Outgoing President's Message

I have arrived in Australia several years ago as an international student reading for bachelor of computer science and mathematics. I found myself a quick wit nervous when it came to impromptu speaking compared to my mother tongue. Few of my colleagues and my professional mentor mentioned about how toastmasters can improve the quality of delivering a speech not only in office presentations but also in social events such as a speech on a wedding ceremony or even prepare for a good job interview. Since then I have come long way improving my leadership skills thanks to Werribee Toastmasters Club.

I joined Werribee Toastmasters Club over three years(2015) ago. Within few months I got the opportunity to serve the club official as club secretary, and was soon asked to take over the role of Vice President Education, VPE.  This is a very engaging role that involves organising meeting agenda and helping fellow members to advance through their manuals. Regularly getting in touch with few dozens of members and guests and organizing meeting roles is quite challenging but certainly it did improve my management and people skills. I’m very thankful to my fellow members and support they have given and also, I’m quite impressed with our clubs’ support to let young members rise and take leadership.

I found Werribee Toastmasters club a very welcoming place to not only improve public speaking and leadership skills, but also an excellent productive environment to socialize and meet new people and exchange life experiences and learn new things. We are always open for guests to visit our meetings. As we have members coming from various backgrounds we have so many interesting speeches. Speeches varying from ‘Backyard Beekeeping’ to ‘Getting married in India’ to ‘Heart in terms of its structural integrity.

As outgoing president for 2017/18 I’m quite happy to celebrate our achievement during my tenure.
  • We were able to reach 8 goals new members get 'Select Distinguished' Ribbon for the club, we were just only one short of highest 'President Distinguished' Ribbon.
  • We had recruited 8 new members to the club.
  • We had 5 members complete there CC manuals this year; Chih, Paul, Peter, Udana and Wendy and another 4 member very close to completing CC. 
  • We had 1 member (Udana) complete there Leadership manual
  • We had 1 member (David) complete there Advanced Leadership manual
  • May and Wendy for their continual work with the youth leadership program @ Westbourne Grammar, Seaholme Primary, and Point Cook Senior College. Well done and congratulations 
  • Wendy and May on your joint, long standing and continuing effort of helping to enhance the speaking skills and self-confidence of young people in Melbourne’s West.
  • We have had 3 out of 4 area contest awards won by our club members.
    • Humorous Speech Contest - Venky S.
    • Table Topics Speech Contest - Greg H.
    • International Speech Contest - Venky S.
    • With Venky proceeding across to the National contest with his Humorous Speech
  • With Pauls great organising skills, he successfully secured and organised 2 Bunnings sausage sizzles for recruiting and promoting the club in the west.
  • The launch of Pathways where we had members from other clubs come and provide us a walk through of how it is used compared to the old manuals. 
  • We have Celebrated 30th Anniversary with a special meeting
  • We have celebrated 800th meeting with a special meeting
  • We have celebrated our newly appointed committee with a special dinner meeting.
  • During this time we were able established werribeetoastmasters.org and launch new website and keep updated with averaging more than 2 articles per month. Our VPM Paul's contribution of meeting wraps were outstanding. We had about 12000 page views last year.
  • We had more than 100 guest visits in the past year.
  • We were able to improve on online collaboration and enhanced the rostering and agenda generation for VPE.
  • Club Awards for year (2017/18)
    • Best Speaker Award Elena M.
    • Best Evaluation Award DTM Wendy P.
    • Best Table Topics Master Award Greg H.
Last year (2016/17) as acting President and VPE I have selected Paul H. as the toastmaster of the year considering for his organizational help and so many little contributions to the club. This year (2017/18) as the Club President I have selected toastmaster of the year, Peter K. Perter has significantly improved as a member, His role as Treasurer he delivered beyond expectations. By taking Treasurer role Peter has tremendously improved his skills on technology especially with the online tools we are using for managing our club. Peter is very reliable and deliverable he also completed his CC manual as well. 
I'd like to thank for the enormous support given to me by club officials and all of the club members. I'm quite lucky to be a member of skill rich club like Werribee Toastmasters and get help from many members in advanced levels including 3 DTMs and one charter member. Having a charter member for club more than 30 years old is quite significant. I'd like to thank Our Area Director Debbie H. and Northern Division Director Clare B. for their support and attending few events we had in this year.

Udana A.
Outgoing Club President for 2017/18
30 Jun 2018

Meeting number 800 - Reunion

After 30 plus years Werribee Toastmasters is still going strong. Our 800th meeting started with a colorful opening by our very own town crier Paul Von Harder. Meeting was vividly colored by honorable past and currentt members of the club. Today's theme was Reunion, a perfect theme for the night. Today we had a different meeting than usual. We altered the agenda to fit more speeches and table topics. We had 7 speeches and 6 table topic speeches in total. On this meeting our speeches were mainly focused on club's history and personal experience. Out timing were officially 5 - 6 minutes, However we had rather relaxed time limits for the speeches. I volunnteered to do the timing for the event.

On This special meeting, Meeting Toastmaster Chih and  Sergeant at Arms David did excellent job, behind the curtain as well. David G facilitate the table topics with mixure of riddles and topics related to the meeting theme. First table topic was most memorable reunion for Ramya A. 'How did you handle a unexpected reunionn' was a perfect match for Patty K. Patty explained how she met her birth mother after more than half a century for the first time. Third table topic was for Arun Raman, this table topic was based on a riddle 'What walks on four legs in the morning , two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the eveining' rather than solving  the commonnly known riddle Arun took us to wonderful place of  mythycal creatures and mysterious places. Paul got the riddle 'When is door is not a door' this was a piece of cake for Paul, He also extended his topic to new level describing his reunion with his own son who is older than him. 'I have eyes but I cann't see, I live in the dark but I grow with light' riddle went for Peter K, who delivered a great table topic with lots of humour. Last table topic 'Experience in odd reunion' went to area contest winner of table topics, our own Greg H.

Our former member and President(2008) Tedd Powell, DTM opened the speeches with  a great speech on comparing Australia now and then, presenting his views on various areas, economy, migration and population growth, crime and property.

Charter member Bruce Bedson's delivered a quite humorous speech on his experience from meeting number 1 to 800 meetings and most of the milestones between. He went for nearly 15 minutes sharing his experience. As the time keeper I had to ring the bell and flick the red light for Bruce.

Next Speeches were from May Wilson, DTM (President 1996, 2005, 2006) and followed by Wendy Powell, DTM(President 2000, 2011, 2012) who light heartedly remembered the club history and wonderful memories. Next Area director Debbie Rose celebrate this special occasion followed by beautiful speech by our northern division director Claire Bunworth. Clair explained the gift she received from the Toastmasters, how she has improve her professional work and how it helped her to climb up the ladder.  Kylie, one of the past member and Bruce Bedson's daughter, delivered a speech on how she grew up with the club, how much she benefited from the club and how she won an interview thankfully to toastmasters.

Our Imediate past president Elena morandini delivered the general evaluation. As the club president I was hounered to handover table topics awards abetween tie Peter K and Patty K and best speech award went for Claire bunworth. After I closed the official meeting we had a wonderful gatherinng enjoying fingerfood and wine. Paul was very merry therefore I decided to do the meeting wrap for him for this meeting. 

Udana Abeypala
Club President
May 2nd, 2018

Meeting number 799 - Thrive

After three low attendance meetings, meeting 799 was well attended and we welcomed six guests.
It was good also to see two of our most valuable members Daniel I and Elena M in attendance.
Despite the room’s clock showing the time as ten to three, we did get the meeting to open on schedule (mental note: replace clock batteries at next meeting!!)

Program changes saw Jacquelene B assume the role of Toastmaster, no doubt because of her past record of excellence in stepping-In without prior notice. Thank you Jacquelene.

Table Topics Master Chih posed four questions based on Thrive, the theme of the night. Unfortunately, Chih asked me ‘what AFL team will thrive this year”? Not being a huge fan of AFL, this threw me somewhat, but I managed to bluster my way through and was amazed to later receive Best T.T. Speaker award. Full marks to 1st time visitor Kesharika for overcoming her nerves and participating in the T.T segment.

A major tea-break disaster was avoided by May W.   Quel horreur, it was realised that the milk supplies had run-out!!!!! Then it was found that May had saved the day by bringing a carton of milk. Give that lady a medal!!

With attendees fully refreshed after cups of tea and coffee (with milk), we launched into the Speech segment and were treated to three excellent offerings from Peter K, Daniel #2 and Wendy.
Peter spoke on the subject of over consumerism, and as we have become to expect from Peter, used props to underline his message. I was dumb enough to accept a challenge from Peter and was given four huge slabs of chocolate to consume before the meetings end.
Unfortunately, I am on a diet, plus none of it was MILK chocolate!
Daniel #2’s speech task was to ‘Persuade with Power’ and he certainly achieved that …….. you could have heard a pin drop through-out his speech and that is always a sign of an engaged audience. Daniel’s subject was about the value of reading and his excellent concluding and persuasive line was “read books and your whole life will change for the better”. Excellent stuff Daniel.
Twenty-five years of Toastmasters experience was evident from Wendy who was the Speech award winner for the night. I have to say that on any other night both Daniel’s and Peter’s speeches could well have been award winners.

Chih, Daniel#1 and yours truly were the evenings speech Evaluators and faced the difficult task of evaluating three excellent performances.  I was rapt to be awarded Best Evaluator but feel that a vote re-count would not have been inappropriate!

President Udana adroitly carried-out the triple task of Timekeeper, General Evaluator and closing the meeting.
Whilst I was happy to receive two awards (for the first time) Udana managed to deflate any boosted ego I may have had, by ensuring I got back to my seat at the end of the room, before announcing my second award. Just you wait Udana …. revenge will be mine!!!!
A high-light of the Business session was Wendy P’s announcement that the Youth Leadership program will commence at Point Cook Senior College on Monday 23rd April.
This of course is in addition to the Y.L. programs that Wendy, ably assisted by May W, runs at Westbourne Grammar and Seaholme Primary schools. Exposing young people to Toastmasters hugely increases their confidence and maturity levels. Well done Wendy and May.

V.P. Membership

Membership of Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed.

20 Years of Youth Leadership at Westbourne Grammar 1998 – 2018

In 1998 Werribee Toastmasters International commenced a Youth Leadership program with Westbourne Grammar School’s Year 11 and 12 students, a program that after 20 years is still running successfully.

Wendy Powell and May Wilson, two of the original WTM team that commenced the program in 1998 are still continuing the good work.

Wendy says: “The students are always enthusiastic in preparing and presenting speeches and evaluations. Their level of Evaluation is excellent and at a standard that would stand-up well at any Toastmasters meeting.

At the last meeting of each course, students invite other teachers and parents and have never failed to impress in demonstrating their abilities.
Looking back, 20 years seems a long time, but May and I wouldn’t have missed the experience of bringing the Youth Leadership program to Westbourne Grammar’s young people”.

In addition to the above, Wendy is introducing the Youth Leadership Program to the Point Cook Senior College, with the initial TM meeting commencing 23rd April 2018.
And of course Wendy and May also run the Youth Leadership program at Altona’s Seaholme Primary School.

Well done and congratulations Wendy and May on your joint, long standing and continuing effort of helping to enhance the speaking skills and self-confidence of young people in Melbourne’s West.

Wendy Powell, DTM

Daniel Iglesias, DTM & Charter Member Bruce Bedson

May Wilson, DTM

Meeting number 798 - Dreams

The meeting tonight was small and intimate which meant we could have some fun and everyone got to shine in multiple roles.
We had three great but very different speeches, learning much about our fellow Toastmasters in the process. This followed on from the revelations during the Round Robin and Table Topics which stayed focussed on the evening topic of “Dreams”.
During the Round Robin we found that some members had current unfulfilled tangible dreams like specific travel, some less tangible like enlightenment and self-development and some who are so content that they feel that they fulfilled all their dreams.
We had a speech from the child hood of a veteran member, the journey to become a member and beyond from our president and a passionate speech about working with computers from the third presenter of the night.
We had a first time guest who made a wonderful Table Topic Speech about coming to Australia, getting a great job and his dream of building a foundation for poor and disadvantaged children. What an amazing dream, may he succeed with the help of all of us!
Of course, the takeaway from any Toastmasters meeting is how far we have come and how Toastmasters has made such a difference to all who attend.
So let your inner orator out and join us at our next meeting.

Jacquelene B

Meeting number 797 - Rewards

Another smallish attendance for meeting 797, but it was wonderful to see long term member and Past-President Elena M.
We also welcomed 1st time Guests Sam and Subha and returning Guests Arun and Ardeena.

Topic for the night was ‘Rewards’

During the Business segment (capably Chaired for the 1st time by Peter K) Wendy P announced a successful meeting with Point Cook Senior College’s Bryce F. The intention is to introduce some of the College’s under-performing students to the benefits of Toastmasters. Should the programme be accepted by the College’s Board, it will earn valuable income for Werribee Toastmasters.

Peter also reminded us that the six month membership subscriptions are due.

Toastmaster for the night was President Udana who commenced the Educational segment by asking me to announce the Word Of The Day.
I feel my choice ‘Control’ failed to gain the meetings imagination, because I was the only person to include it in a presentation. But to be fair I did provide the word on very short notice.
Mental Note: Do better next time Paul!!!

Next Udana introduced Round Robin Master, Chih.
We’ve become used to Chih’s well-conceived thinking and he did not disappoint with questions related to the Rewards theme.
He asked Peter K: Are today’s kids more spoilt than in the past?
David Garrick was asked: Are we in an age where we over-reward ourselves?
Guest Ardeena was asked: Do you shop just for the Reward Points, or are you loyal to companied you’ve made past purchases from?
Arun was asked: Do you feel businesses are now-a-days less compassionate?

As Table Topics Evaluator I departed from the format of providing equal evaluation to each of the respondees, because I felt both Ardeena and Arun deserved special mention on their efforts on what is a daunting experience for Guests. I felt especially so, because both Guests acquitted themselves so well, with confident and animated deliveries.
Another Mental Note: Stick to the script, Paul.

Speaker # 1, David G spoke on short notice and delivered yet another eloquent and unscripted speech based on a Sales presentation. We all felt for David, because he was suffering from a heavy cold and was obviously quite unwell. Never-the-less he manfully soldiered-on. Well done David.

Speaker # 2 was Yours Truly. My speech was titled Professional Speaking and was my first after achieving Competent Communicator status. My speech time duration was scheduled for 15 to 20 minutes, for me a huge leap from the 5-7 minutes I’d got used to. I felt my speech was competent although I had to rely heavily on notes.
Mental Note: Don’t be scared of failing from time to time. Extending yourself leads to improvement.

Speaker # 3 was Jacqueline B who expounded on the ‘Me Too’ social phenomenon with a speech titled “Jumping on the Bandwagon”
Jacqueline transfixed her audience with a powerful and convincing argument which questioned if men are now becoming the disadvantaged sex, and if sometimes unprovable allegations can in fact set-back the female fight for equality.
A brave and challenging speech from Jaqueline. Well done.

Jaqueline and I were jointly awarded Best Speaker, although I thought David’s sufferings made the competition less than equal, (hope Jaqueline agrees!!).
For myself, I felt that Jacqueline’s effort trumped mine on the night and was amongst the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing at Toastmasters.

Speech Evaluators Chih, Elena and Wendy, all gave excellent observations and advice.

Elena delivered a concise (and precise) Timekeepers Report.

Toastmaster Udana closed the meeting a little over the target of 9.30pm, but I don’t think anyone minded the over-run because it was such a good meeting.
Time flies when you are having fun!!       Well, done everyone

V.P. Membership

Membership of Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed.

Meeting number 795 - Adventures

The meeting started on time as usual and despite the few apoligises we received, we had a good amount of members step up and volunteer for roles. In addition, we had four guests for the evening; Hassan, Laith, Aluel and Arun.

The Meeting Toastmaster for the evening was Peter, who also gave us the round robin which started us off with many adventures and experiences shared. The most humorous one goes to the adventure experienced by Hassan, when he was out one night, driving in the car with no petrol station in sight, and then the low petrol light suddenly sparked on in his car. One hell of an adventure that most can relate to at least once in their lifetime.

A special mention goes out to Jacquelene, who volunteered for Thought of the day and the table topics even though she was already performing a speech. The average toastmasters would of felt overwhealmed, but not Jacquelene. She delivered very well thought out questions even though it was prepared with very short notice and involved  all the guests so that they were able to participate in the improptu table topic's segement. Well done Jacquelene.

We had 2 speeches for the night delivered by David and Jacquelene. David gave us a abstract speech on a great book that he read about the characteristics of the politicians in the past and Jacquelene delivered a speech about how we need to pay more attention to our real life friends as opposed to our social media network. Both entertaining speeches, which were complemented with valuable evaluations from both our Daniels (Daniel I and Daniel B).

The Harkmaster report did wake everyone up, as I made sure that the questions were asked before the victim was chosen to answer the question. All in all, it did prove that everyone was awake and alert as all questions were answered. I also delivered the report for which recorded Greg repeating the word of the day (Experience) the most times in the night, a total of 6 times. The Ah counter report was provided by Heman, followed by the Timekeeper report by Greg.

Udana, the club president, gave us his general evaluation on the night as a whole, and listed some very easy to follow points of improvement. Our club President also presented the best evaluator of the night" Daniel B, and best Table Topics of the night: Laith. Good work to both of you and those who participated in those segments and provided the competition that made the voting decision so much more harder!

Looking forward to another eventful meeting in Meeting number 796. See you all then.



Meeting No.792 'Tasks'

Our 1 st meeting of the 2018 Calendar year was a fun and fast-moving affair and with a very
pleasing seven Guests in attendance.

David G was our Toastmaster and coordinated the evening with his usual aplomb and good
humour ………. a prime example of Toastmastership, well done David
In May’s absence, Daniel I provided the Thought of the Day, as follows: “Books are the bees
that take one intelligence to another”, sorry I did not record who the original creator of that
gem of wisdom was.

Carol M gave us a real pearl as the Word of the Day = Novaturient. My Word app struggles
with this word, in fact it does not recognise it, but the structure of the word indicates ‘of the
new’ an excellent WOTD to start the New Year. Carol’s challenge was well taken-up by
everyone but the person using it the most was Daniel I.

Our illustrious VP Education Chih, took-on the role of Table Topics Master and provide 5
challenging questions around the nights theme of Tasks. Table Topics is a segment which
helps us ‘think on our feet’ and we had some excellent responses to Chih’s posers. I often
question whether Guests should be asked Table Topics questions on the ground that even
experienced Members find Table Topics daunting at times. However, Chih dispelled my
reservations by inviting one of our Guests, Zalak, to speak on the subject of Procrastination.
I think it fair to say that Zalak astounded all of us by standing-up in front of 20 or so people
and giving a poised, confident and well-structured speech …….. many of the more
experienced Members would have been proud to match Zalak’s performance. Well done
Zalak, I hope we see more of you, in anticipation of what you can demonstrate with more

We had five speeches scheduled, but four apologies. Fortunately, Venky S had a speech
prepared and was able to step forward to save the day.
Wendy P presented a speech entitles “It’s Only A Box” a delightful and absorbing speech
about an old box (which turned-out to be a gentleman’s writing cabinet). As a person who
appreciates the high quality of antique workmanship, I recognised the beautiful
craftsmanship of this box and have to say it’s quality surpasses anything that is made in this
day and age and is a fine example of British wood working skill. Yes, it’s only a box Wendy,
but a family heirloom beyond price.

Venki gave us an animated speech in the humorous vein on the subject of how to respond
to a spouses loaded question. The question he addressed was ‘Darling do you think this
dress makes me look fat?’ Venky accurately detailed how this question is answered was
probably the 1st step in the break-up of many marriages.

I was allotted the easiest task of the night in evaluating Venky’s speech. Simple, how can
you critique excellence!!! Still I did my best and was thrilled to be awarded Evaluator of the
night. As they say in England, that was ‘money for old rope’. LOL

Daniel #2 was our Harkmaster (the section that probes whether we have been listening).
Daniel posed some well-directed questions and it was interesting to note that all were
answered correctly. Not only a good-looking audience but one that listens also!!

Carol was Grammarian and WOTD Master. She found our grammar practically faultless and
as mentioned previously awarded Daniel I, as the person using Novaturient the most.
Greg H officiated as Ah Counter and I have to say how happy I was when Greg said he was
surprised that I uttered Ah or Err seven times during the night …………. a big improvement on
my early days average of around FORTY such faux pas. Yaaay!!!

Timekeeper for the night was Peter K, who started off being a little apprehensive because it
was his first time in the role. Peter produced one of the best Timekeeper’s reports, very
detailed and concise. Maybe that was a first for you Peter, but I’m sure your performance
has earnt you many repeat performances. Well done Peter.

President Udana concluded the meeting and closed it only slightly past the 9.30pm target.


Please note in your dairies and/or forward programmes, that we have a Bunnings
fund raising Sausage Sizzle booked for Saturday 23 rd June. This is a golden
opportunity for the Club to more than meet rising costs without having to raise
membership fees. I will issue a manning roster closer to the date.

Only two Guest’s Welcome Folders were available on the night, so I’ll will send info
PDFs by email to: Willi R, Kaushal B, Mujtaba S and Fawzana T.

President Udana mentioned that the time is coming for members to step-up and
think about nominating for Management Committee roles for the 2018 -2019 year.

We are approaching Werribee Toastmasters milestone 800th meeting.
Can I suggest that we all have a think about how we celebrate this special event?
Please sent thoughts and ideas to President Udana

Membership of Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed.

Paul von Harder
VP Membership