Gallery 2011

SI Helena - Guest Speaker Tina Damasco from Esther Foundation

Our first meeting for 2011 was well attended with several visitors and potential members at our new meeting venue - The Eastern - in Midland. We heard first hand the difference that The Esther Foundation is making to the lives of young women. One of the course participants told us of her own situation. The transformation that had occurred in this confident 16 year old lady standing talking to a group of women, was nothing short of amazing. In just 2 short years she had gone from self harming, being put in psychiatric wards and being on constant suicide watch to being a leader at the foundation who is now applying for a job in the police force. Members also brought along donations for the Region call out to send up to those affected by the floods in Carnarvon.

SI Fremantle Sausage Sizzle

SI Fremantle ran the sausage sizzle at Bunning Melville on 2nd and 3rd January which was a huge success, despite the hot weather. Bunning’s customers supported the fund raising efforts and we were able to raise $1,800 towards our educational scholarships and Girl Guides project. Thanks go to all members (and partners/husbands) who assisted and Dorsogna who supplied the sausages.

The Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project

Inspiration – Michelle Hogan, Director of My Secret Bhutan, spoke at Soroptimist International of Cambridge’s meeting about a new educational scholarship program for women and girls in Bhutan. She also shared her experience of working there and talked about the dedication of Buddhist nuns and their life. Action – Pamela Fruin and Patricia Cowley invited Soroptimist International sister s and friends to sew, knit or crochet red beanies for the Nuns of Bhutan. The Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project started to breathe fire. Soroptimist International sisters at South Perth, Joondalup, Karratha and Districts, Rockingham, Fremantle and Cambridge and their friends together made 424 red beanies; 276 polar fleece beanies and 148 knitted and crocheted or commercially made beanies. What a fantastic effort! Delivery – Two bags of securely wrapped red beanies travelled with us to their final destination in Bhutan. The largest bag with 300 red beanies found its new home in Bumthang and the smaller bag of 124 beanies was delivered in Thimpu. Pema Thak Cho-ling Tang Bebzur Nunnery in Bumthang Bezbur Nunnery is in the remote area of Bumthang in central Bhutan. Our guide Kuenga arranged the visit, introduced us to the head Monk Khampo Sonam Tetjay, senior monk and nun and Sherab, a beautiful, gracious nun who translated for us. 50 nuns assembled in the prayer hall and under the guidance of their seniors, began to chant a prayer ceremony. Prayers of thanks and prayers to wish us safe travel. Sherab said that ‘we would not be forgotten until their bodies turn to ashes’. A protocol that was observed in giving the beanies, the most important first. As the nuns left there were giggles of excitement. 150 nuns live at Pema Thak Cho-ling Tang Bebzur Nunnery in austere accommodation. Funding for building, maintenance and its operation is mainly from donations. The winters in Bhutan are severe with temperatures as low as minus 20. 300 beanies were delivered here and will bring a little comfort during the winter. Zilukha Nunnery in Thimpu Pema Pal, the senior nun, a beautiful, gentle, caring woman welcomed us. She has 50 nuns in her care including lots of little nuns. The nuns assembled and held a prayer ceremony for us. Beanies were given to the nuns here.

SI Cambridge's RENEW Project

One of SI Cambridge's most recent projects was a donation of $500 to RENEW for educational scholarships for woman and girls in Bhutan.

Friendship Link Correspondent visits SI Joondalup

Mair Pinnell was delighted to meet members of SI Joondalup and their partners at a BBQ in January. Jennie van Driel and husband Keith organised the evening and hosted a total of 17 Soroptimists and their husbands who were all pleased to meet Mair and exchange information and friendship. She has been coming out to Western Australia from Leeds in England for many years to spend Christamas with her brother and his family and to re-connect with SI Joondalup. Mair has a long association with Joondalup; when we were chartered as a club in 1978 a member of Leeds came out to accompany the President of GBI and a Friendship Link was formed between the two clubs with Mair as the correspondent. Mair went on to become the Federation Friendship Link for GBI and she has continued being a stalwart correspondent and friend to SI Joondalup. During the evening President Elect Kate Haydock welcomed Mair and gave her a gift of a silk purse made by the women of the Tabitha Foundation of Cambodia. The women who weave the silk and make the purses are widowed mothers, landmine victims street women and Aids Suferers, and this project gives them dignity and an income. In return Mair presented two of her dear friends and foundation members of SI Joondalup, Verna Ramm and Noreen Biffen each with a single red rose. She said how pleased she was to meet with the members of SI Joondalup again and she congratulated them on their Programme of Service.

SIWA Region Film Fundraiser

On a very hot Sunday afternoon on 30 January, around 250 people attended the Region film fundraiser, The King's Speech. Thank you for all those people who supported us.

SI Karratha & Districts - SOROPTIMISTS ABROAD

SOROPTIMISTS ABROAD In January this year Judie Pettitt from SI Karratha & Districts (SI-KAD) attended a meeting of SI Penang and later joined a number of members on a visit to one SI Penang’s major projects, the Women’s Program at the Eden Handicap Centre. It was a particularly moving visit hearing about how the Centre was established in 1991 on a dream and a prayer to provide free respite and development opportunities for men with a physical and/or intellectually disability from poor backgrounds. How through the perseverance of the founders and the generosity of the community the Centre has grown to include services to children and now to women through the support of SI Penang. The Eden Centre is an independent and charitable organisation that unlike most Australian equivalents does not receive any financial support from government but depends upon public donations. The programs run by the Centre focus upon independent living skills that include sheltered workshop activities, the production of art and craft souvenirs as well as a recycling and cleaning service. It also provides hostel facilities for men and for children whose families live too far from the Centre, and a bus service for those members including all the women attending on a daily basis. SI Penang members have built up a strong relationship with the Centre staff and their charges, and it shows in the warmth and ease with which they all interact. www.edenhandicap.org This project and SI Penang’s Best Practice ‘Blossom’ project are inspiring in that both are about personal, social and economic development. They enable women to learn skills that lead to their relative independence and empower them to move beyond the strictures of their debilitating circumstances. With thanks to SI Penang for their friendship and inspiration. Judie Pettitt SI-KAD

SI Joondalup - New President Report

Soroptimist International of Joondalup Members Welcome New President Bobbi Buckle, immediate past president, welcomed incoming president, Kate Haydock, by handing over the ‘Jewel’ of office at the January 2011 Annual General Meeting. Kate told the members that it was a privilege and she felt confident that she had the backing of the club appreciating that she had a different personality and qualities to previous Presidents. Kate went on to say that “Our sunburnt country has commenced 2011 living prophetically up to its reputation for flooding rains, droughts and fires. I am from Queensland and these last weeks have been anxious but my family are all safe and well. I hope it is the same for members tonight who have also had anxiety for their families in the five states affected. As Soroptimists we are right there for our fellow Australians. This is what it means to be a Soroptimist. We are a world wide family with all the obligations that being a family entails. We are caring and compassionate sisters who will be there for the long haul when people are in need of our help”. Kate told the members that her ‘president’s’ project had not been finalized but her prime motivation will be maternal and child health. The rate of maternal morbidity and mortality particularly in our nearest neighbours is extremely disturbing. Sierra Leone has the highest rate in the world and I am proud of the effort made by this club to help in this dire situation with the events held to date. Kate said that she is also committed to Education and Leadership with young women with mentoring from the Club Kate’s aspirations for the coming years are both simple and complex. She said, “I start from the premise that we live in a troubled world even as we hope for peace. Many people are well fed but many are hungry. Many of us have more than adequate shelter but some of us are homeless. We are warm (and in W.A. we are very warm) – but many of us are cold and long for material and emotional warmth. We are there with help in Projects for disaster and overwhelming deprivation. As a club I would like us to aspire to help as well in the small needs of people which often go unnoticed in the wider sphere and to alleviate the suffering which takes many forms eg the lack of education for women and girls in many areas”. Kate aspires to words of Henry Ford when he said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”. Bee Bee Sullivan Public Relations Officer 9306 1238 (H) 0404851814 (M)

February 2011 Region Meeting - Alternative to Schoolies

Region of WA held it’s first meeting for 2011 on 5th February. We were delighted to welcome 6 students from the Shire of Kalamunda schools plus one leader, Aimee Middas, to talk about their recent experiences in Timor L’Este. These students were chosen from over 30 who applied to be part of the contingent to fly to Timor L’Este under the ‘Youth Action Kalamunda’ programme “Alternative to Schoolies Week”. They elected to work in one of three villages for 2 weeks helping with construction, craft work, and teaching English, whilst living among the villagers, instead of partying for “leavers” week after their final exams in November. Arrangements on the ground in Timor L’Este were undertaken by two NGOs, one of which was Catalpa International. A few Western Australian clubs have supported a project under Catalpa’s guidance, creating a Sustainable Farm in Eraulo, which was where one group were based. The 20 chosen students and 4 young leaders spent many months leading up to departure, raising funds and saving up to make the journey to Timor L’Este which was to cost approximately $2500 per student. Leader Aimee was in the first group of students to take part in this programme two years ago, and she was so enthused that she put her hand up to be a Junior Leader last year, and to go again this year as a Senior Leader. It was uplifting to the Soroptimists present at the meeting to hear these committed young men and women talk with such enthusiasm about their amazing life-journey. They shared with us their impressions of the country, their delight at the friendliness of the people, and also what their most memorable moments were. They talked of how their experiences have changed their attitude to everyday living, in particular the realisation that a happy and fulfilling life can be enjoyed in even the most simple of conditions, (notably without an ipod or iphone). All of the students are keen to return once they have completed their tertiary education, to be able to assist in an even more meaningful way. Berenice Ritchie President Region of Western Australia February 2011

SI Riverside - Saturday of Service

Clean Up Australia Day is more than just an opportunity to get their hands dirty for local members of Soroptimist International of Riverside. For them, the event coincides with their annual Saturday Of Service (SOS). In recent years members of Soroptimist International of Riverside have also helped with the Canning River Restoration Project and the restoration of a garden bench at Murdoch Hospice. President Jan Olivieri said members choose to support Clean Up Australia Day because “we live near the Canning River, we conduct a lot of functions in this area and it seems like a good idea to keep our part of the river foreshore clean” Seven members gathered at Riverton Drive East, Shelley and collected 11 bags of rubbish over an area of about one square kilometre. This was an improvement on last year when 17 bags of rubbish were collected, so the members were very happy to see the area being kept clean. Members were however concerned about the amount of drug paraphernalia found in one area. The locals enjoying the foreshore were quite pleased to see the clean up effort, with one resident even winding down his window to yell ‘thank you’ at the Soroptimists picking up rubbish by the river. Afterwards the ladies went to a new nearby café for coffee and admired the beautiful Canning River, feeling very pleased to have contributed to its health for a morning.

SI Riverside - International Women's Day

For members of Soroptimist International of Riverside and their guests, this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 provided a unique opportunity for education. Sexuality Educator Sue Dimitrijevich was the guest speaker at a special International Women’s Day event hosted by the club. Sue is the Coordinator of Respectful Relationships at SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) and Education & Training Consultant with WA Health Education Services. Soroptimist International of Riverside and Sue invited the 35 guests to discover some of the issues facing our young people as they try to navigate their way through the minefield of hormones, media and peer influences, parental advice, website information and school sex education. In a light hearted presentation about a serious topic, Sue presented some thought-provoking ideas about a subject that is constantly in the media. In the spirit of ‘Soroptimists for education and leadership’ and the International Women’s Day theme of ‘equal access to education, training and science and technology’, Sue’s informative talk allowed the women present to learn something valuable about sex education both for themselves and to share with the young people in their lives. Sue urged all audience members to realise that they have more influence than they think when it comes to the young people in their lives. For example, young people rate their mothers and female friends as people they are most likely to go to for advice about sex and relationships. They also rank as some of the most trusted people they go to for accurate information. Soroptimist International of Riverside President Jan Olivieri says “Article 29 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child recognises the right to an education that prepares a child for a responsible life. This includes sex education, so we are interested in ensuring we know how to talk to young people about sex in an open, constructive way”.

SI Fremantle - AGM

Region AGM

SI Cambridge - Red Beanie and Scarf Thunder Dragon Sewathon Project 2011

Soroptimist International (SI) Cambridge’s Red Beanie and Scarf Thunder Dragon Sewathon Project 2011 for the Nuns of Bhutan Soroptimist International Cambridge’s President, Maxine Kaempf, SI Sisters and friends spent a day sewing red beanies for the Nuns of Bhutan. The Domestic Goddesses stitched, chatted and finished 214 red beanies on the day. A special thanks to Canning Districts, Fremantle, Helena, Perth and Joondalup for getting into the spirit of red beanies project again and to the librarians at the City of Perth for their contribution. In November Maxine will be travelling to Bhutan to will deliver over 250 red beanies and scarves to different nunneries. This is the second year that SI Cambridge will take red beanies to Bhutan to provide a small gift that will bring a little comfort to Nuns that live in remote areas and in austere conditions where, high in the Himalayas, the winters are harsh. Nuns play a crucial role in preserving Bhutan’s traditions and culture and serve as role models for grass-roots women especially now, as outside influences severely impact the traditional values of Bhutan. Helping Nuns will benefit all women and girls in Bhutan, especially in rural areas. Domestic Goddesses Janet Hummerston of Coolbinia, past president of Cambridge, Barbara Davidson and Cambridge President Maxine Kaempf at the sewathon.

Several Riverside members held a sausage sizzle outside the IGA at Canning vale and raised approximately $300 for just a few hours work.  Every sausage and bun were sold along with a few cool drinks.   Members handed out leaflets to promote Soroptimism in between cooking and serving.

Soroptimist International of Joondalup have, since their charter over thirty years ago, always been interested in Riding for the Disabled having seen first hand the amazing confidence that being able to ride a pony or horse gives to the rider. Suitable horses with the right temperament are difficult to find. When the club nominated Riding […]

Shire of Roebourne Awards – Citizen of the Year Nominee –  Arran McOscar Arran McOscar doesn’t talk about doing things – she gets on and does them without fuss.  As a SAFE volunteer since it’s inception, she has cared for over 200 dogs and puppies, and takes them on in emergency situations at a moment’s […]

SI Fremantle provides literacy awards to three local schools, South Fremantle Senior High School, Hamilton Senior High School and John Curtin College of the Arts in the form of book vouchers. The prizes go to a year 10 girl who has shown academic prowess and dedication under difficult circumstances. They also provide a $250 scholarship […]

Members have been collecting old glasses during the year for the Lions Save Sight Foundation and handed them to the foundation at their meeting on 14th November (World Sight Day was 13th November). The foundation began in 1964 and is now the leading volunteer eye organisation in WA. They now conduct regular screenings all over […]

In December SI Cambridge hosted their annual Christmas Party. Maxine Kaempf, President of Cambridge introduced the guests including Naomi Glasson President Elect, Lynne Jones President of Fremantle and Sue Eagleton President of On the Terrace, Vivienne Pillay Manager of Womens Health and Family Service, guests from the Wakimbizi Project and members and friends. President Maxine […]

In November, SI Cambridge members collected groceries for the Good shepherd Centre, Anglicare in Balga. The centre distributes food parcels to needy families as emergency relief whilst connecting them to relevant welfare agencies. There is a huge need for emergency supplies in the weeks leading up to Christmas and during the school holidays. Co-ordinator Teresa […]

The uniforms were piling high in the linen room at Osborne Park Hospital when Bee Bee Sullivan received an email wondering if members of SI Joondalup could help once again by sorting them into sizes suitable for 3rd world. The task was soon completed on a fun filled Sunday afternoon by 4 members. Now all […]

New member

The members of SI Joondalup were delighted to welcome Judi Rowan as their newest  member at the October business meeting. Judi attended a number of meetings and soon became familiar with all the projects that the club was involved with locally, nationally and internationally and was keen to become a member. Judi was a very […]

For the past 5 years Wendy Wheildon’s beautiful home in Sorrento has been the venue for a fundraiser for Wheelchair for Kids on the day that stops a nation, Melbourne cup day. Wendy persuaded SI Joondalup members to help her with this event and each year it proves to be a very happy occasion with lots […]

Donation of Camp Quality

Members of Soroptimist International Fiona Robinson. Florence Brennan and Val Watson. Handed over a cheque for $1000 to Camp Quality committee members, as part of the profits from the Melbourne Cup Luncheon. The donation is going towards the 2012 camp for children sufferers of cancer, the camp will be organized for Kalbarri in April.

A Blustery Day at the Rotary Mundaring’s Sunday Markets Mundaring Community Financial Services Ltd provides a market stall at the Rotary Club of Mundaring’s Mundaring Sunday Market on the second Sunday of each month for not for profit community groups connected with the Bendigo Bank. A Marquee was provided free and we were able to […]

Our recent Region meeting in Margaret River was a great success and ignited renewed enthusiasm among those visitors to our afternoon session on club projects, for the possibility of a future club in that area. The weather was kind to us and we had a really good number of city members as well as three […]

Members for Soroptimist International of Cambridge, Helena, Fremantle, Riverside, and South Perth gathered together to present a united force at the 21st Annual Silent Domestic Violence Memorial March to remember and honour all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic and family violence. Participants in the march met at Stirling Gardens […]

From the 5 -19th November, 2011, I travelled to Bhutan and thus continued the good work commenced by Pamela Fruin (Publicity Officer SI Cambridge) in 2010.  Our group of 9 included guide Sonam and driver Tsering, delivered 370 beanies and scarves to three nunneries, Zilukha Nunnery, Byedzur Nunnery, Sangchen Dorji, Lhuendup Nunnery, and the shelter […]

In October, we hosted a cocktail supper to celebrate friendship day and also to welcome the SISWP President Yvonne Simpson. What a great night we all enjoyed. There were many members from the various clubs throughout WA as well as our special guest from NZ. We heard Yvonne talk about what it means to her […]

SI Rockingham members “cooking up a storm” at their Sausage Sizzle on 22nd October, 2011 at Bunnings, Rockingham. One of two sausage sizzles held each year to raise funds for ongoing projects to support women and girls internationally, locally and nationally, all members embrace the day enthusiastically. While some ladies are not able to work […]

 SI Rockingham Helen Makeham presenting guest speaker Kirsty Fentiman, Migration Agent for SCALES (Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service) with a small token of appreciation at the October dinner meeting held at the Ocean Clipper Inn, Rockingham on every second Tuesday of the month at 6.30 p.m. Kirsty had 15 years in IT […]

SI Maylands Peninsula recently hosted “Spring Sonnets” an afternoon of poetry, music, food, wine and friendship. The delightful garden of The Old Bakery on 8th Avenue Maylands was a perfect venue and forty attendees were soon immersed in poetry readings, accompanied by the strains of harp music, while they quaffed wine and sipped tea and […]

KALAMUNDA ZIG ZAG COMMUNITY ARTS FESTIVAL SUMMARY REPORT FOR Soroptimist International of Helena Location – Stirk Park, Kalamunda Road Sunday 30th October 2011 10.00 – 8. 00pm Soroptimist International of Helena were asked by Lyn Harris and Gail Campbell (from the Shire of Kalamunda) to assist again this year with the Zig Zag Festival in […]

At our October dinner meeting we watched a DVD of street dramas from Kolkata in India. Our club had been eagerly awaiting this DVD as we had donated funds to our Friendship Link SI Kolkata to assist in the making of these plays.

The street plays were on the topics of the trafficking of young girls and child labour. There were two separate story lines. The first was where a father sent his child off to another town to work as they were so poor it was a burden on the family to keep them at home.

The second was where a father married his young daughter off to an older man that he had never met for a sum of money.

The actors attracted large crowds on the street and encouraged them to be involved by asking them questions such as “is this the right decision”.

The plays concluded with both children being rescued and the parents being advised that it is illegal to send their children off.

It was great to finally see the plays that went for approximately 20 minutes. Two members from our club had been working tiwht SI Kolkata and SI South Kolkata to prepare these presentations to educate the public on the issues surrounding these topics.

You had to be there…!

Be where?… Papeete, in Tahiti, and if you consult the map it is midway between the east coast of Australia and the west coast of South America. I was ‘suffering’ from the tropical climate and a large newly diagnosed gall stone. My husband and I had visited the market, seen the amazing heliconia and ginger flowers and really needed a place to sit down… then I turned a corner and there is was…a SI donated seat in Bougainville Park. We are all familiar with the hardy and beautiful displays of the bougainvillia genus (South American). In his progress across the Pacific, Bougainville was deterred by some reefs (Cook later ‘found’ the Great Barrier Reef) and steered north, found the Solomons and named Bougainville Island for himself.

My French is non-existent but my husband suggested it said, ‘Peace starts here’. I assume this relates to the nuclear tests at Mururoa and Fangataufa Atolls, and the associated riots during the 1960s. It was certainly a lovely spot, with a running stream and a pool just behind the seat. The park is across the road from the main wharf and the Sun Princess with thousands of tourists was docked.

Louis de Bougainville, the first French navigator to circle the world, was a contemporary of Captain James Cook and but for different tides and coral reefs, Australia might have been discovered by him and my French might now be 100% better than it is. In 1771 he published the log of his expedition to Argentina, Patagonia, Tahiti and Batavia (Indonesia). He was a celebrity of his day and the book, sensational – went might say – it went viral (well as much as it could when majority of the French were illiterate). His description of Tahiti and the life he observed there: ‘an earthly paradise where men and women lived in blissful innocence’ impacted the philosophers of the day – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the author Denis Diderot who aimed to criticise contemporary European ways of living and thinking. The concept of the ‘noble savage’ was generated here (a concept the artist, Paul Gauguin later searched for).

The trip we had returned from was aboard a cargo passenger ship, the Aranui III, to the Masquesas Islands, which were settled around 500 BC by Lapita navigators from Taiwan… but that is another story. My apologies to the SI Papeete club members, for not contacting them, but thank you so much for the seat in the park, where I watched a local elderly woman beating out the some traditional tapa cloth – a rare sight in modern Tahiti.

Interesting web sites: just Google – heliconia flowers, ginger flowers, bougainvillia flowers. The colours are amazing in the tropics and mora and tiari are highly fragrant great for making ‘lei’ and ‘hei’ (floral crowns); Marquesas Islands, Paul Gauguin, tapa, Lapita – you get the idea!

Ailsa Rothenbury
SI Joondalup
October. 2011

Members of Soroptimist International of Joondalup honour a member in providing a valuable tool to the Friends of Yellagonga National Park

Environmental issues have always been on SIJ’s agenda over many years starting with Vida Wright’s involvement in 1993 when she was giving a report on Perth’s water future. She became very alarmed when an application to mine near Lake Jasper in D’Entrecastreaux National Park was known and made sure that this tragedy was averted. Fortunately this has remained a pristine environment. She was very protective of the sand dunes in and around Hillarys and was not in favour of the commercial development that as planned and subsequently built but ended up appreciating the result as a lot of work was done to preserve the dunes. Vida had a deep knowledge of the Wanneroo area being the first woman town planner working with the Wanneroo Council. She encouraged SIJ to become actively involved in Yellagonga and over the years many members took part in their ‘busy bees’ by clearing weeds.
When member Margaret Fitzpatrick suggested that we set up a small memorial in her Vida’s honour, it was suggested that it should be something that could be used to benefit the ongoing projects of replanting of native species for the area as the weeds were removed. The research was done and a water testing kit was purchased so that the water in the area could be monitored.

SI RIVERSIDE celebrated their 19th birthday with a bus trip to the Swan Valley this year. 42 members and friends filled the bus and set off to the Jane Brook winery for tastings, followed by a visit to Olive Farm then onto Twin Hill Winery. Lunch was enjoyed at the Lilac Hill Cafe before leaving to visit Monet’s Art Gallery in Guildford and enjoying afternoon tea. Joyce Scammell, a Swan Transit bus driver and Riverside member drove the group in a Swan Transit bus and husband, Stuart, entertained everyone on board with his guitar and a sing a long and had everyone singing and awake on the way back to Rossmoyne. All in all a most enjoyable day despite the temperature reaching 35 degrees.

Jane Prendergast (our immediate past president) and her husband visited the Bumi Sehat Birthing Centre in Bali last month. Jane took along items donated by members of our club including
cotton and muslin baby wraps, baby clothes and footwear, soft toys, toiletries, soothing creams, antiseptic & baby wipes, paw paw ointment and baby powder.

On arrival they met Liz who is from US and currently employed as a fundraiser, and Ayu Pancadewi, Administration Officer. Liz took us on a tour of the birthing centre (see attached). She explained that women come from all over to Bali to attend pre-natal and ante-natal clinics and to give birth at the centre. The women pay whatever they can but if they cannot pay anything at all they are not turned away.

Staff at the centre also support schools with education materials, provide sex education and HIV prevention strategies (which is not on the school curriculum) and computer training. They also fund midwifery scholarships and train women in outlying villages to assist women in delivering their babies if they cannot get to the birthing centre.

Packs are made up and given to the new mothers (who have very little money) when they leave the birthing centre; this is how most of the items we donated will be utilised.

The staff at Bumi Sehat were very grateful for our donations and would appreciate any future support we can provide.

Federation President Yvonne and WA President Berenice visited Geraldton this month.

A quick visit to meet the members, unfortunately some were away, but we had a nice evening with a bring and share dinner by the members.

Yvonne asked the members who had invited our members to join in the first place, and there were some interesting answers.

President Yvonne also during the evening was asked to present our newest member Roni Davies with her new badge (see photos).

Roni was a previous member of Port Hedland, but now lives at Drummonds Cove just north of Geraldton.

We believe that Roni will become a valuable member of our club.

The club now looks forward to hosting the Melbourne Cup Luncheon and Fashion Parade on the 2nd November it’s one of our biggest fund raiser for the year.

Our profits going this year will be going to Camp Quality a camp for children with cancer. The first camp will be held at Kalbarri in April next year.

Delegate Florence Brennan will attend the Region Meeting at Margaret River.

Our final event for the year will be the Christmas dinner, which this year will be held at the Boatshed, the club members in the past few years, instead of giving presents to each other, now make up a huge bag of gifts for children, and given to the Lighthouse Church for distribution.

Florence Brennan
IPP SI Geraldton.
Hon. Secretary.

In October members of the Executive of Soroptimist International of Western Australia travelled to SI Port Hedland to celebrate that club’s 40th Birthday. Port Hedland is a major iron ore crushing and exporting town approximately 1700 North of Perth.

One of the surprises was to meet a Soroptimist living in Port Hedland who is also a stevedore on the waterfront. Janette Hartmann, standing just over 5 foot tall and of slim build is not your average wharfie and it is hard to believe that she is an integral part of the North West Mining Boom.

I asked Janette to tell me about her intriguing life loading and unloading the giant ships around the clock in this quintessential man’s world.

“Becoming a Stevedore in 2007 has been one of the most wonderful experiences in my life.
At 47 I had only ever done office work or ‘girlie jobs’, so the change to outdoor, physical and shift work was quite a shock to the system!
As a stevedore we load Copper into ships, send scrap metal overseas and unload project cargo for various minesites in the Pilbara.
We also unload locomotives, rail line, ship loaders (very large ones) bulk bags of cement, accommodation units, ore cars and different items for new mines opening up in WA.
When I first started on the wharf there were 6 working berths, there is now 12 with 3 others nearly completed and plans for many more in the process.
It is just amazing to be in the hub of this massive development, and the sunrises and sunsets are the icing on the cake for this
Queensland girl.”

It just shows that Soroptimists can turn up in the most unlikely places, and we wish Janette all the best in her chosen career.

SI Fremantle were requested to provide 2 members to be judges of the ‘Open Minds Open Doors’ Art Exhibition at the Princess of Wales Wing at Fremantle Hospital on Thursday evening 6th October prior to the Official Opening of the exhibition on Friday 7th October to celebrate Mental Health Week WA.

President Lynne Jones and myself were privileged to be there and peruse some very significant art pieces. Multi- media included Ceramics, fabric, photography as well as traditional canvas works.

All the pieces for consideration were produced by patients experiencing Mental Health issues, there were over 120 items to be considered.

Fellow judges included local artists, Psychiatric staff and Peter Lowe from the State Art Gallery Perth Education Office.

An enjoyable time was had by all concerned with much discussion regarding the chosen exhibits. Refreshments were provided throughout the evening to keep us enthused.

The artist chosen for the Soroptimist Fremantle Award was Teresa Rocchi and the painting was called ‘Joy’ (not the one pictured).

Annie Carswell
Secretary
SI Fremantle

SI Carnarvon organised a Peace Dinner which was catered for by the students from the Carnarvon Senior Highschool under the guidance of Deb Cowan (who was a guest speaker at the Region Meeting in Carnarvon). The dinner was held on the evening of Wednesday the 21st September and was a buffet dinner for 39 guests made up of Soroptimists, Lyons, Rotary, Red Cross, CWA members with representatives from the Shire, Carnarvon Family Services and the Church. The students gave their time and $1,175.00 was raised for the High School.

SI Rockingham donated $500 to SI Carnarvon, and along with money from Zonta and Mrs Eivers donated after the floods, SI Carnarvon made up 50 ladies toilet bags for the Rotary flood boxes. Kate Sutcliffe and Nola Wakeham helped Rotary pack the 50 boxes.

BUMI SEHAT FOUNDATION’S BIRTHING CLINIC WELCOMES SI RIVERSIDE FROM WA

Thirteen  members of SI Riverside flew to Bali in September, each carrying 5kg of bunny rugs, teddy bears and blankets in their luggage.  Travelling to Ubud by taxi the members visited the Burni Sehat Foundation Birthing Clinic and presented these items to the staff running the Clinic along with two blood pressure monitors.  Unfortunately, Robin […]

The “Help the Homeless” Art Auction held in May by SI Fremantle raised $14,000 for the three beneficiaries, The Fremantle Street Doctor, The Sisters Place and the Red Cross Soup Van.  A function was held at the Ottey Centre in South Lake where cheques were presented to the beneficiaries.

In August, the members from Fremantle “made a meal” at Ronald Mc Donald house.  Soup and desserts was the theme with a variety of winter warmers being served.  Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families who have children in Process Margaret hospital receiving treatment for cancer and other serious illnesses.  Make […]

Dale Mack being welcomed to SI MP by club president Sue Mulholland

SI Maylands Peninsula’s September meeting was special for a couple of reasons. Firstly we inducted two new members – Carol Armstrong & Dale Carpenter. Each spoke briefly about their life’s journey, both entertaining and inspiring those in attendance. We are excited to have their combined talents as part of the SI Maylands Peninsula club. Secondly […]

SI Rockingham - Theatre Night

“SEX PLEASE WE’RE SIXTY’…………………A Farce written by Michael and Susan Parker , directed by Larraine Craig at the Rockingham Theatre Company on August 25th and enjoyed by a small group of Soroptimist members from SI Rockingham. The play followed the machinations of “Bud the Stud” who woos the lady guests of Rose Cottage B  &  […]

Knitting with the Guides

Happy Knitting for the Safety Bay guides in August with members of SI Rockingham. SI Rockingham Guide Mentor Linda Punter introduced fellow members Jenny Norris (left) and Dianne Webb (middle right) to guide Leader Rachel (middle left) to help the Safety Bay Girl Guides learn to knit on a “Cool August Night”. What an interesting […]

SI Rockingham Quilt Raffle Tickets

Dianne Webb (left) and Jenny Norris (right), SI Rockingham members selling raffle tickets at the Rockingham City Shopping in September for their annual Quilt Raffle held to raise funds for the “On Track” Scholarship Programme at Murdoch University Peel Campus.   The scholarship helps young women and girls who have had an interrupted education for whatever […]

SI Rockingham Members and guests enjoying themselves at the Steel Tree, Baldivis

SI Rockingham celebrated its 30th Birthday on Saturday 17th September, 2011 at Steel Tree Restaurant, Baldivis with a luncheon attended by members and guests. SI Rockingham was chartered on 26th September, 1981 with 19 members.   Three of those original members remain invested with club activities today.   Jess Walker, (foundation President 1981-1984 and 1996-1998),  Joan Motherwell […]

Local Soroptimist Club’s farming project in East Timor was one of 2 power point presentations showcased at the Soroptimist International exhibition stall at the 64th Department of Public Information NGO Conference in Bonn. Anusha Santhirasthipam, Soroptimist International Assistant Programme Director was interviewed by journalist Andre Leslie from DW TV/radio/cable news service worldwide regarding Soroptimist projects worldwide aimed at empowering women. He later used the East Timor chicken breeding project by SI Joondalup in the news story as an example of one of the most successful SI projects which contributed to women empowerment.

SI Joondalup set up the project, a chicken breeding programme with the key goals of improving the lives of farmers through education and practical funding. A number of women were selected and given help to purchase and set up the chicken koops and buy the first lot of hens and roosters. Since then, the women have been able to sell the eggs for both eating and for incubating so the circle caries on. They use the chicken manure for fertilizing their gardens which aids the growing of vegetables. Knowing that that “59 % of the world’s farmers are women, 70% of the world’ hungry are also women makes us realise that there is something wrong with the world’s mechanisms”, according to Anusha.

Open Heart Open Door

Within the Soroptimist organization there is a Home Hospitality Programme of International Friendship.  It is called “Open Heart/Open Door” and it began in Denmark in 1995 and is now organised by a Dutch Soroptimist, Henny Knap-Go of Hilversum. The programme has various categories:- home hospitality for a visiting Soroptimist, to provide a  Guide in a […]

Cambridge beanies Bhutan nuns

Soroptimist International (SI) Cambridge’s Red Beanie and Scarf Thunder Dragon Sewathon Project 2011 for the Nuns of Bhutan

Soroptimist International Cambridge’s President, Maxine Kaempf, SI Sisters and friends spent a day sewing red beanies for the Nuns of Bhutan. The Domestic Goddesses stitched, chatted and finished 214 red beanies on the day.

A special thanks to Canning Districts, Fremantle, Helena, Perth and Joondalup for getting into the spirit of red beanies project again and to the librarians at the City of Perth for their contribution. In November Maxine will be travelling to Bhutan to will deliver over 250 red beanies and scarves to different nunneries.

This is the second year that SI Cambridge will take red beanies to Bhutan to provide a small gift that will bring a little comfort to Nuns that live in remote areas and in austere conditions where, high in the Himalayas, the winters are harsh.

Nuns play a crucial role in preserving Bhutan’s traditions and culture and serve as role models for grass-roots women especially now, as outside influences severely impact the traditional values of Bhutan. Helping Nuns will benefit all women and girls in Bhutan, especially in rural areas.
Domestic Goddesses Janet Hummerston of Coolbinia, past president of Cambridge, Barbara Davidson and Cambridge President Maxine Kaempf at the sewathon.

The photo is of the SI Helena President Rosalie Gordon and Kalamunda Youth Swing Band member Chiquita Wood – winner of the SI of Helena Scholarship.

The annual Stella Giles Soroptimist Award for Excellence is awarded for Research, or towards the costs of running a project, which will be of immediate benefit for women or girls. Candidates suitable for nomination are required to have already achieved a high standard in their chosen field. The candidates chosen field is to be of […]

Ronald McDonald SI Fremantle Soup & Sweet Family night Saturday early August 2011 family members had a meal with us some in the dining room some in their bedrooms and some takeaway to the hospital for a few families who had really sick kids they were having to stay at the bedside with. All in all a great night both for the recipients of supper and the providers alike.

Annie Carswell, SI Fremantle

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Quiz Night at the Lesmurdie Club. We had over 80 people join in the fun with raffles, heads and tails, slide the bottle and a silent auction as some of the highlights of the night.

There was some excitement at the end of the night when there was a tie for third place. After 2 tie breaker questions the third place team was selected.

This year the funds raised will go towards the Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific Federation Project – Birthing in the Pacific – as well as to our ongoing projects

Maylands Peninsula SI enjoyed a very pleasant breakfast at President Mulholland’s residence in East Perth on Sunday 21st August. Sue put on a lovely spread and organised a fabulous sunny morning. SI MP members filled a basket with toiletries and knickers for the Woori Mia Aboriginal Women’s Refuge in Maylands.

Over the last few months Michelle Hogan, Director of Our Secret Bhutan and Pamela Fruin from SI Cambridge, both who are Ambassadors for RENEW have been invited to speak at Joondalup, Fremantle, Helena and Canning Districts Clubs and the Karrakatta Club about RENEW and the education scholarship program for women and girls.

RENEW that stands for Respect, Educate, Nuture and Empower Women and is the only NGO in Bhutan that supports disadvantaged women and girls. RENEW was established in 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Its vision is “to empower disadvantaged girls and women in Bhutan and integrate them back into their own communities as independent, socially and economically productive members of the society.”

In 2010, Michelle and her Sydney colleague, Carolyn Hamer-Smith established an educational scholarship program for disadvantaged women and girls operating under the humanitarian programs of the Australian Himalayan Foundation. RENEW administers this program on the ground in Bhutan.

Pamela Fruin in November 2010 visited RENEW and met with the CEO, Chimi Wangmo and Director, Outreach Services Meenashi Rai to understand how the educational scholarship program operates and discovered a high level of synergy with the goals of RENEW and SI.

Donations can be made to RENEW’s educational scholarship program through the Australian Himalayan Foundation, see the website below:
http://www.australianhimalayanfoundation.org.au/html/s02_article/article_view.asp?art_id=240&nav_cat_id=195&nav_top_id=50

For further information about RENEW, see their website below:
http://www.renewbhutan.org/

For further information contact Pamela Fruin by email pamela.fruin@iinet.net.au or by mobile 0419 938 299.

SI Rockingham Secretary, Anne Allen pictured with Dr. Heather Guylas, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Murdoch University Peel Campus.

Dr. Heather Guylas was guest speaker at the July dinner meeting of SI Rockingham held at the Ocean Clipper Inn, Rockingham. Heather has been nursing for 40 years with 30 years experience in Critical Care. She was Nursing Manager at Rockingham General Hospital when offered an opportunity to teach at Notre Dame University but has now moved to the Murdoch University. Heather told the meeting how wonderful it was to put back into the profession that she loved some of what had been given to her over the years. She considered herself to be lucky to join the School of Nursing at Peel Campus.

Heather explained that nursing has changed in 40 years from “hands on” to a science based form. The parameters are quite strong and the curriculum must be followed. Present research shows that more RN’s are available for less facilities. The Peel programme has a very strong emphasis on clinical and hospital experience. Students also have the opportunity for overseas nursing practical experience, an area which SI Rockingham hopes to be able to participate with fundraising. For the future, Peel is looking at Aged Care, Child Health and Pre-Natal care. The School of Nursing Peel Campus is located in Mandurah and shares the unique and beautiful surroundings which create a lovely family atmosphere with Mandurah Senior High School and the Challenger Institute.

The School of Nursing, Peel Campus commenced in 2004 with 31 students which has now grown to accommodate 431 students from the areas surrounding Mandurah and Rockingham. Very few students from North of River. A big proportion of the students are mature age students and they obtain entry through Challenger (TAFE). At present there are 36 International students, down from 90 in 2009 which has been attributed to the Global Financial Crisis, also the registration process is now more difficult.

There are a number of different programmes being run at the School of Nursing and the entry levels are drawn from the following criteria – School Leavers, Mature Age Students, Challenger students, Year 11.12 (MSHS/TAFE) Murdoch, and EN Pathway (Peel).

Many thanks to Heather for her very informative presentation.

SI Rockingham “On Track” Scholarship recipient for 2011 Ms. Christine Wilkins, with Ms. Penny Lois, Murdoch University On Track Regional Facilitor for Peel and Ms. Tahnee Maslin, SI Rockingham “On Track” recipient for 2011, pictured at the August Dinner Meeting of SI Rockingham. “On Track” is a 14 week, fee free programme that is offered each semester, aimed at introducing individuals to University life who have had an interruption to their studies. It enables students to know what their goals are, provides academic skills and can be a pathway onto undergraduate studies. The entry requirement is for applicants to complete a workshop that shows their ability and a need to show also their ability to study. Students attend 3 days per week (considered to be classed as full-time for 14 weeks). Students who for whatever reason don’t graduate get support to continue at a later stage.

Murdoch University has a long and solid tradition of alternative entry options targeting new potential students who have experienced some form of disadvantage to their education. This can be the result of disrupted education, disability, low income or English as a second language. “On Track” is the present iteration of Murdoch’s enabling programme.

One of the key projects that SI Rockingham has implemented is the funding of a scholarship for women from the local communities of Rockingham, Peel and Kwinana in partnership with Murdoch University. Fundraising activities such as sausage sizzles and raffles have enabled the club to provide these scholarships that have been offered to several women over the past 2 years.

The recipients for 2011, Christine Wilkins and Tahnee Maslin both expressed their thanks to SI Rockingham for their scholarship which has helped to support them with their books and fees. Their enthusiasm for their Nursing Course and the skills they acquired through “On Track” and with ongoing study has made them both confident and mature students capable of obtaining their final degree.

The scholarships were presented by SI Rockingham, President Helen Makeham at Murdoch University Regional Awards ceremony in July.

The club was contacted by the coordinator of The One Stop Shop in Fremantle and asked to run a dollmaking workshop for seniors in the Fremantle community, as part of the Positive Ageing Programme.

The One Stop Shop is a drop-in centre for seniors which offers information on activities available for them in the Fremantle area as well as regular activities such as knitting and gardening groups.

6 women enrolled in the workshops, which ran for 4 Fridays at the One Stop Shop in the centre of Fremantle. Each participant was provided with a kit to make a doll and a SI Fremantle member facilitated the workshops.

Costs were covered by the City of Fremantle and the facilitator fee was passed on to the Uthando Project, which sends the dolls to South Africa, to assist in their purchase of the fabric for the doll kits. Sales of the kits raise funds for the costs of shipping the dolls.
The workshops were extremely well-received. Participants all learned about the issue of AIDS in South Africa as well as the skills for dollmaking. They enjoyed the opportunity to develop their own creativity and were very proud of the dolls they produced. Friendships were formed and the women enjoyed the fellowship around the table. At least 2 of the women are keen to continue making dolls to send to the Uthando Project in the future and there is the possibility of a regular group developing at The One Stop Shop.

The 2011 Soroptimist Convention held in Montreal, Canada, in July had the theme “Women: Leaders in Civil Society”. This beautiful French inspired city hosted 1200 Soroptimists from 60 countries.
The Convention had many facets; six leading women in Canada showcased their talent and leadership as keynote speakers; reports were received from the four Federations, Great Britain and Ireland, The Americas, Europe and South West Pacific; a variety of workshops were available for members to choose from and a sparkling social programme was included.

The Convention was held over five days in the Palais de Congres, and accommodation was arranged in nearby hotels. Montreal has a wonderful system of underground passages so that members could travel comfortably from one venue to another no matter what the weather in the streets outside.

The social programme began with a “Friendship Night”, a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. The theme was Canadian with a variety of typical Canadian snacks throughout the evening. There was even a couple of “Mounties” who were arresting the guests for such crimes as having on too loud a tie or laughing too much.
A concert was held in the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral featuring six tenors and a Gala Dinner was held on the final night when president Hanne Jensbo from Demark handed over the Presidency of Soroptimist International to Alice Wells of America.

A final word from The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, who came to Canada as a young immigrant from Hong Kong (she is part Chinese). She said she knows what it is like to be an “outsider” and it made her strong. Through education she has made great accomplishments and is recognised for her outstanding contribution to Canadian society.
She said “Education is the greatest thing.”

For the eighteenth time SI of Riverside hosted another Christmas in July held at the Lefroy Hostel at Bateman. The evening is mainly for the partners and carers of alzheimer’s patients at the centre. Members arrive early to decorate the tables and organise the meal which consists of soup, a Christmas ham, turkey and cranberry sauce and roasted vegetables with peas and carrots followed by home made Christmas puddings with custard and cream and coffee. The whole meal is prepared by the members and bought to the centre. The puddings are all home cooked using a recipe that was handed down by a former member who made them every year. All the members wait on the tables and a “Soroptimister” serves drinks during the course of the evening. One of the members plays background music on her keyboard and a singalong is held at the end of the evening. The feedback we get is so uplifting and we look forward to hosting this function every year.

Regards Joyce Scammell

Our dinner meeting this month was a little different with the venue changing at the last minute to The Rose and Crown in Guildford due to a black out in the Midland area.

After dinner, we went down to the cellar to hear from our guest speakers SI Cambridge member Pamela Fruin who is also an ambassador for RENEW and Michelle Hogan who is the director of Our Secret Bhutan.

RENEW stands for Respect, Educate, Nuture and Empower Women and is the only NGO in Bhutan that supports disadvantaged women and girls. RENEW was established in 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Its vision is “to empower disadvantaged girls and women in Bhutan and integrate them back into their own communities as independent, socially and economically productive members of the society.”

Pamela shared photos from her trip to Bhutan last year when she delivered red beanies and scarves made by Soroptimists to nuns in Bhutan as part of the Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project.

For the second year in a row, Soroptimist International of Helena manned the gates at the annual Mundaring Truffle Festival on the Saturday of the two day event.

We worked throughout the day in 3 separate shifts, braving the continual showers of rain interspersed with lovely bursts of sunshine.

We welcomed bus loads of tourists and families to the festival as we checked their tickets. The Shire of Mundaring has been very thankful for our volunteering efforts on the day.

Two Soroptimist International clubs (On The Terrace and Maylands Peninsula) combined with UnitingCare West to hold an art exhibition and auction to raise money to assist the Trinity Learning Centre develop and pilot a peer mentoring program for pregnant and parenting teens.

The Trinity Learning Centre, a part of UnitingCare West, was established 25 years ago by Dr Harry Cohen (King Edward Memorial Hospital) and Rev Wes Hartley (Trinity Church) to provide academic, social, personal and emotional support to enable young mothers to continue their education. The program promotes active citizenship and provides a space for young women to share their experience of pregnancy and parenthood.

The young women are enrolled in external studies at secondary level through the School of Isolated and Distance Education or in TAFE courses. The proposed Peer Mentoring Program will train these young women to act as peer mentors to provide support for other pregnant and young parenting teens and to encourage them to continue their education. It is proposed the peer mentors will gain a Certificate II in Leadership as a result of their training, offering them another developmental pathway.

The fund-raising art exhibition and auction attracted 46 participating artists with over 140 art works on display for direct sale at the Old Bakery on Eighth Gallery in Maylands throughout the month of April. The exhibition culminated in an art auction of 36 selected works. Auctioneer Mathew Donelly facilitated the auction and well known Perth art reviewer Carl Altmann was on hand to talk about each item. Special guest, Dr Harry Cohen, a co-founder of the Trinity Learning Centre, gave a delightful overview of the early history of the development of the Centre and the need to support young mothers. A raffle of selected art pieces also contributed significantly to the fund-raising.

A working group of Soroptimist members including Anna Alderson, Rosemary Cant, Pam Eaves, and Sandie Kiely (from SI On The Terrace) and Anne Butorac, Lata Gain and Sue Mulholland (from SI Maylands Peninsula) met every two weeks from August 2010 and weekly as the exhibition and auction approached. The event was hosted by the Old Bakery on Eighth Gallery, which donated the exhibition space and curation free of charge.

President Fiona Robinson and IPP Florence Brennan of SI Geraldton travelled to Perth for the Women’s Expo along with WA President Berenice Ritchie, President Elect Naomi Allan and Vida Corbett.

We thought we all looked pretty good under the knicker line.

SI Rockingham has supported the SIDS cause by manning a stand over two days at the Rockingham City Shopping Centre raising $2,546.65, which is deposited directly into the SIDS Bank Account by organizing member, Carol Mitchell. SI Rockingham has been supporting SIDS over the past seven years in this way and want to thank all patrons and members who donated their time and effort in such a big way. A great sense of community is achieved by all involved and the merchandise just “walks” off the stand, people are just so enthusiastic and want to purchase their “red nose” or associated product.

Special thanks to Carol and husband Steve who “lug” all those boxes to and from the stand over the two days.

S.O.U.L. is a voluntary group who were established in 2003 with the resolution of reaching to the poor and needy in the City of Rockingham. Food and basic necessities are served by volunteers and provided by many businesses and supporters in the community. The SOUP Patrol runs two days a week, Thursdays and Sundays and patrols known areas within the city, where the need is greatest.

SI Rockingham donated a cheque for $200.00 to help provision the kitchens of the S.O.U.P. Patrol.

On the coldest night of the year Cambridge SI were honoured to have Ms Tjupamtarri Daisy Ward as a guest at our July meeting, and she warmed our hearts.

About 20 women, some from Fremantle SI as well, gathered at the home of Maxine Kaemf to hear Dasy’s story.

We were all taken by Daisy’s passion and desire to help her people. She had traveled to Kalgoorlie and Perth to give a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing of the State of WA in the death of Mr Ward. Daisy is Mr Ward’s cousin and birth family spokesperson.

The Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc and the birth family are calling on Government to make available all penalties imposed on any of the parties to be paid to the birth family of Mr Ward to establish a legacy to Mr Ward’s life and works. They want to establish an Environment & Service Centre.

Daisy Tjupamtarri is a leader in her community of Murrku – near the Giles Weather Station. She is a mother, grandmother and an upholder of the Law and is well versed in Womens’ Law songs, dances and ceremonies. She is an artist and a story-teller.

Daisy outlined to us how she educated the young women by taking them ‘out bush’ to instil their customs and skills. Unfortunately the utility that they have been using has broken down – so this avenue of education has been halted.

She also informed us that because of Mr Ward’s death, a lot of people had left the community (which is custom) and that the school has been closed because at one time there were not enough students to keep the school open.

Now, a lot of those people have returned to Murrku, but the school has not been re-opened – the kids only have Distant Education which is not as efficient as conventional school.

For a woman who has campaigned against domestic violence, unregulated alcohol sales and substance abuse, she is very frustrated by the situation in her community. She recently headed the campaign against the sale of leaded fuels in Central Australia and the roll-out of lead free “opal” fuel from the Goldfields, WA, to Alice Springs.

The group of Soroptimist women present are very keen to assist Daisy in her campaign for human rights and justice for her cousin, Mr Ward.

We felt privileged to have Daisy tell her story.

Si Maylands Peninsula celebrated its second birthday at King’s Park in June. A few members were energetic enough to see the beautiful sunrise, and have a walk before joining the rest of the team at the Zamia Cafe for yummy breakfast and get together!

‘I Spy’ quilts for Foster Children – Update

SI Fremantle

We are very pleased to announce that we have passed the 500 mark for quilts received into this programme. This means that 500 young children in Foster Care in WA will receive their very own precious quilt. The quality of these quilts is amazing and each one is stitched full of love for a very special child. We have received quilts from groups in Bridgetown, Albany, Denmark , Pingrup and Bunbury, to name but a few.

The generosity of quilters is wonderful. The time and energy that goes into each quilt just shows how much people care about the foster children. As a club we are making the most of opportunities to inform people about the numbers of children in care in WA and happy at the resolve to help add to the number of quilts and spread some joy.

We have started a quilting group for women in the Fremantle area who wanted to get together with other s and contribute to the quilts. The group has around 12 members so far and meets at The Meeting Place in Fremantle, every 2nd Friday. Contact Lynne on 9384 8492 or Sally 9332 7313 for more information.

Given the energy of the group, they are very productive and consequently always on the lookout for fabrics. We would welcome any donations of fabrics that would help us produce more quilts. Contact Lynne or Sally if you have any to donate. ‘I Spy’ fabrics are especially in short supply but anything cotton would be gratefully received.

Thank you to all the quilters who have donated so far. If you are a quilter, please think about making a quilt.

We should give a big THANK YOU to Brenda Ford who quilts many of the quilts we produce. Watch this space for details of Brenda’s exhibition coming up in October. Her work is stunning.

On Monday 30th May SI Fremantle held their 58th birthday dinner at Cafe Lumos in White Gum Valley. The event was very well attended by other clubs with in excess of 30 ladies enjoying the great meal, some nice wine and lots of good company. Michelle Hogan from “RENEW” (Respect, Educate, Nurture, and Empower women) was the guest speaker. RENEW is a Bhutan non-governmental organisation dedicated to the relief and empowerment of disadvantaged women and adolescent girls. The organisation was established in 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). RENEW envisages being the leading institution in the nation for shaping the role of women in Bhutanese society and has as its mission “To empower disadvantaged girls and women in Bhutan and integrate them back into their own communities as independent, socially and economically productive members of the society.” Pamela Fruin from SI Cambridge became an ambassador for RENEW when she visited to present the nuns with their “Red Beanies” which had been made by a number of SI clubs.

From the 8th – 11th of June, members of SI Fremantle were busily engaged in their 2nd annual Art Auction raising funds for the homeless population of the Fremantle area. The curator of the event, Lyn DiCiero, invited a wide range of artists to submit work for which they would donate part or all the proceeds to the cause. Over 50 works, including 3 dimensional pieces, were accepted, with works by local artists as well as works by Picasso and Salvador Dali, which were donated by a local collector.

The exhibition was set up in the Prindiville Hall, the student refectory at Notre Dame University, on Wednesday and was open for viewing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons, preceding the auction on Saturday evening.

The proceeds for this year’s auction will go to The Fremantle Street Doctor, The Sisters’ Place and the Red Cross Soup Van. Last year’s recipients, The Starlight Hotel Choir, entertained the audience with some of their original songs.

There were over 50 bidders registered when the auction began and bidding was lively throughout the evening with only a handful of pieces passed in. Auctioneer John Cook shared a wealth of knowledge about the art works on sale and assured the buyers of the quality of the works. The Picasso linoprints and Salvador Dali signed limited edition prints were extremely popular and were taken away by very happy buyers.

The 2nd Annual Help the Homeless Art Auction was successful in raising funds for 3 very worthwhile causes, who need all the help they can get in providing invaluable services to the homeless and marginalised, especially at this time of the year. Thanks to all who helped SI Fremantle in this event, especially the artists. Many thanks go to Lyn DiCiero for her knowledge, expertise and attention to detail. We would like to thank everyone who bought art works on the night and hope that if there is a 3rd Annual Help the Homeless Art Auction it will be better again.

SI On The Terrace participated again in the annual Health Festival at Cyril Jackson Senior Campus. The aim is to create links that promote healthy lifestyles, which in turn will assist in achieving personal and educational goals. It is also an opportunity for students to be in contact with community agencies that provide health services, information and support. This year there were over 50 displays and stalls raining from sexual health and drug abuse, to healthy eating and RAC road safety. While our club has previously provided female students with an opportunity on the STS Leeuwin, this year we have changed course to focus on helping students get access to their driving licence. The school was the recent recipient of the Stella Giles Award for their program “Keys for Life”, so we will continue to support the school in this area.

On our stand, students were encouraged to fill out a quiz with questions on how to get a learners permit and also on the status of women in society; for example who is Australia’s first female prime minister? Some did not know! And do you know when women received the right to vote in WA? (1899).

This is a photo of member Christiane De Mesa helping a student to fill out the quiz. While the first prize was a road rules DVD, the iTunes $20 voucher provided quite a bit of incentive too. The DVD came from member Annie Folk’s business, The Language Centre, Unit 4, 201 Carr Place LEEDERVILLE WA 6007 Ph: (08) 9328 8965 Email: language@iinet.net.au. Several other schools attending the event sort a copy of our questionnaire and wanted to know where to get the DVD; so that was good indication our stand and efforts were on target!

Seven members of SI Geraldton travelled up to Carnarvon, the long weekend in June, for the Region-Mini Conference meeting.
We drove up in two cars, left Geraldton at 8.30am and arrived in Carnarvon about 2pm. The drive up was pleasant enough, and swapping passengers around we were not short on conversation. Surprisingly we had fog all the way up along the highway, but not enough to stop travelling.

There were plenty of the blue rinse brigade travelling on the highway, but they did allow us to pass when they saw a car coming up behind them.
We stayed at the Central Apartments, very close to the town, and were warmly welcomed by the Carnarvon members.
On the Friday evening we made our way to the Yacht Club, the fish and chips would be strongly recommended to visitors. The air travellers arriving just in time to have dinner.

Saturday we all met at the Christian College on Babbage Island road, for the Region meeting unfortunately it did rain, but we all filled up on sandwiches and hot soups.
We listened to local guest speakers Maureen Cosh and Kate Sutcliffe about the effects the floods had had on them and their families.
On Saturday evening we enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Faycine Lodge.
Sunday we piled in the bus that took on a tour of Carnarvon, we saw what the flood waters had done to the town. We were able to go to the BumBak plantation where we were given a comprehensive tour of plantation and the story of how it was started. We had a very nice lunch at the River Gums Café, then in the evening made our way to the Carnarvon Hotel for sunset drinks and dinner and to be serenaded by the wandering guitarist.
Thank you to President Nola and the Carnarvon ladies for a great weekend.

Florence Brennan.
IPP SI Geraldton.

SI Cambridge celebrated the induction and gave a big welcome to a new member June Worthington. June is a retired secondary teacher, a keen sportswoman and an active member of her community. As a person who provides a helping hand to all in need, she promises to be a very valuable member for the Cambridge branch.

Maureen Butts, SI Rockingham receives a donation of $200.00 from the “Seaside Singers” Co-Ordinator, Anne Maloney at the Cancer Morning Tea. The “BIG” Cancer Morning Tea was held on Monday, 23rd May 2011 at the Recreation Room at Challenger Court, Rockingham. Eighty (80) people attended and enjoyed a sumptuous spread donated by the ladies of […]

Soroptimists and Guests gathered on a lovely balmy autumn evening at Ilga Boomsma’s home in Subiaco to enjoy Fashions by Munro’s Boutique Cafe and “Promise Boutique” in South Perth.
Mandy Lee Munro, Proprietor, compared the parade and treated all present to a professional presentation of fashions available from her boutiques.
Fashions were modeled in Ilga’s garden while guests sipped and nibbled at a sumptuous repast organized by Lynette Ellard and her team to raise funds to support the Bumi Sehat Birth Centre, Bali. Lyn spoke to the gathering thanking all for their attendance and continued support and explained that funds were always in demand as costs were constant.

SI Rockingham Immediate Past President, Lucy Cotton receiving her badge from SI Rockingham President, Helen Makeham at the May dinner meeting held at the Ocean Clipper Inn, Rockingham.

A great night was had by the eight members from Soroptomist Rockingham who traveled to Maylands for their Quiz Nite held in April. Maylands Golf Club proved to be a wonderful venue, supper and a licensed bar was available. Didn’t win any gazetted prizes but had a lot of laughs and enjoyed the company.

It was an amazing weekend and such a good response from Clubs who attended. The Guests were amazing talking about their experiences touching all of our hearts.

We had nearly 100 people join us for our annual fashion parade in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The day opened with local singer Isabella Marslen’s beautful voice welcoming people as the arrived.

Our 7 models presented clothes from Kimbos from Midland. There was a great assortment of outfits that guests were able to purchase after the show.

Jean Hutson from the Royal Flying Doctor Service gave a short talk about the work they do.

A 2 course lunch was enjoyed by all and there were many raffle prizes handed out.

Thank you to Kimbos Midland and Skinspiration Kalamunda for their support with our event.

About 80 members from across Australia gathered in the Alzheimer’s Headquarters in Adelaide on Saturday 14th May for the SI Australia AGM. Of the 83 clubs in Australia, 78 were represented by Delegates or Proxies, which was a great turnout.

National Representative (NR) Catherine Evans chaired the meeting, which included her committee of Region Presidents from all but Victoria, who was unable to attend due to family ill health.

The NR reported on her activities for the past 12 months and the importance of her attendance at Alliance meetings where SI joins other women’s NGO’s in order to have a stronger voice. She reported that common projects across all Australian clubs would seem to be those focusing IWD and White Ribbon Day. Continuing to liaise with groups arranging these events is encouraged.

Incoming NR-Elect Annette Korzeba was introduced to those present and she expressed her intention to have good two-way communication with Regions when she takes office in May 2012.
An exciting moment was when Western Australia was presented with a Region Extension Certificate for raising our overall membership within the Region.

All clubs will be encouraged to participate in an Australia-wide project advocating for free Bone Densitometry to be available to all women at Menopause should they wish it. With a new Petition coming out very soon, Regions were asked to appoint a “leader” to coordinate collecting this as well as lobbying of local Federal Politicians.

As with all Soroptimist meetings, there is always good company, good food and good fun. This meeting was no exception and so after some hard wordsmithing all day on Saturday, 66 people went to dinner at Glenelg that night, and over 40 traveled to the Barossa on Sunday to sample the delights of the wineries there.

Berenice Ritchie
President, Region of Western Australia
20 May 2011

On Saturday May 21, Soroptimist International of Riverside hosted their fourth annual Quiz Night. Held at Riverton-Rossmoyne Bowling Club, 21 tables participated in the event, presided over by local quizmasters Terry and Sue Nightingale from Quizzical. The participants enjoyed an evening of fundraising and fun, with a fast-paced quiz, table puzzles, games like ‘heads and […]

For the members of Soroptimist International of Riverside, Mothers Day is an opportunity to give back to mothers at a local nursing home. On Saturday May 14th a team of ten Soroptimists and one Soroptimist’s little 4 year old granddaughter visited Agmaroy Nursing Home in Wilson to deliver a pampering session to fifteen residents. The […]

Soroptimist International of Riverside were delighted to welcome new member Kadie Vincent to their club at their April meeting. Rita Gurney, acting on behalf of President Jan Olivieri, presented Kadie with a bunch of flowers, certificate and welcome pack as a new Soroptimist. Kadie, originally from Sierra Leone, gave an emotional address to the other club members, expressing her gratitude at having the chance to serve other women. Kadie gave members some insights into her experiences in Sierra Leone that have helped to fuel her dedication to women’s causes. Welcome Kadie!

Friday 13th proved not so unlucky for many participants in the Maylands annual Quiz Night. There were prizes galore thanks to the generosity of local businesses and SI members. Lucky Spots, Door Prizes, Raffle Prizes were given out throughout the night. At the end of the Quiz the Winning Table, the Runner-up and even the Third Place-getters were well rewarded.

About 124 people made up 18 tables to fill the function room at the Swanbank Maylands Golf Club. SIMP President Sue Mulholland welcomed participants and then Fred, our Quiz Master, started off the lively evening by asking everyone to turn up their chairs to find the winners of the first spot prizes.

One table decided that Friday 13th should be marked by dressing in suitable gear so their participants were colourfully and appropriately costumed.

The range of Quiz questions covered an incredible wide selection of topics over six challenging rounds and the laughter, groans and cheers indicated how well the tables were doing on different categories. Congratulations to the winning tables.

SIMP welcomed support from several other clubs and Uniting CareWest was represented by CEO Sue Ash. Tickets were still being sold for the SIMP/SIOTT Art Raffle for the Trinity Learning Centre Project and this was drawn at the end of the night. Sue Ash was able to present the first prize of the Julie Silvester seascape to Donna Butorac.

The Golf Club organization ensured it was a fun and efficient night, with provision of all the necessary items, the Quiz Master, the scorer and some of the prizes.

Thanks must also go to the SIMP members who worked hard to gather some wonderful prizes and who got together to package them and organize the raffles.

With the generous donations from local businesses and members and with the support of so many participants, about $2500 was raised on the night for disaster relief funds. Thank you to all who contributed and took part.

As some members know I am currently in the UK on sick leave having had surgery done to my hand (makes it difficult to work in my job). I arrived on 10th May and the weather has been delightfully rainy and grey since I arrived – no wonder Yorkshire is green! My connection with Soroptimism goes back to 1980 when I was in my 3rd year of a dentistry degree in Leeds and rented a flat from SI Leeds as well as a family friend who was a member of the Leeds club After that I was a founder member of SI Selby chartered in 1987

Last weekend, 13th – 15th May, was the Region Conference or Soroptimist International of Yorkshire – this is their 75th year of existence.
On Saturday 14th May the conference was held in North Yorkshire in the very pretty town of Helmsley (even in the rain) at the Arts Centre. We had three invited speakers. Jane Walton who runs a social enterprise “Creative Minds” which promotes and supports enterprise amongst young people. We then had breakout groups and lunch. In the afternoon we had Julia O’Hara, a judge specialising in employment and discrimination law, speak about the law relating to clubs and businesses. Julia was at Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar – she also taught us a little Yoga. The final invited speaker was Sally Robinson who runs an internet business known as “Ample Bosom” which supplies underwear and swimwear worldwide from 28A to 56J. This has proved very successful – the attached photo shows Sally holding a 50L. The conference concluded with a short speech from Liz Morgan-Lewis, President of SIGBI.

On the Saturday evening a Conference Banquet was held at The Worsley Arms, Hovingham – Hovingham Hall is the childhood home of HRH The Duchess of Kent (Katherine Worsley) . This was held in a Marquee in the garden as we were too numerous for the Dining Room. We had our brilliant saxophonist, Matt Stacey, who had been playing for us during the day. Liz Morgan-Lewis was present as well as the three SI Yorkshire honorary members Mair Pinnell (Leeds), Elizabeth Hughes (Ilkley) and Thelma de Leeuw(Bingley). All three are former presidents of the Yorkshire region and Thelma de Leeuw is also a former Federation and International President. A delightful evening was had with Elizabeth Hughes lighting the Friendship Candle. On Sunday some members went onto Castle Howard for the dedication of a tree to celebrate 75 years of Soroptimism in the Yorkshire Region. Since then I have attended a meeting of SI Selby and will be going to the meeting of SI Bingley next week – this is one of our Friendship Links and I will be doing a short presentation there on Soroptimism in WA.

What a sick leave.

Fiona Robinson
President SI Geraldton

Dear SI Sisters and friends

The Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project captured your imagination and hearts.
Thanks to your efforts, just before winter, 424 red beanies were delivered to Bebzur Nunnery in Bumthang, in the remote central region of Bhutan and to Zilukha Nunnery near Thimpu. Nuns in Bhutan live in austere conditions and the red beanies were a small gift to make their lives a little more comfortable.
Thanks for your energy and enthusiasm with the Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project.

Pamela Fruin
SI Cambridge

One of SI Cambridge’s past members, Debbie Salamone managed the Emergency Toiletry Bag Project.

Debbie and a group of her friends collected fabrics and toiletry items for the project.

With the intent of having a fun day, they sewed 111 toilet bags from donated fabrics and finished them with lovely ribbon ties. Having sorted the toiletry goodies, they filled the bags with essentials of fragrant soaps, toothbrushes and tooth paste, combs, moisturiser, cleanser and personal hygiene items.

Toiletry bags are considered a valuable gift for women seeking the safety of a refuge as often women arrive only with the clothes they are wearing.

Barb Davidson, Cambridge’s past president, delivered the bags to Daisy House in Balga, to Warawee Women’s Refuge in Fremantle and to Wanimba Women’s Refuge in Northam.

Barbara delivering a box of toilet bags to Teresa Shoebridge of Daisy House in Balga.

President Kate Haydock was delighted to induct and welcome Ros Longden as a member of the club. Ros became aware of what Soroptimism was all about was through long time member Sylvia Takiari who convinced her that a lot of good work was done and friends made. Ros attended some meetings and soon realised that the members were a very friendly and welcoming bunch of women who were involved in a wide range of projects and she felt that she could be part of this scene as well. The members all welcomed Ros who is a nurse working in the aged care area at Osborne Park Hospital and hope that this involvement may last a long time and will be very beneficial to both parties. Bobbi Buckle has been very busy in her Extension portfolio role and has three more prospective members who are interested in becoming a member of SIJ.

SI Joondalup Play a Role on Anzac Day

President Kate Haydock’s idea to play an active role in the Anzac day service at Joondalup’s central park memorial was welcomed by all members. The simple task of laying a wreath became a marathon in some respect as Kate had many people to contact and protocol to follow but all went without a hitch and some pleasant outcomes. The members who attended the service witnessed a very moving event, members of the public present, around 1000 ages ranging from babies to the elderly, are getting more familiar with the name – Soroptimist and Kate met two retired charter members of the club, Bernice Marwick and Rima Zuerab who have been invited to attend a dinner meeting. After the service the seven members were able to sample an Anzac biscuit along with a hot drink provided by the organisers.

Update:

ANZAC DAY 2011 – JOONDALUP CEREMONY.

Ms Wendy Tuffin, President of RSL sub-branch, has sent a formal invitation for us to participate.
Time is 5.45 am for a 6 am start. Wreaths are to be laid on the wreath table near the lectern at 5.45 am. I am picking up the wreath on Sunday and will have it there. Ashleigh Wheildon and I will place it on the Cenotaph to symbolise women and children affected by war. It will be a silent service in keeping with their tradition. Soroptomists please join us if you are able, wearing your blue Soroptimist T-shirt. I realise it is Easter and people may be away. It would be helpful for publicity for the club if you have a camera and are able to take a photo. I look forward to seeing you there. It seems to me that the ceremony is in accord with the values of our club. We pledge “love of country” and “all that is best and truest in mankind”. This is such a commemoration.
Hot off the press. The phone rang as I typed this and it was Wendy Tuffin delighted that we would be there and loving the idea of Ashleigh representing children.

After 10 years in the planning, the Place of Reflection, a new area in the Kings Park and Botanic Garden, was officially opened by the Premier on Friday 15 April. It provides a special place where people who have suffered loss can seek solace, take time to reflect and commemorate loved ones within a tranquil environment overlooking the river and South Perth.

For Soroptimist International of South Perth it has been a ten year project to provide a community place to remember Western Australia’s missing persons. Where do you go when your loved one is missing? We dreamed of a dedicated area providing a place of comfort to those suffering the anxiety, sadness and sense of loss experienced by those left behind.
This new landmark, a world first in its concept, was created through the persistence and dedication of a Consortium of groups. While Lotterywest provided the majority of the funding ($1million), for Soroptimist International of South Perth this was our most expensive project with $10,000 provided over two years.
The Place of Reflection includes a beautiful rotunda where groups can meet, as well as two separate areas of reflection, accessed through metal filigree portals.

We were thrilled to establish a new Friendship Link with Soroptimist International Plovdiv from Bulgaria. Our Plovdiv contact Dilyana Vitcheva has been corresponding with our member Naomi Allan and we received our certificate formalising the link on the day our our birthday party.
Soroptimist International Plovdiv is a very active club with some of their recent projects including:

  • Providing 20 blankets to sick children at a Medical University
  • Recontructing and renewing the Soroptimist VIP room at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Medical Univeristy
  • Providing 4 fitness equipment for children with diabilities
  • Reconstructed a fountain in the central park of Plovdiv to supply drinking water. This is only a part of their enormous project entitled “Water is LIfe” which is aiming to reconstruct 8 fountains for drinkable water in the city
  • Friendship Links are a way for Soroptimist clubs to get to know other members in Soroptimist International from around the world and to build an appreciation and understanding of cultures very different from our own.

By exchanging communications and sharing information, clubs with Friendship Links have gained valuable information about the challenges facing women around the world. in many cases, these relationships have grown to support local Soroptimist projects that improve the lives of women and girls.

We are looking forward to getting to know our sisters from Plovdiv in the months ahead.

We celebrated our 27th birthday in style at the start of April with a Jewellery Party. Lucy Cotton from Soroptimist International Rockingham demonstrated the gorgeous Miglio Jewellery range.

We had 33 people join us at Hillview Golf Course for finger food, drinks and of course – birthday cake. It was a great evening of friendship and shopping!

Monday 28th March was our second meeting for March and saw a number of interesting speakers present to our members and guests.

Karen Mercer coordinator of The Freo Street Doctor Clinic, a beneficiary of funds raised through the SI Fremantle Art Auction, updated us on the activities and outreach programs of the clinic. She also spoke of her passion for Foster Care and brought along her three foster children. The three boys each received a beautiful ‘I Spy’ quilt to take home with them as part of the SI Fremantle club’s ‘I Spy’ Quilts for Foster Children project.

Aimee Middis from Schoolies Alternative group spoke with much enthusiasm and passion about the organisation. Aimee is now a leader in this organisation which takes groups of high school students to spend two weeks in Timor Leste, working in villages and helping the local population. Aimee spoke from the heart about the changes the programme makes to the lives of all involved in this great initiative. It is so good to hear positive stories about Schoolies week and this is certainly a project worth supporting.

Other guests were award recipients some who were accompanied by their parents/lecturers from John Curtin College of the Arts, Hamilton Hill Senior High School and Notre Dame University School of Nursing. It was a great evening with lots of fellowship during the tea break and a special thanks to the SI Cambridge members who came along to share the evening. We look forward to sharing more meetings with other clubs. The supper was as always fantastic and was provided by our members.

When the Prime Minister Julia Gillard met with West Australian locals at South Fremantle Senior High School on Wednesday 30 March as part of a community cabinet meeting, a number of Soroptimist International Fremantle members attended.
The community cabinet ends Ms Gillard’s two day visit to Perth, after she met WA business people Tuesday to discuss issues including the national broadband network and the mining tax.
As well as climate change, the cabinet was asked about increasing foreign aid, same-sex marriage, native title, support for aged care workers, local content on resource projects and the funding of elections.

SI Rockingham Girl Guide Mentor Linda Punter (above) celebrated with invited guests from Warnbro Guides – Leader Leanne Doyle, Guides Emily Andrews and Nicole Twort at the International Women’s Day Sundowner at the Gary Holland Centre on 8th March 2011, highlighting the achievements of women in our area.

SI Rockingham joined with South Coastal Women’s Health Services, the Lucy Saw Women’s Refuge, SCALES and the City of Rockingham in hosting this event with an emphasis on the inaugural art competition and exhibition with the theme “Celebrating 100 Years of International Women’s Day”.

Entertainment featured several young female soloists who entertained the over 300 strong attendees. Local bellydancers provided a colourful and entertaining display of movement.

Guides Emily and Nicole taking bellydancing lessons amid much laughter.

SI Rockingham Member and Principal Steph McDonald with son Josh at Mayke Primary School, Baldivis on Harmony Day.

Steph McDonald, a SI Rockingham member and the 2006 winner of the Stella Giles Award for her “My Dream Project” at Warnbro Community High School Education Support Centre where she was Principal. The “MY DREAM” project promoted local community groups, services and employers of people with a disability in a positive manner, emphasizing their achievements through social and civic contributions.

After working as Principal for 13 years in the Special Education sector, Steph was looking for a new challenge. She was appointed in October to open a brand new Primary School called Makybe Rise PS in Baldivis.

At Mayke Rise PS. They are committed to building a genuine sense of community, partnership and belonging, where every adult and child feels welcomed and knows that it matters that they are there.

Mayke Rise Primary School currently caters for children in Kindergarten to Year 2 but will grow to accommodate up to Year 7.

Opening a new school has been an exciting and rare opportunity, where teachers and pupils have the capacity to be clear about their values and beliefs to ensure the school practices align with their vision.

Steph’s eldest son Josh is a pupil in Pre-primary and an added “bonus” to her new position as she now has more quality time to share with him.

SI Helena with the support of SI Riverside, SI Geraldton and SI Karratha & Districts have been successful in our efforts to fund the first stage of our sustainable farming project in Timor. SI Joondalup having visited our project in 2010 informed us of a shipping container that would have some room for us to send much needed items to assist the farm and community.

David Roach from Catalpa International our partnering NGO in Timor provided us with a list of supplies that the farming project and community needed. At the last Region meeting details of the offer of space in the shipping container and a list of supplies was provided to delegates and proxies and our member Kim Kennedy spoke about how clubs could assist by collecting the items and delivering to her home until we were able to take them to the temporary storage container in Victoria Park.

There was a large variey of items delivered to Kim’s home including bags and bags of new warm clothes which included jackets, pants, long sleave T shirts, caps, rolls and rolls of beautiful material for sewing, wool, buttons, craft items, books, pencils, gardening tools and cooking utensils to name but a few. Once the call came through that the container was ready we jumped into action packaging, lableling and delivering everything in an afternoon, a big job on a hot day!

A very, very big thank you to all those clubs who assisted, to SI Joondalup for thinking of our project when they knew the offer of space was available and to Peter Snell who liased with us and assisted in packaging the boxes into the container.

The container is listed as a Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) Project which will provide tax receipts for cash donations into the project. Rotary will be planning several fundraisers this year to help keep the containers moving regularly. Note that the cost to send one container is aprox $8000.

Each year Soroptimists all over the world join together on a nominated day in March as their ‘hands on day of service’. This year Soroptimist International of Joondalup dedicated their day to Culunga School. Diana Downs-Stoney said, “ It is such a joy to know that our work here matters. It was also a joy to spend time with such a vibrant and engaged group of women, who were brimming with the sort of energy and intelligence I would love to have, and to know that some people out there are as committed as we are to making a better future for our children”. She expressed her sincere appreciation to President Kate Haydock and the ‘wonderful members’ for the fantastic contribution made. No task assigned proved too difficult to accomplish and a mountain of donated books soon made their way to shelves in the classrooms in the right category for teachers and pupils who are encouraged to take them home to read. Then it was to filing and a general tidy up of all areas.
Schools First promotes engagement with local community organisations to maximise support for every student.The members of SIJ are active participants and spend time at the school listening to the children read. It has proved to be a mutually satisfying time as both the reader and listener experience great satisfaction with each improvement made.

Some 26 Soroptimists from all federations and the international executive, made up the SI Delegation at the 55th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW55) at the United Nations in New York. Robyn Cain was honoured to be part of the delegation and proud to be present for the launch of the new Gender Equity Entity – UN Women. SI members combined with WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts) and other agencies – UN Women and YWCA to present forum style panels which were well attended and well received. Robyn attended several interesting sessions dealing with aspects of education relevant to the Pacific Region and it was pleasing to see Pacific Women presenting a stronger voice than in previous years. She was also fortunate to attend the international launch of the Australian National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children presented by the Minister for Women’s Interests, the Hon Kate Ellis.

March 12th was Soroptimist International Saturday of Service and we went to Ronald McDonald House as “Make a Meal” volunteers. Since opening in November 1990, Ronald McDonald House Perth has provided ‘a home away from home’ to more than 3000 families while their child has undergone treatment for cancer or other serious illnesses at Princess Margaret Hospital.

The members all brought a variety of salads and desserts and sausages were cooked on the barbie for the residents. It’s nice to share a meal with the families. The “make a meal” service allows families staying at the house to enjoy a home cooked meal without the pressure and time involved in preparation.

Three of our members attended the Internal Womans Day breakfast on Friday 11th March at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. The breakfast was organised by UN Women, which is the United Nations entity for gender equality and empowerment of women. We sponsored two Year 11 students from South Fremantle Senior High School, Holly Baliknski and Ashleigh Taylor, to attend the breakfast.

There were a number of key note speakers including Manual Omar who is the current Director of Iraq programs at the United States Institute for Peace. She has worked extensively in the Middle East and her talk gave us an insight into the role of women in post conflict, peace mediation and nation building.

There were over 900 people at the breakfast, mainly women, but also a few men and it was good to see that some of the schools had brought along both male and female students. This reflects the importance of educating both girls and boys in the issues facing the world’s women.

We held our AGM on 28th February and welcomed our new president Lynne Jones. Immediate past president Roseanne Thomas presented Lynne with the regalia and Lynne thanked Roseanne for all of her hard work over the past two years making special mention of the inaugural “Help the Homeless” Art Auction which took place in 2010.

We also inducted two new members which was very exciting for the club, Christine Dougan and Pamela Davie. All members extended a warm welcome to Christine and Pamela.

For our Saturday of Service, 6 members and one grand daughter hosted an afternoon tea for aged care dementia residents at Cypress Gardens in Greenmount.

We supplied a lovely assortment of cakes, scones, slices, quiches and sandwiches and served tea and coffee to the residents.

The afternoon was spent chatting, playing games and listening to some old time music. We tried very hard to dance with the residents but they preferred to watch us!

This is the 5th year we have spent with the residents who enjoy the interaction with us.

The staff also appreciate us spending the time stimulating the residents with flash cards and conversation. We look forward to catching up with them again next year.

Our March guest speaker was Faye Read from Soul Birth. She gave a very interesting talk on how her passion of empowering women to have a positive birthing experience.

Faye lives in Glen Forrest and is a midwife and childbirth educator. She commenced her career at King Edward Memorial Hospital before moving to Papua New Guinea where the birthing experience was quite different to what she was used to.

As a mother of 4 children, she is also able to draw on her own child birthing experiences to help other women.

Members enjoyed sharing their child birth experiences with each other and also finding out what alternatives are available to those about to go through this.

From Small Beginnings, Big Things Grow.

President Berenice and I travelled to Margaret River for a Sundowner at The Margaret River Resort with the intent of attracting interested parties to form a Soroptimist Club in the Margaret River area. Even though it was a small turn out, the result was very positive. We were offered the opportunity to have an information stall at ‘Foyer Fun,’ pre the show ‘Breast Wishes’ at the Cultural Centre on Tuesday 22 February. I attended this, and was able to get several names of prospective members. An introductory meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 15 March at 6.45pm at the Australis Hotel in Margaret River. President Berenice and I attended. A very positive outcome was achieved. We now have a small core of ladies in Margaret River who have taken ownership. They will communicate with each other, meeting on occasion to discuss ideas for a local project. Our next meeting there is scheduled for 22 June, 2011. A meeting place has been secured at the Australis Hotel in Margaret River, with the manager being an interested party as well.

Two Busselton ladies attended our Sundowner in Margaret River. Both are very interested in helping get a Soroptimist Club started in Busselton. As a result, President Berenice, Naomi Allan, Viv Kamen and I attended a Sundowner at The Equinox Café, Busselton, on Wednesday 16 March from 6.30pm – 8.30pm. to help kick start this region. We hope that the Busselton ladies will join us at the scheduled June meeting in Margaret River.

We are always appreciative of other Soroptimists who may wish to make the effort to attend these events.

Bobbi Buckle
Organisational Development Coordinator.

For members of Soroptimist International of Riverside and their guests, this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 provided a unique opportunity for education.

Sexuality Educator Sue Dimitrijevich was the guest speaker at a special International Women’s Day event hosted by the club. Sue is the Coordinator of Respectful Relationships at SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) and Education & Training Consultant with WA Health Education Services.

Soroptimist International of Riverside and Sue invited the 35 guests to discover some of the issues facing our young people as they try to navigate their way through the minefield of hormones, media and peer influences, parental advice, website information and school sex education. In a light hearted presentation about a serious topic, Sue presented some thought-provoking ideas about a subject that is constantly in the media.

In the spirit of ‘Soroptimists for education and leadership’ and the International Women’s Day theme of ‘equal access to education, training and science and technology’, Sue’s informative talk allowed the women present to learn something valuable about sex education both for themselves and to share with the young people in their lives.

Sue urged all audience members to realise that they have more influence than they think when it comes to the young people in their lives. For example, young people rate their mothers and female friends as people they are most likely to go to for advice about sex and relationships. They also rank as some of the most trusted people they go to for accurate information.

Soroptimist International of Riverside President Jan Olivieri says “Article 29 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child recognises the right to an education that prepares a child for a responsible life. This includes sex education, so we are interested in ensuring we know how to talk to young people about sex in an open, constructive way”.

Clean Up Australia Day is more than just an opportunity to get their hands dirty for local members of Soroptimist International of Riverside. For them, the event coincides with their annual Saturday Of Service (SOS).

In recent years members of Soroptimist International of Riverside have also helped with the Canning River Restoration Project and the restoration of a garden bench at Murdoch Hospice.

President Jan Olivieri said members choose to support Clean Up Australia Day because “we live near the Canning River, we conduct a lot of functions in this area and it seems like a good idea to keep our part of the river foreshore clean”

Seven members gathered at Riverton Drive East, Shelley and collected 11 bags of rubbish over an area of about one square kilometre. This was an improvement on last year when 17 bags of rubbish were collected, so the members were very happy to see the area being kept clean. Members were however concerned about the amount of drug paraphernalia found in one area.

The locals enjoying the foreshore were quite pleased to see the clean up effort, with one resident even winding down his window to yell ‘thank you’ at the Soroptimists picking up rubbish by the river.

Afterwards the ladies went to a new nearby café for coffee and admired the beautiful Canning River, feeling very pleased to have contributed to its health for a morning.

Region of WA held it’s first meeting for 2011 on 5th February. We were delighted to welcome 6 students from the Shire of Kalamunda schools plus one leader, Aimee Middas, to talk about their recent experiences in Timor L’Este. These students were chosen from over 30 who applied to be part of the contingent to fly to Timor L’Este under the ‘Youth Action Kalamunda’ programme “Alternative to Schoolies Week”. They elected to work in one of three villages for 2 weeks helping with construction, craft work, and teaching English, whilst living among the villagers, instead of partying for “leavers” week after their final exams in November. Arrangements on the ground in Timor L’Este were undertaken by two NGOs, one of which was Catalpa International. A few Western Australian clubs have supported a project under Catalpa’s guidance, creating a Sustainable Farm in Eraulo, which was where one group were based. The 20 chosen students and 4 young leaders spent many months leading up to departure, raising funds and saving up to make the journey to Timor L’Este which was to cost approximately $2500 per student. Leader Aimee was in the first group of students to take part in this programme two years ago, and she was so enthused that she put her hand up to be a Junior Leader last year, and to go again this year as a Senior Leader. It was uplifting to the Soroptimists present at the meeting to hear these committed young men and women talk with such enthusiasm about their amazing life-journey. They shared with us their impressions of the country, their delight at the friendliness of the people, and also what their most memorable moments were. They talked of how their experiences have changed their attitude to everyday living, in particular the realisation that a happy and fulfilling life can be enjoyed in even the most simple of conditions, (notably without an ipod or iphone). All of the students are keen to return once they have completed their tertiary education, to be able to assist in an even more meaningful way. Berenice Ritchie President Region of Western Australia February 2011

Click here to read the letter of thanks from the City of South Perth

Soroptimist International of Joondalup Members Welcome New President Bobbi Buckle, immediate past president, welcomed incoming president, Kate Haydock, by handing over the ‘Jewel’ of office at the January 2011 Annual General Meeting. Kate told the members that it was a privilege and she felt confident that she had the backing of the club appreciating that she had a different personality and qualities to previous Presidents. Kate went on to say that “Our sunburnt country has commenced 2011 living prophetically up to its reputation for flooding rains, droughts and fires. I am from Queensland and these last weeks have been anxious but my family are all safe and well. I hope it is the same for members tonight who have also had anxiety for their families in the five states affected. As Soroptimists we are right there for our fellow Australians. This is what it means to be a Soroptimist. We are a world wide family with all the obligations that being a family entails. We are caring and compassionate sisters who will be there for the long haul when people are in need of our help”. Kate told the members that her ‘president’s’ project had not been finalized but her prime motivation will be maternal and child health. The rate of maternal morbidity and mortality particularly in our nearest neighbours is extremely disturbing. Sierra Leone has the highest rate in the world and I am proud of the effort made by this club to help in this dire situation with the events held to date. Kate said that she is also committed to Education and Leadership with young women with mentoring from the Club Kate’s aspirations for the coming years are both simple and complex. She said, “I start from the premise that we live in a troubled world even as we hope for peace. Many people are well fed but many are hungry. Many of us have more than adequate shelter but some of us are homeless. We are warm (and in W.A. we are very warm) – but many of us are cold and long for material and emotional warmth. We are there with help in Projects for disaster and overwhelming deprivation. As a club I would like us to aspire to help as well in the small needs of people which often go unnoticed in the wider sphere and to alleviate the suffering which takes many forms eg the lack of education for women and girls in many areas”. Kate aspires to words of Henry Ford when he said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”. Bee Bee Sullivan Public Relations Officer 9306 1238 (H) 0404851814 (M)

SOROPTIMISTS ABROAD In January this year Judie Pettitt from SI Karratha & Districts (SI-KAD) attended a meeting of SI Penang and later joined a number of members on a visit to one SI Penang’s major projects, the Women’s Program at the Eden Handicap Centre. It was a particularly moving visit hearing about how the Centre was established in 1991 on a dream and a prayer to provide free respite and development opportunities for men with a physical and/or intellectually disability from poor backgrounds. How through the perseverance of the founders and the generosity of the community the Centre has grown to include services to children and now to women through the support of SI Penang. The Eden Centre is an independent and charitable organisation that unlike most Australian equivalents does not receive any financial support from government but depends upon public donations. The programs run by the Centre focus upon independent living skills that include sheltered workshop activities, the production of art and craft souvenirs as well as a recycling and cleaning service. It also provides hostel facilities for men and for children whose families live too far from the Centre, and a bus service for those members including all the women attending on a daily basis. SI Penang members have built up a strong relationship with the Centre staff and their charges, and it shows in the warmth and ease with which they all interact. www.edenhandicap.org This project and SI Penang’s Best Practice ‘Blossom’ project are inspiring in that both are about personal, social and economic development. They enable women to learn skills that lead to their relative independence and empower them to move beyond the strictures of their debilitating circumstances. With thanks to SI Penang for their friendship and inspiration. Judie Pettitt SI-KAD

Mair Pinnell was delighted to meet members of SI Joondalup and their partners at a BBQ in January. Jennie van Driel and husband Keith organised the evening and hosted a total of 17 Soroptimists and their husbands who were all pleased to meet Mair and exchange information and friendship. She has been coming out to Western Australia from Leeds in England for many years to spend Christamas with her brother and his family and to re-connect with SI Joondalup. Mair has a long association with Joondalup; when we were chartered as a club in 1978 a member of Leeds came out to accompany the President of GBI and a Friendship Link was formed between the two clubs with Mair as the correspondent. Mair went on to become the Federation Friendship Link for GBI and she has continued being a stalwart correspondent and friend to SI Joondalup. During the evening President Elect Kate Haydock welcomed Mair and gave her a gift of a silk purse made by the women of the Tabitha Foundation of Cambodia. The women who weave the silk and make the purses are widowed mothers, landmine victims street women and Aids Suferers, and this project gives them dignity and an income. In return Mair presented two of her dear friends and foundation members of SI Joondalup, Verna Ramm and Noreen Biffen each with a single red rose. She said how pleased she was to meet with the members of SI Joondalup again and she congratulated them on their Programme of Service.

One of SI Cambridge’s most recent projects was a donation of $500 to RENEW for educational scholarships for woman and girls in Bhutan.

Inspiration – Michelle Hogan, Director of My Secret Bhutan, spoke at Soroptimist International of Cambridge’s meeting about a new educational scholarship program for women and girls in Bhutan. She also shared her experience of working there and talked about the dedication of Buddhist nuns and their life. Action – Pamela Fruin and Patricia Cowley invited Soroptimist International sister s and friends to sew, knit or crochet red beanies for the Nuns of Bhutan. The Red Beanie Thunder Dragon Project started to breathe fire. Soroptimist International sisters at South Perth, Joondalup, Karratha and Districts, Rockingham, Fremantle and Cambridge and their friends together made 424 red beanies; 276 polar fleece beanies and 148 knitted and crocheted or commercially made beanies. What a fantastic effort! Delivery – Two bags of securely wrapped red beanies travelled with us to their final destination in Bhutan. The largest bag with 300 red beanies found its new home in Bumthang and the smaller bag of 124 beanies was delivered in Thimpu. Pema Thak Cho-ling Tang Bebzur Nunnery in Bumthang Bezbur Nunnery is in the remote area of Bumthang in central Bhutan. Our guide Kuenga arranged the visit, introduced us to the head Monk Khampo Sonam Tetjay, senior monk and nun and Sherab, a beautiful, gracious nun who translated for us. 50 nuns assembled in the prayer hall and under the guidance of their seniors, began to chant a prayer ceremony. Prayers of thanks and prayers to wish us safe travel. Sherab said that ‘we would not be forgotten until their bodies turn to ashes’. A protocol that was observed in giving the beanies, the most important first. As the nuns left there were giggles of excitement. 150 nuns live at Pema Thak Cho-ling Tang Bebzur Nunnery in austere accommodation. Funding for building, maintenance and its operation is mainly from donations. The winters in Bhutan are severe with temperatures as low as minus 20. 300 beanies were delivered here and will bring a little comfort during the winter. Zilukha Nunnery in Thimpu Pema Pal, the senior nun, a beautiful, gentle, caring woman welcomed us. She has 50 nuns in her care including lots of little nuns. The nuns assembled and held a prayer ceremony for us. Beanies were given to the nuns here.

SI Fremantle ran the sausage sizzle at Bunning Melville on 2nd and 3rd January which was a huge success, despite the hot weather. Bunning’s customers supported the fund raising efforts and we were able to raise $1,800 towards our educational scholarships and Girl Guides project. Thanks go to all members (and partners/husbands) who assisted and Dorsogna who supplied the sausages.

Our first meeting for 2011 was well attended with several visitors and potential members at our new meeting venue – The Eastern – in Midland. We heard first hand the difference that The Esther Foundation is making to the lives of young women. One of the course participants told us of her own situation. The transformation that had occurred in this confident 16 year old lady standing talking to a group of women, was nothing short of amazing. In just 2 short years she had gone from self harming, being put in psychiatric wards and being on constant suicide watch to being a leader at the foundation who is now applying for a job in the police force. Members also brought along donations for the Region call out to send up to those affected by the floods in Carnarvon.

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