Announcing 2014-2015 Southport Toastmasters Executive Committee

I am pleased to announce the following Club Members were elected to the committee for the 2014-2015 Toastmaster year.

President: Pat Kennelly
Vice President Education (VPE): Ros Schwarz
Vice President Membership (VPM): Michelle Nardi
Vice President Public Relations (VPPR): Jayson Mair
Secretary: Catharine Hutchinson
Treasurer: Bronwen Rowles
Sergeant At Arms (SAA): Josh Caldwell

We wish the new Executive Committee a productive and fun year ahead and also wish to thank the outgoing Committee for all their hard work and dedication over the past year.


The LEADER Letter

On March 11, 2013, in Member Article, by vpprtoast

The following link has been extracted from the “Leader letter” sent from head quarters in the USA and contains information considered important for all club members.


Post Feb 2013


Well it was another great meeting last week with many new members joining us, and others looking to join :)

Last Wednesday we also held the elections for our Club Executive for next year, and I would like to announce the following people were elected to the committee for the 2012-2013 Toastmaster year.

President: Bev Murray
Vice President Education: Michelle Nardi
Vice President Membership: Ros Schwartz
Vice President Public Relations & Social Coordinator: Aldwyn Altuney
Secretary: Catharine Hutchinson
Treasurer: Jason Lante
Sergent At Arms: Omar Westerberg

Congratulations to everyone elected to the committee, I am sure you will find it a great experience!

Kind regards,
Rachel Pleasant
Immediate Past President
Southport Toastmasters


Mark HunterOn the 7th of March 2012, our club at Southport was visited by a very special guest.  We were lucky that Mark Hunter, the 2009 World Champion of Public Speaking, decided to join us for the evening.

During the meeting, Mark did a presentation of how to give a good evaluation of other speakers, which we all found very helpful.  Mark also did the General Evaluation for the evening, giving amazing insight and feedback that all Southport members could learn from.

We hope Mark will come back and visit us again soon.

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Toastmasters Reveals New Brand to Southport Members

On September 16, 2011, in Member Article, by vpprtoast

New Toastmasters LogoGOLD COAST, QLD, AUSTRALIA – For the first time in 70 years, Toastmasters International, the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to teaching communication and leadership skills, has updated its brand. With a more contemporary globe logo and accompanying visual identity system, local Toastmasters clubs now have  updated and consistent resources to conduct and promote their programs.

 The refreshed branding is an exciting step for the Toastmasters clubs in Toastmasters District 69.

“We are welcoming the change in the brand for Toastmasters International.  Hopefully the changes will refresh Toastmasters as a great opportunity to further your confidence through public speaking,” says Pat Kennelly, Club President for Southport Toastmasters.

Today’s Toastmasters members are culturally and ethnically diverse; they represent all ages and professions and meet in communities and corporations in 116 countries. The updated brand reflects the organization’s evolution as a leading provider of communication, public speaking and leadership skills development

“The Toastmasters brand – and the basic principles we stand for – has been around for nearly 87 years, and we expect it will be around for many years to come,” says Michael Notaro, ToastmastersInternational President. “Updating the brand is really about making it more relevant for today’s current and future members around the globe.”

The brand refresh does not affect or alter the organization’s core education programs of communication and leadership skill-building; rather, it provides potential members with a clearer picture of what to expect when visiting any club in the world. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, members gain leadership skills.  “The combination of strengthening one’s competence in communication and leadership skills – thereby gaining the confidence to lead – is what differentiates Toastmasters International from other skill-building programs,” Notaro says.

For more information about the brand refresh, please visit:

 About District 69

District 69 comprises almost 200 corporate and community clubs in Queensland, Northern NSW, Northern Territory, and Papua New Guinea. To learn more about District 69 please visit:

 # # #

About Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Founded in October 1924, the organization currently has more than 270,000 members in 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. Each week, Toastmasters helps more than a quarter million people of every ethnicity, education and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit



Annual 2011 Changeover Dinner Success

On July 14, 2011, in Member Article, by vpprtoast

Our annual changeover dinner was held on Wednesday 29th June 2011. It was a great night with plenty of awards, a toast, the changeover and lots of fun had by all.

Congratulations to Franki Rayner who was awarded our ‘Toastmaster of the Year’ award and Bev Murray for being our ‘Most Improved’ Toastmaster. Congratulations also to Pat Kennelly & Bev Murray for their ‘outstanding Member’ Awards.

A big thank you to the 2010-2011 executive committee for all their hard work this year and for helping our club achieve ‘Presidents Distinguished’ Club Status, the highest award a club can achieve – congratulations.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with you all this year.

Best of luck to Pat & the 2011-2012 executive committee. I have no doubt that under Pat’s leadership and with the talented committee, Southport Toastmasters will have another successful year.


Rachel Pleasant
Immediate Past President


Club Member Interview June 2011

On July 7, 2011, in Member Article, by vpprtoast

In the final newsletter for the Toastmasters year 2010-2011, we meet Fiona McEachran, our Vice President Public Relations Elect:

Why did you join Toastmasters?

I have always heard good things about Toastmasters, and how it had helped people with their public speaking, so I thought I would visit a chapter and see how the meetings go.  I was impressed with the structure of the training, and the members are just so positive, friendly and supportive, so it seemed like a great environment to learn to speak confidently in front of others.

My personal reason for joining is to learn to speak in front of an audience, so I am confident to hold and manage online marketing workshops for small business owners.

What do you want to achieve this year?

To complete at least 5 speeches in the Competent Communicator manual, and complete at least 3 projects in the Competent Leadership manual.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had and what made it so?

I set up and ran a successful property marketing business in London for 2 years.  It was rewarding to be in full control of a business and the whole customer experience.  I look forward to running a successful business again.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I am inspired by music mostly.  Music is an amazing medium where melody and lyrics can instantly make you feel empowered, and transport your mind to a place where anything is possible.

Fiona June2011What was your first job?

This one was tricky, because I did various jobs when I was quite young.  But I would have to say, that the “Newspaper Delivery Girl” would have been my first official job when I was 10.  I’ll never forget getting up on Wednesdays at 4.30am and folding papers.  Then cycling everywhere, delivering as fast as I could so I would not be late for school.

If you could be any super hero who would you be? And why?

I’ve never aspired to any superheros growing up, although I did like Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman.  So I had to do an online test to determine which superhero I would be.  It was a funny experience and apparently my superhero match is = Emma Frost.  I think she’s kinda cool, so I’m not going to disagree.  It’s a funny coincidence that she just appeared in the latest Xmen movie (First Class).


Fancy joining Toastmasters to achieve your speaking and confidence goals?  Please contact us to come along as a Guest to a meeting for free.


From the Presidents Desk 2011

On July 2, 2011, in Member Article, by vpprtoast

What a phenomenal year it has been, with a huge number of new members joining us, many personal milestones reached and surpassed, a plethora of interesting and insightful speeches and lots of fun had on the way!!

Boom in Membership

This year we welcomed a massive 27 new members to our club, all keen to improve their communication and leadership skills. This is a great improvement on 8 new members joining us last year. I believe this can be attributed to our improved search engine optimisation, our improved PR and most importantly to the stellar effort put in by Bev Murray our Vice President Membership. To all these new members I would like to welcome you all to our club and I have no doubt you will enjoy your journey at Southport Toastmasters.

Fantastic Achievements

When it comes to achievements, we have had many this year. In particular I would like to congratulate Paul Luxford, Jan Kinkead, and Franki Rayner for achieving their competent communicator awards, a massive achievement. Joan Small achieved her Advanced Communicator Gold Award, a big personal milestone, and Franki Rayner showed great leadership this year, achieving her Competent Leader Award. Congratulations all.

Speech Contests

Taking out honours in our speech contests were Simone Bartlett in our Table Topics and Evaluation contests, Aldywn in our Humorous contest, Rachel Pleasant in the International speech contest and Joan Small who won the Tall Tales contest. Simone and Aldwyn also did us proud in both the Area and Division contests. Well done everyone on a marvellous effort and remarkable personal achievement.

Toastmasters  Week

In February we took our club to the people, hosting a display at the Southport Public Library in celebration of Toastmasters Week. Bev and Stephen Murray did a brilliant job in both setting up and manning our stand, with Pat, Franki, and Joan also spending some time on the stand. We had much interest in our stand and many visited our club, with some joining. Well done everyone!

New Tools and Technology

This year we have also had the marvellous opportunity through the use of our newly acquired video camera to view ourselves from an audience perspective. This has been a wonderful learning tool and something we will continue to use in the future.

We also established dropbox, a central online repository, where we can store & share Toastmaster files amongst ourselves, including the aforementioned videos of ourselves.

Congratulations Everyone

All in all, this year has been a big year for not only our executive, but for all members of Southport Toastmasters. All have shown great dedication to personal achievement and growth, to making our club the best it can be, and to having lots of fun, all culminating in making our club a fun and vital club. Not to forget it also catapulted us to achieve ‘President’s Distinguished’ Club status, the top honour a club can have in Toastmasters, a very big achievemrachel pleasantent for all. Congratulations everyone!!!!

Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as President this year, including the challenges and highs it has brought along the way, however most of all I have enjoyed the friendships it allowed me to foster.  Thank you all for such an amazing year, and lets make next year even better :)

Kind regards,

Rachel Pleasant
President 2010-2011


All the members of Southport Toastmaster’s Executive Committee joined other Toastmasters clubs’ from the Region 69, for a full day of training and speeches at the Prana Centre in Nerang on the Gold Coast.

The room was packed with eager 93 existing and incoming Club Officers, keen to learn about their new roles for the 2011/2012 year.

The day was opened by the regional governor Jacqui Hamilton at 9am, before being passed to the Master of Ceremonies Greg Bremen.


The first presentation of the day was from our 2010/2011 Southport Toastmasters President Rachel Pleasant.  Rachel’s speech was full of information about the role and expectations of the President, as well as some entertaining feedback and questions from the audience.  Rachel showed us the 5 characteristics of a great leader:

  1. Honest
  2. Forward-Looking
  3. Competent
  4. Inspiring
  5. Intelligent

Vice President Education

The second presentation was from Lynda Morris on the role of the Vice President Education (VPE).  The VPE puts together the programmes and encourages club members to achieve their awards as a Toastmaster.

Next we stopped for a brief morning tea with biscuits, muffins, tea and coffee.

At this point, the incoming President and Vice President Education from each club, went into a separate training room to get extra specific training and learn more about their roles in detail.

Vice President Public Relations

The remaining Toastmasters watched the third presentation by Helen Redhead on the Vice President Public Relations (VPPR).  Helen explained that the VPPR promotes and publicizes the Toastmaster brand, as well as attracts guests and new members into the club.

Vice President Membership

The fourth presentation was from Nerelle Penberthy who discussed the role of the Vice President Membership (VPM).  She stressed the importance of a membership pack for new guests to fully understand their opportunities once they join.

Just before lunch, we saw an entertaining and engaging presentation from Carolyn Phillips, on how to attract new members to the club.  Carolyn explained the 3 stages of membership:

  1. Attracting
  2. Converting
  3. Retaining

Carolyn also explained, with great visuals, how each role in the Executive Committee fits into each of these 3 stages, and the importance of not only gaining new members, but keeping new members, and seeing them achieve their Toastmasters awards and goals.

Lunch provided a range of sandwiches and wraps with some potato wedges on the side.

After lunch we heard from Francesca Thorn on Motivating Achievement and Charting a Course for Club Success.  We received 2 great handouts on the levels you can achieve as a Toastmasters, as well as details on the Distinguished Club Program.


Next Alison Andrew presented to us on the role of the Secretary.  Alison showed us how the Secretary maintains the membership roster, as well as maintaining general club correspondence.


The seventh presentation was a humorous look into the work of the Treasurer, by Alison Watson.  Alison explained how the Treasurer manages the incoming and outgoing funds, as well as updating the reports, and filing the appropriate paperwork.  The Treasurer also orders new badges for members.

Sergeant at Arms

The final presentation for the day, was by our own Southport Toastmaster Pat Kennelly on the role of the Sergeant at Arms (SAA).  Pat truly engaged the whole room by questioning the audience on their understanding of the role, before providing his presentation.  The Sergeant at Arms keeps the whole show logistics together – setting up the room, organising refreshments, and ensuring the speakers have the equipment they need.

The closing address by Jacqui Hamilton wrapped up the day.

It was noted that Toastmasters International are in the process of re-branding their entire image, so any new badges, handbooks, banners and all other related items would be delayed until possibly the end of August 2011.

Overall, the day appeared to be a roaring success.  All incoming committee Toastmasters were enthusiastic and determined to make the most of their new roles.

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