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Volume 1 # 4   December 2018

SI Australia National Representative  Kath Gribble

In the beginning of November, I attended a webinar run by the Office of Women on gender based violence. Minutes have been distributed to Region presidents.
I travelled to Victoria on 16th November for the Region meeting that was held at Mornington. I spoke on the SI Australia and IBM meeting to be held next May and on our projects. It was lovely to meet members from Victoria.

I stayed at Soroptimist House for most of the time I was in Victoria and would thoroughly recommend it. Very reasonably priced and close to transport.

While I was there I attended a meeting on Slavery in Australia and have distributed the summary to all.
It was a thrill to attend the Charter of a new Soroptimist Club at Wyndham and present the badges to all the new members (20).

I have been busy with my committee arranging speakers for the conference next year and it is nearly complete. The flyer with details is on the SISWP website, including accommodation and transport from the airport.

Application forms for National Rep elect have been circulated so please encourage applicants.
I have signed on behalf of SI Australia two letters:
1. Forced adoption in NSW 
2. Gender inequality in people with disabilities.
Heather and I are working on the Agenda for the SI Australia conference in May 2019.
            Top-left  SI Wyndham Charter      Top - right   Cake cutting celebration SI Wyndham
Bottom - left  Victoria Region meeting   Bottom - right         Casual coffee chat in Victoria

Kath's diary 2019

SI Australia Executive meeting:  February 10th 2019
SI South Queensland Conference, Toowoomba 23-24th March 2019
SI Tasmania AGM Hobart 16th March 2019
SISWP Interim Board meeting - SI Australia Conference Barossa Valley 3-6th May 2019


OOPS !!!  SI Australia Website address incorrect in previous newsletter

Correct address
If your club has a website , it can be linked direct.
If your region has a website this can be linked to your club page
If neither of these, we have linked your club to SISWP website
Do you have Facebook, Instagram, twitter accounts these can be linked  as well?



Numbers in Australian clubs are increasing (SISWP website December 2018), we now have 1259 financial members. Congratulations to clubs who have inducted new members , and a warm welcome to members of our latest club SI Wyndham.

Friday 3 May - Monday 6 May 2019

Barossa Valley South Australia
Registrations now open    SISWP website 


Advocacy: Club Action?

All Soroptimist members are aware of our 3 A’s: Advocacy, Awareness, Action  but which one is least used? I suspect that clubs are very good at learning about issues and very happy to organise projects that include Action. How many are really active in the Advocacy department?
 At the AGM of SI Australia last year clubs supported the idea of advocacy in 3 areas and voted to act on these. An Advocacy Australia sub-committee was formed and representatives from  each Region are part of this group. To date, two meetings have been held and resource papers and draft letters have been supplied on a number of topics to make it easier for clubs to act individually. 
Has your club received these? Has your club undertaken any advocacy? If the answer is Yes , fantastic and keep speaking up for others. If your response is No then can you make advocacy an integral part of both region and club meetings? If you need some advice or help contact your representative, your Region programme/UN person or email the group through Di Lockwood 


 Our National Representative, Kath Gribble, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition on the plight of children on Nauru, has signed on to several letters from other organisations and along with different Soroptimists has attended public consultations on the National Action Plans for Prevention of Violence against Women and for Women, Peace and Security. The wider support of clubs writing to leaders and to their federal or state representatives increases our impact and makes us better known.
Make A for Advocacy a new year resolution for your club for 2019.

Di Lockwood
SI Australia Advocacy Coordinator

Who’s Homeless tonight?
 We would hope that in a lucky country such as ours that the answer would be “No-one” but we know that this is not true. From the hundreds “couch-surfing” to the single mum in a car with her children to those sleeping rough or to those under rent stress we know that thousands are without shelter – a basic human right
 This is why the issue of homelessness is one where Soroptimists need to advocate. But what do we say?  Our membership of ERA provides us with some answers as does National Shelter,  the peak housing organisation for the nation. SI Australia has recently joined this organisation which will give us, apart from valuable publicity, an opportunity to access their resources and  research and to lend our collective voice to any campaign.
 They are currently working on a campaign, Everybody’s Home : housing solutions for all Australians. While the Advocacy group will be looking at this in more detail next year Soroptimists can sign on as individuals at Also access them on Facebook at’sHomeCampaign and share with your contacts.
 You can start now as an individual and next year join other clubs in advocating for every Australian.

Slavery links in Australia   Report from Kath

 ‘Are you wearing a slave?Roscoe Howell, Founding Director of Slavery Links Australia Inc.   at Soroptimist House, 383 Toorak Road, Melbourne 2142 on 21 Nov 2018 

I attended a speaker event in Melbourne, by accident. Soroptimist groups might want to invite this speaker; because the topic (slavery) was important, and the event was run in a most engaging way.

This event was scheduled as a seminar followed by questions. Roscoe Howell defined the subject area and then progressively transformed the seminar format into a group discussion, where each member of the audience was invited to bring his or her particular knowledge or experience to bear on the topic of slavery. Group members were well engaged. Most stayed in the conversation for an hour beyond the scheduled time. As the speaker observed: ‘Australians have travelled in the Asia-Pacific. Many have seen slavery and, given an opportunity, they will put their experience into words.’

Slavery is a crime against humanity. It is a crime in Australian law. A Chart (attached) illustrated the ‘Hierarchy of Slavery Offences’ from Debt Bondage and Deceptive Recruiting through Forced Labour and Servitude to Slavery (where one person, in effect, owns another person). The discussion identified examples in Australia from agriculture, building, domestic work, farming, fishing, forestry and other areas of the economy. The speaker identified the several ways that Australians might encounter slavery in Australia, when travelling in the Asia-Pacific region or when doing business or consuming. He identified how (in a global economy), Australia is exposed to the slave-making systems that operate in the region. He took this audience through some options for making change. 

Copies of articles, papers and submissions can be found at 

Live large these holidays with a small footprint

From renovation recycling to reducing food waste, any Aussie can have an eco-friendly holiday.
The summer holidays are a time for Australians to celebrate, travel, revive and live large, but there’s also room to think of the planet. That’s why Planet Ark has put together a low-waste holiday survival guide – titled Planet Ark’s Holiday Hacks for Living Large with a Small Footprint - packed with tips on everything from how to keep renovation materials out of landfill, travel responsibly, and cut back on food waste without cutting back on fun.
“No matter how you spend the holidays there are ways to save money, time and valuable resources from going to waste. We encourage people to plan ahead and make the most of the recycling services in your area this holiday season,” 
Australians were estimated to have spent over $11 billion last year around Christmas , which makes for a lot of food waste, packaging and carbon emissions. Despite this massive amount of spending Planet Ark is hearing from an increasing number of Australians who want to have a less wasteful holiday season.  
TechCollect found that over a fifth of Australians consider themselves hoarders of old technology , meaning that the usual holiday splurge might be just adding to a pile of unused electronics.
The average Australian household has $4,200 worth of unused goods  that they could sell or give away, keeping material circulating rather than gathering dust in sheds or landfill.
“Our site sees more traffic in January than any time of year as people try to clean out the excess ‘stuff’ like old clothing and technology, 
“And there are lots of other great ways to reduce your holiday Eco-footprint, such as finding a skip bin company that recycles your renovation or holiday clean-out waste, buying second-hand or recycled, and being economical with things like food and travel.”
Planet Ark’s survival guide also includes tips from Eco ambassadors in fields ranging from professional decluttering to rocket science.
For more information about how to live large over the holidays while keeping your eco footprint small, visit

Soroptimist Headquarters (Victoria)

Next time you travel to Melbourne try out the accommodation at Soroptimist House 

It is a gracious Federation style home in South Yarra ,Victoria. Visit Melbourne and feel at home in comfort and privacy with your own front door. Stay the night or weekend in Soroptimist Headquarters (Victoria ) The property includes a Guest Room with twin beds, a couch that converts to a double bed, wardrobe, writing desk, tea-making facilities and TV. A modern en suite makes the Guest Room self contained. There is access to a fully-equipped kitchen. Bed linen, blankets and towels are supplied.  A tram line passes the property and stops at the front door. The tram will take you to the famous Toorak Village and Melbourne central business district in a few minutes .For further information


Soroptimist International Convention in Kuala Lumpar 18th-21st July 2019

A convention is a wonderful way to meet with Soroptimist Sisters from around the world. The programme is now available on the convention website. Not booked yet?  Take some  extra days and discover Malaysia as well.
Articles for consideration for SI Australia newsletter can be sent to Sandra Richards
Please restrict to 300-400 words and supply a jpeg photo
Copyright © 2018 SI Australia, All rights reserved.

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