Black Swan Newsletter December 2021

The Official Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

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District News

District Director's Adress

As we are getting close to the end of 2021, it is a great time to celebrate our achievements for the year and also to reflect and spend time with your loved ones.

In the last few weeks, I have attended the meetings with Butler Toastmasters, Victoria Quay Toastmasters and Fremantle Gateway Toastmasters.  It is an honour to meet many members working towards achieving their public speaking skills.

Next week I will be visiting Banksia Toastmasters, Inspiring Toastmasters, WA Speakers Bureau, Aspiring Leaders Toastmasters, CPA Toastmasters and Perth Rainbow Toastmaster Clubs.

I was really inspired by Fremantle Gateway’s newest member Rocco Turazza who was a recent Year 12 graduate from John Curtin College of Arts.  Rocco is a stroke survivor and is committed to developing his public speaking skills.  In his Ice Breaker, he provided the following tips to let your “Inner Social Butterfly Shine”. They are:

  • Check in on others to see how they are doing -“How’s life treating you.”
  • Compliment other people - “that’s a really positive mindset to have.”
  • Let people know you appreciate them - “I like having you around.”
  • Offer to help in an everyday situation (without expecting anything in return)
  • Spend time volunteering (supporting your local community)

As you spend time with your families and your local communities over the festive period, remember to use your active listening skills as a way to improve your relationships.

Let your inner social butterfly shine.

On behalf of District 17, we wish you all safe and amazing festive holidays, and we will see you all in 2022 with new goals and aspirations.



District Director Tim Blackburn

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



Ask the Palimentarian

Earlier in the year, I wrote about conflict and the correct way to deal with conflict if it arises.
I have had quite a large response from this article, with people approaching me in person and by email commenting that they had experienced some form of conflict where they did not know who to turn to.

It is each and everyone’s responsibility to take that first step by listening, and to assist wherever they possibly can. Presidents, Committees and members check with the members in your clubs to see that people are OK. What may seem like a minor problem can be a momentous situation to some. A friendly ear can sometimes be all that people may need. It may be just a misunderstanding.

As Toastmasters, we know that being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills in life. It is communication that allows our clubs and members to flourish.

If you are experiencing any type of conflict and do not know who to turn to, please do not hesitate to contact your President or Committee member and tell them of your concerns.

I am also always available to listen and to assist you by steering you in the direction for the correct procedure or person to approach. Contact me at

Each and every person reacts to situations in a different way, and what offends one may not necessarily affect another.  Without becoming the fun police, let’s remember all the following as guidelines.



Policy 3.0: Ethics and Conduct

Harassment and Bullying

Toastmasters International prohibits all types of harassment and bullying. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual, verbal, physical, and visual harassment and bullying (including electronically).

A. Creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment, which includes conduct, comments, or conditions of an offensive, unwelcome, or sexual nature altering the conditions under which an individual experience the Toastmasters program is prohibited. Specifically:

  1. Persistent singling out of individuals.
  2. Shouting or raising one’s voice at individuals in public or private.
  3. Not allowing individuals to speak or express themselves.
  4. Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames.
  5. Repeated criticism of personal matters.
  6. Ignoring or interrupting individuals at meetings.
  7. Spreading rumours and gossip regarding individuals.

B. Unwelcome physical contact or physical abuse such as pushing, fighting, kicking, hitting, or shoving, and threats of physical abuse, are prohibited.

C. Inappropriate touching, lewd jokes, displaying or writing explicit or sexually suggestive material, and repeated unwelcome requests for a sexual or dating relationship are prohibited.

D. Unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favours, and other unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct, including obscene gestures, are prohibited.

E. Making the submission to or the rejection of such conduct the basis of participation or advancement decisions is prohibited.

F. Retaliating or discriminating against any member for reporting harassment is prohibited.

Parliamentarian Q&A Tip for December

Question: If I don’t vote in a club situation, does that mean my vote doesn’t count?

Answer: Silence gives consent. Those who do not vote to allow the decision to be made by those who do vote.  Use your vote wisely.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and the very best 2022.
For any questions, please contact me at


Patricia (Pat) King
Parliamentarian 2021-22
District 17 Toastmasters International

Workshop - Creating Fun & Quality Meetings


TLI Training Group presents Creating Fun & Quality Meetings. Facilitated by Kevin Sansome DTM, this workshop will give you fabulous advice and information to improve your meetings, as well as what you can do before, during and after your meetings to make them as successful as possible.

The workshop will include three Breakout Sessions, led by TLI members, and each session will have several topics to choose from. As part of your Eventbrite Registration, please choose which topic you will attend during each Breakout Session. Topics include:

Breakout Session 1

  • Single Page Club Success Plan
  • Rostered Speaker Agenda
  • Mentoring in Your Club
  • Using the Better Speaker Series
  • Themes that Members Love

Breakout Session 2

  • Develop Table Topic Themes
  • Inspiration and Tonic Practice
  • Topics for Speeches
  • Using Social Media

Breakout Session 3

  • Finding Your Club
  • Interesting and Varied Meetings
  • Engaging Every Member
  • Inducting New Members
  • Giving Recognition

Registration is essential via the Eventbrite link. This is the perfect way to reignite your club in the new year and finish 2021-22 strong!


[Event Details] 

Date: Saturday 29 January 2022
Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Venue: The Palms Community Centre, Cnr Nicholson & Rokeby Rds, Subiaco

Cost: $10 and includes light refreshments

Contact: Kevin Sansome DTM



Cherie Wallace DTM
TLI Toastmasters Club
Toastmasters International


Club News

The Global Gavel Club Group – Group H Evaluation Contest

Harnish Boopathi represented Canning Vale Gavel Club in the Group H Evaluation Contest organized by the Global Gavel Club Group held on 28th November 2021. Group H Evaluation Contest was represented by 10 contestants from Australia, Dubai, India, and Sri Lanka.

Harnish performed exceptionally and became 1st runner up at the event. This indeed was a fantastic moment not only for Harnish and his family but also for all the members of Canning Vale Gavel Club. Also, it shall be noted that Harnish is still a primary school student.

Canning Vale Gavel Club currently runs online using the Zoom platform weekly on Tuesdays (during the school term) from 4.30 PM to 5.45 PM. Any student aged 10 – 18 can join the club free of charge. For any queries, please contact the Canning Vale Gavel Club Counsellor Saminda De Vas on



Saminda Vas

Saminda De Vas, DTM
Canning Vale Gavel Club Counsellor
Toastmasters International, District 17

Applecross rises

The last meeting of 2021 being just a week away, I look back on the past 6 months.

In June, Applecross Toastmasters had just 5 members. We resolved to build the club and decided that the 5 of us could do all the committee tasks as we learnt from past experiences that new members become overwhelmed learning the TM skills and Committee roles. Thankfully, this decision served the club well.

We also resolved that the 5 of us would do the evaluations so as not to overwhelm the new members. As I took on the VPE role, I made a vision that I would educate the new members. Part of that was I got them to do an evaluation of the speeches by writing down their CRC observations and comparing their observations with the evaluators. Now we have our new members stepping up to do evaluations. We are gratified to see the growth in confidence in our new members.

We are back in our spiritual heartland of Applecross and Meeting at the RSL which is just up the road from where we began at Heathcote.

Bernie, VPPR, with his Tech Skills mastery has seen many visitors to the club, and today we stand at 11 new members joined the club. I am confident at next year’s awards night Applecross will be the standout in the district. I firmly believe that we will have more than 20 members and we will be one of the distinguished clubs.

What we are doing is not rocket science, just make new members welcome meet them where there at give them roles they are comfortable with. I know the 5 of us who were there last June are immensely proud of our achievements. We all had a passion to rebuild the club and we knew we could do it, and we have done it without a club coach. I am proud of my fellow officers.


Graham Macdonald
Vice President Education
Applecross Toastmasters Club



Member Stories

Leader Focus: Conversation with Peggy Leung


In the September Leader Focus, Katrina interviewed the Central Division Director and the Conference Chair 2022, Peggy Leung. In this talk, she shares her toastmasters' experience and her personal development journey to becoming a happier more confident and more fulfilled person.


If you have missed the written interview, you can now meet him in this video interview. Happy viewing!

Katrina Whittred

Leaders Focus Author/Coordinator
Black Swan Newsletter
District 17, Toastmasters International

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!

Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients

District 17 wants to acknowledge those people who have received Level Completion awards in Pathways in November 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 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International


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