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Celebrating 100 years of change

Posted: 5pm 22 Nov 2021

The world is a very different place 100 years on from the formation of Soroptimist International – an organisation committed to educating, empowering and enabling women and girls to have a better life.

Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc (SIMNI) will host celebrations during the South Queensland Region Conference at the North Lakes Hotel from November 26-28.

It all starts with a Friendship Dinner on November 26 from 6.30pm.

The actual conference is on November 27 from 9.30am and on November 28 from 9am-2.30pm.

Participants will also join in a Centenary Celebration Gala Dinner from 6.30pm on November 27.

SIMNI President Chris Knight says in the lead-up to the main events, the Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc 100 Years and 100 Women Exhibition is at the Deception Bay Library until November 25.

“It is a celebration of local women in our Moreton Bay Region and Surrounding Areas who have been recognised for their community service and supported the local projects within the community to assist women and girls,” Chris says.

Soroptimist International was formed in 1921 and now has 72,000 members in 122 countries that provide a global voice for women.

“The name is derived from Latin. Soro (sister) + Optimist (best) – simply translated to Best Sisters,” Chris explains.

“Our focus is to educate, empower and enable women and girls to have a better life and to participate in decision making processes that impact on their lives at a local and international level.

“Key topics at the conference will focus on gender equality, the SI Journey so far, the impacts of the Blue Economy/COP26 especially the impact on Pacific Island communities and why younger women choose to volunteer in an organisation that has been around for 100 years.”

Inspiring line-up

Conference keynote speakers include Dame Quentin Bryce, Rochelle Courtney (Share the Dignity), Adele Rice, Katie Kiss, Ema Tora Vueti, Stella Miria Robinson, Sister Wendy Flannery and Soroptimist International members who have held federation and international positions including Lorna Mead, Eileen Mitchell, Leigh Ellwood Brown and Florence Drury and Audrey Martin.

Florence is 101 years old and has been a member of Soroptimist International for more than 60 years.

“She inducted SIMNI Life Member Audrey Martin back in 1969 and the two of them have enjoyed a wonderful friendship as well as volunteering to support local Soroptimist projects,” Chris explains.

“Our SIMNI Younger Members who are participating in the panel discussions include Lakeisha Patterson and Sarah Shotunde who are both role models, global travellers and leading advocates of younger women making a difference.

“Soroptimist International members work very closely with the United Nations and have representatives at each UN Centre around the world. We are delighted to have Claire Moore President UNAA Qld and Immediate Past UNAA Qld President Donnell Davis participating in the forum and sharing their knowledge.

“Delegates are coming from as Far as North Queensland and Tasmania to attend the conference. The Gala Dinner on the Saturday will include a celebration through the decades with fashions and songs from local entertainer Leena Salim.”

On November 28, conference delegates will join Soroptimist members around the world for the 16 Days of Activism to Eliminate all Forms of Violence (November 25-December 10) with an orange theme and a walk around Lake Eden before the conference sessions continue.

If you would like to attend the conference or any of the associated events, bookings can be made on https://www.trybooking.com/BTTHG

For more information phone Chris Knight on 0403 177 012 or email simoretonnorth@siswp.org

Date Claimer:

There will be a high tea at North Lakes Hotel on December 5 for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc from 10.30am-12.30pm. Tickets cost $40. All Welcome. For more information, phone Chris Knight SIMNI President on 0403 177 012 or email: simoretonnorth@siswp.org

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