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.