Jane has been a Soroptimist since 1982, when she was one of the charter members of new club SI George Town, Tasmania. Jane has held many leadership roles at both club and region level, her leadership journey led her to be SISWP Federation President from 1996-1998 and then go on to be Soroptimist International President 1999-2001. In her professional life she was a Doctor General Practice, graduating from the University of Toronto Canada in 1969.
Jane moved to George Town, Tasmania, in 1981 where she set up practice with her former husband. In 2002, Jane joined the Anne Street Medical Centre. Jane had a particularly interest in women’s health, working for the Royal Flying Doctor’s Rural Women’s Health Service in areas where there is no female doctor. Jane refelects on one aspect of her role as Federation President. In 2013 Jane was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her valuable contribution to Soroptimist International.
One of the greatest thrills of being Federation President is chartering new Clubs and meeting excited and enthusiastic new members. I had the honour and pleasure of chartering several Clubs in Malaysia, Fiji and New Zealand.
There were many memorable adventures as I travelled around our vast and diverse Federation: Being welcomed by a fabulous colourful “Sins-Sing” in Papua Niu Guinea, hearing amazing throat singing in Mongolia, visiting a market in Honiara where the grapefruit were the size of small melons, touring a sugar cane factory in Fiji, staying at the historic Aggie Gray’s hotel in Apia and enjoying the bounties of the sea at dinner. To name but a few.
It was inspiring to see what a difference many of our small Clubs and Regions made in their communities. Often they were small projects with huge impacts.
My travels also taught me some valuable lessons. Donations should be what the recipients say they need, not what the donor thinks they should have. For example, there was a mammogram machine sitting in a hospital parking lot because there was no one who knew how to use it and it would have consumed most of their budget to run it. In another country I saw gifts of unusable wheelchairs that could not survived the rough terrain.
But the most memorable thing was the camaraderie and friendship. Everywhere we went there was that warm Soroptimist welcome and you could always find the meetings – just follow the chatter and laughter.
Global Soroptimist friendships - legendary and long lasting.
This image was taken at a tree planting ceremony, some many faces I am sure you all remember, Lets see how many we know
During Jane's term of Soroptimist International President - Jane's Presidents Appeals included Legacy of Learning, supporting girls’ education in Inner Mongolia and campaigns to stop human trfficking in India and Russia. Below are some images from one of her trips to Mongolia to visit the Legacy of Learning recipients.
Jane with Federation Past President Eileen Mitchell, in Mongolia.