Memories from the past
Many of us fear public speaking more than death - but there’s no need to be afraid - as one of the oldest clubs on the Northern Beaches, Harbord Diggers Toastmasters Club has been turning timid speakers into fearless communicators for over 50 years.
It all began in December 1970 when a group of 31 Harbord locals recognised a need to improve their communication skills and formed a new club. The club was hosted by the Harbord Diggers, where it has been meeting twice a month ever since. The philosophy of the club in 1970 was “Better Listening, Better thinking and better speaking”.
Initially, all of the clubs’ charter members were men, but from 1973 Toastmasters opened up to men and women aged 18+ and it didn’t take long for the female membership to grow. Indeed, in 1978 a diary note in our records stated that ‘the female species outnumbers their male counterparts’!.
Since that time, many members have walked through the doors of the Harbord Diggers. Thankfully the decor has changed from the old wood-paneled rooms and brown and gold wall paper to the current modern club environment with its beautiful ocean vista – and, of course the basic skills we all seek to learn and the qualities we want to embody remain unchanged. Our club mission is to provide a supportive, positive and safe learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.
Competitions and Hall of Fame
Our members have a history of strong performance in public speaking competitions – some of their key wins in recent years include:
Area 22 Table Topics comp 2020
Table Topics Comp Area 22 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019, Hawkesbury Division 2019, NSW District 90 winner 2019. Evaluation Comp Area 22 2016, 2017, Hawkesbury Division 2022, NSW District 90 winner 2022
Area 22 Evaluation comp 2020 and 2021
Most Improved, John Mascarenhas Memorial Award 2021
Toastmaster of the Year 2021
Recognition for 20 Years in Toastmasters
Our Club Executive Team
Meet our 2021-2022 Executive team
VP Education 2IC
VP Membership 2IC
VP Public Relations
Sergeant at Arms
A message from our President
Past Club Presidents
Meet our past club Presidents
My philosophy is that it is important to get comfortable being uncomfortable - that’s the only way we grow beyond where we are today
I am a great believer in Progress over Perfection - I believe in every member doing their best to slowly get better every day
Positive and constructive feedback is paramount to any great leader - At Toastmasters this is available to every member on a regular basis
Our Club is part of a bigger Toastmasters family
Toastmasters is structured like an inverted pyramid that places the Members at the top.
The hierarchy is made up of Club, Area, Division, District and Region
Consists of individual members (like YOU), and an Executive Committee comprising elected officers who act as, President, VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Secretary, Treasurer and the Sergeant at Arms.
Is a grouping of 4 to 6 clubs. For example – our club is in Area 22 which includes Forest, Balgowlah RSL, Harbord Diggers Daytime, Forestville and Manly Multilingual. Each Area is co-ordinated by an Area Director.
The Division is made up of a large geographical area incorporating many clubs. Our Area belongs to Division H (Hawkesbury). This encompasses North Sydney, Ryde, Chatswood and the Northern Beaches. There are 30 clubs in Division H, covering over 500 members.
Finally, Toastmasters is divided into 120 Districts worldwide, laddering up to 15 Regions across five Continents. We belong to District 90 which covers half of NSW, from the Harbour Bridge to the Queensland border. There are 7 divisions in District 90.
The website for District 90 can be accessed here.