participants. The students were so keen on the program that they have all opted to join a Gavel club to be run at the School later this term.




John Palmer, DTM


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Announcement at City of Perth


How do you start your toastmaster meeting?

City of Perth Toastmasters accepted a different approach on the 20th May.  One of our members announced to the club his engagement.  Big deal one thinks but his fiancée is also a member in fact Dom and Rohini met at City of Perth Toastmasters just 2 years ago.  Congratulations Dom and Rohini.

We may already be one of few dinner clubs,  we may be one of the oldest clubs in WA,  we may be a very successful club,  but never before could we add match maker or club of young lovers when telling everyone how wonderful we are.

This is a particularly pertinent announcement on the night the club elected their leaders for the next TM year.  Dom and Rohini selected their new way of life a very exciting event.  We all wish them the best of luck.

 In my 10 years this is the first couple I have known who met at the club and now look at the years ahead.

City of Perth have taken another step to success with the election of the new committee a great mix of experience and new members to lead the into the new year.  This is a very exciting period of time for us.

We have great leadership with 2 District Officers as members and a fantastic group of new members to keep the club vibrant with a great new leadership group.

We welcome and congratulate our future leaders and look forward to following their leadership and guidance.

It is not true that following good news is bad, but I am saddened to find that after 32 years of City of Perth TM one of our founding members has found it time to move to other fields of challenge.  Murray Jorgensen will be very much missed.  Anyone who knows Murray knows he is a fantastic leader, mentor, and role model, well may we miss and we thank Murray for the wonderful service he has provided to the club over many years.

Looking forward well may Northern Gourmet find they have a fantastic member who will ensure the club will be one of the powerhouses in WA.  We wish Murray a fantastic future

Ian Pickens new photo

Ian Pickens, DTM
District PRO 2013


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