Black Swan Newsletter January 2022

District News

District Director's Adress

Welcome to 2022.

I hope you had a chance to rest, reflect and celebrate the closure of the 2021 year with great insights.

Now that we have turned the page and started a new year - a new chapter starts, and you have the opportunity to reset and establish your goals for the year.

Some of you will see it as a fresh start, and many of you will see it is as a consolidation and continual development from last year. You are the one who determines what that page looks like. Is it going to look like one full adventure, or is it going to look like a page of opportunities missed?

Be courageous and take on new challenges such as a club contest or take on a leadership opportunity in your club or in the district.

It’s time to check-in and determine where you are with your education awards. How many speeches do you need to schedule to complete your next pathway level?


For club leaders, it is also a good time to review your club success plan and assess where you and your club is at. What new initiatives are you going to bring to the club?


Did you know January to March is the best time to recruit new members into your clubs? Get on the front foot and start working towards initiatives and promotions to your communities to attend your meetings.

Have you considered running an open house? It is a great way to showcase your club to the community.

The link will provide you with some useful materials for organising a club open house.


Here’s to new beginnings, new challenges, and new opportunities.



District Director Tim Blackburn

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

District 17 Hybrid Conference

You are invited to one of the greatest events for District 17 – the Hybrid Conference!

Where you will have the fantastic opportunity to learn from the very best in the comfort of your own home.

We have put together an amazing lineup of keynote speakers, educational workshops and contests that highlights the very best speakers in District 17 in 2022.


District 17 Hybrid Conference will be held on Zoom & In-Person on:

  • 14 May 2022, Online Keynote Address and Virtual District Council Meeting
  • 15 May 2022, In-Person/Broadcast Humorous/Table Topics/Evaluation Contest
  • 21 May 2022, Online International Contest, Workshops
  • 21 May 2022, In-Person Gala Dinner


Further details of the conference will be communicated via the Black Swan newsletter in the coming months.

Stay tuned.



Peggy Leung
Conference Chair 2021-22
Central Division Director 2021-22
District 17, Toastmasters International



Learn and Be Inspired - Club Officer Training


[In-person session]

Register now for Club Officer Training in-person session on Sunday, January 30th 2022 to be held at the Tech Park Function Centre, Bentley commencing 9 am. Register here

[Online sessions]

The other session that will be run this year are:

Date  Time  Location Registration Link
Sat 5/2/2022 All Day** Zoom
Sun 20/2/2022 All Day** Zoom
Thur 24/2/2022 6.00 – 9.00pm Zoom

** With the all-day sessions, you need to attend the breakout training for your club officer role to get credit. 
You are welcome to attend as many or as few of the other sessions as you wish.  Details of the sessions are on the registration link.


Non-club officers are welcome to attend any of these sessions.



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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

Club Officer Training – South West Session

This special training session is being held in the South West. Officers of all District 17 clubs are welcome to attend.

It will be held in-person on Saturday, February 12th, 2022, in Busselton, commencing at 1 pm.

Please register using this link


Non-club officers are welcome to attend.


Club Officer Training South West



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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

Leadership and Communication with DiSC

Understanding DiSC personality types can help you understand and work better with other people.

This workshop will introduce you to the four DiSC Personality Styles with a focus on communicating and leading each style.

There are limited seats available for the session, so registrations are restricted to District and Club Officers until the 20th January.  After this date, if seats remain, other Toastmaster members can register.  This will be updated in the Facebook District 17 Members group ( and on the registration link.

Register at



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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

Online Facilitation Skills Workshop


More and more meetings are being held on zoom and many of us are going beyond simple meetings to run training and workshops in the online world.

If you want tips and ideas on how to improve your online facilitation skills, come along to this session on February 1st and hear from international trainers who are experienced in delivering online training.


The session will consist of a panel discussion on how to present and train effectively online and how to improve engagement with learners.  There will be opportunities for you to ask your questions.

After the panel discussion, there will be further opportunities to discuss and practise online facilitation techniques.


Register at





Program Quality Director Julie Dall

Julie Dall DTM
Program Quality Director 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

Master of Mentoring Toastmasters Club

Do you need a Mentor?

Does your club need to implement a Mentoring System for its member?


If you answer YES to either of these questions, Master of Mentoring TM Club is for you.
The club focuses on two main areas:

  1.  Providing a structured mentoring program for individual Toastmasters who want that extra support and guidance in addition to their home club’s support.
  2.  Assisting Toastmaster members in establishing a structured Mentoring Program in their clubs.


To find more come along to our next meeting on Wednesday 19 January at 6:30 pm upstairs at 931 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park.


For catering purposes, RSVP to either:

Ross Wilkinson   0412 383 386

Tim Blackburn 0403 051 081



Event Details

Date: Wednesday 19 January
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Venue: 931 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park

Cost: Free
RSVP: Ross Wilkinson  0412 383 386, Tim Blackburn 0403 051 081




Past District 17 Governor
District 17, Toastmasters International

Discovering Kuljak Island

After a long and wet winter, Belmont Toastmasters Club organised an outdoor social event – Bushwalking to encourage the members to get out of the cosy home and soak in the sun. The event was held on 31 October 2021, a bright and sunny day perfect for bushwalking! One of the club members, Jane, who is a bushwalking enthusiast (she even delivered a Toastmasters speech about the benefits of walking) organised this event and was our knowledgeable tour guide of the day.

Our bushwalk was held at Kuljak Island in Ascot, which is a stone’s throw away from our normal Toastmasters meeting venue. Most of us were pleasantly surprised that there was such a lovely man-made island so near our homes. This was a family-friendly event, and all family and friends were invited to attend. Some of the members brought their children along, the bushwalk trail itself was relatively flat and easy, so it was very suitable for the kids (and not so fit members!) who enjoyed making friends.


Halfway through the bushwalk, the members stopped for a picnic by the river. The club funds sponsored the yummy picnic food and lots of members also brought plates to share.



The event was very successful and all members enjoyed the bush walk tremendously. It was extremely fun getting to know each other more through an active outdoors social activity, the beautiful scenery was an added bonus too!

I strongly encourage all other clubs to consider bushwalking as a social event, it not only is a wonderful bonding social activity for members and their families, you can also boost your physical wellness and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature that is right at your doorstep at the same time. A shout out to Jane for organising such a great event!




Richard Yap

Vice President Education
Belmont Toastmasters Club
District 17, Toastmasters International

Table Topics Contest a First

A Club Table Topics Contest is often the first contest new members to consider entering. Usually held in the familiar club meeting room, with fellow club members in the audience, there is minimum stress.

This was not the case at Casuarina Prison’s Speechmasters Gavel Club. The idea of holding a contest was raised by Juliana Kelly.


One of the members needed to chair a contest to complete his Competent Leadership Manual, A Table Topics Contest was the answer. For the members, it was a new challenge. The Contest Chair role was filled, and visiting Toastmasters took on Judging roles. Plans to fill timer and tally counter roles with other club members hit a snag. Members wanted to compete – all nine of them.

On contest day, some were not so keen. Instead of their usual classroom, the contest was to be held in a meeting room with an audience of over 40 fellow prisoners and education staff, some of whom found themselves co-opted as timers, tally counters and contest SAA.
The pressure was on and the briefings were not so brief as no one had any idea of what a Toastmasters contest involved.

The contest began, and each contestant faced the audience to respond to the Table Topic: “A new Corona Virus variant has appeared and you are to be released from prison tomorrow.”
What a challenge! A tough topic for a club contest, but they all gave it a good shot.

The contest ended with the presentation of certificates and a trophy for the winner, while the Contest Chair received his Competent Leader Certificate from Gavel Club Coordinator Kevin Sansome.


Overall the contest was considered a great success and there are plans to hold an Evaluation Contest in March.

Casuarina’s Gavel Club members may be limited by their situation, but they certainly make up for it with their enthusiasm and willingness to take on a challenge.



Judith Allen DTM

Gavel Club Facilitator
District 17, Toastmasters International

Reverse Meeting

The Victoria Park Toastmasters Club held a reverse meeting to add a sense of fun to the last meeting of the year. Just the initial greeting and housekeeping by the Sargent of Arms and meeting close by the President were in the usual order.


The meeting started off with the General Evaluation, and we discovered who doesn’t read their emails and agenda properly, when someone was startled to find himself doing an impromptu evaluation! The speech evaluations were given before the speeches and, as per his evaluation, Eugene managed a flamboyant bend and touch of toes before beginning his speech. Afterwards, the speakers were given genuine, written evaluations of their performance.


Vic Park

James and Jesse Green with President Denise Rhodes. James and Jesse were presented with Certificates of Appreciation for their help setting up the meeting room and timing. James and Jesse come to meetings with their Dad, Keith, and walk home after helping to set up. When needed, they will stay to help out with timing.


Table Topic respondents’ evaluations were given with respondents having added challenges with one person informed they spoke so long they had to be belled off and another having to wave their arms about without purpose. It caused some hilarity as respondents worked to meet their evaluation.


Some lessons learned:

A fulsome explanation at the previous two meetings would be beneficial as some members initially found the concept difficult to understand. A longer lead time allows members to reflect, ask clarifying questions and includes those who don’t make every meeting.

Flexibility and keeping in mind that the aim of the meeting is fun and not to make members too uncomfortable is required. For example, the original plan was for the Table Topics respondents to do their speech and then the Table Topics Master to think up the appropriate question to ask them. It was discovered that some felt this too challenging and so the usual order was retained.

Toastmasters are a sociable lot, and so the usual 10-minute break was extended to 20 minutes and passed by in a flash. The night, and year, ended on a high note with members ready to roll again on 10 January 2022.



Sally Willmott
Vice President Education
Victoria Park Toastmasters

Celebrating 2021. Our Club is Our Members

Our Christmas end of year meeting was a captivating wrap up of the year's highlights, with an informal gathering of our Bunbury Toastmasters members & guests over delicious dinner at Vat2.

'Reflection' was the theme for the meeting, such a great opportunity to celebrate our members' achievements as a club in 2021.

A few notable mentions on our Bunbury Toastmasters Club members achievements  

  • Entering into Toastmasters speaking contest arena for the first time and making it to Division Final Shelley, WA . 2nd Place Humorous Speech Contest Chris Thorpe,  Table Topic Speech Contest -Octavia Woodfield
  • Winning speaking competition- Morrie Goodz  District 17 Toastmaster of the Year Award
  • Important Milestone in Pathways- Darren Chapman completed  Level 2 Presentation


Our club really is our members and guests growing as engaging speakers and supporting others on the journey. Thank you to all working on their individual achievements with club support and as a whole, inspiring and motivating the Bunbury club forward into 2022.



Clare Flynn 
Vice President Public Relations
Bunbury Toastmasters Club
District 17, Toastmasters International


Cannington Communicators - the club that likes to party

What better way to wrap up a challenging year than hold a party? That’s exactly what Cannington Communicators did at their last meeting of 2021.


In addition to the club members, we had 2 visitors and 4 guests from the Curtin Toastmasters club. We’ve been fostering a close friendship with the Curtin Toastmasters club for a while: attending each other’s meetings, comparing, learning and looking for ways we can contribute to the growth and development of both clubs.


The table topics segment was the highlight of the evening. We decided to do something different and Secret Santa presents became our table topic. Everyone had a turn choosing a present from their fellow Toastmasters, unwrapping and talking about it for a minute.


We had a few things to celebrate at our end of year get-together. District 17 Public Relations Officer Mina Cho held an official ceremony to induct our new officers. It was a really special moment and everyone felt the excitement in the room.



We finished the evening with the awards. Club President Jeff Smith was recognised for being a member of Cannington Communicators for 4 years. We also had prizes for the best dressed – Santa Daniel and bright & colourful Bappi.


All attendees agreed the night was a roaring success and had a great chat after the formalities whilst enjoying some snacks and Christmas cupcakes.


If we ended the past year with a party, why don’t we start the new one with an even bigger celebration – our 300th meeting?! We will be hosting an Open House on the 25th of January – please come along and help us celebrate our birthday!



Event Details 

Date: Tuesday 25 January 2022
Time: 6.00 – 7.30 pm
Venue: Cannington Leisureplex (upstairs), Wharf St &, Sevenoaks St, Cannington WA 6107

Cost: Free
RSVP: Friday 21 January 2022 to





Amber Stocker
Vice President Public Relations
Cannington Communicators Toastmasters Club
District 17, Toastmasters International



Member Stories

Leader Focus: Conversation with Tim Blackburn

In November I interviewed our District Director for District 17, Tim Blackburn.

Coming from the humble beginnings, of a farmer’s son, Tim was taught hard work, perseverance, and community spirit from a very early age, and this has allowed him to follow his passions.


Tim has taken the lessons learnt through Toastmasters and applies them through his communities and through his business endeavours.


Tim is the managing director for Blackburn Accounting since 2013 and is currently a Director for 3 Commercial Companies. Tim was appointed to the Executive Board for ASeTTs from 2014 to 2020 a Not-for-Profit organisation providing services to Refugees in Western Australia.  In 2014 he was the state president for CPA Australia.


An accomplished speaker, Tim is the founding member for CPA Toastmasters, Victoria Park Toastmasters, WA Speakers Bureau, One Country One World Toastmasters & Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Club.


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

I have been a member of Toastmasters for 18 years.  I remember my manager at my workplace at the time suggested as part of my improvement that I try Toastmasters and she told me that she had found Toastmasters a really good place for her to improve her communication. Taking on the feedback I looked up the closest Toastmasters club which was in West Perth. I went along to their breakfast meeting, and as soon as I got there I just loved the energy in the room. I liked how confident the speakers were. I joined straight away even though I am not a morning person, I thought that was going to be a challenge! But seeing the results that the club was achieving; I could see myself getting some benefit by joining Toastmasters.


What are the current roles that you hold with Toastmasters?

My current responsibility is District Director for District 17.  It has been a long development happening, I have been envisioning taking on this role for a long time now and it has been fantastic.  It has given me a chance to motivate and really help provide a space to have other Toastmasters develop and grow.  It is a good chance for me to provide feedback and give insight into the skills that I have developed and impart them to others that are looking to develop their skills in leadership and communication.


What has been a highlight since joining Toastmasters?

I think the biggest highlight for me was when I set up my first home club which was at CPA (Certified Practicing Accountants) Australia.  I remember when I was a member of St Georges Toastmasters thinking a club like this would be so good for accountants, to help them speak more with confidence and speak up. One thing I found with accountants is they can be quite conservative, can be a little bit reserved and not give their full energy and attention that they can provide.  I thought why not start a Toastmasters club? I knocked on the door of the general manager’s office at CPA Australia and I said that it would be great to have Toastmasters here. He said, “No Tim, I don’t think it would be a good idea.”


I was a bit downtrodden about that. I went back to my home club and spoke to the president at the time and said that I thought I had a good idea, but the general manager didn’t agree with me.  He recommended that I develop my skills more in this club and take on an officer role, so I could understand the functionalities of the club.  I took on the role of Vice President of Public Relations and then took on the role of President and I started to learn about being an effective communicator. I looked back on my time as a CPA and asked myself what I did that was not effective and what I needed to change if I were to approach them again to establish a club? And by taking on that kind of exercise I realised two things.  One, I needed to work out who made the decisions at the organisation and whether I was engaging the right people.


The second one was to build a team around me to help me to run this kind of initiative.  I pulled a team of four other accountants together and I also set up a meeting with the decision makers at CPA Australia. Once we had that meeting they loved the concept of establishing a club, and once I had that buy-in I was able to establish a Toastmasters club at CPA Australia.  That is one thing I am proud of.


What has been your main challenge?

One of the challenges I had was with my late wife. My late wife got sick, and I had to take care of her while she was really unwell.  When you are caring for someone who is unwell and falling backwards in health it can be challenging. All your energy saps away and you are full time working, developing your skills in Toastmasters and in the background, you’ve got this huge amount of responsibilities and pressure, taking care of someone that you love so deeply. You have no idea what is happening with the deterioration of their health and that got really challenging particularly because a lot of it was to do with mental health and dealing with someone who is going through a huge amount of depression, a huge amount of different personality disorders. It was challenging to stay focused on my development and my career and everything else around me, to maintain that balance. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her ill health. I still remember it, it was the day of an area final, and I was in the contest. I was getting ready, and I had to go check on my wife, at the time she was sleeping.  She passed away sadly on that day. That was so heartbreaking.


From the challenges though you certainly learn a lot.  Nursing someone through ill health I learned I had to really be strong because that person was really vulnerable.  And when you are having to deal with the strength you often have to park your emotions to the side and you are like their strength and they have to rely on you to make decisions to keep them moving in a positive direction, to be that ray of hope when there is a lot of darkness around you. I remember the day of Tammy’s passing and that I felt a huge amount of energy shifting from her into me. I think it's from so much love and compassion I had been providing for her and that she is passing that on to me to carry on for her. I felt that even though her passing is sad and I cried so much as I’ve never cried before, that it opened up my emotions to be vulnerable, to be emotional, to be strong to stand up and speak up. I feel like my heart really grew from that experience if you want to create an analogy.


From that challenge, I didn’t realise it at the time, but upon reflection, you just become a stronger person and much more committed to moving forward.


What benefits does Toastmasters have for you?

I guess I have been doing Toastmasters for 18 years, so I just live and breathe the culture and one thing I love about Toastmasters is the opportunity of giving and learning. When you give and learn a lot of opportunities open up so I find that every time you take on a challenge, every time there is an opportunity for you to take on it develops a skill that you want to get better at, and it also opens up opportunities that may not have been presented before. I like the example that when I set up my Toastmasters club at CPA Australia I was then invited to sit on the council of CPA Australia and in order to sit on the council you need to have been voted in by 11,000 members, so I took on the opportunity, I got voted in and once I got onto the council they voted me in to be the state president. So, I guess it’s all about taking the opportunities and the skillsets you learn and putting them into practice in the community and the people around you in the environment that you are in.


What does the year ahead hold for you and your Toastmasters journey?

I am always quite adventurous so coming out of Covid and being in a District Director role I am really looking at really engaging clubs and encouraging them to reach out to their community that they are part of and really be known in those communities. Communities are a big passion of mine and in every community, I am involved with I am just so passionate about making a difference and I really want to impart that knowledge for the clubs to make a stand - who are their communities? Who are they engaged with? Are you engaging with them? What are the conversations you are having that make the communities know you are there and present and what a great difference Toastmasters makes? If I can accomplish that in the next twelve months that would be wonderful.


What do you like to do outside of Toastmasters?

One of the things I really love to do is cooking.  I learned it very young. My mum gave us money each time we cooked a cake and so when we were young, we loved cooking cakes because we would get $1 pocket money.  She set a foundation of cooking that we really loved.  I learned how to cook all the traditional English meals like the lamb roast and the steaks, and it really wasn’t until probably about 10 years ago I started studying Ayurveda which is an Indian medicine and I really fell in love with cooking curries. I love Indian curry in particular getting the different spices and really bringing out the flavour.


I use those flavours now and impart them in the cooking I do, and it really brings out great flavours and brings a different level of enjoyment with food. Though I love food I have to be careful how much I eat. It is a bit of a balance!


I enjoy bringing people over and entertaining with food and I would like to do that more if I get a chance.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

What I love about Toastmasters is that you can take as much out of it as you want and I also love is that its self-paced so you can go at a pace that you are comfortable with. At the start when I was first writing speeches it took days to write my first speech and now I can get a speech done in twenty minutes or less.  It’s also transferable. When I write reports for a business it used to take me days and now I can write reports in half an hour. What Toastmasters trains you is clarity of thought, really working on purpose and what you are passionate about.


One thing that really turned my skills around in Toastmasters is talking about your passions, what are your passions? And I don’t think we talk about that enough and sometimes we are conscious about what other people are thinking about our passions rather than us living our passions and doing things we want to do.  If you were uninhibited by other people’s thoughts about you, what would that be?


And I want to encourage members to explore that, open those petals, and see what’s going to blossom from exploring who you are. What life lessons have you had? What life lessons and developments have you had from those experiences and let people know about it, tell them about those experiences. Explore those emotions about how it felt to be caring for someone who is going through struggles to happy moments, sad moments, explore those emotions that we have bottled up for so long and get them expressed.


Because we love hearing people’s stories about times you’ve struggled, times you have had to deal with challenges, how you overcame an obstacle. We are human beings, and we love being connected and I love really working on that vulnerability side. Telling people that I am just the same as you but what I am doing is following my passions, and I want you to explore what you are passionate about.



Toastmasters really helped me to be clear on my purpose and they encourage you when you do a speech.

What is the purpose? What are the three things you would say that would make a difference, that they’ll take away from, thinking they’ve learned from the experience?

I would just like to close with that, to say follow your heart, follow your passions and go at the pace that you feel comfortable. For you.



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!

Diving Deeper In 2022

When we learn a new skill, we go through 4 stages of learning.


The initial phase is called the unconscious incompetent phase, also known as the beginner’s phase. We start off not knowing what we do not know, think of the first time hearing a fellow Toastmaster getting evaluated.


A few meetings later, we start to get the gist of a typical meeting. We begin to realize what we don’t know. This second stage is known as the conscious incompetent phase - we start feeling uncomfortable as we realize the shortcomings in certain areas of our communication skills, perhaps our stage presence or hand gestures don’t quite match up to our expectations. I remember the first time I led a meeting as the Toastmaster, I felt out of my depth as it was a foreign role to me. This is the hard yard we have to run, many people give up during this conscious incompetent phase - the ones who decide to carry on must make a commitment to learn, practice and spend time brushing up on identified areas for improvement.


After a few months of consistent work, including formal speeches and completed modules on Pathways, we start to move towards the third stage - conscious competence.  This is where things start to feel comfortable - we now have enough experience and skill to comfortably deliver a speech with some practice. Some of us stop challenging ourselves here, complacency creeps in - indirectly limiting our growth potential keeping things stagnant. It is not until stage 4 - unconscious competence that the skills we gain from Toastmasters become so practised that it enters the unconscious part of the brain and becomes second nature. This is where one achieves mastery, now able to speak impactfully without little conscious effort.


“Maturity is not dictated by time, rather it is a result of where you focus your time and energy on’ - Upon hearing this quote recently, I thought this also applies to our individual Toastmaster journeys.


Have you identified one area in your Toastmasters journey that you would like to work on in 2022? Where would you place yourself in the 4 stages of learning? I would like to challenge you to refocus your energy and time on this one area of improvement for the rest of the year.


Here are 3 ideas to help you get yourself closer towards stage 4 in 2022:

  1. Start a Toastmaster Pathway related to the area for improvement that you have identified - browse through the different Pathways, you might find one that resonates with your need.

  2. Read books/listen to podcasts relevant to this area of improvement - the amount of quality resources available out there these days is immense.

  3. Ask someone more experienced and highly competent in the area of improvement that you have identified to be your mentor for the year.



Bernard Wong
Vice President Public Relations
Applecross Toastmasters Club
District 17, Toastmasters International



Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients

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

In total 209 members have achieved 345 educational awards in the six-month period - July to December 2022. 

Well done all!



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