Black Swan Newsletter November 2021

District News

District Director's Adress

Over the last few months, it has been great to see Area and Division Contests return to face to face.

The contests provide an opportunity for our members to develop their skills in a competitive environment and in front of a different audience. Developing humorous speaking skills or fine-tuning table topics skills in a pressured environment is challenging yet very rewarding.

It is great to see the clubs putting forward so many talented speakers.

Putting together Area & Division contests requires a lot of work, and I am very grateful to all the Area & Division Directors across District 17 taking this on. It requires a great deal of teamwork and coordination to execute a successful contest. Thank you to everyone who has helped whether it be as a contest chair, judging, taking on a supportive role or just being there to support your club members.

One of the significant benefits of attending the Area and Division contests is connecting with members of other clubs and spending time getting to know them. I have attended many   Area & District finals and have been entertained and thoroughly impressed with the quality and the creativity of the speeches.


Over the next few weeks, several Division Contests will take place. .  If you have time to attend one of these finals, I encourage you to go along and support them.  Not only will you have a great time but also will meet many other members outside of your home club.

See you at the Division Finals.


Southern Division Contest Final

Date: Saturday 13 November 2021
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Venue: Corinthian Park Hall, 3794 Beatice Ave, Shelley
Cost: free


Eastern Division Contest Final

Date: Sunday 14 November 2021
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Venue: Midland Junction Arts Centre, Midland
Cost: free


Central Division Contest Final

Date: Saturday 20 November 2021
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Shenton Park Community Centre
Cost: free



District Director Tim Blackburn

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

What do you want for Conference 2022?

The Annual District Conference is a popular event where we hear a keynote speaker, attend workshops, see the finals of the Contests and attend the District Council Meeting to vote on District leaders for the coming year.

This year Toastmasters International has specified that we must hold the conference either completely online or in a hybrid mode.  We are not allowed to have a fully in-person event ☹

We need your input!  What type of conference would you be interested in attending?
Please let us know at by 20th November so that we can plan!

Thank you.




Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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


Calling all Presenters!

Do you have a message that you think will benefit your Toastmaster colleagues?
It can be Toastmasters-related, Self-Development, Soft Skills, Public Relations or Technology?

I’m looking for people who would be interested in presenting either in person or via zoom at workshops to provide benefit to Toastmasters in District 17.  

If you’re interested, please complete the survey at

Thank you.



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



Ask the Palimentarian

The Toastmasters Club Constitution is part of the Toastmasters International Governing Documents.
Every Toastmasters club is governed by the club constitution, however, each club should complete the Addendum of Standard Option in Club Central, which outlines specific rules and regulations for your club.
It is a good idea to have a look through the governing documents so you have a working idea of the general rules of running a club. In this column, I include relevant sections from the governing documents that make up the Constitution.
(See here for full document

The Club Constitution

ARTICLE I : Purpose. 
The purpose of a Toastmasters Member Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.


ARTICLE II: Membership

Active Membership/Member Responsibilities
Section 3

Active individual membership is conferred upon a paid member in good standing (a member who has paid their membership fees) with Toastmasters International. Active individual members attend club meetings, have voting privileges, may be elected as an officer of the club, shall be counted towards a quorum of the club membership, may participate in speech contests if they fulfill the other eligibility criteria, and may have a place on the regular speaker’s program.
All active individual members shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of this club, and all individual members shall share in its responsibilities. These responsibilities shall include support of its purposes and constructive contribution to its program and activities.

Inactive Membership
Section 4
Inactive individual membership is provided for as follows:
(a) Inactive individual membership in this club may be conferred by the executive committee of this club on any individual member requesting an extended absence from club meetings, or who wishes to maintain individual membership without regular attendance at club meetings.
An individual member may also be classified as inactive for continued absence without notice.
An inactive individual member may be restored to active individual membership by the Club Executive Committee upon request, provided there is a vacancy on the active roster of this club.
(b) Inactive individual members shall have no voting privileges, shall not hold office, shall not be counted toward a quorum of the club membership, and shall not participate in speech contests.
They are not entitled to places on the regular speakers’ program but may serve as substitutes when requested by the Club President or the Toastmaster of the meeting.
They may also participate in club discussions and serve as evaluators.
However, this club may count any inactive individual members toward qualification for minimum Toastmasters International standards for Member Clubs. Inactive individual members shall pay at least such portion of their club dues as this club pays to Toastmasters International as the membership payment for such inactive individual member, and shall pay any additional amount specified in the addendum.


ARTICLE III: Club Dues and New Member Fees

Club Dues
Section 1
The dues of this club for active and inactive individual members shall be as stated in the addendum.
Such dues shall be payable in advance at such time as this club shall designate. Dues shall be paid by all individual members and by the dates specified to maintain individual membership in this club.


Club New Member Fee

Section 2
The club new member fee for individual membership shall be as stated in the addendum. Such fee shall be payable when an individual membership application is filed with a club officer. The fee shall be returned if the application is not accepted. Immediately upon acceptance of a new individual member, a club officer shall notify World Headquarters and each new individual member, on payment of this fee and the applicable dues, shall be received into this club. Co

Contact the Parliamentarian for any queries or assistance you may need.
I am available to help you find where the answer to your question is.
If you have a subject you wish me to address please contact me.


Parliamentarian Tip for November.
To call the meeting to order – 2 taps of the gavel
To adjourn the meeting – 1 tap of the gavel.
Continuous loud tapping is considered to be in poor taste and aggressive.



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

Revised Level 1 Released in Pathways

As of October 28th, 2021, new paths purchased will have a revamped Level 1!!! (Paths purchased prior to this date will have the original Level 1).

The new level 1 looks like this:

With Writing a Speech with Purpose and Introduction to Vocal Variety and Body Language being added, and the Researching and Presenting project which used to be in Level 1, is now an elective in Level 3.

Goal and tracking sheets can be found at!AkT6T_q-LXaFkLV9vhPR69zWf_0Zog to help you plan your pathways journey.



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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

Round 2 of Club Officer Training Starts November

Club officer training for Round 2 of the 2021/22 Toastmasters year starts on November 27, 2021 with an in-person session at Bob Daniels Community Centre (895 Beaufort St, Perth).

Register for all sessions using the link below:

Date  Time  Location Registration Link
Sat 27/11/2021 1.45pm - 5.00pm Bob Daniels, Inglewood
Sun 30/1/2022 9.00am – 12.30pm Tech Park Function Centre, Bentley
Sat 5/2/2022 All Day Zoom  
Sun 20/2/2022 All Day Zoom
Thu 24/2/2022 6.00 – 9.00pm Zoom

Details on the workshops at the All Day sessions will be coming out in the New Year.



Program Quality Director Julie Dall

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

FREE WORKSHOP - Learn about transferable leadership skills from Toastmasters

‘I did not know that I could learn some many transferable skills from being a member of Toastmasters’.

This was the feedback from many of the people who attended the last workshop organised by the Aspiring Leaders club. 

The next meeting promises to be valuable as well. Our guest speaker for our November workshop is Lesley Storkey, International Director for Region 12. She sits on the International Board helping represent the members of Region 12 (our Region, so she is in effect your International Director).

Come along and listen to Lesley talk about leadership, and let her inspire you with her experiences in Toastmasters. You will also be in the good company of District leaders, past and present, passing on their leadership knowledge.

Best of all,  the workshop is  FREE.

The workshop will be online so you do not need to worry about transport or parking; it is being run by Aspiring Leaders in conjunction with the Northern Division team on the 18th November, starting at 6pm.

Register using the following link:

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

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, 18 November 2021
Time:  6pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Cost: FREE



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


Club News

[Western Division] Humorous & Table Topics Contests Winners

What makes for a good contest?
The organisation helps a good contest flow smoothly.
First, we need contestants who take on the challenge with enthusiasm, courage and support.
Next, we need members who volunteer to take on official roles to support the organisers.
And finally, the audience who fill the room, laugh, enjoy themselves and make the contestants feel recognised.
Oops, let’s not forget the food, and the company of other like-minded toastmasters to chat about all things contests.

Saturday, 30 October had all these ingredients at Western Division Humorous and Table Topics Contests held at Beeliar Community Centre.

Congratulations to all the contestants and thank you to all the officials and audience members who contributed to making it a great contest.

Our results:

Humorous Speech Contest: 

  • 1st Rosa Cummins, Talkabout Toastmasters
  • 2nd Kutty V.K. Melville Toastmasters
  • 3rd John Palmer, Fremantle Gourmet

Table Topics Contest

  • 1st David Muwandi, Cockburn
  • 2nd Nathan Cuthbertson, UWA
  • 3rd Madalyn Canci, CGH

Congratulations. Rosa Cummins and David Muwandi will advance to the District Finals next May at the District 17 Conference.



Division Director Western Barbara Coles

Barbara Coles, DTM
Western Division Director 2021-2022
Toastmasters International, District 17

Developing Impromptu Skill with Off-the-Cuff TM Club

Looking to develop impromptu speaking skills?

Off-the-Cuff Toastmasters Club will show you how in a friendly and supportive club environment!

We recently moved our meeting location to Canning Vale to increase the appeal of the club. The new venue, courtesy of John Palmer, is spacious, inviting and conducive to learning off-the-cuff speaking skills.

I love still getting surprises from club meetings after joining the club 12 months ago. Except for the Toastmaster, no one knows what speaking role they will have;  even the speakers, and their topics, are selected at the meeting.

The club really pushes members to their limits by giving impromptu speeches longer than 2 minutes. Every meeting we have three members deliver 5-7 minute impromptu speeches, and two members present Mystery Sessions where they present various impromptu speaking challenges.

We also have drinks and light refreshments after every meeting. Each month, each of us brings a plate to share and get to know one another better. Our four DTMs are very friendly and generous in sharing how members can improve their impromptu speaking skills!

If you are looking to grow your impromptu speaking skill or go beyond your comfort zone, come join us at the upcoming December meeting with both our experienced and newer members. No preparation required.

Please contact John Palmer DTM or any friendly fellow Off the Cuffers below to enquire about your visit.

Learning speaking off-the-cuff with our friendly DTMs at the Off-the-Cuff Toastmasters Club


[Event Details]

Date: Thursday 2 December 2021
Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Venue: Jacaranda Gardens, 7 Clere Pass, Canning Vale.
RSVP: John Palmer DTM  0429 001 337
Tom Bielski DTM 0404 843 895
Dennis Chong 0488 904 260

Contact: John Palmer DTM  0429 001 337


Dennis Chong
Club Sponsor, Off-the-Cuff Toastmasters

And his fellow Off-the-Cuffers: Henry Yau DTM, John Palmer DTM, Tom Bielski DTM, Mina Cho DTM, Frank Crisafio, Katrina Pereira, and Vanice Tay


Member Stories

Leaders Focus: Conversation with Dipak Saha

In the August Leaders Focus, Katrina interviewed the I43 Area Director, Dipak Saha. Dipak is an accomplished speaker and a strong advocate for mental health. 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!

My First Contest

On the 26th of October 2021, I participated in my first humorous speech competition - representing Applecross Toastmasters. Being my first time competing, here are my 3 takeaways from the night.

1. Blown away: I met a number of my fellow competitors from the other clubs. I quickly gathered I was not the only first-timer on the night, and that everyone had a different strategy to cope with nerves! It was a privilege to watch the Table Topics competitors go at it, I must say the question given was tricky! Every competitor handled the question well, putting their unique twist on it and showcased a variety of impromptu speaking techniques. Very impressive! I learned and soaked up as much as I could take in!
2. Networking: Toastmasters offers a great opportunity for members to network. As I mentioned earlier, I met a few new faces on the night from various other clubs within the same area - I was amazed when some members told me they have been honing their craft for more than 10 years! No doubt we will cross paths again in the near future! When I delivered my speech, the audience was also hugely supportive and that filled me with a sense of confidence to do my best!
3. Gratitude: I congratulate Murdoch Southsiders Toastmasters Club, area directors and club presidents for putting on such a wonderful event and for all the unseen work behind the scenes. I would also like to congratulate every person who took part in the contest and every person who showed up on the night to support us. Lastly, I want to thank Tim Leen our Applecross club president for coaching me in the lead-up.
Till next time,
Bernie Wong
Vice President Public Relations
Applecross Toastmasters Club
Area S32, Southern Division



Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients

District 17 wants to acknowledge those people who have received Level Completion awards in Pathways in October 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