High tea to celebrate city's incredible women

Published 12:00pm 16 February 2024

High tea to celebrate city's incredible women
Words by Ashleigh Howarth
Above: Clare Cunningham, Alice Cunningham, Kassandra Behrendt (SIMNI President Elect) and Samara Behrendt.

A number of amazing women who have “gone above and beyond” to raise awareness on a variety of local issues will be recognised for their efforts at the upcoming Be Inspired Forum and Awards hosted by Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc (SIMNI).

This will be the 11th year SIMNI has hosted the forum, which is held every March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The event will be an opportunity for like-minded women to come together for a high tea and hear more about SIMNI’s mentoring program and other projects the organisation is involved in, as well as celebrate the winners of this year’s International Women’s Day awards.

SIMNI President Elect, Kassandra Behrendt, says it’s important to honour women who stand up for social injustice.

“There are women and girls in Moreton Bay who are standing up and speaking out against discrimination, gender bias, violence against women, as well as bullying in our schools and in the work environment,” Kassandra says.

“At SIMNI, we want to recognise and encourage them to continue to raise their voice.

“Each year, on International Women’s Day, SIMNI hosts our signature event – The Be Inspired Forum and Awards.

“It is at this event, in front of the community, we recognise these incredible women and girls who have worked tirelessly and gone above and beyond, to raise awareness on the local issues.

“By recognising these social justice giants in our community, they in turn will inspire future generations.”

The guest speaker will be Kylian MJ Kenni, who will share her experiences about helping women in a remote village in Papua New Guinea.

The Be Inspired Forum will be held on Sunday, March 3 from 1-3.30pm at the North Lakes Hotel.

Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased online, direct from the hotel, or by emailing Kassandra at [email protected]

There will also be raffles and lucky door prizes drawn on the day.

To see more photos, click through the gallery below. 

Empowering women and girls to become leaders

SIMNI President Fiona Cullen says the group is committed to teaching women and girls to become leaders through the Lead-HER-Ship mentoring program.

The program was first launched in March 2023 and matches mentors with mentees based on a range of criteria including geographical location, vocation, career aspirations, experience or expertise.

“Unlike other mentoring programs, the emphasis is not on hierarchy or status. Our goal is to connect two women and support them to develop a fulfilling relationship where they learn from each other with the goal of both individuals becoming elevated versions of themselves,” Fiona says.

“Our beautiful City of Moreton Bay is one of diversity and inclusion where our women and girls are free to demonstrate leadership by standing up, speaking out and going that extra mile, for themselves and their community.”

“Leadership is choice - and anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or experience can lead and influence others. What many of us lack is the support to develop specific skills and strengths to increase our probability of success when leading and influencing ourselves and others.

“Empowered women, empower women, which is precisely why SIMNI created the Lead-HER-Ship mentoring program, to give women the tools to lead themselves first, so that they can then lead others in their families, workplaces and communities.”

The Lead-HER-Ship program is free of charge, runs from March to July, and sessions are held via Zoom.

Those who are interested in taking part in the program are encouraged to fill out a registration form.

A century of bringing women together

Soroptimist International is a not-for-profit, professional women’s volunteer organisation which was founded more than a century ago.

It has a rich history of volunteering to improve the lives of women and girls by bringing like-minded women together to share common goals while forming deep friendships.

SIMNI is currently the only Soroptimist International Club situated in the outer northern suburbs of Brisbane and covers the City of Moreton Bay.

Women of all ages who have an interest in sharing their skills and expertise to improve the lives and opportunities of others in our local and global communities are encouraged to join.

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday night of the month via Zoom.

For more information about Soroptimist International, visit the website or follow SIMNI on Facebook.


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