Byron Bay local, Charlie Starrett, this week arrived back from the US where he was inaugurated as district governor for Toastmasters International.
This is quite an honour for the Byron Bay Toastmasters Club, where Charlie has been a member for four years, with Charlie now overseeing 191 clubs, comprising over 3,000 members across NSW, QLD, NT and PNG.
It is the first time a Byron Bay Toastmaster has held such a senior role in this international leadership and communication organisation that boasts over a quarter of a million members, and reflects Charlie’s passion and talents in the art of public speaking and leadership.
Charlie often speaks of a life-changing medical incident in his hometown of Exeter in England in 1981, which led him to refocus his career, family, and home.
‘Life’s short,’ Charlie says ‘and I have cherished extra-curricular activities like Toastmasters since this life-changing event’.
‘It’s an honour now to be a senior leader in Toastmasters, and to be able to give back to the public-speaking community across such a vast area for the next 12 months.’
Toastmasters has clubs throughout the northern rivers, including in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, and Lennox Head. The Byron Bay club meets on the first and third Monday of each month at the Byron Bay Surf Club, and welcomes new members at any time of the year. For details, visit www.byronbaytoastmasters.org.
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest, which Charlie attended, is the world’s largest speech contest, involving 30,000 participants in 116 countries. It concluded at the organisation’s 2012 International Convention, held August 15–18, in Orlando, Florida. Nine finalists emerged from the semifinals, and competed in the finals on Saturday August 18 for the coveted title of Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking.
‘Our district has now won two out of the last four world championship finals, so we must be doing something right!’ said Charlie.