Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Masterclass with a world champion in a world-class setting

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking Jock Elliott

Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking Jock Elliott

In June 2015, lucky Toastmasters will have the opportunity for the speaking holiday of a lifetime: a masterclass session with Jock Elliott  followed by Speaking Competitions held in the stunning location of Norfolk Island is on offer a small group of Toastmasters from District 69, District 70 and District 72.  What an opportunity.

Click the link for more details and information on how to book or find out more.

Flyer-Norfolk Speak Easy Group-June2015(Print)

Celebrating in style: a whole lot of anniversaries in one

Saturday, November 15th, 2014


Area 10/28 combined celebration for 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters

Area 10/28 combined celebration for 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters

Area 10/28 combined celebrations for  the 90th Anniversary of Toastmasters and 40 years of women in Toastmasters were held at beautiful Anzac Park Maryborough. Clubs represented – Wine and Dine, Leaders by Design, Fraser Coast, SpeakEasy, Talk of the Bay, Maryborough, Weblec, Gympie, G’day Club (I/F). Areas 10 and 28 from District 69 Australia. Great lunch, fantastic company.

Toastmasters International Convention, August 2014

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
MikeStorkey DTM, Second International Vice President

Mike Storkey DTM, Second International Vice President

Greetings Region 12 Toastmasters

If you haven’t already done it, it is time to seriously consider registering  for the Toastmasters International Convention from Wednesday 20 August to Saturday 23 August in Kuala Lumpur.  Why would you want to do this?

In 2014, for the FIRST time, the Toastmasters International Convention will be held outside of North America. More than 3,000 Toastmasters from across the globe will be there.  YOU could be one of them.

Toastmasters International Convention is a special experience. Be inspired by outstanding speakers and workshop presenters. See the  World Champion of Public Speaking contests. Learn about new policy directions from the Board of Directors. Participate in the election of your international governing body.  Make lasting friends with Toastmasters throughout the world.

Distance and cost prevent many Toastmasters from Region 12 from going to the annual Convention in North America. But this opportunity is right in our backyard.

For Toastmasters in Region 12 – Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – this may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the International Convention. Don’t miss this opportunity – it may not come again!

Mike Helm Region 12 International Director

Mike Helm Region 12 International Director

 Now is the time to register for the Convention.  Full details are provided on the Toastmasters International website. On-line registration is easy.

Cheap airfares are still available through the registration process or from an airline of your choice. Why not sign up now for an unforgettable Toastmasters experience?

See you at the 2014 Convention in Kuala Lumpur.

Mike Storkey DTM, Second Vice President

Mike Helm DTM, Region 12 International Director



Outback community learning style in action in the Territory

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Over four years ago at the District 69 Convention it was noted that while Area 9 had a significant indigenous population it did not have one indigenous member, let alone an indigenous club. The cogs of Toastmasters work slowly but persistence has its rewards.

Charles Darwin University Rural Campus is fifteen minutes from Katherine which is remote, renowned for its stunning gorge, and its not so stunning fruit bats and delicious mangoes. Toastmaster Shirley Alison planned the community indigenous workshop, found the funding and organised the participants. We had use of excellent facilities. My brief: “To instil confidence and leadership skills into the indigenous youth from remote communities in a two day workshop”.Shirley at work

My attempts to arrange the tables and chairs required guidance and knowledge of local custom that dictates that the speaker not have his or her back to anyone. This was solved by using a large semi-circle so all participants could sit in the back row.

Our participants were twenty six indigenous youth, for most of whom English is a second or third language, requiring them to translate into their native tongue and back again to speak. Few can write with ease. Most are shy, some extremely shy, and family relationships determine who can sit alongside whom, in a strictly observed respectful system. Looking around the room I begin to realise just how flexible I will need to be to adapt to their culture and expectations. My beautifully bound forty page manual, with the finely timed program, and the evaluation check books demonstrate to me how much I have to learn about how learning can effectively take place in this setting.


The workshop was evaluated by some local dignitaries including two Shire CEO’s, members of the stolen generation, the Australia Post representative who funded the workshop, Charles Darwin University staff, Marilyn Freeman the District DG and other indigenous and local interested parties.

The participants were from three different regions, Borroloola, (Borulula) Ngukurr (Nooka) and Numbulwar (Numbala). These areas are six to twelve hours away along dirt roads and divided from each other by hundreds of kilometres of impassable coastal territory, with little interaction. My standard ice-breaker hits a brick wall due to their shyness. Next we try ‘the pledge’. This works better, especially when I enthusiastically lead the reading of the pledge which concludes:

I promise to support and encourage everyone in the room, including the over enthusiastic presenters and will trust in everything they say – for today anyway, after that “Who gives a damn!!!”

Thanks to Darren LaCroix, who introduced me to ‘the pledge’.

Humour at work

Humour at work

Time for the first break: as I drink my cup of tea, I contemplate the next module “How to plan a memorable speech in ten minutes” and wonder if using mind maps is such a great idea. Shirley organises a marshal to ensure everyone stays on track. We achieve 100% muster. A performance repeated at the end of every session. We divide the group into five mixed up groups and start working on joint speeches.

They soon get the hang of the main mind maps. The groups chatter and laugh sometimes breaking into their community languages. We work on the speech mind maps built around our structure: opening overview; main points 1,2,3; supporting point telling a story, accommodating humour; followed by the close, summing-up and a call to action. Gradually the speech mind maps took form, with each of the team of five taking on one section of the speech.

The evaluation education session next, instilled the Toastmasters “Commend, Recommend, Commend” hamburger format. When we were ready to start presenting the speeches one of the young coordinators came out and wrote on the white board, “Be Game, Not Shame” in large letters. I then understood that “shy” and “shame” are interchangeable in their language. As the speeches proceeded the shyness was very visible. But the support from the stronger members of the teams for those struggling, was inspirational. No-one was ever left in shame, someone would slip in bedside those struggling to quietly help them out.

Group work on speeches

Group work on speeches

An impromptu speaking education session was made relevant by Shirley used her local knowledge to present topics that were applicable to community life. The responses might have been a bit stilted as the participants shyly answered Shirley’s open questions, BUT, the great thing was that everyone took part. Everyone had a go.

Judicious editing of the day’s video recording provided a great boost to everyone’s confidence when we played back the edited video on day 2. From this experience I learned again the power of positive laughter and also saw how well the participants could work with visual recall. Preparing the groups for the final presentation Shirley explained that for the workshop to be repeated for other communities, they had to put on an amazing final show. From then on all stops were out and everyone visibly tried their hardest demonstrating an awe-inspiring commitment to the larger community.

The feedback was hugely encouraging. The Katherine and Roper Gulf Shire CEOs said they could not believe what had been achieved in under two days. Michael Berto, Roper Gulf CEO, suggested Toastmasters should work with their eight hundred staff to lift confidence, and improve communication and leadership skills. Marilyn Freeman, District 69 Governor, shared a Toastmasters perspective. The local Postmistress, Jane, who had organised the funding presented the certificates, and finally, an indigenous woman from the stolen generation impressed on the participants the importance of being good communicators and strong leaders.

Where to from here? A Stolen Generation workshop is planned for March 2014, the Katherine club plans to meet with Roper Gulf Shire and will work on funding for future workshops. Youth Coordinator from Borroloola, Luzy, plans to join Katherine Toastmasters and she is working on bringing the Toastmaster activities to her Booroloola community. All this from a club Chartered three days after the workshop with only one experienced Toastmaster. A twelve minute video presentation on the workshop outcomes was presented at the annual Post Office community funding committee meeting in Darwin. This was well received and has put Katherine Club in a very strong position for future funding.

mindmaps1And now my “Call to action.” I believe we will have a number of workshops needing presenters in outback Australia offering funded travel and an amazing and rewarding opportunity for experienced Toastmasters. Even closer to home we may find groups, who can really benefit from increased confidence and leadership skills. My challenge to you is, as a Toastmaster, find out how you can make a difference, and in the words of our wonderful young participants “Be Game, Not Shame”.


David Burston joined Toastmasters in 2008. Currently President of Marlin Coast Club in Cairns, he has been an Area 9 Governor, Northern Division Governor, and District 69 PRO for two years and is a Toastmaster Ambassador. With help from many David condensed and documented the Speechcraft course into a one day workshop and has presented in the remote regions of Mount Isa, Alice Springs and Katherine as well as Cairns and Darwin. David is a mentor to the Katherine club and very proud of their efforts.


Darling Downs Toastmasters Club 50th Anniversary

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Party timefOn Saturday, 1st June 2013 Darling Downs Toastmasters Club was exactly 50 years old.  We decided such a magnificent heritage should be celebrated somewhere with a similar pedigree.  So we settled on The Downs Club in Toowoomba, a grand old Victorian building serving the community for over 120 years, initially as a men’s club: another common characteristic shared with Toastmasters! 

Eighty people responded to the celebratory call, with Toastmasters and past members travelling from Bundaberg, Brisbane and surrounds.  Past International President of Toastmasters, Gavin Blakey DTM, District 69 Governor Charlie Starrett DTM, three Past District 69 Governors, and representatives of all Toowoomba Clubs came to party.   Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio opened the meeting.  DG Charlie Starrett offered his congratulations on this significant milestone and presented milestone pins to Dawn Vettiger ACG (20 years), and Jeremy Freyburg ATMS/CL (15 years).  

Long-standing member, Bill Griffin DTM, a Toastmaster for 45 years, intrigued with tales of early days of Toastmasters pre-districts, when we were part of Toastmasters Australia.  Bill’s first Convention was in Sydney where his room in a flash hotel cost $8.  In 1982-83, Bill was Administration Lieutenant Governor when the convention at Cherrabah was flooded in and Bill and fellow club member, Neville Rosenberger, had to swim to retrieve the Toastmasters’ signs. 

Bill caused some uproarious laughter with his memories of the “Mountain Men” as the members were dubbed at Conventions, assuring the audience he was an observer only.  Two of Bill’s former Mountain Men’ mates– Bob Martin, and Kev Walsh were also at the dinner.  In 1980 Kev piloted a plane flying delegates to the Convention in Townsville.  International President, Eric Stuhlmueller DTM, remarked it was the first time in Toastmasters a club had chartered a plane to ensure their participation in a Convention.

Cutting the cake

The youngest member of the Club, Chris White TM, cut the cake.  Throughout the evening memories were jogged by rolling photos of the Club members having fun.  Tom Ware ACG/ALB, an enthralling story teller stoked the laughter with his recollections of the public service procedures in the 1960s he was bound to observe as air controller when a large American 130 Globemaster unexpectedly announced it was going to land at Dubbo in 1968.

The celebrations were rounded out by a novel officers’ change-over for the club completed in verse. New President, Suzie Ross CC inspired us with her ambitions for the club.  Certainly Darling Downs Toastmasters Club is in good hands. We have a solid core of members including five DTMs and several senior experienced members, importantly with young members coming through.  This gives us the solid foundation to see through the next 50 years!

(Jan Griffin DTM, Darling Downs Toastmasters Club)

Pines Toastmasters – 40 year anniversary dinner on 20th April 2013 posted

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Toastmasters past and present will be joining us for a celebration of Pines’ history and our future.

Please join us at 6.30pm for 7pm start on Saturday 20th April 2013

Albany Creek Tavern

730 Albany Creek Road, Albany Creek

$40 per head for dinner & dessert

Please advise dietary requirements on RSVP

Dress: semi-formal

Please RSVP to

by 30th March, 2013

Follow us on Twitter!

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Guess what?! We’re now on Twitter! Our team, which includes District Governor will be relaying events to members from this site.  Look for weets by DG. For up to the minute information on District 69, follow us at

Timing Lights For Sale

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Does your club need new timing lights? Check out these amazing lights produced by long-term Toastmaster, John Hill. Click any of the photos below to see a larger pic.

This photograph shows three units at the various stages of lighting. The green light (on the left of the pic) is pictured with Speech Contest Guard installed.

This photograph shows the location of Yellow or Amber light and Speech Contest guard removed for club meetings. This guard is shown with location pins which match holes in base of light.

This picture shows the position of the red light and the switch positions i.e. 4 positions:

  • White position – OFF
  • Green position – Green Light
  • Yellow position – Yellow Light
  • Red position-  Red Light.
  • Knob on right of 4 position switch is used for Brightness and turns to right for maximum brightness and to left for minimum, this reduces battery drain.

The unit uses 4 x  AA batteries in base.

The Cost is $70.00 for unit Plus $15.00 for packing and posting.

For orders please forward  your money by cheque or postal order. For enquiries contact John directly on 07 3207 1110.

To John Hill
5 Northview St.
Birkdale, Qld. 4159.