Can WA become a District in its own right?
The pace is hotting up. Â Now Toastmaster International leaders are taking an interest in our campaign to set up a District in Western Australia. Â A Manager at World Headquarters is in regular touch with our District Governor, Bernard Marmion, monitoring our progress.
Executive Meeting on Saturday, October 4, 2008
Bernard flew over to Perth for an Executive Meeting held at Durack House, in Adelaide Terrace on Saturday afternoon. He met with our 3 Division Governors, most of our Area Governors, Immediate Past District Governor Mike Helm, District Parliamentarian, David Nicholas and last years District Secretary Jeanette Farrar. District Public Relations Officer Mark Richards chaired the meeting. (WA Governors was well represented – besides Bernard, only one other person present was not a member of the Club. We hope she will join this month.)
What do we have to do?
Section VI of Policies and Procedures in the Bylaws deals with the formation of new Districts. There are two situations. The first handles the formation of a new District in a new locality – like the most recent District – District 85 in China. The second deals with a new District, splitting off from an existing District – which is our situation. The normal requirement is that after the split both resulting Districts must have at least 100 Clubs. However the TI Board can accept a lower number if it believes it to be in the interests of Toastmasters International, because of evidence of growth and the likelihood that the new District will reach the target of 100 in a reasonable time.
Progress to date
WA New Clubs Coordinator David Nicholas gave an update on our progress. Last year there were 12 new clubs in WA, we lost 1, so there was a net gain of 11. That took us from 35 to 46 Clubs. This year we have a hopeful target of a net gain of 11 again. This may be a bit ambitious, but at the meeting quite a few prospects for new clubs were brought forward. If we could maintain a minimum of a net gain of 7 clubs each year, then by July 2009 we would have 53 and by July 2010 we would have 60. 60 is a key number, and 2010 is an important year because in August, 2010 the World Council will be held in Sydney, the first time outside North America. It would be a major event for our new Australian District to be unveiled at Sydney.
What about South Australia?
Former District Governor Geoff Morrissey first raised with the Board of Directors two years ago the prospect of a new District splitting off from District 73. In his original proposal he joined WA and South Australia in his proposed new District. Since then there has been quite a deal of discussion on this matter. The consensus view in WA seems to be that though it might be faster to get there, it doesn’t make geographical sense for WA, with most of its members in Perth, to be joined with South Australia, with most of its members in Adelaide, much, much closer to Melbourne than we are. This is an important issue which we will have to decide on.
Mike Helm is working on a submission
Mike was District 73 Governor last year so he is very experienced and has a good understanding of the way to handle this. Bernard Marmion has asked us to submit a proposed submission so he can forward it to World Headquarters by Monday, October 13th. At the meeting we set up a working committee of Mike, Mark Richards and myself to prepare this submission. Mike is currently working on it and intends to send the completed draft to Bernard on Sunday evening, October 12.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please post them below. They will be taken very seriously, as we grapple with this very important issue.