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 Baker


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 Okulov 2016

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.


Jacqui Swain

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


Kaj Haffenden

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.”

Genevieve Millar

Sergeant At Arms

Description coming soon





Hazel Jeremy

Hazel’s welcoming nature and storytelling talents will add an extra spark of warmth to connect with first-time guests.



Rhondda Walters CTM

Rhondda WaltersRhondda Walters was there at Mt Sheridan Toastmaster’s Club’s inception in 2005, when the Club was created under the guidance of Lillian Edwards.

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.




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!



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