Posts Tagged ‘District WA’

District WA Approved

Mashantucket, USA – August 12, 2009

Today the Toastmasters International Board approved our application to form a new District in WA.

The board met publicly in front of a large audience which included our District 73 representatives

  • District Governor Damian Chong
  • Lt Governor Education & Training Bruce Hill
  • Lt Governor Marketing Mark Richards

Why is this so important?

Several of our WA leaders have been working very hard in the past few years to form our own individual District WA. Currently we are part of District 73 which covers Victoria, Tastmania, South Australia and Western Australia. We are a long way from the rest of the District. Our activities are seriously curtailed by this geographical separation. We have had support from the other States for our work. At the District Council held in South Australia in May this year, a unanimous resolution was passed authorising our District WA action committee (called the Reformation Committee) to apply for conditional approval. Mike Helm supervised the preparation of the application and now it has been approved.

We have to meet various conditions

The approval is conditional. I haven’t seen the specific conditions yet, but they will probably include these two major matters.

  • Grow our WA clubs to at least 60. Currently we have 51.
  • Grow our club membership to an average of at least 20. Currently the average is 18.

To see all current data on membership go to the the DCP page, and scroll down to see current figures for each Division and for WA as a whole.

Can we do it this year? – in 2009/10

Yes we can. We are already working hard to meet both these conditions. If you are interested in what is being done, have a look at the files on New Clubs Folder

Elections for the transition to District WA

Historic elections will occur in May, next year, at Ballarat, when the District 73 Council meets. These will be the elected officers.

May, 2010 Melbourne District 73 Governor
LGET for District 73 LGET for District WA
LGM for District 73 LGM for District WA
PRO for District 73 PRO for District WA
May, 2011 Perth District 73 Governor District WA Governor
LGET for District 73 LGET for District WA
LGM for District 73 LGM for District WA
PRO for District 73 PRO for District WA
May 2012 Perth District WA Governor
District WA Lt Gov Education & Training
District WA Lt Gov Marketing
District WA Public Relations Officer

Post your comments or suggestions in the box below.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator
9457 6468

District WA Strategy

Andrew Bolotin DTM at WA Governors

Andrew Bolotin
Andrew Bolotin DTM

Andrew addressed us at our meeting on Thursday evening, June 18, 2009 – From Divisions to District.

Andrew has some status and authority here. District 73 was formed in 1976 as a breakaway from District 70 in New South Wales, just as we hope to form our District WA as a breakaway from District 73. It began with Provisional District status which it carried for 10 years. Andrew became District Lt Governor Marketing in 1983, Lt Governor Education and Training in 1984, and District Governor in 1985. It was during his term as District Governor that District 73 earned its full District status.

Currently we are in a very early stage, but it is time now to set about planning for the successful achievement of District WA status. You can see some earlier posts on the process at District WA on the way and District WA Prerequisites


A Plan to gain Provisional District status, and then full District status

Andrew recommended a 3 stage process.

    Stage 1: Devise a strategy
    Stage 2: Produce a detailed plan to achieve the strategy
    Stage 3: Implement the plan

Andrew made some suggestions for Stage 1 – the strategy

    Put together a small group of leaders to initiate a draft strategy
    Circulate this to the much larger group of leaders and potential leaders for feedback and revision
    Start to practise being a District

Some ideas for practising being a District

Appoint a current District Governor, a Lt Governor Education & Training and Lt Governor Marketing
Hold a District Convention including a Council Meeting and Speech finals

Dual membership a no-no

Daniel Andrew walked into the lion’s den with this one. All of us are dual members at WA Governors, since we make it a prerequisite to belong to another home club. He argued passionately that it’s a serious mistake for members to spread themselves too thinly by belonging to multiple clubs. However he made an exception for WA Governors because he sees our members as providing most of the leadership required to drive the District WA program.

This isn’t the last we will hear from Andrew

During supper afterwards several members engaged in energetic discussion with him. Of course he has more to offer, and some preliminary plans were discussed to arrange for it.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator
9457 6468

Many of our members are taking Andrews suggestions very seriously. What do you think? Post your comments below.

District Officer Training June 27 2009

Are you an incoming Area Governor? DOT is for you!

When you first take on the role of Area Governor you will have many questions about what you are expected to do. You get those important questions answered in 3 ways

First, read the Manual!

It has a clear outline of your role. As you work through your year you will refer to it repeatedly, getting more and more value from it as you gain more and more experience.

Here is an excellent piece of advice you may have heard in many situations. When in doubt, read the instructions.

Second, attend District Officer Training

The trainers have experience in being an Area Governor. They have read the Manual and applied it! They will give you a great deal of practical information and advice, based on the Manual and their experience. Take advantage of the opportunity.

Third, select a Mentor

Several of the Trainers at DOT live in Perth and are experienced former Area and Division Governors. Use them. Choose one (or perhaps two) to act as a guide and a mentor. They wont do the work for you, but they will give you advice when you ask for it, and alert you to important issues which you may have missed. Mark Richards, David Nicholas, Mike Helm and Ross Wilkinson are potential Mentors. Make contact. When DOT is finished for the day they will still be available to support you.

How do you get a Manual?

Come to WA Governors on Thursday evening, June 18. Manuals will be available at the meeting. Check the location details and time on the Event Calendar on this screen. Email David Nicholas for more details.

If you can’t make it to WA Governors this week email Mark Richards for more details. He will post it to you. It’s important you get it before DOT, so you can look at a few important sections in advance, to get the great benefit possible from the training.

When you first look at the Manual do two important things

First, look at the Table of Contents on pages 3 & 4. Get a general idea of what the Manual contains. Don’t spend too much time on this – you are not studying for a test. Just get a general idea of what is in there.

Second, read carefully pages 100, 101 and part of 102 to get an overall picture of the role of Area Governors. There is a lot more detail available, but this gives a good overall picture.

Third, (if you have time and the inclination for another one) glance through any other part of the Manual which looks interesting.

To prepare for DOT, have a look at the DOT Agenda

For more information or help you can call me, email me, or post your comment or query on this story.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator
9457 6468

Divisions to District


1st June, 2009


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.


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…


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!


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

District WA Prerequisites

What do we have to do to make it happen?

The application has gone in to World Headquarters.  If they give a provisional approval for our WA District there will be conditions.

    1. We must have 60 viable clubs
    2. We need an average of 20 members per club
    3. We need a pool of strong, dedicated leaders

60 viable clubs?

Today we have 50 clubs. Some of them seem to be weak in numbers. For every one that goes down, we need a new one.

We expect to have the Kalamunda Club chartered very soon. There are plans for a club at Applecross. Highgate is a prospective area. We have started. There will be more exciting news soon.

Can we put on 10 new clubs from July to next May? Yes we can! In 2007/08 we put on 12 new clubs. That was a big effort and gave us the credibilty to begin our push for our own District. It will take another big effort, but we can do itl

An average of 20 members per club?

That is 1200 members in 60 clubs! At June 5, we had 847 members in 50 clubs. That is an average of 17 members per club. Right now we are short of 150 members at 3 per club. It looks daunting. This current year we have had a significant real loss across all Divisions. See the analysis at WA Membership Analysis 08/09.

It will be a big challenge, but we can do it. We have to lift our current 850 to 1200. The 10 new clubs will give us 200+ members. Our existing clubs are the key here – membership – not just hold the line, but grow.

The leadership pool?

Not just the top four – a District Governor, a Lt Governor Education & Training, a Lt Governor Marketing and a Public Relations Officer. By then we will have three more Areas and another Division. So we will need

    4 Division Governors
    16 Area Governors
    A Treasurer and Secretary

They will come from the clubs.

We need a trained, effective set of Club officers, particularly the Presidents and Vice-Presidents. The coming Club Officer Training sessions rank as the most important in WA Toastmaster’s 25 year history. The next month will set the scene.

What do you think? Post your comments and suggestions below.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator