Our club is made up of a fun and dynamic bunch of people from a wide variety of life experiences, occupations and age groups. Have a little peek at some our profiles here, but we’d love you to get to know us better at a meeting.
Speakers in Demand
Our experienced members are often being called upon to speak at professional functions. We have spoken for some amazing organisations such as Facebook, Australian Institute Management, Queensland Government and many more!
It goes to show that Toastmasters training can certainly help you launch a speaking career!
James moved to Cairns in 2017 after two years living the Bloomfield region near Cooktown. He works as a school teacher at a local primary school and enjoys playing guitar, camping, gardening and playing sports. He joined Toastmasters in an effort to improve his ability to construct and present engaging speeches for adults, as well as developing his leadership potential. It must be working as he is now our Club President!
Greg Okulov CC CL
Vice President Education
Greg moved to Cairns in 2016 to begin his career in education. He originally joined Toastmasters to gain confidence in speaking in front of groups and was previously a member of the Sunshine Coast Club, Inside Edge Toastmasters (2011). Greg is key support in our transition to the new Toastmasters Pathways Programme.
Celia Berrell ACB CL
Vice President Membership
Celia has held a variety of Committee roles including President, VPE & VPPR, Treasurer & Secretary. She won the annual I Love Cairns speech contest in 2009 with The Best of Both Worlds and with A Golden Opportunity in 2010. She delivered her speech “The Biggest Butterflies” at the 2016 Humourosity Speechfest.
“When I moved to Cairns in 2006, I decided that joining a Club would be a great way to make new friends. Also, as I present science education through poetry at schools, I needed to get rid of that ‘fear factor’. I couldn’t have achieved a Television Interview without the practice gained from regularly attending Club meetings and entering speech contests. Toastmasters continues to fulfil my expectations and strengthen my resolve.”
Celia’s Science Rhymes website showcases scientific fun and facts packed in poems. Her educational poetry is published in school text books, science magazines and in her self-published book, Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes. These resources for teachers, students and parents are enjoyed around the world.
Vice President Public Relations
Nicky Jurd DTM
Nicky joined Toastmasters in 1999 and has held a plethora of Leadership roles including Club VPPR, Secretary, President, Area 32 Governor, Area 9 Governor, Northern Division Governor and District 69 Public Relations Officer.
“I’m a friendly and approachable local geek who owns a web development and internet marketing firm. Needless to say, communication is not considered the computer geek’s best asset, so I joined Toastmasters to improve my business communication skills.
I’m now an enthusiastic public speaker and hold semi-regular workshops on a range of internet-related topics aimed at small business owners. I’ve found Toastmasters has given me the confidence to be more chatty at networking functions and answer questions in a more organised fashion. I don’t stumble over my words like I used to.
I enthusiastically recommend Toastmasters to any person who wants to overcome their nerves when speaking to others or just to polish their performance.”
Nicky, with partner Kaj, is Managing Director of the largest web development company in North Queensland, Precedence.
Kaj Haffenden ACS ALB
A past Area 32 Governor, Kaj has previously held the roles of President, VPE, Secretary and Treasurer for Mt Sheridan Toastmasters. He was Convenor for the Northern District Conference in Cairns earlier this year and MC for the hugely successful “Humourosity Speechfest” in June 2015 & May 2016. A wizard of impeccable capabilities, he was recently awarded a ceremonious pin to acknowledge his fifteen years as a Toastmaster.
“I was a Toastmaster many years ago and joined again at the delightful Mt Sheridan Toastmasters club in 2008. And am thoroughly pleased with myself for doing so — I’d forgotten how rusty one can become after an absence! In my spare time I am a managing director of local Cairns web-design and web-hosting companies. Toastmasters provides the polish I need to effectively conduct meetings, manage staff and run seminars.”
Sergeant At Arms
Description coming soon
Hazel’s welcoming nature and storytelling talents will add an extra spark of warmth to connect with first-time guests.
Rhondda Walters CTM
Back then, Rhondda took on the role of VP Education. After finishing extensive studies to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, she became VPE again for the 2011-12 term, then Treasurer for 2013.
PAST FOUNDING MEMBERS
Anne McKinnon DTM
If it wasn’t for Anne McKinnon, Mt Sheridan Toastmasters probably wouldn’t exist today. Mt Sheridan Toastmasters Club was founded by Lillian Edwards ATM CL in 2005. Lillian had been President of the Atherton Toastmasters Club before it closed. Chartering the Mt Sheridan Toastmasters Club was one of the projects Lillian achieved for her DTM. Of the original founding members of the Club, Anne McKinnon took over virtually all aspects of the management and running of the Club as Lillian became unwell in 2006.Anne was President, VPE and VPM all rolled into one for the first couple of years, when membership numbers were particularly low.Even when the Club gained sufficient members to operate with a full Committee, Anne was still very much a Mentor for everyone. Anne gained her DTM in 2010, before relocating to Brisbane where she joined three Toastmasters Clubs. Thank you Anne for your dedication!
PAST COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Joy Zahner CC VPPR
Nimesh Fernando CC President & Area 32 Director
Yohanna Haider President
James Downham CC Past VPE
Candice Smee President
Brenton Walker CC President
Marilyn Marsh-Booth CC VPPR
Michael McGarry ACG ALB President
Cheryl McLeod CC CL Treasurer
Rod Sheather CC President
Michael Westacott Secretary
John Lizzio CC VPPR
Antón Mac Suibhne VPPR
Leisel Pisani VPM
Sam Marino VPE