Three decades with The (Chadstone) Oaks – Ron Walker’s Experience

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that many of our members were not even born when I became a member of Toastmasters! So why did I join and why have I stayed for so long? Many of my reasons were covered comprehensively by Mike O’Keefe in the last edition of the newsletter. However I can add some more.

We all like to seek out and socialize with like-minded people. Those who join Toastmasters are invariably enthusiastic, goal-oriented, thoughtful, intelligent people. We are in many ways so similar and yet so different. In recent years we have become more multicultural reflecting changes in the makeup of the Australian population. Most of our members now come from different countries and different cultures, enriching us with new ideas and attitudes.

Many of my best friends either are or have been members. Toastmasters is a great social activity. As one of our past members, Mary Macdermid, said (in those days we paid by the meeting): “Where else can you have a night out like this for $3. No-one expects you to bring a partner or questions why you are there. You just come along and enjoy yourself.”

And our brains need exercise just as our bodies do. Delivering speeches, evaluating, replying to impromptu topics, chairing meeting are all great ways to stimulate the “gray matter”.

We are now a more “conventional” club, more closely following the format set down by the parent organization. Meeting were once more raucous. It was a lot of fun but confusing and daunting for new attendees. We always had a business session with frivolous motions such as: “That we sing ‘God Save the Queen’ at the beginning of each meeting” with speakers for and against, procedural motions, amendments, points of order etc. Even the educational session could be fun. A founding member, Bill Curtis, once delivered a serious and stern lecture admonishing us for not applauding with enough enthusiasm. He pointed out that people often delivered wonderful speeches to be greeted at the end with half-hearted clapping. Whilst Bill was speaking, a message circulated around the room saying “give him a standing ovation”. Bill returned to his seat to thunderous applause, his face glowing crimson with embarrassment.

We have become so accustomed to modern technology that we often do not appreciate how much it has changed our lives. One president did not even have a telephone, committee members having to rely on him to contact them from a phone box. Minutes and programs were typed or hand-written and distributed well in advance or “snail-mailed”. International monetary transactions were by mail order, posted to America.

I have seen many changes over the years but it is always interesting and every meeting is different. And more details about our new members to follow J

— By Ron Walker

Mike’s Experience…

Most people will have had some initial reason that motivated them to join Toastmasters. For myself, I often found myself in meetings at work with something to say, but too shy to speak up. When I would spoke to people later, after the meeting, they would often say,

– “That was a good idea. Why didn’t you bring that up at the meeting?”

So after much procrastination, I joined Chadstome Oaks in 2003.

The regular public speaking opportunities at TM’s has certainly given me confidence to contribute in meetings. For example, Table Topics has taught me how to structure and present a brief topic in a meeting forum. The evaluations that I have received, particularly from prepared speeches, has taught me to consider my presentation from the perspective of my audience. Of course this is really important, if I want to get my message across.

Being on the committee in a volunteer community club has enhanced my leadership skills, particularly with regard to how to encourage, empower and motivate people. With my involvement with the district committee, as an area governor, I have met a new group of people with different ideas about TM’s and public speaking, which gave me a new perspective on the TM organisation.

And of course, it’s been fun preparing speeches and being involved in contests, and I have enjoyed this as a hobby in completing my various speech manuals.

In my experience, most “real life” speaking opportunities, either professional or social, are in a group discussion or a meeting. In this context, skills in facilitating discussion and interactive speaking are very useful. If I could add anything to TM’s it would be to include an educational program for interactive speaking; to facilitate and encourage people to have their say. I believe that everyone has something to offer to the discussion at hand. It’s just that some people find it harder to have their say than others.

And why do I still attend Toastmasters meetings? Well I must confess that it is for mainly selfish reasons. I know that I need to continue practicing my speaking skills and it is a pleasure to watch new members grow rapidly in their public speaking and leadership skills. And, you never really know what you are going to hear when the next speaker steps up to the podium.


— By Mike O’Keefe

Calm Rage

Message from the President

Have you ever looked into a Tiger’s Eyes? No, not the YouTube one, but the one in real life. Now, if you haven’t seen one, I would highly encourage you to visit to the local zoo and try to make eye contact with the tiger just for experience sake.

Ok, the first time, I made eye contact with a tiger, was in Nandan Kanan Zoo, a zoo in Eastern India. It was a giant Bengal Tiger – 2-3 meters big. I was just awestruck looking at the majestic animal. But when I looked into the eyes of the tiger a strange thing happened.

–           I froze in shock.

–           I could see Tremors in my knees.

–           I was frightened, to my core.

Now, if you analyse, the tiger has a deep calm rage that it influences in the other person/victim. This is what I term as calm rage.

We are unhappy about so many things, which we need to express. We have a rage that is burning inside, a natural urge to change this world. But somehow, due to the negativism in life we just keep quiet and quell the urge

by more negative thoughts. Deep within there is an emotional un-satisfaction that manifests in so many ways.

Welcome to the Chadstone Oaks. I believe public speaking takes a long way in expressing those fears and frustrations and bring that leader in you. We need to grow that calm rage. With calm rage – you grow, your goals grow and finally we as a community grow. I am quite excited to introduce you this brand new edition of the Chadstone Oaks Newsletter. We are starting this initiative and the team (Especially VPPR Eunice) is quite enthusiastic in presenting this newsletter to you.

  • New Updated Website with Blogging Feature.
  • New Projector Purchase (LED 10K Lumens)
  • Awards/Recognition Programs
  • Re introduction of Induction Ceremony
  • Successful Club Program, Better Speaker Series – List of Educational
  • Easy Speak for Speakers Management
  • Club Newsletter
  • Membership Initiative

The club is on track with its initial goals 2 Competent Communicators (Ansuman, Venka) and 1 Competent Leader (Ansuman). We are trying to exceed our goals and hoping to achieve 3 more CCs by June (Eunice, Wasu and Rekha) and one ALB (Ansuman).

I highly encourage everybody to participate in our programs and provide feedback to the committee. A special note of thanks to the beautiful committee members who are giving it their all. (VPM – Venka, Treasurer- Wasu, VPPR – Eunice, Secretary – Rekha, VPE-Sam, SAA-Jamie).

Thank you for your commitment and “Namaste”.


—by Ansuman Roy

Our club timings have changed

Dear Toasties and Guests,

Please note that from the 1st April 2015, we are changing our club timings to 7:30pm. So our session would be held from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month.


Successful Club and Better Speaker Series Educational Programme

Yes, we are bringing change and we believe change is good. The committee is working at 400% and firing at all cylinders. As discussed in our last meeting, the committee has decided to conduct the following sessions :

1. Better Speaker Series – This is a well acclaimed series of educational as provided by TMI. This covers the basics of public speaking and how we apply this in our speeches.

2. Successful Club Series – Does your club need motivation, do your members need motivation. Yes, TMI (Toastmasters International) has this series for the clubs to motivate members, leaders and the committee.

When are we running this educational programme?

Every meeting! Yes, we are running these in every meeting and have a slot dedicated for this event. We also intend to conduct interactive workshops to show how it is done.

What topics do you have in the Better Speaker Series?

Each of the following is a presentation/workshop lasting 10-15 mins.

  • Beginning Your Speech
  • Concluding Your Speech
  • Controlling Your Fear
  • Impromptu Speaking
  • Selecting Your Topic
  • Know Your Audience
  • Organizing Your Speech
  • Creating An Introduction
  • Preparation And Practice
  • Using Body Language

What topics do you have in the Successful Club Series?

  • Moments of Truth
  • Finding New Members
  • Evaluate to Motivate
  • Closing the Sale
  • Creating Best Club Climate
  • Meeting Roles
  • Mentoring
  • Keeping the commitment
  • Going beyond the club
  • How to be a Distinguished Club.
  • Toastmaster Educational Programme

When are you going to start this Programme?

We have already started, and intend to repeat them on demand. So far we have completed the following:

  • Toastmaster Educational Programme by Mike
  • Evaluate to Motivate by Ansuman Roy
  • Beginning your speech by Rekha Patadiya

Watch out for the next agenda which would prompt you what educational we would be covering.


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Christmas Dinner

This gallery contains 5 photos.

We had our special Christmas Dinner at the AMF, Clayton Bowling  and we had lots of fun. After two fun rounds of bowling, we had our annual prize distribution ceremony. Below are the results.


Most Improved Toastmaster: Venka Jayarangan

Toastmaster of the Year 2013: Mike O Keefe

Toastmaster of the Year 2014: Eunice Shao

Table Topics Contest Winner 2014: John Barker

Evaluation Contest Winner 2014: Amitabh Dasgupta

Humorous Speech Contest 2014: Wasu Sookosomsod

International Speech Contest 2014: Amitabh Dasgupta.


Congratulations to all of you guys.



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Club Level Speech Contest 2014 Winners

Its a proud moment to announce our winners of the Club Level Speech Contests for 2014.  Congratulations to all the participant and the club members for turning the contest into a momentous one.

Humorous Contest

1. Graham Wilce
2. Wasu Sooksomsod

Table Topics Contest

1. John Barker
2. Graham Wilce
3. Amitabh Dasgupta

International Contest

1. Amitabh Dasgupta
2. Adam Ward
3. Wasu Sooksomsod

Evaluation Contest

1. Amitabh Dasgupta
2. Ansuman Roy


The winners of each category will now move forward to the Area Level Competition. Cant wait.


Upcoming Contests

Chadstone Oaks  proudly announce our Annual Humourous and Table Topic Club contest. Visitors are welcome and can register with our VP Membership  (vp_membership@chadstoneoaks.org.au).


The meeting details are as:

Humourous and Table Topics Contest


Wednesday, 20th August 2014 , 7:30pm to 10:00 pm


Chadstone Bowls Club, 32A Chadstone Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145

Meeting Details

When do we meet?

1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month at 19:30
Where do we meet?

Conference Room,
Phoneix Park Community Centre,
22 Rob Roy Road,
Malvern East 3145
(Entry via Children Play Area)