Meeting No.783 'International and Table Topics Speech Contest'

A big attendance to this week’s meeting, with it being one of our twice-yearly Speech Contests.

We welcomed a stellar contingent of Toastmasters from other Clubs, who were our Judges for the night.

Additionally, we welcomed five Visitors, three of them being fellow Point Cookers …… lovely to meet you and hope to see more of you in future.

The Contest night consisted of two key segments, Table Topics and International Speeches.

Table Topics contestants were; Venki, Peter, Hiren, Greg and Carol.
Udana our Club President asked each whether the Werribee Clubs website is of value.
Carol (one of the Club’s newer members) took the honours, exhibiting her usual composure and strong personal presence in the face of spritited opposition. Well done Carol.

The International Speech contestants comprised David (our Club Sergeant at Arms) Chih (Club VP Education) Venki and Yours Truly (Club VP Membership).
Due to me not being in the room to hear Chih and David’s speeches, I did not have the pleasure of hearing their efforts, but I’m confident they gave polished performances.
Venki took the honours with a masterful presentation entitled The Man In The Mirror. His speech gave us the good advice to look in the mirror when life or relationships are not going well.
I have to say, that Venki gave such a polished, confident and animated speech (aided by his strong and mellifluous voice) that if he ever decided to give-up his career in IT, he could probably make an excellent living on the International Speaking circuit.
My just saying ‘well done’ seems almost inadequate in summarising Venki’s performance. If ever I’m competing against him in future, I feel I may have to resort to gamesmanship, maybe even spiking his tea, if I’m ever to overcome his ability.
I feel I can only offer Venki one piece of good advice ………. In future, be sure to keep a close eye on your tea !!! LOL.

Between each contest and as a time filler during the Judges deliberations, Udana conducted a Round Robin segment on the timely subject of Spring.

Thank you to the Judges, for their time and input into making the Contest night such a success.

Just a reminder, the Club’s Humorous and Evaluation Contest night will be held on the 20th of this month and our next meeting will be this coming Wednesday the 6th September.

Finally, I feel Udana’s efforts in up-dating the Club’s website is worth a mention. Udana has spent a lot of time and effort recently on this important aspect of Werribee Toastmasters presentation. I sure all of us would agree the result of all his hard work is impressive. The website is clean and bright, simple to navigate, informative and a credit to Udana’s ability and vision.

Paul von Harder
VP Membership

“Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed”


My Toastmasters Journey

My wife Shashi a scholar in Sanskrit language and Indian Philosophy was in search of a Toastmasters club because the Dean of religious studies in Latrobe University had told her about the Toastmasters. She had the clear idea about what is Toastmasters, but I thought it was misspelt for Postmaster. When Shashi attended the Toastmaster’s meeting in Werribee, I went in with her, instead of waiting in the car. In the second half of the meeting, we witnessed Wendy Powel speaking on “Responsibilities”.

We were highly impressed by the activities and the friendly environment in the meeting. As I had to drive every time, for Shashi to attend the meeting, I also joined as a member of Werribee Toastmasters club (in the year 1999). Ever since, I have been learning, Public Speaking and Leadership skills, all the way along my journey in Toastmasters.

I had a chance to conduct speech craft in Westbourne Grammar School with the help of Wendy Powel and May Wilson. I took “Area Governor” role during 2012- 13. It was a great experience in this role because it involved arranging speech contests between 4 clubs within our area.
Having completed all the speech assignments up to the level of the ACG (Advanced Communicator Gold) and the AL (Advanced Leader), I am now aiming to achieve the DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster)

Shridhar Padaki, ACG, AL
Werribee Toastmasters Club
Date: 10th Aug 2017

Meeting No.782 'Consciousness'

A smaller meeting than meeting 781, but as always lots of education, interest and fun.

We welcomed Visitiors Stuart, Raji, Heman  Rayana and Patti  ……. trusting you found your visit up to expectations and hope to see you again.

Our Toastmaster for the night was Daniel I, who applied his huge experience to running the night smoothly and to schedule.

Daniel also hosted the Robin Master segment and invited the audience to talk on their thoughts on ‘Concience’ ……… as usual some interesting responses.

Greg hosted table Topics and asked questions around the subject of Immigration  and Growth…… Has it been good for Australia? Is Australia a good Global Citizen? Should infrastructure be built before population? Greg enhanced the segment by getting various speakers to answer in either the negative or the positive.

Two of the scheduled four speakers were unable to attend, but we were treated to two interesting speeches from Carol M and Peter K.
Carol spoke about the delights of Malta as a holiday destination. Warm weather, blue sea, afternoon siesta and evening party time. Carol also gave us a sprinkling of interesting facts about Malta ……….. such as don’t go there expecting Freeways, outside the main populated areas the roads are very basic, Malta’s 1st bus was only introduced in 2012 and that Malta’s language is a mixture of French, Italian and Arabic.

Our 2nd speaker, the always enthusiastic Peter K was so impressed with Carol’s that in his speech on Basic Thinking he equalled Carol on the times he mentioned Malta. Peter bolstered his talk with plenty of clear visual messages which he posted on the whiteboard. Well done Peter who is rapidly progressing through his Competent Communicator programme ……..  I’m sure we are all looking forward to his 6th speech.

Our Visitor from Queensland Patti, gave a masterful evaluation and consequently took out both the Speaker and Table Topics best Evaluator awards ….. well done Patti.

 Venki stepped up at late notice to take on the Harkmaster role and asked some tight questions. This important segment is aimed at testing our listening skills and Venki masterfully got us all searching our memories and hoping he would not select us for answers!!

General Evaluator Bruce nicely summed-up the evening and advised us not to be Lecturn Phobic. Bruce firmly believes the Lecturn is there for a reason and if you have notes for example, then it is good to use it.

Thank you everyone for contributing to another great meeting.

Paul von Harder
VP Membership

“Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed”

Note; In order to address privacy concerns, I’ve purposely not mentioned surnames in this Wrap. Also President Udana has requested that I as soon as possible include future Wraps in our website. So keep watching for that initiative which I’ll inaugurate as soon as my IT skills allow.

Stock photo

Werribee Toastmasters Agenda [16/08/2017]

Hello fellow Toastmasters,

Please find attached the Agenda for the next meeting (next Wednesday).

Agenda is always available online @ review and let me know if there are any changes at your earliest convenience.

The Club Calendar is a new addition to the Toastmasters site which allows you to view upcoming events, i.e. Contest dates or Guest speakers from other clubs etc and is available online @

Additionally, there will be a presentation performed by Paul Fanning in relation to Pathways on Wednesday, 6th September. Pathways is Toastmasters' new education program which better aligns with everyday life. If you would like to understand this new program being which is being rolled out in the near future please try to attend. I have also attached some information for you to have a look at in relation to this new program.

Our contest event is also soon approaching and I have taken up the opportunity to nominate individuals to assist with some roles, so please have a look at the attached agenda's for the contests and call out if there are any changes. If there are any queries in relation to these roles please do not hesitate to ask either myself or any of the committee members. Information is also available on the Toastmasters site in relation to contests;

Many thanks,


Meeting No.781 'Home Improvement'

Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this Wrap.

Yet again another great meeting with a HUGE attendance and an abundance of enthusiasm. Jacqueline was our Toastmaster for the night …… I think it was her second time in that role and she carried it out with her usual fun attitude and with enthusiasm ……. well done Jacqueline.

We welcome visitors Jane and Catherine and District/Area Director Debbie Horoba from Geelong Toastmasters, it would be great to see you again Ladies!

The night celebrated Werribee Toastmasters 30 years of existence and the Committee supplied a wonderful Black Forrest cake (my favourite and after stuffing handfuls down my throat I had to check how many fingers I had left! !!!)

 Greg supplied the Thought of the Day, being: EBULLIENT; meaning high in spirits, abundantly happy etc and I think that word was very apt for the mood of the meeting. Well done Greg, I believe that words that we do not often use are excellent choices for Word of the Day, because not only do they expand our vocabulary, but they provide a valuable learning experience.

Jacqueline introduced the Round Robin segment around the subject of Home Improvements ……… she also gave us the tip that any home improvement can always be accomplished with Duct tape!

Hiren hosted Table Topics and posed four questions on “How would you sell ?”Venki took the honours with a hilarious spiel around selling a painting. Well done Venki …… looking forward to more of your confident and humorous insights.

As one of the four listed speakers, I was up against tough competition from Stephen, Ramya and Elena. Elena deservedly took the honours with an advanced and polished (without notes)15 minute speech promoting/selling Toastmasters ….. congratulations and well done Elena.

The indomitable (now there’s a possible future Word of the Day!!) Wendy in her usual concise manner was awarded Evaluator of the night.

Finally, Debbie summarised the meeting with an insightful General Evaluation. In all another well attended and EBULLIENT meeting indicating many more years of success for Werribee Toastmasters.

Paul von Harder
VP Membership

 “Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed”

A couple of weeks ago I attended Wendy and May’s Youth Leadership programme which they host each Tuesday from 10.00am at Seaholme School located at the junction of Millers Rd and Civic Pde Altona. It was wonderful to see young people building their confidence and speaking skills. I highly recommend anyone with the time to go along and see the outcome of Wendy and May’s efforts.

Three Decades in Werribee Toastmasters

Bruce Bedson

About thirty years ago I read a small article in a local news information sheet called Around Laverton. It contained material about a new club called Toastmasters. After some enquires I ended up joining. 

The Club was then called Western Toastmasters and was initially an Air force based club. But because of the nature of the air force they allowed us civilians to join. It was a dinner club then, and was held at the Racecourse Hotel just over the Bridge in Werribee. There I met our first president and vice president education Peter Pick and Dave Pitts both air force officers, it was because of their warmth and friendliness that I stayed to become one of the charter members of the club. Over the next number of years we changed venues several times, first to the Bridge Hotel, and then the Wyndham Nursing Home, Italian social club, the old Civic center, the Events center Hoppers Crossing and finally Victoria University. 

Our main focus was initially on meeting procedure which then developed into public speaking. In the early days if you were assigned to be chairman you would be scared to come because of all the motions amendments points of order etc. that were moved. If you made a mistake all the members would give them a hard time, you really had to know Rentons or Roberts rules well.

30th Anniversary Certificate of Achievement from Toastmasters International

Our meetings were many and varied, one memorable one I recall was the Wedding meeting where one of the members found a traditional wedding procedure book, with all he speeches that were traditionally given listed. We developed a meeting around this list. It turned out to be a long meeting because of the number of speeches. The highlight of the meeting was the Father of the Brides speech, which was acted out as if the Father was rolling drunk; it was given so well that the member giving the speech nearly fell over the table in his effort to make it authentic. 

Our venues were of a varied condition ranging from what we have today all the way down to the old civic center in Watton street. If you attended a meeting there you had to decide weather you wore your thermal under wear or take your umbrella. I always wondered how I would go holding my umbrella giving a speech. It was at this venue someone forgot the key and we were forced to either cancel the meeting or had it at another venue. We had it at the Pizza shop in Station St., it cost us for a number of pizzas but it was a great meeting and experience. 

Bruce Bedson
Charter Member

Bruce Bedson is our longest serving charter member and parliamentarian with incomparable knowledge of Toastmasters.

Bruce and Maureen Bedson

Bruce Bedson getting recognize for 5 years at Werribee Toastmasters

Area Directors visit on Werribee Toastmasters 30th Anniversary

Debbie Horoba

30 Years of Toastmastery.  Congratulations Werribee on your milestone meeting. Tonight's meeting was lively & Ebullient (word of day).  It was wonderful to see members volunteer quickly without pressure to pick up roles.  Resulting in a broad task distribution & true team relationship.  Quality Club culture is an integral part of any Toastmasters club.  Werribee's warm, friendly environment embodies quality.  Professionalism, knowledge & adherence to the Toastmasters philosophy of Respect, Integrity, Service & Excellence thrives in the Werribee meeting atmosphere.  Tonight a long term member described Werribee as a family, a feeling & sentiment which is evident by the behaviour &  camaraderie of its members.  I look forward to follow up visits & getting to know you all.  

Debbie Horoba
N31 Area Director 2017-2018

30 Years of Werribee Toastmasters

Thirty years ago our club was born. It started as a club for members of the RAAF base in Laverton but it was soon decided it should become a community-based club.
This is an important milestone for our club and one worthy of celebration. In these 30 years and 781 meetings, hundreds of members have learned, practised, and developed important communication and leadership skills and then taken these skills and knowledge to their community, business and family lives. And we still continue doing so.

Daniel Iglesias and Bruce Bedson

For some of our members, the whole experience of Toastmasters has been through the club. For others, the club has been the gateway to a broader Toastmasters journey of self-development, leadership and enduring friendships and associations.
Werribee Toastmasters has had among its members two former District Governors, Danny Owen and Tom Boon, numerous Area and Division Governors. The club has hosted two district conventions, one in Tullamarine, hosted in conjunction with Essendon Toastmasters, and another at the Werribee Mansion, where May Wilson, DTM. was chair and Wendy Powell, DTM, convention secretary.
Let’s enjoy our anniversary, and continue to follow our club mission so that not only our members but those who visit the club can experience the fun and personal growth that epitomises membership in Werribee Toastmasters.

Daniel Iglesias, DTM
Werribee Toastmasters Inc