Black Swan Newsletter November 2022

A Word from the Editor


Last week my cooking sent my mother in law to hospital.

You see, I love cooking. More correctly, I love hosting dinners. Those of you who have had the pleasure (I hope it was that) of having dinner at my house, know that I usually take pride in my cooking. Usually.

My parents-in-law are visiting us for six weeks from the beginning of this month. We have not seen them since before Covid, when we last visited them in Korea. And so last week was my turn to impress them with my cooking. Roast pork marinated in my secret sauce (a mix of sweet chilli and ketchap manis), herbed french fries and pickled radish.

Did I mention that I take pride in my cooking? I like to prepare well in advance, take my time organising ingredients, and make sure everything comes together at the right time.

But after getting back from the airport at 4.00 am, and only four hours of sleep, I must have been off my game. The fries were just crispy, and the pork looked perfect. But it wasn't. It must have not been cooked right through, because within five minutes of eating, my mother-in-law went pale and ran to the toilet clutching her stomach.

Two hours later she wasn't feeling any better. So at 8 pm we ended up at St John of God emergency room. After a battery of tests, lots of nausea medication, and a huge hospital bill, she was feeling better and we went home at 1 am.

Both her and I were feeling embarrassed; she that we had to go to hospital, I because my cooking sent her there.

If only I had been better prepared and more patient with the cooking I would have avoided the cost, the lost time and so much embarrassment.

They will be here for another four weeks. Hopefully I don't send them to the hospital again.






Leader Message

Great to see members challenging themselves

December is fast approaching and many clubs will be taking a break over the New Year. If your club has not already started to plan a special meeting then it’s not too late to start.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have been to quite a few speech contests over the last month or so and it is great to see members stepping outside their comfort zone and challenging themselves in a different speaking environment. Congratulations to everyone who has competed in a contest so far, and a special thanks to everyone who has helped put the contests on.

Dues Renewal & Struggling Clubs

The September dues was a difficult time for some clubs, who have had to make the difficult decision to not continue their club. This can happen for so many different reasons, and for many struggling clubs, the loss in members that they have experienced through COVID, has not been able to be countered by getting enough new members. It can be sad to see a struggling club not continue but if the members who are left, do not have any more fuel left in their tank to continue the club then moving on is sometimes the best thing for everyone. Hopefully the members who were there at the end decide to move onto another club and continue their learning journey with Toastmasters.

If you have a struggling club near you or one that has recently closed, maybe you can reach out and see how the old members are going and whether they need a hand.

Good luck to those still competing in contests, have fun and please offer to help out in running those contests.



Gavin Hyslop
District Director 2022-2023
District 17 Toastmasters International

Club Growth Director Gavin Hyslop




Learn the Fundamentals to Master the Art of Training.

From Speaker to Trainer

From Speaker to Trainer Workshop

Do you want to be a trainer?

Does your work contain an element of Training?

Do you want to share your Toastmaster knowledge with other Toastmasters?

If the answer to any of these question is "Yes" then you should to attend this workshop.

As Toastmasters, we have been trained to inform, influence, and inspire our audience. Trainers aim to transfer knowledge and skills through training workshops.

In this program you will learn:

  • The five steps involved in preparing and presenting a training program using adult learning principles.
  • The role of trainers and the differences between public speaking and training
  • How to make the learning experience enjoyable by participating in group exercises
  • Using Gap Analysis to determine training objectives
  • How to choose the right training methods
  • Application of facilitative techniques
  • Evaluation techniques your programs

Every participant will receive a workbook and a certificate. Afternoon tea is included.

There are limited places available.

Get you tickets here:

Event Details – From Speaker to Trainer Workshop

Date: Saturday 12 November 2022
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Venue: Tom Dadour Centre, 363 Bagot Rd, Subiaco

Cost: $20


Tim Blackburn
District Director Tim Blackburn

Pride Stories Showcase

Pride Stories

Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Club is partnering with Pride WA and the Town of Victoria Park to entertain you with a showcase of Pride Stories during Pride Month.

The open house event will entertain the audience with Pride Stories across the LGBTIQ+ community.

At Perth Rainbow Toastmasters we run a fun, professional and friendly environment to develop your confidence in public speaking and build your leadership skills for LGBTIQ community.

Get you tickets here:

Event Details – Pride Stories Show Case

Date: Wednesday 23 November 2022
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Venue: Connect Vic Park, 5 Mackie St, Victoria Park

Cost: $5


Tim Blackburn
District Director Tim Blackburn

How to Rebuild your Club Membership


District 17 Club Growth Director Jeff Zhang invites you to an afternoon of information sharing and best practices discussions. This interactive workshop will help you discover the resources available to assist you to increase your clubs’ membership.

In addition, you will learn how to leverage our rejuvenated club coach program to further help rebuild your club membership and improve the overall health of your club.

If your club would benefit from some help, then this workshop is a must for you!

By applying the learnings presented in the workshop you can help to increase your club membership.

Each club is different and, therefore, has different needs, so come along and explore the options available to your club.

While growing your club membership may be challenging, it is also equally rewarding—helping to rebuild just one club can positively impact many of our members.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 27 November 2022. 

Registration is essential via the Eventbrite link:

Event Details:

Cost:               FREE

Date:               Sunday 27 November 2022

Time:              14:30pm to 17:00pm

Venue:           The Palms Community Centre, Corner of Rokeby Rd and Nicholson Rd, SUBIACO, WA 6000


Jeff Zhang
Club Growth Director 2022-2023
District 17 Toastmasters International


Club News

Belmont Toastmasters is Rocking Rock Climbing

On the 22nd of October, Belmont Toastmasters had a social gathering event at the Adrenalin Vault – the WA largest indoor rock climbing gym.

Fortunately, the event venue is only a stone’s throw from our regular Toastmasters meeting venue, which is a convenient location for our members. As everyone was keen to rack up their heart rates and burn some calories after a cold winter, we received great interest from the members.

Click Image for Larger View

As an event organiser, I took this opportunity to incorporate this social event into my Level 4 Pathway Project – Leading in Difficult Situations. I started with a presentation about the indoor rock climbing event. This led to a brainstorming session with the club members on possible disruptions to the plan. I then addressed the challenges and managed the disruptions suggested by our members. This was a fun project but more importantly, it helped me think about what could possibly go wrong and what I could do to prevent the disruptions from happening.

With good planning, the event went smoothly on the day. We did bouldering and top rope. We started with instructions on how to climb safely and how to fall safely. We then moved on to learn how to use the harnesses for top rope and how to belay safely.

After learning all the rock climbing basics and a solid practical run, we had time to rock-climb on our own. This was the time when everyone showed our teamwork and helped each other out to reach to the top. Rock climbing is a great exercise to train our mind and body to overcome all obstacles in front of us and push ourselves to a new height. I thought this fit well into the core values of a Toastmaster club.

Once we accomplish the goals we set for ourselves, a sense of joy and satisfaction gushes out from our hearts. It is the same feeling you get when you’ve delivered a speech that you’ve worked on and prepared for some time. On top of that, an ice-cream after the event is equivalent to your evaluator telling you “good job”!


Richard Yap
Belmont Toastmasters

Happy 30th Anniversary to Northbridge Toastmasters!

northbridge 30 anniversary

Northbridge Toastmasters held its first meeting at the newly created Northbridge Tax Office on 12th November 1992.

This followed the decision to move the current Perth based tax office club, Exchequer Toastmasters, to the Cannington Taxation Office.

On 13 February 1993 Northbridge Toastmasters was officially launched during a charter dinner at Marco Polo restaurant on Francis St, Northbridge. The banner was presented to club founder, Bernie Andersen, by District Governor Eammon Moran.

Several of the foundation members of Northbridge Toastmasters were foundation members of Exchequer Toastmasters. 30 years later Northbridge Toastmasters is still operating with one of the foundation members, John Bethell, an active member.


Fiona Martyn


Education Awards: Recognising our Educational Award Recipients


In October, 32 members from District 17 lodged 42 awards! Congratulations to everyone who earned an award.

This brings the total number of awards for the year to 181.

Four members completed their level 5, Graham Watson DTM, Hannah Valenti, Anand Polath and Allen Hahn DTM. Congratulations!

Leon O'Brien DTM and Anand Polath both achieved an incredible three awards this month, however the leaders are still Julie Dall, DTM, Janice Schubert and joining them is Ross Wilkinson DTM, each with six awards for the year so far.

The Club with the most awards this month is Rockingham Toastmasters with a whopping 10 awards which brings them into joint 5th position for the year, with Canning Vale still with the most awards  at 20.


The most popular path so far is Presentation Mastery with 34 awards, while Effective Coaching still on only 7 awards each. Come on all you Coaches! Let's work on getting some awards.

These are the individual awards for the month of October:

Member Name Club Name Path Level
Jessica Widjaja bToasty Perth Toastmasters Club Presentation Mastery 1
05334314 - Name unavailable Rockingham Toastmasters Persuasive Influence 1
Vanessa Hay Rockingham Toastmasters Leadership Development 1
Leon P. O'Brien Rockingham Toastmasters Dynamic Leadership 1
Anand Polath Durack Club Strategic Relationships 1
Ross Wilkinson Fremantle Gourmet Toastmasters Club Engaging Humor 1
Keely Maitland Maylands Toastmasters Club Presentation Mastery 1
06978925 - Name unavailable West End Toastmasters Club Team Collaboration 1
Nathan Brown West End Toastmasters Club Visionary Communication 1
Lloyd McAuley Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Dynamic Leadership 1
Pascale C. Amberville-Colby Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Dynamic Leadership 1
03423337 - Name unavailable Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Engaging Humor 1
Eko Sukoco Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Innovative Planning 1
Graeme Medling Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Innovative Planning 1
07494375 - Name unavailable Toasting Human Energy Toastmasters Club Innovative Planning 1
Tony Tan Melville Toastmasters Club Dynamic Leadership 1
67515401 - Name unavailable Rockingham Toastmasters Presentation Mastery 1
Robyn Richards Harrisdale Piara Waters Toastmasters Club Persuasive Influence 1
Desmond Miranda Butler Toastmasters Club Engaging Humor 2
05334314 - Name unavailable Rockingham Toastmasters Persuasive Influence 2
Leon P. O'Brien Rockingham Toastmasters Dynamic Leadership 2
Ignatius Munjodzi Butler Toastmasters Club Presentation Mastery 2
03423337 - Name unavailable Perth Rainbow Toastmasters Presentation Mastery 2
Anand Polath Durack Club Strategic Relationships 2
07494375 - Name unavailable Toasting Human Energy Toastmasters Club Innovative Planning 2
Vanessa Hay Rockingham Toastmasters Leadership Development 2
Christina Ng Canning Vale Toastmasters Persuasive Influence 2
Chan Lee Zoom-Masters Presentation Mastery 2
Matthew McCoy Butler Toastmasters Club Engaging Humor 3
Juliana Kelly Zoom-Masters Persuasive Influence 3
Isabelle Khoo UWA Persuasive Influence 3
Morrie D. Goodz Donnybrook Gourmet Toastmasters Team Collaboration 3
Darren A. Law Banyandah Toastmasters Club Strategic Relationships 3
Leon P. O'Brien Rockingham Toastmasters Dynamic Leadership 3
Hannah Valenti Rockingham Toastmasters Presentation Mastery 4
Matthew McCoy Butler Toastmasters Club Engaging Humor 4
Dorothy Chanakira Sunday Sundowners Toastmasters Club Team Collaboration 4
Moira Clay Maylands Toastmasters Club Presentation Mastery 4
Graham P. Watson Southern River Toastmasters Presentation Mastery 5
Hannah Valenti Rockingham Toastmasters Presentation Mastery 5
Anand Polath Durack Club Innovative Planning 5
Allen Hahn Durack Club Motivational Strategies 5

What does "Name Unavailable" mean?

When a member decides to not make their name public, it will appear as "Name Unavailable".

If you wish to change your privacy options, log into and go to your Profile. You will see a section called Privacy and Consents. The last part is Your Name on Public Reports. You can set that to display your name or not.


Help with the Website

This is my second year as the webmaster for District 17. This year I would like to dedicate more effort to updating our website, and I am looking for Contributions from You!

Do you have any District 17 memories to share? Do you have any stories you can contribute?

I am looking for any and all of the following, and more:


  • Photos and videos from district events, like District Conventions/Conferences;
  • Fliers, brochures, marketing material from past events;
  • Videos of great speeches, from contests or from your club;
  • Toastmasters Success Stories;
  • Testimonials/ Good news stories;
  • anything else relating to the district.


Any of these materials will make our website rich in content for our members as well as for any visitors and prospective members.

Please send any material to

Tom Bielski, DTM


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!

You can now submit your article online! Click here to submit using Google Forms.

Or, 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 400 words
  • Please supply images with the best picture quality available
  • Supply names of people shown in images.
  • Attach your profile picture

Gavin Hyslop, DTM
Tom Bielski, DTM
Stand In Black Swan Editors

1 Comment

  1. Avatar for Mina Mina on November 17, 2022 at 9:05 PM

    The rock climbing looks amazing! Well done Belmont Toastmasters 🙂

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