The theme for my year as Area Governor is a gem I have borrowed from the annals of wisdom bequeathed to us by Mahatma Ghandi.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.


It is often easy to sit back and think critically about some of the things we see in life and in our Toastmaster’s experiences and Clubs. It’s easy to whinge and whine. It’s easy to see other’s shortfalls. It’s easy to cast blame. Yet when you think about it, our Club, your Club, is really just a reflection of who we, its collective members, are. Our Club’s state signifies either what we are doing or what we are not doing. So if there are things we are seeing that we don’t like, essentially we need to do some serious reflecting about ourselves. True change comes from within.

Who do we need to be, what do we need to do in order to have the sort of Club we really want?

Toastmasters simply provides the vehicle or the framework. We, the members, provide the substance, the meat. Similar to a set of leggos, what we build, what we create is up to us. It may be a dishevelled pile of rubble or a magnificent artistic feat of architecture. The choice is ours, and let’s not fool ourselves, it is our choice!

My challenge to all the Clubs in Area 32 this year is to focus on creating a Club that you are proud to be a part of. We have all joined Toastmasters for a reason. We all hope to get something out of our involvement, whether that be friendships, improved levels of confidence, challenges, mental stimulation, social networking, fun and improved communication skills across a range of spheres.

George Bernard Shaw once said that “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself”. If we focus on becoming the person we most want to be, we will go a long way towards building the Clubs we most want to be a part of.

I am truly proud of my own home Club, Mt Sheridan and it has blossomed to become a dynamic, inspiring, flirtatiously challenging environment where members love to play and grow!

Be the change you wish to see in the world and create your dream play environment.

Anne McKinnon