Black Swan Newsletter August 2021

District News

It’s time to Learn, Engage and Lead

The month of August is a very busy month for all of us.

Busy for the District Trio.

We will be attending the Virtual District Leadership Training over the next three weeks, where we will be learning and developing our skills to lead and manage the District.

Busy for the District Executive.

Most of the team have attended District Officer Training. It was a awesome time to meet together for the first time, and a welcome chance to build a bond and develop skills to be able to fulfil the roles that we are all embracing.

Busy for all the Club Officers.

Many of you have already attended Club Officer Training, while some will attend training scheduled for this month.  Club Officer Training is particularly important as we learn how to perform our Committee roles to best help serve the club.  A huge thank you out to our Program Quality Director Julie Dall for rolling out fantastic Club Officer Training sessions.

Busy for all members.

You have the opportunity to attend the Toastmasters International 2021 Virtual Convention from 23 August to 28 August 2021.  At the convention, you will have learning opportunities to access:

  • 16 Education Sessions
  • World Championship of Public Speaking®
  • Keynote Presentation
  • Golden Gavel Award Presentation
  • International Speech Contest Semi-finals
  • Exclusive engagement opportunities
  • Networking lounge
  • Accredited Speaker Program

I encourage you all to take this world-class Public Speaking event by registering here. I look forward to meeting you at the front row.


District Director Tim Blackburn

Tim Blackburn, DTM
District Director 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International

Attracting guests and new members with Little Aussie Directories

Jade Chan from Young Guns Toastmasters Club got a big surprise when she attended a recent club meeting. She asked a guest how they had heard about the club and the guest replied that they saw the advertisement in Little Aussie Directories.

Jade (right) with her fellow Young Guns members celebrating new guests.

We are excited to be working with Little Aussie Directories to promote Toastmasters in the metropolitan area!!! Look out for the half page advert they are running for free to help us promote local Toastmasters clubs.

Toastmasters Advert in the Little Aussie Directory (Mock Up)

Toastmasters Advert in the Little Aussie Directory (Mock Up)

Currently distributed to 57 areas, Little Aussie Directories is a community magazine that includes information about local events and community groups, handy home hints, useful numbers, competitions and a ‘What’s On’ in your local area. It also provides information about local businesses, so we can choose local first. Little Aussie Directories covers a large part of the metropolitan area and each magazine has its own community website with even more information!

This initiative is part of the District’s Marketing & Public Relations plans for this year. A big thanks to great work done by this year’s PR Manager, Mina Cho and last year’s PR Manager, Pasan Ganegama.

If a guest turns up at your meeting by finding your club in Little Aussie Directories, let Mina know so we can track the success of this initiative.

Club Growth Director Gavin Hyslop

Gavin Hyslop, DTM
Club Growth Director 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International


Getting to know your Servants

Getting To Know ... Program Quality Director, Julie Dall, DTM

Hi, I’m Julie, your Program Quality Director for this year.

Toastmasters has become a big part of my life after only 4 years. A big part, just ask my husband. But an important part too. I am more than just Toastmasters however; I do have time for other things.

What things?

I’m a wife, a mother – with two teenage daughters. One is in Canberra with the Navy and studying at University. The other is in Perth in year 12.

I own an IT Training and Consulting business - Microsoft 365 & more. Work is often in the city, and while travelling on the train, I like to indulge and read detective or crime stories. Currently I’m reading something different though - Dealing With People You Can’t Stand.

If I’m not reading, I’m shooting. Pistol shooting. I’ve been shooting competitively for about 14 years.  It’s a great break from stress – Life or Toastmasters. My alternative is going for a bush walk, looking forward to spring when the wildflowers are out.

Toastmasters is big for me but not the only thing in my life.



Program Quality Director Julie Dall


Julie Dall, DTM
Program Quality Director 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International

Getting to Know ... Club Growth Director, Gavin Hyslop, DTM

Hi, Gavin here, or as many people call me Gav, your Club Growth Director for this year.

You might have seen my name around, but I thought I would tell you a bit more about me.

I joined Toastmasters in Queensland in 2010 and when I moved to Perth in late 2012, one of the first things I did was find a new club, even before I found somewhere to live.

I moved here with my wife and our two four-legged kids, Cato & Truffle, both Burmese cats. Truffle is a big fan of Zoom meetings and has introduced herself to people from all around the world.

I agreed to move to Perth for work without ever having ever been here before. I have been involved in the property development industry for over 25 years mainly as a project manager and development manager, leading teams building places for people to live – land subdivisions, houses, apartments, aged care facilities and retirement villages.

Outside of Toastmasters, I like bike riding, getting out into nature, having the odd beer or wine with friends and helping people out. After being in Toastmasters, I now don’t mind stepping well outside of my comfort zone.

This photo is of me and my skydiving tandem instructor, nickname ‘Splash’, doing my first jump over Coolum Beach in Queensland. We did land safely, but on my second jump over Rockingham some of the group were not so lucky ending in the water; but it did all end safely.

Life is more than Toastmasters but we should make the most of Toastmasters when we can.

Club Growth Director Gavin Hyslop

Gavin Hyslop, DTM
Club Growth Director 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International



Ask the Parliamentarian

Hi, I am Patricia. I have been appointed by the District Director as the District 17 Parliamentarian for the 2021- 22 Toastmasters Year.

My goal for the year is to lift the profile of the Parliamentarian role by making myself available to guide members of District 17 to a better understanding of the Governing Rules and Meeting Procedures.

To achieve my goal, I have decided to share any questions you might have in Club Governance, and provide some answers.

Rules are there to help, not hinder.


What is the role of the District Parliamentarian?

The District Parliamentarian offers help, guidance and support to advise the District Director on parliamentary procedure, especially regarding the District Executive Committee meetings and District Council meetings.

At these meetings the District Parliamentarian holds an essential role ensuring the meetings follow proper protocol, any arising motions and votes are held in accordance with Toastmasters International Rules, District 17 Procedures and Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised.

The Parliamentarian also provides parliamentary advice and interpretation of Toastmasters International Bylaws, Policy and Protocols together with the District 17 Procedures to all District officers, Club officers and any other Toastmaster in District 17.

A little bit about me

I have performed most Club Officer roles and I am a member of four clubs, including one online club. I am a Charter Member of the newly chartered Byford Toastmasters, and a member of WA Speakers Bureau Toastmasters Club and Donnybrook Gourmet Toastmasters. I am also a member of the US club Parliamentarian Toastmasters, an online group with Parliamentarians from all over the world.
I am Club Coach for Jetty Toastmasters and served as the Area Director 2020- 2021 for the former Area S34.

So, here is the very first Parliamentarian tips for the question that you might have.

Parliamentarian Q&A Tip for August

What do you do if the VPPR resigns and an officer position becomes vacant?

Your answer can be found at:
On the right hand side choose: Club Constitution and then: Article VI Officers.
All documents consist of an Article and then a Section
Section 1 through to Section 9  cover some information pertaining to the club executive officers.
Section 8 of this document covers your query.
Any vacancy in an office, except for the Immediate Past Club President, shall be filled by a special election held at the next business meeting following the announcement of the vacancy.

If you require any information or clarification on Parliamentary Procedure, please contact me on

Patricia King
Parliamentarian 2021- 2022
District 17

5 Tips to Tackle Table Topics

Table topics can often pose a challenge to newer members. It requires quick thinking on your feet - organizing, structuring and articulating ideas to the audience at short notice. A few meetings ago, President of Applecross Toastmasters, Tim Leen, shared a very informative speech on how to be a more effective table topics speaker. Bernard Wong, VPPR of Applecross summarized the five main tips below:

  • Engage your audience - As you make your way up on stage, survey the room. Display energy and enthusiasm, and make a connection with the audience.
  • Open with an engaging line-  for example ‘I need your help with…’ or ‘Imagine this…’ This gets the audience anticipating what you are going to say next.
  • Personalise your narrative - the audience will engage more when they can relate to your presentation! Just look through your phone photo album and you’ll have lots of material to talk about.
  • Speak from experience - often our bad experiences teach us the most. Reflecting deeply on why you have not done as well as you had liked will uncover very useful lessons to improve yourself as a speaker!
  • Practice practice practice - The best speakers don’t become the best speakers by chance. They dedicate their time to hone their craft! Record yourself and listen through it, you will be able to identify what your strengths and areas of improvements are.

There are many ways to approach the question. Some useful methods include:

  • Point and counter point - talk about both sides of the question
  • Devil’s advocate - go opposite to public opinion
  • Take the answer to the extreme - turn it into a tall tale!
  • Use segmentation - past/present/future, pre-covid/post-covid, seasons and so on. Then break it down bit by bit.

I hope these tips will help you gain more confidence and deliver an engaging message to your audience the next time you step on stage for table topics!


Want to Learn More? Why not visit Applecross Toastmasters.
Meeting details here.

Date & Time: Fortnightly Wednesday 6.30pm
Venue: Applecross RSL Club - 98 Kintail Rd, Applecross WA 6153

Contact: President Tim Leen:


Bernie Wong
Vice President Public Rations
Applecross Toastmasters Club



Club Officer Training (Not just for Club Officers)

We’ve had five very successful Club Officer Training sessions – two online and the three in-person. It’s great to be able to meet people face-to-face again and have the learning and the networking outside of little black boxes.

So far everyone (except one person) who has responded to the feedback survey at the completion of the sessions have said that they are glad they attended!

The sessions are a mix of short presentations and the club officer breakout workshops – the feedback about these breakout workshops is that they are not long enough.

For those officers who have not yet attended – you can register at the links below. 

The final session on the 22nd August will have a series of workshops and is designed for Club Officers and members.

Please register here and then come along to the sessions that interest you. Click here to register.

Time Breakout Room 1 Breakout Room 2 Breakout Room 3
9:00 – 9:45 Building Teams - Souzy Theophilopoulos SAA - Graham Watson Running Effective Committee Meetings – Leonor Ragan
10:00 – 10:45 Running Fun Meetings - Kevin Sansome Secretary - Adrian Watts & Barbara Coles Understanding the Distinguished Club Program – Ross Wilkinson
11:00 – 11:45 Branding Guidelines - Mina Cho Treasurer - Leonor Ragan Base Camp Manager Training – Adrian Watts
12:00 – 12:45 Membership Building - Cherie Wallace VPPR - Mina Cho A Guide to Contest Preparation – Val Wills
12:45 – 1:15 Break Break Break
1:15 – 2:00 Voting at International Conference and Proxies - Pat King VPM - Ross Wilkinson Club Meeting Agendas and Forward Planning & VPE Resources -Julie Dall
2:15 – 3:15 Relevant Websites - Tom Bielski VPE – Julie Dall Running Open Houses – Tim Blackburn
3:30 – 4:30 Ideas for Club Growth - Gavin Hyslop President - Sue Fallon  Mentoring – Ross Wilkinson

*Some of these sessions may change

At the end of every Club Officer Training session a feedback survey is sent out.  Please could you complete this so we can continue to provide a quality service to help and assist all club officers.

Any questions? Do not hesitate to contact Julie Dall, DTM, Program Quality Director, on



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

Julie Dall DTM
Program Quality Director 2021-2022
District 17, Toastmasters International

Pathways Training and Information

Are you struggling with Pathways? Unsure what it’s all about? Nearly finished a path – not sure what to do next? We’ve got you covered.

The “What’s in a Path” series will take you through all of the paths (three in each session), explaining about the contents of the Path and the learnings along the way.

There will be lots of opportunities in these sessions to ask questions.

Register using the links below:

Session Name Date Start Time Details & Booking Link
Pathways - What's in a Path
Presentation Mastery
Engaging Humour
Visionary Communication
31/08/2021 7:00 PM Register Here
Pathways - What's in a Path
Leadership Development
Motivational Strategies
Effective Coaching)
9/09/2021 7:00 PM Register Here
Pathways - What's in a Path
Innovative Planning
Persuasive Influence
Dynamic Leadership
13/09/2021 7:00 PM Register Here
Pathways - What's in a Path
Strategic Relationships
Team Collaboration
Mentor Program
23/09/2021 7:00 PM Register Here

Any questions? Please contact Julie Dall, Program Quality Director, on



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

Julie Dall, DTM
Program Quality Director 2021-22
Toastmasters International, District 17


FREE Leadership Tips and Opportunities from Aspiring Leaders

Are you a leader in your club, a new leader in the District, or someone who is looking at improving your leadership skills in the future?

The goals of Aspiring Leaders Toastmasters Club are to inspire all Toastmasters members to step into leadership roles and to assist aspiring leaders on their journey from club leadership roles into District Leadership roles and leadership roles outside of Toastmasters.

Aspiring Leaders Toastmasters Club is a club that aims to deliver regular leadership education and information sessions with time after meetings dedicated to networking with current and past District leaders.

In-conjunction with the Central Division, Aspiring Leaders is inviting all club members and club officers to an online education and information workshop to provide educational tips on developing your leadership skills and information about opportunities to practice and develop those leadership skills.

Our next Education and Information session is being held online on Thursday, 16 September 2021 from 6.30pm till 8.00pm.

In between the education and information sessions, the club holds regular meetings to plan and organize the next session, and to provide mentorship, etc. to club members.

The club meets monthly on the 3rd Thursday of the month starting at 6.30pm.

Interested in finding out more about the club, the education and information sessions or about District leadership opportunities, please contact Leonor Ragan  or Ross Wilkinson

Event Details

Date: Thursday 16 September 2021
Time: 6.30 – 8.00 pm
Venue: Online
Cost: FREE
RSVP: Tuesday 16 September 2021to Meeting link will be issued after you register your interest.


Club Growth Director Gavin Hyslop
Gavin Hyslop
Club Growth Director 2021-22
Toastmasters International, District 17

Registration Open for Toastmasters International 2021 Virtual Convention

Bringing the Toastmasters International Convention to your home is one of the benefits that COVID has brought us. Now, I have an opportunity to enjoy educational sessions from world leaders in public speaking without having to budget a fortune to attend the convention.

Registrations are open for Toastmasters International Virtual Convention 2021. Join world leaders in public speaking and communication to make an investment in yourself.

The 2021 World Champion Will Emerge

Each year, thousands of Toastmasters from over 100 countries battle for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. This months-long competition culminates at the Toastmasters International 2021 Virtual Convention as the 28 semi-finalists compete for the title that transforms lives.

Register now for the Toastmasters International 2021 Virtual Convention, held Monday, 23rd August through Saturday, 28th August, and make a world of difference by investing in yourself.

Check out the six-day full agenda and the Education sessions.

Or register your seat from here.

Mina Cho
Public Relations Manager
District 17


Club News

Mundaring Toastmasters Club Celebrates Successes

Mundaring Toastmasters Club’s successes were recognised at the annual District17 2021 Awards Night held on Saturday 24 July.

Members of Mundaring Club Janette Edwards (Second from left), Judith Allen, Gladys Lovell, Karen Passamani and Cherie Wallace at the Awards ceremony.

The club achieved President’s Distinguished status while individual members were recognised for their achievements at club and District level.  Among those were Judith who achieved her Pathways DTM earlier this year; and Karen and Judith received their Triple Crown pins.

Judith Allen received her Distinguished Toastmaster award

Credit must go to all members whose combined achievements contributed to the club’s success.

While we can’t take any credit for Cherie’s well deserved D17 District Officer of the Year 2020-2021 Award, we certainly basked in her glory.

Cherie Wallace received her District Officer of the Year award, with Kevin Sansome and Henry Yau

One of the highlights of the night was the opportunity to catch up with fellow Toastmasters, something we have not been able to do due to restrictions.  The event was so well organised that there was time to circulate and socialise between presentations.

Congratulations to the organisers for providing an evening in an excellent venue, with good food, good company and of course, recognition of achievements at individual, club and district level.


Judith Allen DTM
Vice President Public Relations
Mundaring Toastmasters Club

How did Noranda Toastmasters Manage to Achieve Two Major Awards?

Members of Noranda Toastmasters Club (Dennis Chong, kneeling, left)

How did Noranda Toastmasters manage to achieve two major awards, namely President’s Distinguished Club and Northern Division Club of the Year in 2020-21?

This is not a trick question but worth asking since there are many clubs struggling due to pandemic restrictions. Noranda surely didn’t do anything different to other clubs but good leadership, laughter, hard work and a bit of luck did pay dividends for us in 2020-21.

Whatever the reasons, we are very proud and humbled to have achieved both awards.

We wish to give a shout out to the handful of members who kept the club alive during the COVID lockdown last year, especially Jeremy and Karen from Northern Lights who regularly attended our Zoom meetings and also all of the Noranda members who couldn’t attend on Zoom but kept their membership active or re-joined when face to face meetings resumed in August. Also, thank you to decorated N23 Area Director Charles Fisher for his support given generously to Noranda during the year. Fantastic commitment by many to a great club!

Noranda members continue to provide leadership and fellowship, to be resilient and to work hard, Every member constantly contributes and strives to do their best and achieve their goals. We are lucky and grateful to have such a great group of people in our club.

We set a club record with six contestants competing in the Club Humorous Speech Contest last September. Two new members Christian and James eagerly stepped up and joined the Club Executive team.

Noranda members are a mix of new and experienced Toastmasters who provide a supportive and friendly environment for everyone to practice public speaking and leadership skills. Our mentoring programme helps members achieve their personal and professional goals.

Come along to our meeting for a FREE evening’s entertainment. There is plenty of car parks in front of the school administration building.

Date: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month except December and January.
Time: 6:45 pm – 8.30 pm.
Venue: Camboon Primary School Library, Forder Road, Noranda.
RSVP: Dennis Chong or 0488 904 260


Dennis Chong
Vice President Public Relations
Noranda Toastmasters Club

WINS and ABC Radio Live as Club Members Push their Comfort Zones.

Touch of Gold in the Newspaper

Touch of Gold Kalgoorlie has really been making its self-seen and heard amongst the Goldfields community. Club President, Nathan Ellis, was named District 17, WA Toastmaster of The Year. Mr Ellis said he felt honoured to receive such a prestigious award.

Touch of Gold Toastmasters Club also were awarded the President’s Distinguished Award this year for achieving high membership and member education under Nathan Ellis’s club services.

The club’s members have appeared in the local Kalgoorlie Miner Paper and have been taking up opportunities speaking, LIVE, on the ABC Radio, Goldfields-Esperance Morning Show with Dinushi Dias spreading the word, sharing the benefits about joining Toastmasters by inspiring the radio audience to come and join.

The ABC radio has since opened the opportunity for toastmasters to become regular guests, giving their thoughts and opinions LIVE on Dinushi Día’s “What’s happening Around the World” ABC radio segment.  Speaking on the radio live, certainly makes the heartbeat faster, VP Matthew O’Neill and VPPR Coralie Hurley totally agree upon.

The Club is innovatively looking for new and interesting ways of stretching the comfort zones of its members while enjoying the toastmaster’s journey.

Watch this space.



VPPR -  Coralie Hurley
0448 555 515

Open Night a Success for Victoria Park Toastmasters Club

Eugene Lim delivers his speech "Positive Thinking" at the Vitoria Park Toastmasters Club Open Night

Monday 26th July 2021 was a memorable night for Victoria Park Toastmasters. Yes, for the storm raging as the meeting was about to commence, but mainly for a successful Open Night.

We wanted to boost our membership and hoped for a good attendance of first-time guests. We adjusted our agenda to include items to interest those seeking to find out more about Toastmasters.

Former members Tom Bielski and Kevin Sansome gave speeches to showcase what Toastmasters can offer. Tom inspired with “Top Tips for Top Speeches” and Kevin gave an insight into what Toastmasters is all about with an informative presentation.

Distinguished guests included our District Director, Tim Blackburn and our Eastern Division Director, Noor Talpur. Both encouraged us with stories of their Toastmasters’ journeys.

The remainder of the meeting followed a standard format with Table Topics, an Inspiration, a Tall Tale, and Evaluations. Supper, which we always have in the middle of the meeting, was longer than usual, allowing guests to speak with club members and Divisional representatives.

We publicised the meeting through a Facebook event, an Eventbrite event, posters in supermarkets and businesses around the Victoria Park area and of course, by word of mouth. We also wrote to former members and asked them to spread the word and invited previous guests.

We were pleased that, despite the weather, seven people, who hadn’t been to Toastmasters before, attended. All expressed that they enjoyed the meeting. One joined on the night and others said they were interested in joining. We hope they do!


Denise Rhodes
President, Victoria Park Toastmasters

Communicate Effectively on Zoom

Today, more than ever, the need to communicate effectively on Zoom meetings is paramount for each person. This is becoming the “norm” now days.

Many years ago I witnessed 2 politicians debating each other on television in front of a live studio audience. One of them answered his question looking straight at the camera while other looked at the studio audience. The one that looked straight at camera won the debate convincingly.

The reason was simple. He was connecting effectively with a wider audience and thus got more votes.

The need to communicate effectively through the camera on your computer is vital to your success today.

Currently being the only On-line-only club in District 17, at Zoom Masters Toastmasters Club we strive to ensure our members develop their On-line skills at our fun meetings. These skills are transferrable to your everyday personal and professional life.

We have members based in Queensland, USA, Singapore, Iran and Mauritius and of course here in WA. We are truly a global club.

Our meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month stating at 8pm. With lively theme meetings and enthusiastic members you will not be disappointed if you pay us a visit.

Come on, what are you waiting for?

Check out our website below:


Henry Yau
Club President 2021-2022 Zoom Masters


Member Stories

Leaders Focus: Introducing Dipak Saha

Area I43 Director, Dipak Saha at the District 17 Awards Night

In July I interviewed Toastmasters newly appointed Area I43 Director, Dipak Saha. Dips, to his friends, has also recently become a member of the City of Perth Toastmasters club taking on the committee role of Vice President Education. Dipak is an accomplished speaker and is also a strong advocate for mental health.

How long have you been a member of Toastmasters and what prompted you to join?

I have been a member of Toastmasters District 17 for nearly 4 years. I wanted to learn how to communicate with someone or a group of people in various situations.

What are the current roles that you hold with Toastmasters?

I am the 2021-22 Area Director for Area I42 which is part of the city, and I am also the Vice President Educations for City of Perth Toastmasters Club.

Since joining Toastmasters what has been a highlight?

The highlight has to be the day that I was appointed as Area Director for I42.

What was your main challenge?

The main challenge fir me has been communicating with someone without causing any embarrassment or issues.

What benefits does Toastmasters have for you?

Toastmasters has allowed me to learn how to communicate, to be more extroverted and has given me the steps to become an international speaker, which I am today. Toastmasters has given me the network not only from our club, City of Perth, but from all clubs in District 17 and within Australia.

What do you think the next year will hold for you and your Toastmasters journey? 

Well, it’s very ambitious because I am freshly appointed Area Director, but I am just aiming to be a Division Director for the city.

Tell me about the things you like to do outside of Toastmasters?

I enjoy travelling and shopping. Shopping is the main one.

I enjoy meeting new people from new cultures in the exchange program, we go out and work on stuff.  I enjoy  going to the gym (most of the time) and having a good work out.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

My message is very simple.  Just be yourself and what you want to be.  I think people should find themselves encouraging themselves and always giving themselves good thoughts.  For me, I was very lucky over the past few years to be surrounded by positive people and support when I completed my course as a speaker in Sydney.  I never realised that I would come in and help out the people that have been encouraging me.  I want to give more back to people.

Stay tuned for more in the next edition.


Katrina Whittred

Leaders Focus Author/Coordinator
Black Swan Newsletter

Author's Bio

Since joining the City of Perth Toastmasters in 2014, I have been actively involved with Toastmasters.  Each month I will be interviewing a leader in District 17 for the Black Swan.  Watch this space, we have quite the line-up!

From Shy Ocean Lover to Public Speaker: Kickstarting a Reef Safe Future

Jade Chan Launching Sunslayer

Meet Jade from Young Guns Toastmasters Club.

"I joined Young Guns Toastmasters Club a few years ago because I was terrified of public speaking. My mind would go blank when I’m on stage. This happened when I was presenting at a conference as part of my final year physiotherapy student project. How embarrassing. I vowed I will never do another speech again… …One day, I saw Young Guns meeting on my Facebook feed. I thought, why not give it a try. I was so inspired by the speaker that I signed up immediately."

"Fast forward to today and many speeches later, I am such a different speaker. In fact, last week I gave a speech in front of a hundred people, many complete strangers. I was also the emcee for my own launch party! I was surprised at how comfortable I felt in front of them and I was able to share my passion for the ocean and my reasons for creating a reef safe plastic free sunscreen."

When Young Guns member and avid scuba diver Jade Chan found out about the harm that common sunscreens have on our reef systems, she knew she had to do something to combat the problem for future generations.

After two years of development, Jade has created Sunslayer, a reef-safe, plastic-free sunscreen. She held a launch party in July to release her Kickstarter campaign.

Jade’s Toastmasters experience helped her present, MC, and coordinate other speakers to a crowd of over one hundred supporters. At Young Guns, Jade participated in a Shark Tank themed meeting where she presented her product (and was grilled by our sharks) – an incredible experience that prepared her to present and persuade as an entrepreneur.

“I know that without Toastmasters I would not have had the courage to emcee this launch party and give a speech. The speaking skills I learned also helped me with the video for my Kickstarter campaign! Vocal variety, hand gestures, eye contact were all front of mind when I did the video and it was a success.”

“I thought I joined Toastmasters to help me with my work presentations but it is so much more than that! It’s about trying new things, challenging yourself and becoming better each day. "

"Thank you Young Guns and Toastmasters for this experience. To every Toastmaster, keep encouraging your new club mates! Especially the shy ones, they might surprise you.”

Jade Chan launching her Kickstarter campaign in front of a hundred backers

You can learn more about reef safe sunscreens and support Jade’s mission at the Sunslayer Kickstarter page


Alexander Price
Young Guns Toastmasters


Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients

District 17 wants to acknowledge those people who have received Level Completion awards in Pathways in July 2021.
Congratulations to all.

We would love anyone who has a story about what benefits they've received from their Pathways journey to submit it to the Black Swan for future editions.


Program Quality Director Julie Dall

Julie Dall, DTM
Program Quality Director


Submitting Articles to Black Swan

Want to submit an article next month? If you have any news, stories and tips that would like to share with your fellow Toastmasters within District 17, write to us by the end of the month! Complete the Black Swan Submission Form and email to

  • Articles must have a relevant news category
  • Articles must be relevant or of clear interest to Toastmaster members.
  • Articles must reflect the TI core values; Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence.
  • Length must not exceed 300 words
  • Please supply images with the best picture quality available
  • Supply names of people shown in images.

Mina Cho, DTM
Black Swan Editor