Black Swan October 2015

Black Swan October 2015

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Auriole D’Souza







In this issue we read about the many activities District 17 has to offer in November.   There is also interesting information on ‘Competitive Speakers Perth’ and ‘Online Toastmaster Clubs’ including an article on our very own Halloween Quiz Night.  These and other news items will keep you informed of all that is happening in District 17.

Keep sending in your articles, we need these to inform our members of the fantastic opportunities we have in District 17!   Remember, the deadline for receiving your articles is the last working day of each month.

Kind regards



Auriole D’Souza
Black Swan Editor
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District Director’s Report

It is a busy November.

This is a fantastic district – we have some exceptional people both as leaders and members.  We are about to embark upon the busiest November D17 has ever had.

A themed quiz night held on a Saturday night (31 October) yet another change, was a fantastic night, another first for D17.  It is so exciting to see our district developing and trialling new ways to operate.  I am so honoured to be surrounded by such progressive leaders.

On Sunday, 8 November we have the District Executive meeting.  Our Division Directors and Area Directors present their report to the District, a report on the health of our clubs and its membership. These reports are then presented to the membership at the District Council Meeting (DCM).

Central Division and Southern Division contest finals will conclude the Division Contests until after Christmas.

On Thursday, 19 November, our Region Advisor (RA) will be here to visit some clubs, run workshops, and assist with district development.

The DCM is on Saturday, 21 November and the work is on to have all Presidents and VPEs present, to ensure the district is managed according to the Members’ Expectations.  Each club holds votes to be used at the DCM, votes that project and protect the future of the district.

We are going to hold our District Officer Training (DOT) before the council meeting.  Training our leaders is vital to the success of clubs and Members’ Enjoyment.  I am very much looking forward to spending time with our directors as we progress through the next phase of our training.

On Sunday, 22 November, another excellent workshop will be run in part by the RA which is our emerging leaders’ workshop.  This workshop will help all aspiring directors to understand the role and the commitment of a district leader.  This is a new workshop for D17 and encourages members who want to take a step into district leadership.  I am very much looking forward to listening to Philip’s (RA) take on this workshop and how D70 manage their emerging leaders.

The last day for all director reports to be recorded at TI is 30 November.

If I count the days in November it looks like minus 5 days to get everything done!

BUT WAIT, there is more, December 5 is the first TLI / COT for the end of year training period.  In an attempt to provide four training sessions (1 per division) and the fact January is still holiday time in WA, we are trialling a December start.

I encourage you to attend every event you can.  Make sure District 17 reflects the best option of members the very best future possible.

Aug-DD D17 Ian Pickens
Ian Pickens DTM
District 17 Director 2015-2016
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Upcoming Educational Events


PDQ Upcoming Events


Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Educational Awards


Many congratulations to the following toastmasters for achieving educational awards during the month of October.  These awards recognise your achievements and acknowledge the significant contributions to our clubs and our District 17.  I wish you continued success to achieve the goals that you set out to achieve for your personal growth and development in public speaking and leadership.




Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Competitive Speakers Perth

Demo Meeting – 11 November 2015.
Inspired by Ryan Avery – 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking.
2a- Martin O'Connor

Come along and join our new Toastmasters club!  Competitive Speakers Perth is holding its Demo meeting on 11 November.  We’d love you to come along and join in the fun.  This is our journey so far:

Ryan Avery, the 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, took to the stage as our District 17 keynote speaker at the Kalgoorlie Convention in May.

“We’ve set up a Competitive Speakers Club in Portland US.  We’ve set up 7 other Competitive Speakers clubs in other Districts.  We want to set one up in every District.  These are our aims – ‘My ears pricked up’.

 “Improve the quality and quantity of competitive speakers and judges at all levels, while providing expert feedback.”

I knew this was something I had to do.  I emailed Ryan and he responded enthusiastically.  I began Skyping with Anne Clare, an experienced Portland club member.  Sue Fallon and Peter Harrison became involved as the District Club Growth Director and Northern Division Director.  Catherine O’Brien and Almarie Meyer became involved as Area Directors.  Sponsors and mentors for the club were provisionally agreed.  On 10 October, three of us attended the Portland club meeting via Skype.

“Hello my Aussie friends, we’re so proud of you for setting up Competitive Speakers Perth”, Ryan said.  Lisa Evans, Brenda Njeru and I sat there in awe.  We enthusiastically joined in.  We were excited at the prospect of Competitive Speakers Perth.  Now you too, can experience the club for yourself.

Come to our Demo meeting on 11 November – being held at the Irish Club of WA, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco. 

Meetings will be held 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month – 6:45 pm arrival for a 7:00 pm start.

This is an advanced club.  Meetings are run in contest mode and we will alternate the contests held throughout the year.  You need to be a member of another Toastmasters Club and have completed 6 Competent Communicator speeches before joining.

If you are interested, please contact Martin O’Connor –, 0439 940 855.

Martin O’Connor – DREAM BIG (As Ryan and Ian both remind us!)

2b-Martin O'Connor

Martin O’Connor ACS, ALB
President Competitive Speakers Perth – 2015/16 (Pre Charter)
VP Membership Sandgroper Toastmaster Club – 2015/16

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Netmasters Online


Toastmasters International has recognised Online Toastmaster Clubs.

At last.  But our Perth based Netmasters was the first Toastmaster Club in the world to trial online attendance, first in Perth, and then from overseas.  Now, at last, this online meeting attendance has been recognised by World Headquarters.

The graphic above shows the TV screen for our October 2015 meeting.  You will see that there are 6 windows open on the screen.  Each shows members present at the meeting.  Reading from the top left, they are

Mary-Kate online in Ireland
Michelle, our President, onsite in Perth, delivering a speech
Colin, online in Banjup, Perth
Some of our members, onsite in Perth
Jackie, online in Gonubie, South Africa
Ben, online in Israel, our Toastmaster for the night

How do we do it?

We use technology from Zoom to have us all present at our meetings.
At the meeting, we can all see and hear one another.

We meet monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7.00-8.30 pm (UTC+8)
We meet “onsite” alternate months at two member houses near Fremantle.
Of course we have members and visitors who meet with us “online” as you can see above.

Are you interested to trial the experience?

You can visit our November 26 meeting.
Either “onsite” or “online”

If you are interested, contact David Nicholas.

David Nicholas DTM
Netmasters VP Education

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Emerging Leaders Workshop


Emerging Leaders Workshop Annoucement

Leonor Ragan-Sept 15

Leonor Ragan DTM
District 17 Program Quality Director 2015-2016

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Victoria Quay Has Two 20 Year Anniversaries This Year

Of course, every year is important. However we have two very important Anniversaries in 2015.
The first is our very first meeting.
The second is our Charter date as Club 5769.

April 12 1995 to Apr 15 2015

Some of our 1995 members came to our April 15 2015 celebration of our first meeting

We held our first meeting in the CY O’Connor Centre on Victoria Quay on Wednesday evening, April 12, 1995.

We held our 1000th meeting at the Fremantle Bowling Club on Wednesday evening, April 15, 2015

So that was our first 20 Year Anniversary

It took us seven months to build up our membership to the magic 20, required for Charter as a Toastmaster Club. We sent the application – and the money of course – to World Headquarters in mid November. The Charter was granted on November 27, 2015.

VQCharter Certificate_951127


So this will be our second 20 Year Anniversary on November 25 2015

November 1995 to November 2015

We have kept detailed records of

  • almost all our meetings
  • our Presidents and many of our Club Officers
  • our Outstanding Members
  • our Distinguished Toastmasters

These can be found on our website through the Program Menu

You can see a summary of our progress and success on the link on the front page of our website

About Victoria Quay

We will be celebrating our second 20 year Anniversary at our regular meeting, #1044, on Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015. During our 20 Year Toastmasters experience we have modified the standard Agenda in some drastic ways which have proved very successful. We welcome visitors – so if you would like to see what we do, contact David at the link below – or just turn up. Check the website for the best parking.

Victoria Quay Parking and meeting times

If you are interested, contact David Nicholas.

David Nicholas DTM
Victoria Quay VP Education

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Quiz Night

The Quiz night is over for another year!

I can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Well over a hundred people attended the 2015 District 17 Halloween Quiz Night.  Many took the plunge and dressed up for the occasion.  Our District Director, and his First Lady, both came wearing black and red with horns on their heads.  Many others, too numerous to mention, also dressed up in a variety of costumes.

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Everyone had fun as the Quiz Master Peter “Two Face” Petrich delivered seven rounds of questions, some easy, some difficult.

Early on, Terrack (Terrace and Durack) shot to the lead, and looked like they would win the night, while Mt Hawthorn showed everyone that their sights were set on the wooden spoon.  It all changed in the final round, when a strong finish by (Electric) Toasters and Kwinana forced the contest into a tie-breaker round.  After an intense three question round, Toasters emerged victorious and took home the Fountain of Knowledge Quiz Night Trophy.

The fight for last place was also strong with Victoria Park taking out the Empty Fountain wooden spoon.

A number of raffles and auctions were held on the evening and congratulations to all the winners.  The lucky winner of the entry ticket to the 2016 District 17 “City of Dreams” convention was won by Vanessa Chang of Canning Vale; the lucky winner of the “Dinner with a Toastmaster” was yours truly who is looking forward to the opportunity of dining with Maree Pickens and getting some inside information on the running of the District.

Thank you to everyone who attended and enjoyed the night; you helped us raise vital funds to help with organising the District 17 Convention.

A big thank you to all the clubs and individuals who donated goods, services or funds to help with the evening; it could not have been done without you.

I would like to thank all the people who organised the evening: Peter Petrich, Almarie Mayer, Catherine O’Brien, Mina Cho and Sebastian Davies-Slate; and all the people who worked tirelessly all day and night to set up the room, run the various events and finally clean up the room.

I am looking forward to attending next years’ Toastmasters District 17 Quiz Night.

Tom Bielski

Tom Bielski
Public Relations Manager, District 17 (2015-2016)

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Promoting Kwinana Toastmasters At The Festival Fair

9a-Marianne's article-photo

There are so many ways that Toastmasters can promote their club.  But what better way to do it than to set up a stall at a fair and get in with the community.

Kwinana Toastmasters took advantage of Kwinana’s Festival Fair Day held on 31st October 2015 at Rhodes Park, Calista to do just that.

The Festival Fair showcased the vibrant and spirited community of Kwinana.

“This Festival is the City of Kwinana’s landmark event that really brings our people together in celebration of our community,” said Mayor, Carol Adams.

Having had Carol Adams visit our club made it even more special as we talked and promoted Toastmasters to her Council members in a relaxed atmosphere.

We would like to think that many people already know about Toastmasters but this was clearly not evident on the day as we talked to and invited people of the community to come and visit us and see what we were all about.

Many tend to shy away from ‘public speaking’ so we sold it as ‘Communicating with confidence”.  As one of our members, Aanu Osinaike has said “We’re selling confidence for $90”.

What better way than to invite them to come along for a visit, even if they didn’t want to join, so that they can see what we are all about.  This is the best way to pass the message on.  There is someone out there that can be reached by just a simple invite by their friends who can tell them about Toastmasters.  The power of ‘word of mouth’ advertising goes a long way.

Members not only manned the stall but took turns to walk around meeting other groups in the community as they promoted the club.

So Toastmaster Teams, go out there and promote, promote, promote!

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” P.T. Barnum


Marianne Law
VPE-Kwinana Toastmasters

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