Black Swan Newsletter July 2022

District News

A new Toastmasters year and what a crazy start it has been.

Dear District 17 members

July is almost finished and it seems crazy that we are already one month into the new Toastmasters year. It has been very busy for the District team with people getting used to their new roles and rolling out the training and planning that happens at the start of each year. The District team still has a few vacancies that we need to fill and this has made something take a little bit longer to get done but we are getting there, though we do still need more helper (read the story below for more details).


International Speech Contest Update


Congratulations to Katrina Pereira, who represented District 17 in the International Speech contest as part of the World Championship of Public Speaking. Katrina made it to the Regional Quarter Finals, where she was unfortunately knocked out but a fantastic achievement to get that far. I know that Katrina surprised herself in getting that far and made we can hear more of her story in a future newsletter.


News on Speech Contests


We had been advised at that Speech Contests could be held in person this year but the Toastmasters International Board recently announced that contest will need to be either online or hybrid, with the District deciding via it’s District Executive Committee. More about this will be advised to clubs and members in the future.


Change to Badge Supplier


If you a member of a club that gives badges to their members using the local Australian supplier, please be aware that Barry who has been making the badges for the last 20 years or so has recently sold the business. Same badges, just a different supplier and a new order form which can be found on the D17 website (Club Badges - Order Form - Toastmasters International District 17 Western Australia (


Upcoming Events

We have a number of upcoming important District related events that I would encourage you to attend – to help recognise your fellow Toastmasters, to help raise funds for next years Conference and to meet new people, connect with old friends and have fun.


Club Growth Director Gavin Hyslop

Gavin Hyslop
District Director 2022-2023
District 17 Toastmasters International

Voting at Annual Business Meeting & assigning Proxies

Make your club's votes count for the future of Toastmasters International


If you are a President or Secretary of your club, you will have received emails about attending the Toastmasters International (Toastmasters) Annual Business Meeting so that you can vote on behalf of your club OR to assign a proxy for your club.

As background to newer members, each August Toastmasters holds it's Annual Business Meeting (ABM), similar to an Annual General Meeting, where representatives from the Clubs and District vote on the direction of Toastmasters for the following year. The vote of the future direction includes voting for representatives to the Board and on Proposal (or motion) which may change such things as the Club Constitution or the Policies & Procedures of Toastmasters.

Now you might think that Toastmasters is a 'big machine' and you cannot influence how it operates, which is true in some ways, but voting at the ABM is your clubs chance to influence what happens in the future, as each club has two votes that it can use to vote and therefore have some influence.

Being a global organisation with the ABM, typically held outside of Australian time zones, it is usually held in the middle of the night for us, and this year is no different. The ABM is being held on August 19 starting at 2pm CDT (UTC -5), which works out for us as August 20 at 2am.

Now whether you had a big Friday night or not, getting up at 2am on a Saturday morning to vote for your club during the period that the ABM is running, does not sound like the most exciting opportunity but it is an option and you might have a member in your club who is interested in attending.

However the unsociable hour of the ABM does not mean that you cannot make your club vote count, in line with common meeting practices Toastmasters allows a club to assign their votes to someone who is attending the meeting, typically called your proxy. In assigning your proxy you can just give your votes to the proxy, or you can direct them to vote in a particular way on the various items that are on the ABM agenda.

This year's ABM is being held as a hybrid meeting so you could attend online or assign you proxy.

Now please don't tell my wife but as District Director, I will be attending the ABM online so your club can assign their votes to me as your proxy or you can choose someone else or attend yourself.

If you are the President and Secretary, make sure your club's votes count by attending or assigning a proxy (it is done through Club Central and the emails will explain).

Make your club's votes count.

Welcome OMTID Toastmasters to District 17

District 17 welcomes our newest club, the OMTID Toastmasters Club and all it's members.

Reading this you might be wondering what OMTID means and it could be conjuring up all sorts of images, but most of them would be wrong. OMTID stands for Office of Major Transport Infrastructure Development, and is a combination of people from the Department of Main Roads and the Public Transport Authority. Together, they are delivering the major transport infrastructure projects for the State Government.

It is a restricted membership club, in that you need to work for the DMR or PTA but I am sure that they would welcome guests.

It has been hard work for the Committee getting the club chartered, a journey that has taken almost 12 months due to setbacks with COVID restrictions but they persevered and now are formally a Toastmasters Club being chartered on the 30 June 2022.

The Committee worked with a number of members from other clubs along the way and Carmel Luck deserves a special mention spending many of her lunchtimes at pre-charter meetings.

So if you hear of OMTID in the future, and you wonder what it means, now you know and welcome all the new and returning members to the District 17 family.

Your District Needs You

Yes, your District needs you.

Members who volunteer for roles are what makes the District run - Speech Contests, Training, Conferences, helping struggling clubs. Without members stepping up to fill the various roles, some of these things might struggle to be delivered or delivered well.

So we your help to fill the roles BUT it is also an opportunity for you to try new things and to learn new skills, or practice skills you already have.

There are still a number of vacancies that we need to fill. These are opportunities for you to help you fellow members and the District, while gaining some great skills and experience that are transferrable into your professional and personal life.

  • Division Director
  • Area Director
  • Administration Manager
  • Public Relation Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Events Coordinator

Training and support will be provided for ALL roles.

So come on, members. Your District needs you!

Any questions reach out to an experienced member in your club and if cannot help you directly then they will be able to point you in the right direction.



District 17 2022 Annual Awards Night

The last 12 months have been challenging for clubs and club committee's and yet in the challenging environment clubs and their members have achieved some great things.

The Awards Night is a chance to recognise your fellow clubs and members achievements from our District.  Now that we can socialise use this opportunity to network and celebrate this occasion with your fellow club or District members.

Where: Belmont Tennis Club

When: Saturday 6 August

Time: 6:30pm – 10.30pm

Cost: $50 per person includes Buffet Dinner

Dress Code: semi-formal


Reminder - Final Club Officer Training Session for Round 1

If you are a club officer this year, hopefully you have been able to attend one of the CLub Officer Training sessions that were held during July, but you have not there is still one session left as detailed below:

Session 4 - Open to all clubs

Hopefully all club officers will be able to attend one of this sessions for your own education about the role, which is important to ensure that you are able to help your club be a healthy club. Having a minimum number of club officers is also needed for the Distinguished Club Program.

Games & Trivia Night – 2023 Conference Fundraiser

Gather five of your smartest (or at least funnest) friends and get yourself a table at the Games & Trivia Night!

Events Hub Toastmasters Club is hosting this night of fun, fellowship and friendly rivalry to bring people together and raise funds for the 2023 District 17 Conference at the same time.

The night will be filled with trivia, games, silent auction and more. Be sure to bring along extra gold coins for a chance to win at additional games throughout the night.

BYO food/nibblies and there will be a cash bar. No BYO drinks.

Tables are $90, for a table of six.

Tickets available via Eventbrite only, see link below.

Donations of items and services for the silent auction are both very welcome and much appreciated. Please let Graham know if you can assist.

Feel free to bring along your families and friends. We hope to see you there!

Event Details

Date: Saturday 27 August 2022
Time: 6:00pm to 10:00pm for a 6:30pm start
Venue: Belmont Park Tennis Club, 351-353 Robinson Ave, Cloverdale.

Cost: $90 per table. Tables of six.
RSVP: Friday 26 August 2022 via Evenbrite

Contact: For more information, Graham Watson



Including educational segments in club meetings

You might have read the story in the last edition of the Black Swan about the importance of including educational segments in meetings and St Georges Club are taking this on but in a different way.

St Georges will be including a 3 to 4 minute educational segment into future meetings, and the educational segments will cover a range of topics, related to presenting speeches, etc but also about Toastmasters outside of the club.

Maybe something for your club to consider - do your members know about the structure of Area, Divisions, Districts and Regions for example, or do they know the leadership learning opportunities that they can access?

Think about how you can include educational segments in your meetings and expand the knowledge of your members and the opportunities that they have.


Club News

5th Year and Marching On!

Back (from left): Henry Yau, Heidi Su, Ethan Gao, Milvert Ling, Lincoln Pan and Patricia D’Cruze

Front (from left): Linda Lu & Betty Zhang

On 14th June 2022, the UWA College Row Toastmasters Club held our annual Club elections. It is a significant affair for our Club this year as we enter our 5th year since charter.

5th Year Celebration

Our fun-filled 5th year celebration was held on 22 March 2022. 5 (coincidence?) new guests joined us on this joyous occasion, three of whom revisited us at later meetings and one who joined us as a member!

Patricia D’Cruze, who assisted with the Club’s establishment during her tenure as Club Growth Director, also graced the event. She delivered a nostalgic keynote address, sharing memories from 5 years ago at our former Club venue which gave a Harry Potter vibe.

Lincoln Pan, a charter member, utilized his much-improved speaking skills to share his public speaking journey. According to Lincoln, 5 years ago when he first joined the Club, he could not speak on stage. He also encouraged the audience, acknowledging that it takes 7 to 10 years to master something (including public speaking), but 99% of the battle is won by just showing up!

Other fun sessions for the evening include Charades (try acting out ‘cutting a sandwich with a sword’) and Travelling Tales.


Next 5 years

5 great years had passed! What’s in store for our Club for the next 5 years? We do not know, but we do know who’s going to lead us for the first of the 5 years!

President: Betty Zhang

Vice President (Education): Linda Lu

Vice President (Membership): Rosalind Le Nir

Vice President (Public Relations): Heidi Su

Secretary: Ethan Gao

Treasurer: Milvert Ling

Sergeant at Arms: Henry Yau


Come and join us in marching on towards our next five years!


Club Meeting Details

Date: Fortnight Tuesdays (July meeting for example - 12th July, 26th July and so on)
Time: 7.00 – 9.00 pm
Venue: University Hall (130 Winthrop Avenue, Crawley WA 6009)


We all have to start somewhere …

The Melville Toastmasters Club celebrated its one year anniversary on the 23rd of June and it was indeed a celebration to talk about. Themed red, black and white, members, VIP’s and guests were entertained with a number of testimonials followed by a debate on “Age difference should not be an issue in a marriage”.

The highlight of the event was probably the feast that was put on by its members that left our bellies filled.

Many thanks to the Murdoch Southsiders for helping with the chartering of this club and for their support over the year to make sure we would get off our feet and become a successful club.

Many Thanks


President 2022/23

Melville Toastmasters Club


Member Stories

Tell us something about your Toastmasters Journey


This part of the newsletter is a opportunity for you, our members to tell us your story, or your club to tell the story of a member in their club.

We have had plenty of stories in the past but we are sure that there are many stories which have been told at a club but could also help other members. It might be a story about how being in Toastmasters has helped you get a new job or be more confident about dealing with your colleagues or family.

Looking forward to seeing more inspirational stories here.


Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients

This section recognises members educational achievements in the past month but with the reporting for the 2022/23 Toastmasters year not yet being available, you will have to wait until the next newsletter to see who achieved what.


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.

Gavin Hyslop, DTM
Stand In Black Swan Editor