Black Swan November 2016



Black Swan Newsletter

November 2016

Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Lisa Martin



Welcome to the November edition of the Black Swan Newsletter.   Thank you for your contributions this month. We have the regular news slots from our District Committee updating us on important Toastmaster matters. See quiz night and contest photos. Check if your cub passes the test, read about successful strategies to revitalise your club, celebrate club birthdays and find out how you can improve your skills with Competitive Speakers Toastmasters Club.

We encourage articles from members, this newsletter is ‘written by Toastmasters, for Toastmasters’. Guidelines for authors are at the end of this newsletter.


Enjoy finding out about your fellow Toastmasters, and what is happening in the clubs around our state.

lisa coffee

Lisa Martin
Black Swan Editor

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 District Director’s Update November 2016

The last month has been a very busy month with Area, Division Contests and preparation for District Council meeting and the upcoming visit of our Region 12 Advisor, Ellie Young. Ellie will be here in the West the week of the 18th to the 20th of November.

Ellie is one of fourteen Region Advisors in the Toastmaster global organisation. Ellie’s primary responsibilities include directing and overseeing the marketing of Toastmasters within Region 12 (comprising of Districts 17 (WA), 69 (Qld/NT & Papua New Guinea), 70 (NSW), District 90 (New South Wales, broadly north of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River), 72 (New Zealand) and 73 (SA/VIC & Tasmania). The Region Advisors specialises in assisting each District developing clubs to expand the Toastmasters network.  Ellie is from New Zealand, which has the highest percentage of Toastmasters per capita worldwide. Ellie will be presenting at District Officer Training outlining the importance of the membership-mentoring program as one of the important foundation stones in building, developing and maintaining a successful District.

.The District 17 November District Council Meeting

The District 17 November District Council Meeting

Calling All District 17 Delegates of the District Council Meeting. The first of the bi-annual District Council Meetings will be held on Saturday, 19th  November at 2:30pm and it will be held at The Innovation Centre, Technology Park, 9 De Laeter Way, Bentley.

For all Club Presidents and Vice Presidents of Education, the District Council Meeting is a golden opportunity for you to represent your clubs and have a voice in the direction and future growth of District 17. You are the only two club officers in your club to hold voting rights. There will also be short workshops running on the day. To all Presidents and VPE’s officers, this is a wonderful opportunity to attend and experience workshops from our experienced Toastmasters and our very special guest Region 12 Advisor, Ellie Young.

Thank you for your help

The afternoon Agenda will be as follows:

12:25 Region Advisor Ellie Young 20 mins
Area Director Guidance Role
12:45 Program Quality Director Sue Fallon 10 mins
Questions & Answers
12:55 DOT Close Leonor Ragan 5 mins
1:15 Region 12 Advisor
Personality Traits Ellie Young 55 mins
2.10 Close Sue Fallon 3 mins

The District Executives look forward to seeing everyone for what will be a very educational day.

Following the conclusion of the District Council Meeting, all Toastmasters are welcome to attend pre-dinner drinks and dinner from 5:30pm onwards at the Waterford Tavern, 230 Manning Rd, Karawara.

Area Directors Lodge Your Club Visits


Area Directors – please lodge your Club visits: submit

To qualify for the Distinguished Area Program, Area Directors must submit an Area Director’s Club Visit Report for first-round visits for at least 75 percent of their clubs before November 30. Please submit online through District Central.


Currently membership numbers are down by 21%. Many efforts from all our District leaders and club officers are underway. Great to see the team effort. Today we have close to 1,200 members that paid their renewals.

Recommend that you plan your  meetings well in advance. Include fun and engaging themes taking into account your members development and personal goals. With these objectives in mind members will want to continue the journey and make the most of the opportunities. Work with you Area Director.

You can check the progress of your club at Toastmasters International Dashboard at:


I have enjoyed attending eight Area Contests and the Eastern, Northern and Southern Division Contests.  I’m now looking forward to attending Central Division Contests and to see as many of our club members as possible. Humorous and Table Topics contests are always so much fun. Congratulations to all the Area Directors and Division Directors for holding very well organised contests.
Congratulations to the winners who will be representing their Divisions at the District 17 contests finals at District Convention in May from Friday 26th to 28th May 2017, we wish them all the best. Watch this space for upcoming fabulous news about our District convention at the Tradewinds in Fremantle. Save the date.

Club Coaches

Our district is in great need of volunteers to be club coaches. Out of the 80 active clubs 27 Clubs need a coach. If you or someone in your club would like to help one of our clubs, please volunteer. You will be surprised what difference you can make to a club that has a very low membership. The personal reward of making a difference is priceless. Please let our Club Growth Director Patricia D’Cruze know about your willingness to help. Her contact details are:

I would like to hear that we have enough volunteers to help our much loved clubs in our District 17. This is a call for action. Your assistance and support is very important without your support we can’t provide the support needed. Our members need you now.

Quiz Night


Congratulations to our Public Relations Manager, Almarie Meyer for organising a very succesful quiz night!!!  I truly enjoyed the evening and I’m very grateful for the achievement. The funds will help so much to make the convention tickets for everyone more affordable. Thanks again for your outstanding efforts. The night was very well organised and all the committee contributed tirelessly.

Thanks to all of our fabulous team for every single contribution that you do every day and to all our members in the district together we will achieve our club members’ goals and our own.













Leonor Ragan


Leonor Ragan DTM

District Director 2016-17

The Passion to: lead, communicate and achieve your goals

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Triple Crown Award October 2016


Graham R McDonald        DTM   CC, ACB, CL

Martin J O’Connor           CL LDREXC, ACG

District 17’s newest Triple Crown Award winners are Graham McDonald and Martin O’Connor.

Congratulations to you both on your achievements.



Sue Fallon District 17 Program Quality Director Perth Australia

Sue Fallon
District 17 Program Quality Director 2016-2017
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District 17 Education Awards for October 2016


ACB 10/12/2016 Fawell, Phillip D Applecross Toastmasters
ACB 10/09/2016 Macdonald, Graham R. Applecross Toastmasters
ACB 10/08/2016 Tierney, Olga Touch of Gold Toastmasters Club
ACG 10/09/2016 Liew, Yi-Choong Willetton Toastmasters
CC 10/31/2016 Dawn, Gillian Sandgroper Toastmasters Club
CC 10/27/2016 Applin, Steven Ellenbrook Toastmasters Club
CC 10/20/2016 Wilkinson, Ross Phillip WA Governors
CC 10/19/2016 Yu, Rena Canning Vale Toastmasters
CC 10/19/2016 Bielarczyk, Sheldon Canning Vale Toastmasters
CC 10/18/2016 Rotapel, Adam AECOM WA Toastmasters Club
CC 10/16/2016 Ning, Ruby Willetton Toastmasters
CC 10/13/2016 Davies, Jane G Golden Gourmet Toastmasters
CC 10/12/2016 Bell, Sol Ellenbrook Toastmasters Club
CC 10/10/2016 Rebgetz, Annette H Touch of Gold Toastmasters Club
CC 10/09/2016 Rayson, Angie Currambine Toastmasters
CL 10/20/2016 Jahmeerbacus, Reshma Desperados
CL 10/16/2016 Macdonald, Graham R. Sunday Sundowners Toastmasters Club
CL 10/12/2016 Watson, Brett Duncan George Rockingham Toastmasters
LDREXC 10/04/2016 O’Connor, Martin J. Competitive Speakers Perth

Terrific result – 19 Educational & Leadership awards lodged in the month of October – superb work District 17 Toastmasters!

Your achievements continue to be lodged and our District Members are continuing to work on and receive recognition for their personal goals, as well as contributing to the Distinguished Club Program for their Clubs.

These are terrific achievements – 3 Advanced Communicator Bronze, 1 Advanced Communicator Gold, 11 Competent Communicators, 3 Competent Leaders and 1 LDREXC

Make sure you are achieving your goals, and be sure to let your Vice President Education know about your personal goals.

Sue Fallon District 17 Program Quality Director Perth Australia

Sue Fallon
District 17 Program Quality Director 2016-2017
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Last Chance for unpaid renewals


Club Treasurers have the last chance to pay member renewals for both unpaid members and especially club officers.

A member must be in good standing with Toastmasters International to be registered as a club officer. If your club officers have not renewed by December 1, 2016, they will not be able to access Club Central to perform their role.

Please contact your members and fellow officers to ensure all dues payments are current and fully submitted to World Headquarters. Officers can view outstanding dues and submit payments online as follows:

  1. Log in to Club Central.
  2. Select your club’s name.
  3. Select “Pay Dues.”
  4. Select “equal any date” from the dropdown menu and submit your search.
  5. Select the order(s) by the member’s name.
  6. Enter payment information at the bottom of the screen, and click “Process Payment.”
  7. An order confirmation will be provided upon successful submission.

If your club Treasurer is away or does not know how to process the payment, please assist them. If a renewal payment is sitting in a club’s bank account it is not deemed as paid until submitted to Toastmasters International.


Patricia D’Cruze DTM
District 17  Club Growth Director 2016-2017
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D17 Upcoming events

Speaking for Success!

December 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

D17 Leadership Team is extremely proud to present …


Bob Hooey with his presentation “Speaking for Success!”

Bob Hooey is a successful motivational speaker, and has worked as both a leadership and an associated convention keynote speaker. Bob is a Distinguished Toastmaster from District 21 in British Columbia, Canada and was inducted into the Toastmasters International Hall of Fame as the 48th Accredited Speaker in the world.

Come along and enjoy this opportunity to either re-visit with Bob “Ideas Man” Hooey or listen to his excellent presentation on “Speaking for Success” for the first time.

Online RegistrationClick Here

Emerging Leaders Workshop


November 20 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Technology Park Innovation Centre

9 De Laeter Way Bentley

Interested in taking on a District 17 Leadership role – 2017/2018?

Come along to an Emerging Leaders Workshop to find out more!

TMI Region 12 Advisor – Ellie Young will be at the session to share her service knowledge and advice to interested persons, along with past and present District 17 Leaders.

To RegisterClick here!

Sue Fallon District 17 Program Quality Director Perth Australia

Sue Fallon
District 17 Program Quality Director 2016-2017
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Does your club website pass the test?

A club website can be one of the best ways to attract visitors and new members for your club, but wrong and outdated information can defeat the purpose. I have compiled a check list that you can use to see if visitors will be able to find your next meeting. If you find that your website does not meet the criteria then please speak to your club VPPR or website manager to have it updated.

If your club passes the test with flying colours then let us know and you will be touted as an example to other clubs at the club officer training sessions. Everyone will know how wonderful you are!

Part 1:  Critical information for visitors:

  1. Does the home page show the date, time and address of the next meeting? Ideally it should show the next 3 meetings.
  2. Is there a map showing directions to the meeting address? Will Google maps take you to the right address. Include details about parking and/or public transport.
  3. Do you have detailed instructions on finding the meeting room itself especially if it is hidden away at the back, upstairs or round the corner. A photograph will be very helpful here.
  4. Is it immediately obvious from the front page that visitors are more than just welcome and won’t be charged a fee to attend?
  5. Is there a “contact us” that goes to the correct person? An email or phone number that can be used without submitted the form would also be helpful here.
  6. Do you have photographs of smiling people? Visitors won’t go to a place that looks stressful.
  7. Do you have recent updates? Visitor s won’t contact you if the previous update was a year or even 6 months ago.

Part 2:  Not so critical, but could make or break the deal:

  1. Does the website have links to Facebook, Meetup, LinkedIn or any other social media sites? Make sure the link is working and the information on the other side is also current.
  2. Do you have Videos or links to videos? Select these carefully to make the best impression.

Part 3: Critical if your club wants to be in the running for the Positive Promotion Premiership:

 More info at

  1. Does the home page have the look and feel required by Toastmasters International? Toastmasters logo visible? Approved colours used? No customised trademarks on the home page.
  2. Is your website link on the district website listed correctly? check it at
  3. Are the details on the Toastmasters international website correct? Meeting times and dates, contact person, club address, link to your website?

If you have any questions or disagree with any of the items in the checklist then please contact me at


Almarie Meyer
District 17 Public Relations Manager 2016-2017
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Revitalising Southern River Toastmasters Club: Sharing successful strategies


When a club encounters falling membership numbers, there are a few things that can happen. Club Officers and members could disregard the red flag and take no action to stop the slide; carry on in maintenance mode and hope for a cyclical miracle; abandon ship and await rescue; or take affirmative action to address possible causes.

When Southern River Toastmasters faced this challenge, one member stood up, raised his hand to take charge as Club President. Roger Davenport designed a recovery plan and reinvigorated despondent members into supporting and actioning his strategy.

In my earlier article “Heal the Wounds”, I spoke about this strategy dealing with Leadership, Knowledge, Attitude and Program Quality. Our interim report card shows that Leadership has since been given a shot of adrenaline in the arm and more members are on board with visible support (rather than paying verbal homage). In terms of our Knowledge base, back-to-basics workshops continue with regular frequency and member engagement has strengthened. Members also volunteer advice to and mentor each other more readily. Attitudes as such are more positive and attuned to growth and progress. This leaves us with Program Quality which I would like to elaborate on in this article.

As a weekly club, having a static agenda week in and week out had led to indifference and disengagement. With a blueprint now in hand, we have forward planned our meetings until October 2017. Our Events Calendar will incorporate a Special Meeting twice a month where the Club initiates a uniquely different agenda.


Interclub Tall Tales (Wednesday 2 November)

Area S31 club members were invited to participate in this challenge to see who could spin the tallest tales. In addition to creating variety, the Tall Tales meeting aimed at fostering interclub relationships where the event could even be a drawcard for attracting dual-club members. Buzz word here is FUN!

Impromptu Speech Marathon (Wednesday 23 November)

Southern River Toastmasters will present off-the-cuff speeches of 3 – 5 minutes.  The Impromptu Speech marathon stretches our Table Topic skills even further for practical application in life. When called to give an impromptu speech in reality, our messages are usually expected to last longer than 1 to 2 minutes. This is an excellent opportunity for club members to practise developing a short speech with structure, fluidity and entertainment value at the drop of a hat.

Stay tuned to Black Swan for our future events.

All Toastmasters are invited to attend our Special Events as well as our regular weekly meetings. Don’t wait for us to trial the events and test the water for results. Regardless of your club membership status, put on your creative thinking caps and share your ideas via Black Swan. Let’s learn from each other to forge ahead!


Stephanie Chan
VPPR Southern River Toastmasters Club
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Terrace Speakers Birth Day – Let’s Celebrate!

‘A toast to you, in supporting the birth of our new club Terrace Speakers Toastmasters;

without you there would be no club. What began as a conversation this time last year

with many of you here today, has demonstrated commitment, perseverance and
dedication. I thank you’



These were the opening words for the toast by Club VP Education Robyn. Robyn acknowledged the contribution and support of members present, distinguished guests, including District Director, Leonor Ragan. Apologies were noted from absent members, supporters and well-wishers. Club President Sara conducted activities with the theme “birthday celebrations” and kept the meeting swinging along.

The clubs tag is ‘a club for busy people’. With this in mind, meetings are scheduled monthly on the 2nd Friday of each month. Membership is open and the club hosts a mix of experienced and less experienced members. What better way to celebrate this diversity than with newcomer Hilary treating the audience to her competent communicator project 2 speech, entitled, ‘How to Live a Long Life’, which provided tips and ‘food for thought’. ‘Love that bacon’ commented Sara afterwards!

Veteran Toastmaster, Medhat, demonstrated the CRC (commend, recommend, comment) evaluation techniques with feedback that acknowledged the individuality of member’s Toastmaster journeys.


Surprise birthday present? Not quite!

There was a surprise for Robyn when District Director, Leonor, took the opportunity to address the meeting and present Robyn with her trophy awarded for Toastmaster of the Year Eastern Division 2015-16.

Celebrations continued with networking over a light lunch. A fantastic birthday party!
A picture paints a thousand words.



Robyn Lloyd
VPE Terrace Speakers Toastmasters Club
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City of Perth Celebrates 30 Years!


City Of Perth Toastmasters Club celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Monday 7th November 2016.

What a tremendous effort! We had the pleasure of 4 past members returning to help us celebrate the occasion. These included foundation members Murray Jorgensen and Jane Walker.  Pascal Kelly came back from Hong Kong especially to join the celebrations, and Marlene Ward also attended. Each of them delivered a speech about their journey and time at City Of Perth.

They each spoke about their time at the club and why and how they joined.  They told us of the colourful members that were around during those days and the differences back then compared to now. It was certainly nostalgic and one could sense the pride in their voices.  All those that attended were in awe of their skills.

cop-30th-anniv-1 cop-30th-anniv-2 cop-30th-anniv-3

The club received many apologies from other past members and it was delightful to have received written testimonials that were read out during the meeting.  There were many highlights of the past 30 years that were mentioned during the night; these included our very own member, Ian Pickens, and past member, Pascal Amberville-Colby, who have been District Director and District Governor of District 17.  More recently, City of Perth were proud to host the 2016 Toastmasters District Convention which we named the “City Of Dreams”. We celebrated with a cake and some wines for evening.

The club has changed so much during the first 30 years but one thing still remains; the club still has lots fun with its meetings and this is a testament to all members past and present.

We look forward to the next 30 years.


Henry Yau DTM
VPE City of Perth Toastmasters Club
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Competitive Speakers Perth – Exposed!

Looking to improve your evaluations, table topics or speeches?

At Competitive Speakers Perth, you will meet some of the best speakers and evaluators in the District.  The quality of your evaluations improves dramatically and quickly when you attend our club regularly. Each of our Table Topics speakers, evaluators and speakers are given a round robin evaluation that is specific, encouraging and based off the official judge’s form.  We strive to reach our DCP goals yet we do not take club time to do our manual evaluations.  Each speaking/leadership role is asked to give a member his or her manual to fill out and discuss after the meeting.

The club offers 3 levels of feedback to our speakers:

Level 1 focuses mainly on commendations

Level 2 offers an even split of commendations & recommendations

Level 3 focuses mainly on recommendations

All feedback follows the YES principle:

Y = Yours, E = Encouraging, S = Specific

We are an advanced club for everyone.  To join, you simply need to be a member of another toastmasters club.  We’d love you to come and meet us.  We meet on 2nd and 4th Wednesday’s each month at 7pm at the Irish Club of WA, 61 Townsend Rd, Subiaco.

Evidence that this club works is clear.  The club is attracting the full range of toastmasters, from people with very little experience to regular competitors.  People are choosing to join for the right reasons too – to improve their skills!  This club is making a difference, and people love it.

Do you want to know what our District Director and other Toastmasters think of Competitive Speakers Perth toastmasters club?  Click here:

We are running an Evaluation / International speech workshop on Jan 25th.  More information will be available soon.


Martin O’Connor
President Competitive Speakers Perth Toastmasters Club
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Black Swan Newsletter Guidelines for Authors


  • Articles must be relevant or of clear interest to Toastmaster members.
  • Articles must reflect the TI core values; integrity, respect, service and excellence.
  • Articles must reflect the education and communication programs and goals of TI

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