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Conference Update - 01 March 2024

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised



We have developed an exciting program with a focus on Soroptimist Awareness, Advocacy and Action – with the workshops designed to explore what members can do to address the issues, ongoing and emerging, and to embrace the changes and build a stronger organisation and community. The opening session will focus on core business – women working for women. Then the program is built around a number of themes -

  • Being An Effective Global Voice
  • A Climate for Change - The Power of Community and Commitment
  • Digital Communication – The Good the Bad & the Ugly.

We have a list of impressive and expert guest speakers and facilitators including:

  • Cathy Hunt – Executive Director Women of the World WOW – the importance of a feminist voice
  • Dr Donnell Davis – SISEAP Programme Director + - climate change, femicide, current Soroptimist initiative
  • Helen Dalley Fisher – CEO of Equal Rights Alliance – advocacy
  • Kate VanderVoort – Social Mediology – all things digital
  • Leigh Ellwood Brown – SI Advocacy Director – Soroptimist advocacy
  • Siew Yong Gnanalingam – President Soroptimist International - Environment
  • Sheila Byard – Soroptimist – Sexploitation & Trafficking
  • Dr Susan Rimmer Harris – Professor Griffith University - feminist activist – expertise: gender equity, climate, economic empowerment for women.
  • Yvonne Simpson – SISEAP Membership Convenor.

The workshops relate to the themes discussed in conference and are grouped under headings:


  • Modern Membership
  • Using the Tools Effectively


  • Being an Effective Soroptimist Advocate
  • Programme Action - Be the Change


  • Violence/DV/Coercive Control – MATE – Griffith University

The bystander approach focuses not on the perpetrator or victim of violence rather, on what we can all do to prevent violence.

  • Cancer – Dee Handyside - The Silk Road Project

An award-winning approach to talking to those diagnosed with serious illness. Dee explores this topic from different angles through dialogue and song, and through personal experience.


Due to circumstances beyond the committee’s control, the conference hotels are completely booked out for the weekend of the conference. More than this, the entire area appears to be heavily booked due to a rock concert on Coolangatta beach on Saturday night. The committee has done much research and has identified Kingscliff - 15 kilometres down the highway, as a potential second hub where Soroptimists can stay and share transport to and from the conference venue and meet up on Saturday night. A number of Soroptimists have already booked at Mantra on Salt Beach and Peppers Salt Resort & Spa. We tried to arrange a deal with ACCOR for a conference rate but they said we were not eligible for a promo code. Further research has revealed that there is accommodation at very reasonable rates in the area and two maxi taxis with room for up to eleven people. Depending on numbers, we may be able to look at shuttle buses.

For those still to register, please check out HERE. I found a variety of accommodation similar to, sometimes cheaper than, the conference hotels, including:

  • Mantra on Salt Beach
  • Peppers Salt Resort & Spa
  • Oaks Casuarina Santai Resort
  • Tropical Coast Retreat.

We are changing the start time for conference to allow for travel time. We have been in communication with the current registrants who had yet to book accommodation to alert them to the situation and many have been able to book elsewhere. We have worked to ensure cheap accommodation for some of our overseas members.

Ralda Forzin

Conference Chair

Conference Update - 01 February 2024

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised

CONFERENCE UPDATE: 01 February 2024


Conference is a time for members to explore new ways of thinking and operating to best achieve our long-term goals. This is the first opportunity for members to meet face to face since 2016. In that time, we have faced many challenges and changes. The Federation has restructured and changed its name. We have introduced new membership categories and new methods of funding projects. However, our long- term goals and vision of gender equity through Education, Empowerment, and Empowering opportunities. We continue to seek to be an effective Global Voice for Women and conference offers members the opportunity to explore how best to achieve this. The conference aims to be an exciting mix of speakers, panels and workshops designed to raise member awareness and understanding of organisational change and to facilitate member participation, advocacy and action ongoing.

We would like to have as many members engaged in the discussions as possible. The committee has worked hard to ensure this:

  1. Costs

Lowest possible registration fees - We have created a tight budget to keep costs as low as possible and made the banquet a separate and optional cost.

Early Bird extended - Early Bird is now available until February 18th.

  1. Support

We are aware, however, that airfares and accommodation costs are prohibitive for many. Because there is no business or voting at this conference, there is no Travel Pool support for delegates as in the past. Systems are in place:

Donations - We have asked for Soroptimists who can afford it to donate to support other members to attend.  Many have been generous. If you have already registered, you can still donate by direct deposit fully referenced as “conference donation”. (BSB 124037 Ac. 90539927)

Application Process - A system has been created for members seeking support to apply for consideration. On offer is half price registration. Clearly the number of members who can be supported is dependent on the funds available through donation. Due date for application is February 28. This will post-date the cut-off for Early Bird, but unsuccessful applicants will still be able to register at the reduced rate. A Committee will decide and inform applicants of their success or otherwise. See the SISEAP website for information HERE.

Accommodation - A conference rate for accommodation at hotels immediately connected to the Conference Centre has been reached. This includes apartments. Application forms for these are available from the conference website HERE. Comprehensive list of accommodation at a variety of rates is also available. Local members are being asked to provide billets. Extra trundle beds are available at the conference hotel at a low cost and members booked with extra room will be asked to share, especially with those needing support.

  1. Streaming

We have made plans to stream some sessions and information about this and costs will be included in future bulletins. However, those who have attended face to face conferences will attest to the power of conference to re-energise and enthuse members.

Please register to join us May 3 - 5, 2024 to celebrate our past achievements and plan our future.

Register Here

Ralda Forzin

Conference Chair

16 Days of Activism Stories

    SISEAP WebDev     Uncategorised

Coming Soon

    Noah Greenstone     Uncategorised

The SI Convention 2023 SISEAP Workshop is coming soon.

Please come back later for more information.

Women Leading the Way - SISEAP SI Convention Workshop

    SISEAP WebDev     Uncategorised

Climate Change - Women Leading the Way Workshop

SISEAP conducted two workshops on Climate Change at the Soroptimist International Convention held recently in Dublin.

Climate change is a pressing issue that affects different regions in varying ways; for instance, in countries like Australia, it can significantly alter the risk profile and vulnerability of populations. However, in some regions, climate issues can exacerbate existing challenges, leading to environmental degradation and a loss of basic services. Put simply, climate change impacts everyone, however it does not impact everyone equally. This makes the need for a resilience-based approach to climate action all the more critical.

Description: Women’s interconnectedness within the community shows that we are well placed to educate and inspire change needed for a sustainable world.

Women educate their families and their communities by example.
Do you know what climate change means?
Do you understand how climate change can impact your community?
Do you want to know how your actions can help address climate change?

You can make a difference!

The workshops presented by Programme Convenor Dr Donnell Davis and members of the SISEAP Programme Team.  

Resource Toolkit for the workshop

Please document download the resource toolkit (3.77 MB) .   The toolkit has resource links and further information about the workshop.  

Powerpoint Presentation

SISEAP and the Programme team are pleased to present the powerpoint presentation used for the workshop this has been made available for download. 


Soroptimist International Convention workshops

Each of the 5 Soroptimist International Federations presented workshops at the convention.   An overview of each of the workshops along with outcomes and recommendations CAN BE VIEWED HERE 

SISEAP Conference 2024

    SISEAP WebDev     Uncategorised
Conference Chair Ralda Forzin


Your Voice Our Future 3-5 May 2024
It will have been 6 years in May 2024 since members from across the South East Asia Pacific have met face to face.  book your tickets come prepared for a friendship, laughter and learning, your voice is our future make sure you are there to contribute. 

The conference centre will be Twin Towns, located in the twin towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.  

The theme of the Conference is ” Your Voice Our Future",  building on SISEAP President Christine's biennium theme "Our Voice for Change".  Her aim is that our voices are powerful and the belief that "Our voice will amplify our areas of concern". 

The conference will bring together Soroptimists from the 13 countries of our Federation as well as Soroptimists from across the other 4 Federations.

The Convention programme will consist of seminars and workshops, in addition, we are planning an exciting social programme in the evenings including a Friendship Evening, and a Gala Dinner. Don't pass up the opportunity to visit the natural attractions of the beautiful Gold Coast and hinterland of Southern Queensland.

This is your chance to meet old friends and make new ones and we do hope many non Soroptimists will join us to help improve the world we live in.

SISEAP 2024 Conference Chair Ralda Forzin

Not since 2018 have the members of SISEAP had the occasion to come toghether and celebrate.  We have much to celebrate, we not only survived COVID but challenged ourselves and came out victorious. We celebrated 100 years of our organisation, re branded ourselves with a new name, new clubs, new members, and projects which have changed the lives of hundreds of women and girls.  

There is nothing like a conference to reconnect, network with members and speakers, speakers who will provide thought provoking and interesting takes on a diverse range of topics.  

Soroptimist conferences provide an environment where you can be you, compassionate, strong, emotional and confident in who you are and why you are a Soroptimist.  

Looking forward to seeing as many of our members from across the Federation as possible.  Let our diversity and strength in cultures stand out on the Gold Coast in 2024.

Christine Johnstone
President 2022-2024

SI Moreton North

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised

SI Moreton North IWD event, incorporate their Annual IWD Awards be Inspired Forum and also the launch of the Lead-HER-Ship empowering Women’s Mentoring Programme. 

6 women were acknowledged and presented with their ” Be Inspired Awards”.

The day also launched – “The Lead-HER-Ship Empowering Women’s Mentoring Programme”, is a collaboration between SIMNI and Women’s Network Australia (WNA).

SI Moreton North, IWD event and Lead-Her-Ship luncheon 

View the video of the Awards ceremony 

Internationally renowned Aboriginal Artist Cody Bindi Nappangarttii Smith re-purposed this coat with intricate hand-felted images of special places around Australia.

Cody gifted this coat to SIMNI member Chris Knight as the custodian and is a symbol of Soroptimist International Sisterhood, Solidarity and Friendship. 

SIMNI and WNA, collectively have an extensive number of outstanding women with great life experiences and professional backgrounds who are willing to support the next generation of business and professional women, women from indigenous and culturally linguistic backgrounds, women living with a disability and refugee and asylum seeker women who are seeking to enhance their skills and careers. 

The program will include assisting Mentee’s to find relevant information and advice and to ask professional questions, the session may be beneficial for the Mentee to gain the relevant qualifications and skills needed to pursue their careers. 

  pdf Download the IWD booklet  (3.37 MB)

  pdf Download the Lead-Her-Ship work booklet (2.03 MB)

SI Mackay

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised

SI Mackay partnrned with Better Together Housing team, to create a series of videos, these videos cover conversations where a range of initiatives and questions were answered around the housing crisis for older women in Mackay.   

The report by SI Mackay

International Women’s Day event 2023

SI Mackay is always keen to identify local needs in our community, and we often invite guests to our business meeting so we can hear about issues from a different perspective.

Lauren from Better Together Housing was one of our speakers at a meeting last year, and raised our awareness of the growing need for older women specific to homelessness. She gave us some statistics and facts on the growing rate of homelessness, and the cost of housing shortages, especially for women over 55, and how the issue is impacting local women.

We discussed the lack of knowledge about this rising problem for older women, both in our club and among our members, and explored with Lauren, just how to get this information circulated within the community. The purpose of raising awareness was two-fold, firstly to reach out to women where they were at risk of homelessness, but secondly, engaging with women who had additional space in their home due to changes in their circumstances.

SI Mackay members at the University filming the videos 

The videos can be viewed from the SI Mackay facebook site,  

The launch of the videos at the IWD event 

We felt that a series of short videos, could be the best format and that our members were ideal candidates to ask a series of questions in order to extract information from Lauren.  And so our next project was borne – to create a short video series that would launch on International Women’s Day, but then be used by both the Better Together Housing team, and SI Mackay as a tool for advocacy and activism. It was a great joint initiative where we explored a range of questions to be answered, and with the support of Central Queensland University, used their library space to film the series. 

6 videos are on our website for you to view - and use the search function to find the ‘BTH videos’.

SI South Perth

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised

International Women's Day Event

SI South Perth celebrate  #IWD2023.  Guest speaker, Suzy Urbaniak was a powerhouse of passion and common sense. Suzy an ANU Earth Sciences alumna who has won the 2016 Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. 

Suzy was a dynamic speaker, she even did the splits for us, at the request of a former student! (Context? - you had to be there!) 10 girls from local secondary schools attended, sponsored by member The Hon. Kate Doust, MLC. We heard from Rosemary Cant, President of SIWA, and the Hon. Mia Davies, MLA was inducted as our newest member. We honoured Jean, who has ministered to our culinary needs at the Royal Perth Golf Club for many years, and finally we heard some wonderful acapella singing from some of the ladies from Perth Harmony Chorus

SI Bangsar

    SISWP HQ Administration     Uncategorised

International Women's Day Celebrations 2023

SI Bangsar members celebrated IWD in 3 different locations: Malaysia, Japan, and Australia.

On 4 March, ten SI Bangsar members and friends met at the Royal Lake Club at 7am to celebrate IWD with a walk around the Gardens near the Lake Club. Some carried placards on the IWD 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity with impactful messages, ‘Be a change agent, Be fair, Be impartial, Make your presence felt etc. They walked for an hour and adjourned for breakfast and fellowship at the Lake club poolside.

On 7 March, Sim Chan, Programme Convenor, SI Bangsar, met up with members of Friendship Link club SI Kyoto-Toka in Japan for dinner to celebrate IWD. It marked a significant reunion of SI Kyoto-Toka members with SI Club of Bangsar after more than a decade. In 2005 both clubs collaborated on Janda Baik Goat Rearing project which won the Overall International Best Practice Award.

On 10 March, Indira Naidu, Friendship Link Convenor, joined members of SI Torrens in their IWD Breakfast event in Adelaide, South Australia. She felt it was a great privilege to have had the opportunity to watch the presentation from prominent speakers. Senator Penny Wong, Australian Foreign Minister, was the Host and Convenor of the Adelaide International Women’s Day Breakfast supporting UN Women Australia. She spoke on ‘Cracking the Code, innovation for the gender equal future’. And was proud to announce that currently in the parliament among 103 members 54 are women.

Guest speaker Caroline Kennedy, the US Ambassador to Australia, spoke on connections and values for a healthier world and closing of the gender gap  After the event, Indira spent the day with SI Torrens President Sing Ting  who assisted a friend with her shopping. They later lunched together and had tea at the President’s idyllic home in the Adelaide Hills.

SISEAP Membership

Soroptimist International is a global movement of women, with members belonging to more than 3,000 clubs in 126 countries/territories, spread over 5 Federations