Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 12
Toastmasters member since: 1997
Education: Bachelor of Commerce with Merit (Accountancy), Tax Agent
Employer and/or position: self-employed
Served as district governor of district number: 70
Term of service: 2012-2013
In term as district governor, district achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2017-2018 – Area Director District 90
- 2015-2017 – Finance Manager District 90
- 2013-2017 – Chief Ambassador Districts 70 and 90
- 2012-2013 – District Governor District 70
- 2011-2012 – Lt Governor Education and Training District 70
- 2010-2011 – Lt Governor Marketing District 70
- 2004-2006 – Treasurer District 70
- 2002-2003 – Area Director District 70
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2019 – Presidential Citation
- 2011-2012 – Excellence in Education and Training
- 2010-2013 – Excellence in Marketing
- 2003-2004 – President’s Distinguished Area
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
I have over 40 years’ experience as an accountant. Early in my career, I worked in professional accountancy firms in the areas of small business, taxation and audit and then commenced working as a self-employed contract accountant which enabled me to gain experience across very diverse industries: from hairdressers, to international property development, to junior mining exploration companies. Currently, my business consists of tax work for a small group of diversified clients.
My work experience over the years, has not only given me an insight into various types of companies, but into the many different personalities who control these companies – what drives them, their motivations and treatment of others. I have learned the importance of time management for reports and the quality of research on which reports are based, to be self-motivated for the best interests of the company and to treat all people with respect, no matter where they fit into the hierarchy. The combination of time management, quality work, self-motivation and respect for others will help me in my service on the Board.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
My current work (taxation) requires planning and organising clients to produce documentation as required by law and to be submitted within a time frame to avoid penalties and fines.
As the Financial Controller for an international property development company, part of my role was to determine the financial impact on property acquisitions and to ensure that funding was readily available. During my term as Chief Accountant for junior mining exploration companies, I also assisted in the planning to expand operations and explore new drill sites, together with the necessary infrastructure to transport the product from the ground to the overseas port.
I was on a team in 2010-2011 to establish a five-year strategic plan for District 70 which ultimately lead to the reformation of District 70 in 2015. As a member of the District 90 Planning Committee, we worked together to establish forward planning for the new District.
In my role as Chief Ambassador for Pathways from 2013 to 2017 (Districts 70 and 90), I organised teams and strategized the dissemination of information to our Clubs, for members to be prepared for the introduction of Pathways in December 2017.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
As an accountant, I am familiar with finance, accounting and taxation. During my career, I have been responsible for investing millions of dollars on the money market and investing in real estate, both commercial and retail.
I held the office of District 70 Treasurer in 2004-2006 and District 90 Finance Manager in 2015-2017. I assisted the 2007-2008 District 70 Governor to restructure the District’s financial records and in recent years, have provided counsel to Districts 69, 70 and 90 in the area of finance.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
As the Financial Controller/Chief Accountant for various companies, I was responsible for developing policies relating to financial management, in compliance with accounting and industry standards and government regulations. I have also assisted with developing policies for investment in real estate.
As a member of the District 90 Planning Committee, I helped to develop the District Continuing Motions and financial policies (in accordance with Toastmasters International Governing Documents).
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I have learnt many lessons over the years. These include listening to others (there is more than one side to a story), taking responsibility for my actions, admitting to making mistakes and saying sorry, giving praise and credit to others, encouraging people to discover the greatness within them, believing in myself and to always act with integrity, no matter how difficult the situation is.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
My experience centres on finance and planning. My key strengths are commitment and loyalty, self-motivation, dedication to excellence, integrity, respect for others, time management, a desire to help other people be better people tomorrow than they are today and most importantly to put the needs of our members above everything else.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
Toastmasters has been life-changing for me. I have never forgotten my first meeting and when I see myself now, it seems incredulous that my confidence has been built on the Toastmasters program. I want everyone in the world to know about the benefits of Toastmasters membership; how Toastmasters can make you “feel good” about yourself. I would be honoured to serve on the Board of Directors where I can share my knowledge and experience and work for the wellbeing of our members and the future of the organisation.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
For many years I was a volunteer entertainer (piano player) at Aged Care facilities in the Sydney area. I was a member of Parents & Friends Associations for 12 years in two different schools, taking on committee leadership roles and organising events. I have been an active Body Corporate member for 15 years and have chaired committees.
I also do pro bono tax work when called upon to do so.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
I worked with the Board of Directors (and related Boards) when I was the Financial Controller of an international property development company. This also involved travelling to the United States and Canada for meetings.
As the Chief Accountant for junior mining companies, I worked with the Board members. It was my task to produce accurate historical figures and forward cash projections for the Board to make decisions which ultimately impacted on the future of the company and share prices.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The major objectives of Toastmasters International lie in the Mission – “we empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.” To do this, we have our Districts focussing on building new clubs and supporting all Clubs in achieving excellence and we have our Clubs providing a supportive and positive learning experience.
We need to ensure that our Districts are equipped to build Clubs and to assist Clubs – provide training, resources, solutions at all levels of the organisation. We need to make sure that our education program is fulfilling its purpose in a culturally diverse world. Our brand needs to be globally consistent, so that whenever someone walks into a Toastmasters Club, it is easily recognised as a Toastmasters Club providing a supportive and positive learning experience, with members presenting speeches, responding to Table Topics and receiving evaluations. What we do for our members must be relevant for their lifestyles and goals must be achievable.
Our Strategic Plan has three key areas – Club Excellence, Member Achievement and Awareness and Engagement and Participation. It is important to revisit the Strategic Plan on a regular basis, survey members and compare reality against the plan. The Governing Documents need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are relevant and in line with local Government regulations impacting on our Clubs.
Remaining true to our International Mission, our District Mission and our Club Mission, will create a future of sustainable, quality Clubs and continued growth around the world.
Additional information about candidate:
Having dreams is great, but they only come true, when you take action. I am self-motivated and love being an accountant. I am content with life – I have two beautiful adult children and I live in a picturesque part of the world with the beach two minutes from my front door.
I enjoy running, exercising, snow-skiing (when I can), reading, cryptic crosswords, researching, cinema, opera and music. I play the piano and am learning to play the piano accordion (which is a multi-tasking challenge).
As a life-long learner, Toastmasters provides the perfect forum for learning within the educational program and leadership opportunities.
I would not be the person I am today, without Toastmasters. I love Toastmasters.