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Volume 1 # 3   October 2018

SI Australia National Representative  Kath Gribble

Rosaline Miller (SISWP Membership convenor) was my guest on the weekend of 25th August as she travelled here for the SA Region meeting. I gave her a tour of the Barossa and she suggested places she thought visitors might find of interest after the conference in May 2019, especially the Herbig Tree and kangaroos at Whistler’s Wines.

Rosaline also wrote a submission to the Senate on the practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia, which was successful and authorised for publication by the committee on legal and constitutional affairs. Congratulations Rosaline! (There was a very good article in the Weekend Australian on Dowry abuse. I was alerted to it by an SA Soroptimist recently).

Julie Donnellan and I have been busy developing the new SI Australia website which will be available very soon.
I visited WA in September and had a marvellous time. The SI members made me feel very welcome.

I attended and spoke at the Region meeting as well as Catherine Evans (Program director SISWP), along with two special guests.
The first was the recipient of the Stella Giles award, Dr Naomi Godden, who spoke on her work with “Women’s collective on climate change”. The second speaker was a twelve-year-old girl, Bella Burgemeister, who had written a book on the UN SDGs. She was a finalist in the Young Achiever’s Award.

The next day I attended a fashion parade held by S I Helena in aid of the Esther Foundation, which is a program that offers intensive support and assistance to young women in a safe and structured environment. The two young girls who spoke were very brave telling of their dysfunctional lives and how the Esther Foundation had saved them.
The next day I was driven by Florence Brennan and her husband Morris to Geraldton (6 hours) through canola and wheat as far as the eye could see. The next day they took Sue Newton (my travelling companion) and I to see the wildflowers, which was a dream come true for me.
My host at Geraldton was Leanne Sice the president of SI Geraldton.
In the afternoon Leanne took me to a SI Geraldton project called SHINE (Inspiring Young girls to Achieve their Potential), where they were busy doing hair and makeup and painting their nails. That night we had an informal meeting where I spoke on the UN, my role as SI Australia rep and the conference in the Barossa next year. Two new prospective members signed up, which was great!

Back to Perth on the bus and R and R for the remainder of the day.
The next day my host Berenice Ritchie took me to Kings Park where I was given a tour through the Biodiversity Conservation Centre by her daughter Alison, who is a scientist there. What a privilege !
After a walk through the park visiting the Place of Reflection that was a SI project, it was off to lunch with ten SI girls including Region President Anne Allen and former International President Margaret Lobo, before being driven to the airport for the trip home.

The next week at the beginning of October, I met with Erica Myers- Tattersall, Region President for Victoria and we discussed my visit to Victoria in November among other things. She may be able to assist with the DGR and was very helpful in how to apply for grants for the guest speakers for the conference in 2019.

            Top-left  SI Geraldton members        Top - right   Shine project SI Geraldton
Bottom - left  WA region meeting   Bottom - right         SISWP President Anusha  joined  meeting via Skype 

Kath's diary

SI Australia Executive meeting:  December 9th
Victoria region meeting: November 17th
Charter of SI Wyndom  November  24th

Latest News- We are now live     SI Australia website

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?


Congratulations to Region of Victoria, they are chartering a new club, SI Wyndham 24th November 2018

Western Australia is looking to start a new club In Ellenbrook


Highlights from your region presidents

Presidents have been using Goto Meetings format for executive and region as its not always viable for members to meet in one location, especially during winter months.This have proved to  be very successful.
Clubs have working with other organisations for drought relief projects.
SISA: October region meeting will hold a session with "hands on"  PFR online and annual reports. The first Homelessness Advocacy Strategy meeting has been held and the first task is to look into what is  SA's policy on housing and affordable housing. There will be consultations during next 12 months and SISA will be represented.
Membership convener Rosaline Miller visited the August Region meeting and gave a session on SISWP constitutions that made the process very easy to understand. A follow on workshop on membership which included input from a  group of young graduates and university students on how we might engage their age group in our clubs. 
SI Torrens in partnership with Women's Legal Service held a very successful symposium titled "Changing Attitudes and Creating Safer Communities" topics covered 1) young people and school programmes 2) Criminal offending and perpetrators 3) Homelessness.

SISQ:  Grant of Friendship being offered in 2019 , to coincide with region conference in Toowoomba during March.
SISQ is a sponsor for the  Queensland Young Achievers Awards "Soroptimist International Women Empowering others Award" The  first "Womens Only" award in Qld. SI Qld have been asked to nominate an Expert judge and a Sponsor judge.
SISQ members who contributed strongly in the Women of The World Festival were invited to join a WOW Speed Mentor Team in October. AS part of the legacy of WOW 2018 Festival the invitation for 100 year 10 and 11 girls from Brisbane and South East Qld schools to participate in a day of activities. They will get the chance to hear from inspirational stories from young women and girls including those who have overcome adversity during times of crisis: plan their own IWD in 2019 and to participate in speed mentoring sessions.
SIWA: September region meeting was hosted by SI Bunbury with guests Kath Gribble (SIA national Rep) Catherine Evens (SISWP Programme Director) and skyped in President SISWP Anusha.

Back-Packers welcome packs are being put together. 
Three clubs, Maylands Peninsular, On The Terrace and South Perth ran a successful seminar on Women in Prisons with in excess of 100 attendees.


Advocacy issues

The Advocacy Australia sub- committee has met and included representatives from each Region. The representatives will circulate information relevant to national advocacy to each club and encourage clubs to undertake advocacy at every level: local, regional and national . Each club should have received materials about backpacker and migrant worker legislation and a form to use in case there is an issue which they consider should be addressed at the national level. This committee only addresses national legislation and clubs should feel free to advocate at other levels on other issues which reflect Soroptimist International’s values and principles.

 Currently the representatives are collating information on each Region’s legislation regarding plastic bags and container deposits as awareness prior to suggested approaches for formal advocacy. Clubs should also have received a list resources and possible actions on this issue.

 It is important to realise that this group attempts to support or guide advocacy. It does not necessarily do it for clubs. At the SI Australia AGM clubs voted on certain issues and they need to honour this by doing their bit. The more voices raised to federal members and Minister and Shadow Ministers, the more likely they are to respond. 

The committee is hoping to have a spot at each Region meeting tor report on advocacy and clubs sharing their advocacy can be an inspiration to other clubs to ensure that they undertake the ADVOCACY part of our Awareness, Action and Advocacy.

Di Lockwood
SI Australia Advocacy Coordinator
SI Australia and the Equal Rights Alliance (ERA) - an ongoing campaign on Women, Housing and Homelessness

As part of both their international and national obligations to gender equality, the Australian Government has developed an alliance system of women’s organisations whose opinions they seek on matters of national interest. S.I. of Australia has been active within one of the five, the Equal Rights Alliance (ERA) since its inception (and before under a different title). I believe that current Advocacy Chair, DI Lockwood is trying to connect with as many of the other women’s alliances as possible. 

When I was National Representative, I was part of their two major Working Groups, one on gender equity and one, more specifically on Housing and Homelessness for women. Currently, Advocacy Chair, Di represents us on the Gender Equality programme and I have continued on the housing working group. This Working Group has recently developed a submission to government on the issue of women and housing. There have been a number of teleconferences and digital communications to put together formal submission. Specific interest groups like the Older Women’s and Rural Women’s Networks contributed content. 

The Soroptimist contribution was on international commitments through United Nations agreements, with specific references to the New Urban Agenda (Habitat 3) and the Agreed Conclusions of the CSW on women and girls living in rural areas. 

I have requested that the final document be made available to us for distribution to clubs for ongoing advocacy.

Ralda Forzin 
Past SI Australia National Representative

The Women’s Alliances

There are 6 alliances and they serve two main purposes. Representing 180 organisations, they are networks of sector -based and issues- based groups of women with a strong emphasis on advocacy. They serve two main purposes:
• Firstly, they bring together organisations and individuals from across Australia to share information, identify significant issues and consider solutions. 
• Secondly, they engage actively with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a better informed dialogue between women and the government. 

ERA – the Equality Rights Alliance – has 61 members, is funded by the Office for Women (OfW) with the YWCA as the organising partner. Its emphasis is upon equality, women’s leadership and recognition of women’s diversity.

AWAVA -  Australian Women Against Violence- responds to violence against women and promotes women’s empowerment. A charity backed by WESNET, it works very closely with domestic violence organisations.

HARMONY -  Migrant and Refugee Women for change is a network that provides an inclusive and informed voice about the variety of issues affecting such members. It combines grass roots work with advocacy.

NATSIWA – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Women’s Alliance – formed to give these women a strong and effective voice in the domestic and international  policy advocacy process.

eS4W – economic Security for women alliance – the alliance advocates to improve women’s  economic independence and financial security .It shares information, identifies barriers and prioritises ways to overcome these.

NRWC - National Rural Womens Coalition - provides a collaborative voice for women living in rural, remote and regional Australia .It provides policy advice to the government and works to help these women achieve their goals.

Soroptimist International Australia currently belongs to ERA but is considering membership or support to the others to widen our advocacy efforts. We are not able to join NATSIWA as an organisation but individuals with Aboriginal or Torres Strait heritage could. It is  possible to be a friend of NRWC and AWAVA. and receive their newsletters. eS4W membership is being investigated as it is an essential element of leadership and is vital for those seeking to escape violence and to become independent.

Question & Answers   Insurance Broker Jeff Forbes

Wig libraries 
The policies will cover the Public Liability side of the wig library operation, but there is no cover currently for any physical property / contents etc.A quote for contents for the wig library at the premises can be arranged, but I don’t think it would be economical for the club to insure the wigs while they are out on loan (this would be very expensive)
Sausage sizzle or similar
If a Soroptimist’s husband is helping out at a Bunnings BBQ and accidentally burns the place down – this is covered – even though he’s not a member.  If you wanted to get technical, I would argue the members of the unconstitutional clubs could still be considered as Voluntary Workers doing the work of the Soroptimist national body if they’re doing an activity in your general name.

Interested parties have no effect on premium, nor do they have any direct insured interest or create any concerns of non-disclosure.  They’re just protected against liability arising from your activities and this is often the requirement of hiring a venue

Late payments of policy
  Payment is on an account basis where I’ll never let the policy cancel without extensive notice and discussion with you all.  A region being late does not prejudice everyone else.

  The coverage is provided for up to 1,199 Voluntary Workers of the Soroptimists, whether they be members or not.  The number we specify on the schedule each year is generally the number of members – so maybe in the future we should add a few more to account for husbands and other non-members doing voluntary work so that the underwriter can adjust their premium a little more to reflect the risk.  However, I am confident this would not be a concern at all – membership is definitely not a requirement to be covered under this policy, just as long as the injury is sustained while doing the work for the Soroptimists.
If you decide someone is doing Soroptimist work, then they’re covered (regardless of the formalities of your constitution)

Age requirement
 Anyone aged between 65 and 85 years of age is covered under the policy for everything except the lump sum life insurance benefit.  If someone is over 85, they need to pay an additional premium and we need them to give some additional information to be added onto the policy specifically for the trip.

Medical exclusions
Follow link to the full wording for the policy, and in particular refer to Page 14 for for the policy.  The policy doesn’t have a specific exclusion for pre-existing conditions like most individual policies people would take out from their travel agents.  
So, understanding that they won’t cover anything which was known would require treatment, or if a doctor advises against travel, then I generally recommend to people that they visit their doctor before they leave to get a general fitness check and have it on file.  This way, if anything happens, they can confirm they were indeed fit to travel to before they left. 

There’s no exclusion for loss of deposits for pre-existing conditions either, so if someone can’t go on the trip because an existing condition flares up unexpectedly, they can claim their lost deposits under the policy too.
Congratulations to Doreen Todd (SI Sydney) on receiving the Inaugural National Council of Women Australia (NCWA) Woman of the Year 2018 award, presented by Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove at the Triennial conference dinner. 
Photo, Sandra Richards, Doreen and Lady Cosgrove

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

Early Bird registrations closing November 15th 2018, register now to avoid missing your chance to save.
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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