Archive for the ‘Divisions’ Category


Nostalgia – Farewell Western Division

Western Division will soon be no more

There are several groups working on planning for the new District 17 which will come into being on July 1 this year.

The Alignment Committee

This committee has prepared a report on the setup of Divisions and Areas in our West Australian District.  I am a member of the committee, so I am supporting its recommendations.  But I have a nostalgic pang that the new District 17 will have no Western Division.  When I joined Toastmasters in 1995 I was in Western Division because that was the only one.  Over the years Western has divided twice – first to set up Perth Division and then Innercity Division.

But now the recommendation is for three Divisions – Central, Northern and Southern.  So, farewell Western Division.

Look at the Committee’s recommended setup

You can find the recommendations at

Club Alignments 2011/12

There are some explanatory notes there, and there will be more supplied by the Committee Chair, Ross Wilkinson DTM.

I hope to get a comment from the very first Western Division Governor, Murray Jorgensen DTM, still very active in Toastmasters.  And another one from the soon to be the very last Western Division Governor, Robyn Richards DTM.

How do you feel about the disappearance of Western Division?

You can add a reminiscence or discuss the alignment proposal in comments box below.

David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster
and former Western Division Governor


Club Officer Training Thursday 8 July 2010

On the day that Perth’s cold clear days was broken by wild and windy weather a new venue was used for Club Officer training and very popular it proved too. The new Victoria Park Club hosted the event at their venue at The Homestead in Mackie Street in Victoria Park. An attendance of up to 100 was anticipated but Club Officers kept rolling in throughout the event.

The Empty Hall

The Hall is set up and ready

Sgt at Arms Maree Pickens got things underway introducing the Toastmaster for the evening Peter Law whose sartorial elegance set the tone for the night.

Toastmaster Peter Law and Mark Richards discuss the Agenda before the meeting gets underway
Robyn Richards conducted the first session, “Creating a Buzz” which emphasised how important it was to get that essential ‘something extra’ into your meetings to make them fun and enjoyable. Robyn provided lots of useful advice to all assembled.
Mark Richards followed his wife to the front of the audience and used the IT display set up by Martin Lindsay to show Club Officers how to log onto and navigate around the TMI Website. Mark’s presentation was especially relevant to Club Officers who have to log returns with TMI.
Mark Richards with the TMI Website

Mark Richards shows us how to Navigate around the TMI Website

Inner City Divisional Governor Kristin McIntosh then explained to us all what the 10 goals were in the DCP (Distinguished Club Programme) and why they were so important to running a successful club. Like Robyn Kristin gave some hints and tips as to how the goals could be achieved and illustrated how easy some of them were by pointing out that everyone present was contributing towards their club’s DCP by attending COT!

Kristin McIntosh

That's goal number two that Kristin is telling us about!

Martin Lindsay as the Perth Governor then presented a Workshop on how to run Speech Contests. With the Club, Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests due in August this was very timely advice for the many new Club Officers in attendance. Martin pointed out some of the extremely good resources available and advised Clubs on how they could get their own members ‘up to speed’ on acting as Judges.

The last presentation before supper was given by David Nicholas and David told everyone about toastmasterwa.net and what resources were available on the site. With only 15 minutes to present David was only able to brush the surface but he certainly whetted the appetites for information if not for food!

David Nicholas

David Nicholas enthralled the audience with his sales technique for toastmasterswa.net

After a splendid supper, and you could tell it was splendid because there was nothing left, we were treated to an introduction to a “Swansong on the Swan”. Lynette Delane presented a talk about the 2011 District Convention, the last of District 73 with Western Australia included, which is to be held in Perth, hence the title.

Lynette Delane

Lynette Delane tells us all about the "Swansong on the Swan"

The meeting then moved on to a series of ‘break out’ sessions for each Club Officer Role. This proved to be the real ‘meat and veg'” for the new Officers as they were able to leverage off those who had performed the role before.

We were then welcomed back by Ross Wilkinson who told us all about “YOUR Future in Toastmasters” and Ross set out very clearly where the path towards becoming a better speaker, a leader and ultimately a Distinguished Toastmaster lay. Ross reminded everyone that by becoming a Club Officer they were on the first steps of this exciting leadership journey.

Ross Wilkinson

Ross Wilkinson reminded everyone of the importance of working to their Manuals and getting them signed off

Public Relations both within the District and within Clubs was covered by the ubiquitous Pascale Amberville-Colby, the man with more clubs than Tiger Woods. Pascale reminded everyone of the importance of their Website as a promotional tool and ensuring it was up to date. Pascale also related some initiatives that were being taken within WA.

Pascale Amberville-Colby

Pascale sought an affirmation from everyone that they would promote their club

The information and fun packed evening was wound up by Mark Richards relating the future Training opportunities that were available over the coming year.

Overall a fantastic evening packed with  information and with Club Officers. Well done to everyone but especially to Robyn Richards for her wonderful organisational abilities.


Distinguished Club, Area & Division Goals

How to be Distinguished – Clubs, Areas and Divisions

Clubs Areas Divisions
Distinguished Club Distinguished Area – 4 of these 5 Goals Distinguished Division
To be Distinguished – minimum membership 20
OR a net increase of 5
75% of Oct dues by Nov 15 No net club loss
There are 10 Goals 75% of April dues by May 15 50% of areas are distinguished
(1) 2 CCs (9) Both of the next 2
below
Average of 1.75 CCs per club by June 30 Select Distinguished Division
(2) 2 more CCs 4 Officers at COT (1) Average of .5 ACs per club by June 30 No net club loss
(3) 1 AC 4 Officers at COT (2) 60% of clubs become Distinguished 75% of areas are distinguished
(4) more AC (10) Both of the next 2 below Select Distinguished Area
all 5 of the above + all 3 of these
President’s Distinguished Division
(5) CL, ALB or DTM 1 Renewal on time 80% of Area Reports for 1st round by Nov 30 Achieve goals for select distinguished division
(6) more CL, ALB or DTM 1 Officer List on time 80% of Area Reports 2nd round by May 31 Net growth of one club or more
(7) 4 new members President’s Distinguished Area
all 8 of the above
60% of Clubs 20+ members by June 30
(8) 4 more new members + a net gain of at least 1 club
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Distinguished – 5 or 6 Goals
Select Distinguished -7 or 8 Goals
President’s Distinguished – 9 or 10 Goals

WA Toastmasters Changeover Dinner

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Hi to all club executives,

This Toastmasters year is coming to an end very soon, and we want all of you and your club members to help celebrate the achievments of your fellow members and clubs in WA.

On this night we will be awarding the President of the year, Toastmaster of the year, Area Gov of the year & Club of the year to all 3 Divisions in WA. Plus many other high achieving awards.

We will also thank the outgoing District Executive for their contribution this year, then welcome in the new District Executive for next year.

At last year’s “WA Change Over Dinner & Awards Night” we had 100 attendees and this year will be even bigger.
The details are;

Date: Friday June 25th, 2010
Venue: Esplanade River Suites Ballroom (same as last year)
Time: 6.30pm till late
Cost: $60.00 per person
Meal: Esplanade Buffet including a wide variety of Hot & Cold Selections and Desserts

Come along for a great night out and help celebrate this year with your fellow WA Toastmasters.
For payment details, please see the flyer attachment WACOFlyer_ 1010

Please promote this event to all your club members.

Kind regards,

Robyn & Mark Richards
WACO 2010 Co-ordinators


A 4th Division for WA Toastmasters?

When and Where will it come?

Currently we have 3 Divisions, 50 active clubs and an active membership of about 800, which is an average of about 16 per club.  You can check out the current nominal membership on the WA DCP page. When the Renewals figures to the end of March are published next month you will find that my estimates are approximately correct.

District WA challenges us to do better

The Toastmasters International Directors have started a process for WA members and clubs to separate from District 73 and form our own Provisional District.  The process is already underway.

    In May this year the District 73 Council will elect a District Governor for the whole of District 73, a Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing for WA and a Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing for the balance of District 73 – Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

    In May next year, 2011, the District 73 Council will elect the 3 top officers – District Governor, Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing – for both WA and the balance of District 73.

    On July 1, 2011, we will be a Provisional District, with all the privileges and responsibilities of Toastmaster Districts.

How do we go from Provisional to Full District status?

Earlier this year the International Directors redrafted the previous rules.  My understanding of their published results is this:

We can apply for full status when we have at least 60 clubs with an average membership of at least 20 members.  When we have reached those two targets, there will be an assessment made of our general efficiency and prospects for further growth.  If we pass that, we’ve made it.

So why do we need a 4th Division?

Essentially a Division needs at least 16 clubs with 4 Areas of at least 4 clubs each.  You can see my Maths – when we go through the 60 club target we will be close to qualifying for a 4th Division.  Further, we will have to show there are prospects for further growth, and the best evidence of that will be more new clubs coming onstream.

We need a challenge, a friendly rivalry between our 3 existing Divisions, to drive the steady growth necessary to become a full District.  Currently I am Western Division Governor and the WA New Clubs Coordinator.  So, I issue these challenges

    To Western Division to be the growth engine which drives us forward to split off the 4th Division

    To the 2010/11 Western Division Governor to continue our current growth and to do even better

    To the current Innercity and Perth Division Governors to galvanise their Area Governors and emerging leaders to match Western or do even better

    To Toastmasters living in the northern corridor based around the railway to Joondalup to seize the opportunities available in that enormous population base which hasn’t had a new Toastmaster Club since Stirling was chartered in 1994.

Ambitious plans for Western Division

Currently I am discussing with Mark Richards, the District 73 Lt Governor Marketing and a prominent Western Division member, a forward plan which will achieve the first of my challenges – for Western to split off a new District.  This year looks like being very successful with the Division on track to be President’s Distinguished along with 3 of our 4 Area Governors, all of whom will finish with a new club.  That involves 3 new clubs with no loss of any current clubs.

The railway to Mandurah is the key to our forward plans.  New suburbs are springing up on either side of the railway.  We are developing a plan to set up new community clubs based on the new suburbs.  Mark and Robyn Richards established a blueprint for publicising and forming such community clubs with their founding of Canning Vale.   Now the Canning Vale club, through member John Palmer, is setting out to follow that blueprint in Southern River.

How do we raise our average membership from 16 to 20+?

Well, that is a different issue.  It wont be easy, but it has to be achieved.  Next week I will have some suggestions.

For any queries or more information
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor
WA New Clubs Coordinator


Western Division Contest Results

Victoria Quay took the honours

Victoria Quay from W21 took on the task of organising the Western Division first round of Contests.  The Club hosted the event at its regular venue at the Fremantle Bowling Club in Ellen Street.  It could have looked like an arranged result when the two winners came from the host club, but all the Judges were from outside the Division, including Chief Judge Martin Lindsay, P30 Area Governor, and member of Morning Star in Perth Division.

The Humorous Speech Contest

Neville Simmons
Neville Simmons
Humorous Contest Winner

Division Governor David Nicholas was the Contest Chairman. His photo is tucked away at the end of the story.

There were 4 contestants, one from each of our 4 Areas.

Peta Anderson, from Successful Club and W16 Area, spoke about “Little Demons”

Diana Veitch, from Fremantle Gourmet and W28 Area, spoke about “The Captain”

Robert Price, from Bunbury and W29 Area, spoke about “Noble Gesture”.

Neville Simmons, from Victoria Quay and W21 Area, spoke about “The Vindictive Cat”. Neville confessed that he is a salesman – but fortunately he is the trustworthy one. He took us with him on a mission to sell a bathroom renovation in a leafy seaside suburb. Trust is the key to a successful sale he told us.  He thought he had the sale in the bag after seeing a set of cat photos on the way into the house and then establishing a kind of bond with the cat in the bathroom. But the vindictive cat had other ideas.  Did Neville really tread on the cat’s tail?  The cat’s yowl killed the deal and as he left Neville realised that the cat had turned out to be much more resourceful and intelligent than he could ever be.

Robin Richards
Robyn Richards
Table Topics Contest Chair

The Table Topics Contest

W16 Area Governor Robin Richards was the Contest Chair. Her Table Topics subject was: With summer approaching, tell us what you look forward to most at this time of the year.

Again, there were 4 contestants, one from each of our 4 Areas.

Tania Park, from Jetty and W29 Area, doesn’t look forward to summer because of the heat. She will skip from tree to tree, hugging the shade, as she shops in Busselton.

Diana Veitch, from Canning Vale and W16 Area, looks forward to glorious beaches in Esperance, so far away via the 4 wheel drive, that she can revert to childhood experiences in Rhodesia and swim without any clothes.

Vicky Post, from Powertalk and W28 Area, looks forward to sunshine and heat as she remembers what it is like at this time of the year where she was born in Denmark.

Mark Hamilton
Mark Hamilton
Table Topics Contest Winner

Mark Hamilton, from Victoria Quay and W21 Area, invited us to join him in scuba diving this summer in a great spot off Rockingham. He took us through his mid-life crisis in Queensland in the army to a belated decision to have some fun and learn a new skill when he came to Perth. $4,500 later he was being instructed in underwater computing skills to record each dive so it could be uploaded onto the net when he came back! Really! There didn’t seem to be much time left over for the diving. He promised that if we joined him there would be no recordings.

In his brief acceptance speech, Mark said how much he enjoyed the opportunities he had enjoyed by joining Toastmasters, and particularly at his club, Victoria Quay. Now that the pressure of the Contest was over, he intended to encourage others to take part through his role as the Vice President Education.

The Judges

P30 Area Governor, Martin Lindsay, from Morning Star in Perth Division was Chief Judge.
He was supported by Gwen Gibbons from Sandgropers in Perth Division, by Bernice Takla from Durack in Innercity Division, Pat Wallace-Bell from Ngarlundhu Wankga in Perth Division, by June Lyndhurst in Sandgropers and by Peter McDonnell from Stirling in Perth Division.

Martin Lindsay
Martin Lindsay
Chief Judge

The Judgesy
Our Judges – Gwen, Bernice, Martin, Pat, June and Peter

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District Report

Mark Richards
Mark Richards
Lt Governor Marketing

Mark Richards, the Lt Governor Marketing, is the third ranking officer in District 73. Western Division is one of 10 Divisions in District 73 which currently covers clubs in WA, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.  Here is his report.

Membership in the District is moving along at great knots with 592 new members across the District already, over 100 in front of last year.  Innercity has 62, Perth 56 and Western 55 new members.  There were 12 clubs in the District achieving the Smedly Award this year with 3 of those clubs from Western, those being Canning Vale, Fremantle Gourmet and Mandjar.  2 new clubs have formed this year, both in Melbourne.  Many new clubs are forming in the West with demo meetings at CSBP (now chartering), Mundaring, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Rockingham, Highgate and Applecross.  There have been 160 education awards given so far, with 56 of them from Western Division, which is 36% of the total.  this includes 4 of the 9 DTMs so far this year.

Don’t forget the District Council meeting on the 21st, which includes 2 workshops with Cliff Boer.  Well done Western Division for holding such a wonderful contest.

We had two Toastmasters

Gerry Prewett
Gerry Prewett
W28 Area Governor

Mark Richards
Michael Foster
W29 Area Governor

Gerry Prewett, W28 Area Governor, was Toastmaster for the Humorous Contest.

Michael Foster, W29 Area Governor, was Toastmaster for the Table Topics Contest

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And there were many other important people who served us well

Peter Law
Peter Law
W21 Area Governor

Peter Law, the W21 Area Governor, had many roles. He was Sergeant at Arms, responsible for setting up the hall, and for supervising cleaning up afterwards. Here you see him retrieving part of a Contest Aid that didn’t want to leave at the end. As well he was the Usher for the Table Topics Contest.

Karen Patterson from Victoria Quay and John Palmer from Canning Vale were the Tally Counters.

Sandra Morton from Cannington Communicators and Phyll Lightbody from Canning Vale were the Timers.

They weren’t on the program but Gail Jenkins and Karen Patterson from Victoria Quay handled the Afternoon Tea, which was a great success.

Canning Vale Club conducted a raffle. It was a noisy, happy affair just before the end of the meeting. Everybody seemed to win a prize including the Division Governor who hadn’t had time to buy a ticket!

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Thanks to the audience who encouraged the contestants so energetically.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor

It wouldn’t be much of a contest without an audience. It was a great audience and a great contest.

Neville and Mark will represent Western Division at Creswick in Victoria in May, 2010. After their wonderful performances in such strong fields we know they will do very well.

And there will be two more Western Division representatives over there after the Evaluation and International Contests in March next year.

See you at the District Convention.


Fremantle Gourmet tops the DCP

9 Goals at Oct 2, 2009!

Yes, Fremantle Gourmet, Club 1068213, has already achieved 9 Goals – enough for President’s Distinguished in the Distinguished Club Program.  Congratulations Gourmet.  The tenth Goal is some time away yet – it will come when at least 4 Club Officers attend the second round of training in February.  You can view a DCP report on all WA Clubs.

But not President’s Distinguished yet

To be Distinguished at all, including President’s Distinguished, a club has to have 20 members at June 30 (or have increased low numbers by at least 5 members).  Those numbers will not be recognised until the March Renewals have been lodged.  By then Gourmet will have been joined at the PD level by quite a few other clubs – particularly from Western Division.  But Gourmet has the honour of first to reach 9 Goals.  Congratulations to all Gourmet members, and particularly to President Jackie Perriman and Vice President Education Ross Wilkinson.

Western Division is also tops in the DCP

Only five Clubs in District 73 have so far registered 5 or more Goals in the DCP.  This is the target for Distinguished.  They are all from Western Division!

9 Goals Fremantle Gourmet in W28
8 Goals Canning Vale in W16
5 Goals Fremantle Gateway in W21
5 Goals Victoria Quay in W21
5 Goals Jetty in W29

Yes, each Area has at least one of these clubs.  And the word is out that some more Western Division Clubs will get an extra goal by next weekend.  In particular Canning Vale are confident of 9 Goals.

Western Division is aiming for the top

I have set my goal for my year as Western Division Governor to be the top performing Division in District 73 by Toastmaster International’s guidelines.  We have started particularly well.  Here is a graph which shows progress for all 10 Divisions in District 73 up to Oct 2, 2009.

Di73- Division-Performance-Oct209

You can follow current performance for a very large range of District 73 Reports at this site. It includes Club progress as well as District, Division and Area figures. Go to District 73 Reports Analysis Can we stay here on top until June 30 next year? I am confident we will.

Post your comments or suggestions in the box below.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor
9457 6468


Western Division Report

Status report at August 14, 2009

Western Division has had an amazing start to the 2009/10 Year.

The Distinguished Club Program

Member awards across the whole of District 73, with its 10 Divisions, currently amount to 71 Awards.
Of these, Western Division has contributed 33 Awards – 45% of the total from the 10 Divisions. This is quite extraordinary.

Distinguished Club Goals across the District, with 10 Divisions, come to 57 DCP Goals.
Of these, 23 or 40%, come from Western Divisions. Again extraordinary.
Further Western has 2 clubs with 6 Goals!! right now – Canning Vale and Fremantle Gourmet.

What a start to the year for the hardworking members of Western Division. You can view the latest figures for Member Awards and Club DCP progress at
the toastmasterswa.net website.

New Clubs

I have set a target for our 4 Area Governors – each has a goal of ending the year with at least one extra club in the Area.
Here is progress to date

  • W16, Governor Robyn Richards – John Palmer from Canning Vale has already had a Demonstration Meeting for the Jacaranda Gardens club
  • W21, Governor Peter Law – Ross Wilkinson from Gateway is close to finalising arrangements for a Demonstration Meeting for the Applecross Club
  • W28, Governor Gerry Prewett – Gerry from Cannington Communicators is close to finalising arrangements for a Demonstration Meeting for the Victoria Park Club
  • W29, Governor Michael Foster – Michael from Mandjar is close to finalising arrangements for a Demonstration Meeting for the Rockingham Club

Club Officer Training

Right now 10 of our 15 Clubs have had 4 or more Officers trained. 4 Clubs in W29 should be added to this number next weekend when Michael Foster conducts training down in Busselton. Only Amity is in difficulty of meeting the target.

Division Council Meeting

The Area Governors and I will be meeting together on Sunday afternoon, August 30 for an hour’s Council Meeting.
We will be discussing at least the following

  • Distinguished Club Progress in each Area
  • Prospective New Clubs
  • Governor Club visits
  • Club and Area Contests
  • Using the toastmasterswa.net website
  • Criteria for Division and Area Awards

This is only the start

Yes! We have begun very well. Now we need to plan carefully and work hard to continue the success and make this the best year in the history of Western Division and District 73 – while District 73 still has us.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor 2009/10
9457 6468


Club Officer Lists Congratulations

WA Clubs all met the deadline

Toastmasters International needs accurate lists of Club Officers. They set a deadline of June 30, and award half a Goal towards the Distinguished Club Program when a Club submits its list by the due date.

All our WA Clubs have met that deadline by June 29. As of this morning, our three WA Divisions were the only ones among the 10 Divisions in the District. Congratulations to those Area and Division Governors who made a special point of contacting the 10 Clubs which hadn’t made it by last Friday. They are all there now.

Damian Chong
Damian Chong DTM
District 73 Governor

Now we need those lists in WA

Toastmasters International has them. We don’t yet. But we need them. Our three Division Governors are organising Club Officer Training right now, and we need to communicate with the new Officers.

Our District Governor to the rescue

Damian Chong DTM officially takes office tomorrow, July 1. He was here in Perth last weekend to take part in District Officer Training. While he was here I raised the problem with him and he promised to get the full list from World Headquarters and send it to me.

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David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator
9457 6468

Club Officer Training is coming in mid July

July starts tomorrow. The Agenda has been prepared. Incoming Club Presidents and VPs Education can expect to receive a notice with all the details in the next few days. When it comes, think warm thoughts towards our new District Governor.


Divisions to District

POSITION PAPER By Andrew Bolotin DTM

1st June, 2009

PURPOSE OF THIS POSITION PAPER

The purpose of this position paper is to provide a possible blueprint for the transition to becoming a viable WA district and to consider a pathway to success for its first few critical years.

PREAMBLE

Everyone involved in the preliminary work and negotiations to get WA approved as a District deserves sincere congratulations for their efforts. This is only the 3rd time in the 50 years of Australian Toastmastering such an approval has occurred and it ought to be seen for what it is – massive.

Now the hard work really begins…

OUR REAL STRENGTH

While it is true that WHQ (and therefore) Districts have an unholy obsession with club numbers, any experienced Governor will tell you it is actually membership numbers that determine success at any level of Toastmasters.

If we currently claim perhaps 55 Clubs (and don’t forget we can’t afford to lose even one for the next two years), we ought logically to have 55 X 20 members = 1100.

But the D.73 average is a trifle over 15 memberships, so we are more likely 850 at best. Unfortunately due to so many dual, triple, quadruple and even quintriple members in WA, I would estimate our real strength at no more than 700. If we then feed the membership back into charter club numbers, we quickly arrive at 35 “real” clubs.

That might be OK – well it isn’t – but it is acceptable to count like that in a mature district like D.73. In Western Australia it’s like relying on the false body count in Vietnam. If we need to exaggerate to everyone else in the TM universe, fine and dandy, but let’s not start out by misleading ourselves!

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF

In 1974, Melbourne was a division of D.70 (NSW) and it went through exactly the same process WA has in trying to become a district of its own. Eventually approval was provisionally given by WHQ (that’s why we were D.73P for our first ten years) and the district was chartered as follows:

Melbourne = 25 clubs
Tasmania = 2 clubs
S.Australia = 4 clubs
W.Australia = 4 clubs

Because D.73 also used (AND BELIEVED) the above rubbery figures, this was the result when I became Administrative Lt Governor (the 3rd most senior district position) on 01.07.1983:

Melbourne = 24 clubs
Tasmania = 2 clubs
S.Australia = 4 clubs
W.Australia = 4 clubs

Another words, in the first seven completed years of D.73 we had negative growth – and not a single new club had been chartered outside Victoria. Worse, the effort of all the preliminary work and negotiations had patently exhausted all the “pioneers” who were wedded to the “rubbery figure system” in the first place. Essentially we followed the familiar pattern of mediocre districts – add a club, lose a club, keep winding up in much the same place.

THE ABSENCE OF IMAGINATION

As I have said consistently over many years, Toastmasters in Australia is a small, self-indulgent shockingly under-funded organisation that exists almost in spite of itself.
After 50 years of trying there are literally more registered sex-addicts in Australia than Toastmasters – and they have more fun at their meetings!

One of the first principles of ALL voluntary organisations is that a city of 1mill people will support about 100 clubs of 20-30 people. There are 10mill people in D.73 and it takes four states to maintain 150 clubs, when really the “correct figure” ought to be around 1000. So what about WA?

I calculate we should be thinking in the order of 200 clubs, of which about 150 should be community-based and we should be there within the first five years of chartering the new district. And please bear in mind that we currently have only 55 clubs after 38 years of trying since the original City of Perth club chartered in 1971 at the Parmelia Hilton.

So how the hell do we do that?

A QUANTUM LEAP

The reason we call breakthroughs quantum leaps is that they leapfrog previously held positions by changing our thinking. The resulting actions can then sometimes compress into a few months what the old laborious system took literally years to accomplish. And usually the outcomes show better quality results, too.

We really need a quantum leap in club and membership building in WA. Not the day after we charter as a district, but now. If we fail to take this step, not only will we also exhaust our “pioneers”, but the idea of building a clone of D.73 is, quite frankly, unworthy of the personnel involved in this effort.

THE HISTORICAL SYSTEM

Essentially it works like this:
1. some members, usually of an existing club, decide to set up a new one
2. they advertise and work hard and run around and then run a demo meeting
3. they get a few people to join and start holding club meetings
4. at some point they get 20 members, including the original members
5. They charter to great fanfare!
6. It works or it doesn’t and if it doesn’t….enter the club specialist etc.

WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY VERY GOOD AT?

1. We are actually very good now at running speechcraft courses
2. We are actually very good now at holding demonstration meetings

It doesn’t take the greatest of planning models to postulate combining both things we are really good at with huge volume over 4-6 months of meaningful activity at a time.

WHAT IF?

First we isolated 10 venues in 10 aspirational suburbs. Examples include Nedlands, North Perth, CBD (community club), Floreat and South Perth.

Second we found quality venues in all 10 suburbs capable of holding meetings.

Third we matched each of these potential new clubs with a member of the WA leadership team AND an existing TM club.

Fourth we had each existing TM club run a 5w speechcraft course at the local venue, using the accepted or new technology, and aiming for 20 speechcrafters each paying $99 each.

Fifth we held a graduation/demo meeting at a central spot (eg. Hyatt Ballroom) which would be the final speechcraft course meeting for everyone. Don’t forget we have a budget of $99 X 200 = $19,800!

Sixth we then give the roughly 200 participants the option to join one of the 5-10 VIABLE new TM clubs at a concessional rate, good only for the next 7d. I estimate that if the process were done properly, up to 50% of the speechcrafters would join – 5 new instant clubs. Bear in mind, that each of these new Toastmasters is also starting at a much higher educational level than normal, too.

Seventh, repeat the process as needed until we do have 1000 real members in D.89.

WA CONVENTIONS

Another thing we are actually very good at is running conventions. I believe it is imperative to run a 2010 WA convention just prior to the annual convention in Ballarat. There are a number of interrelated purposes that present themselves:

1. The putative D.89 leadership needs to make absolutely clear why this district is being formed and the advantages for every WA Toastmaster. Among other things, this certainly must include a 20min set speech delivered by the consensus choice of the first D.89 Governor.
2. It allows Convention technology to be updated which we will need every year after chartering.
3. It ensures high local attendance if we schedule the international speech contest as follows:
a. Friday night- area contests
b. Saturday day – divisional contests

NOMENCLATURE

Names and symbols ARE important. In the three years I effectively ran D.73, I invariably referred to it as “District 73 Australia” to underline the fact that the district was far more than just Victoria.

I strongly recommend we use (and write) the term “D.89 Western Australia” for all purposes after chartering and the term “D.89 (pending) Western Australia” for all purposes prior to chartering.

GETTING THE FUNDING “RIGHT”

I have remarked many times that Toastmasters is its own worst enemy in terms of creating a perception of value for its educational program in the community. The absurdity of extraordinarily low pricing combined with the homogenisation of fees throughout the district, coupled with the idiocy of physically collecting membership cheques twice each year really takes some beating.

Naturally this subject needs a great deal of debate – well again it really doesn’t – but I would have thought three principles were only common sense:

1. A variation in fees between clubs of at least 1000%.
Eg. Club1 = $100; Club 25 = $250; Club 50 = $750; Club 100 = $1000.

2. A non-refundable joining fee identical throughout the district of perhaps $200.

3. Collection of fees only by monthly or yearly credit card debit.

I would also suggest the concept of district – rather than club –memberships ranging from lifetime ($5000) down to 2y ($1000) entitling that Toastmaster to any and all events run by any club within the district.

THE COMPLETING ELEMENT – OUR CEO

It is absolutely obvious we need a salaried, qualified, experienced and capable CEO – just like Toastmasters International. It is equally apparent there is no such constitutional position within ANY district structure.

I believe there are a number of ways of creating such a position, but for the purposes of this paper, let us instead concentrate on what our CEO should actually do. I suggest there are five important functions:

1. Sponsorship solicitation and commercial funding of the district
2. Membership building and internal communications
3. Raising of the profile of Toastmasters in Western Australia
4. Permanent procedures and organisational development
5. Locating and purchase of central premises for the new district

As all of these are multi-year enterprises, it is imperative that the CEO not be a current servicing Toastmaster, have a track record in a similar voluntary and sporting organisation and be appointed for a fixed term.

CONCLUSION

All over the western world, voluntary organisations are dying because they insist on obtaining (from quality people) a very large time commitment and ridiculously low monetary requirements – the exact opposite of what is needed to recruit those sort of people. Low-cost clubs in the poorer socioeconomic areas of Perth need always to be available; let us begin in the main as we ought to continue. I believe D.89 Western Australia represents a unique opportunity to “do it right”.

Let us think about the sort of district we really want, not attempt a clone of D.73. Let us consider NOW how to fund it, populate it, maintain it, govern it and succeed with it.

Finally, we already have a WA leadership group more than capable of implementing realistic solutions – let’s just make sure we fully understand and agree on the problems FIRST.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Bolotin DTM was the 1985/86 D.73 Australia Governor. He holds the 2094th DTM ever awarded, was the second person in the world to sponsor 10 new Toastmasters clubs and was the first Toastmaster outside North America to be a Distinguished District Administrative, Educational and District Governor. He has also previously served as a club president, area governor and divisional governor.


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