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Volume 1 #2  August 2018

SI Australia National Representative  Kath Gribble

 It has been a busy time recently. On a trip to Tasmania  I took part in an Australian Government public consultation about their draft new Women, Peace and  Security National Plan.  Twelve organisations were represented and discussed such questions as “What is peace?”. This led to topics such as domestic violence, discrimination, freedom from fear, trust in authorities access to education and health care and the need to implement human rights. Comments from the group suggested that the draft plan was not user friendly, ignored younger women and needed measurable outcomes that should be evaluated every two years.

I attended the SI Tasmania regional meeting in Westbury on 17th June and spoke about my role and plans for SI Australia and my visit to the CSW62 at the UN New York. I was warmly welcomed and learnt that one member from SI Georgetown Dr Susan Zichy-Woinarski had been awarded an AM (Australia Medal) for services to conservation, animal welfare, and women. I had the pleasure of meeting her in Melbourne at the Conference of Clubs. I also visited Julie Marsaban with Janet Hanna Minchin at the Royal Hobart hospital.

Back home.I was invited to SI Port Pirie’s thirty fifth birthday celebrations and had the pleasure of presenting three  Charter year members, Louise Hausler, Bev Clarke and Gwen Paterson with service badges for 35 years. Karen Dopper received her five year badge.

I had my first SI Australia GoToMeetings on 1st July via gmail. Di Potter has kindly offered to complete the Record of Decisions for SI Australia. All SI Australia members would have seen the information that was sent out regarding dowry abuse in Australia and in particular Victoria. Rosaline Miller is kindly writing a submission concerning this.

I had a wonderful trip to Griffith for the NSW region meeting. Pam Lacey (SI Adelaide) and Sue Newton (SI Torrens) accompanied me and we were warmly welcomed. Firstly on Friday evening there were drinks at McWilliams wines, then the meeting on Saturday where I spoke about my role and plans and then had the pleasure of inducting a new member, Phyllis Dart. I also presented  a five year service badge to Anne Napoli.  After dinner and a Sunday tour we hastened to Hay to enable me  to attend a Directors’ meeting.

 I am delighted to report that it has been agreed to hold a combined Interim Board Meeting and SI Australia meeting in the Barossa Valley in South Australia,May 2019

Sad News
Di McCarthy from SI Northern Highlands and previous Region President passed away in June and Julie Marsaban previous Region President of Tasmania also passed away in July. We remember them with affection and gratitude for their contributions. Our thoughts are with their families  

Kath's diary

SI Australia Executive meetings: August 19th, October 14th, December 9th
WA region meeting: 15 September
NSW Region meeting hosted by SI Griffith
T-L Kath's travelling companions Pam Lacey SI Adelaide and Susan Newton SI Torrens: T-R Anne Sheehan Past SI Australia National Rep, Kath and Catherine Evans Federation Programme Director
B-L Sonia SI Griffith President, Kath with Nerida Murray NSW Region President
B-R Induction of Phyllis Dart


While membership remains an issue in many service clubs it is heartening to see that many Soroptimist clubs are working actively on developing strategies to address this issue. the "grapevine"suggests that there have been a number of inductions recently. Make sure that Headquarters is made aware of these as soon as possible and keep up the good work!

News from your region presidents

Region of New South Wales : President Nerida Murray

There is region support for the national advocacy project initiated by SI Griffith on support for legislation to protect temporary visa holders working in rural areas.   Strategies will be discussed at region meeting.

The proposed Public Speaking Competition is an agenda item for discussion, so I am eager to for updates on the project from all regions. We are planning to sponsor a category at the Young Achiever Awards 2019. Funding is a concern, as is the question: Is this the best/most appropriate way to get our name recognised?

A Grant of Friendship has been awarded, beginning in Sydney on October 1 and ending after the Region meeting at Brisbane Water on October 21. 

Most clubs have projects relating to girls’ education, domestic violence and refuges.

Region of Tasmania : President Carol Thomas

The Region of Tasmania meets four times a year and in the past have been face to face.  We will however trial a GoToMeeting for our September meeting so members can avoid travelling during the bad weather.
Our last meeting was held 17 June 2018 and we were thrilled that Kath Gribble was able to fit the meeting into her schedule.  Kath was able to introduce herself to the Clubs and to share her goals for SI Australia We were all inspired by her report on the trip to New York for the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

We passed a motion to join the National Council of Women (Tasmania).

We continue to support the SI Launceston Taveuni Empowerment Project in Fiji. and our commitment to the environment as shown in sales of reusable coffee cups has been strengthened by a region decision to focus on recycling and the war on waste for the future.

Region of South Australia: President Christine Plunkett

SI South Australia meet 4 times in the year the first for the 2018 Calendar Year is prior to the AGM in February.

The Region approved a motion for the 2018/2019 Program Focus theme to be Homelessness in Older Women. A committee will be established to develop an advocacy strategy.

 Three Members of Federal Government Electorates have been visited by Soroptimist Club members as part of the Equality Rights Alliance Day of Delegations project to raise the issue of Homelessness as gender issue for women.  

Past President Di Potter reported that the Decriminalisation of Sex Workers Bill which was passed by the Upper House for South Australian Parliament in 2017 is now being placed before the Lower House of recently formed Liberal South Australian Government following significant delays brought about by the impending elections. This legislation has been supported by Soroptimists. 


Region of North Queensland: President Cheryl Black

The Region of North Queensland meets three times a year in March, June, and October.

March and October meetings are GoToMeetings.  The June meeting is a face to face meeting where we incorporate our regional conference. 

SI Townsville is in the process of organising their Little Miss Soroptimist (late August/early September) – Girls Day Out.  This is a continuation of a project they started last year where they aim to give young women and girls in the community the opportunity to come together and have an enjoyable day in Soroptimist park undertaking various games and activities. This year with the possible focus on disabled girls and young women.  

SI Townsville Breakwater met with Althea Projects who have a contract to operate the Townsville Drop in Centre.  They have shown a keen interest in Soroptimist conducting a women’s shed type program at the Drop in Centre as they have facilities such as a commercial kitchen and meeting rooms available.

Region of South Queensland: President Gayle Garrick

All meetings of the region with the exception of the first meeting with AGM have guest speakers regarding topics relevant to Programme and Women’s Issues. Each meeting has an element of training or a Workshop focused on Programme and SDG’s. All clubs are being encouraged to be involved in advocacy at all levels and in particular at the national level through SI Australia. 

 Club members have been involved in a range of activities from CSW 62 in New York  to the women of the World Festival and national consultations on a new National Plan for Women, Peace and Security. SISQ are members of UNAA local division and supportive of all events especially as these are generally aligned specific UN Days and /or the SDG’s. SI member, Donnell Davis is the President of UNAA Qld and was a Pacific Representative at the recent CHOGM meeting in London.
Grant of Friendship being offered for 2019 to coincide with our Region Conference 23rd & 24th March 2019.

Region Annual Bursary using the National Council Women Qld Bursary Platform to be continued. 
Public Speaking Competition being organised.


Region of Western Australia: President Anne Allen

We shared highlights from the Conference of Clubs. There was some disappointment that Membership was not an item discussed at the Conference.

There was overwhelming support from those present to continue with the Public Speaking Competition in WA in 2019. A Report on the Public speaking competition was circulated to Clubs prior to the meeting (copy attached). We will be putting to-gether formal resolutions to Clubs to formalise the timing in order that we can offer the winner the opportunity to go to the KL Conference
Women in Prisons Project (which is now a collaboration between 4 WA Clubs) is developing a Conference to be held on the 27th September this year.


Region of Victoria : Erica Myers-Tattersall

Minutes of the latest Region meeting show that Victoria is actively pursuing club growth with Wyndham a potential new club.They have celebrated a successful Friendship Grant and the hosting of the Conference of Clubs.
SI Melbourne has been busy with fundraising to support projects for "Joseph's Corner" and" Its In the Bag." They have had a presentation on trafficking and have awarded the Dame Margaret Blackwood Soroptimist  scholarship at Melbourne University.
Si Ballarat has provided technical support to young women  continuing education and have given financial and inkind donations to various organisations.

Advocacy issues

General Summary
While waiting for responses from Region Presidents on regional representatives for the national advocacy group some advocacy work has been possible.Clubs were provided with information from SI Mandurah to write to some politicians about legal protection for temporary visa holders working in rural or regional areas. This was approved at national level so hopefully some clubs have acted. In South Australia 17 politicians were contacted seeking their support for implementation of agreed legislation. I would like to know of other actions by clubs on this matter.
 To date I have received  advocacy contact names for the Regions of Tasmania and New South Wales.
A survey sent to all Australian clubs has had a return of over 50% and the three main areas identified by clubs for national action are homelessness, violence against women and concerns for refugees. These will be the focus for action but this does not prevent clubs from undertaking actions themselves . I would appreciate notice about any action so that I have an accurate record.
In response to  a notification from International President Mariet, Rosaline Miller is kindly undertaking a submission on our behalf on legislation relating to dowry payments and violence. This is greatly appreciated.
It is pleasing to read about the individual actions being taken by some clubs and individuals on plastic waste, particularly straws. Have any clubs undertaken action recently?

Di Lockwood
SI Australia Advocacy Coordinator

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

Early Bird registrations are now open, see SISWP website for more details
Copyright © 2018 SI Australia, All rights reserved.

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