SISWP Oct is MemberMonth 2020 Fbk Cover Image

October is Membership Month! Meet some of our wonderful members and read about their Soroptimist stories here.


Dorjsuiya Yondonperenlei FotorDorjsumiya Yondonperenlei - SI Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Dorjsumiya joined SI Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2006, and was motivated to become a Soroptimist to add another more satisfying element to her life through community work, learning from others, and to also make new friends and extend her network. Her goals in joining were “to gain some experience in community work and learn new skills from others”.
When asked, why Dorjsumiya is a member of SISWP she said that "It refers to my pride. As a woman and a mother of three, I am proud of being a member of SISWP. An organisation that takes global actions for girls and women. I have made many friends, learned new skills, and change my perspective and receive positive feelings and inspiration from our actions".

Maree Gentle photo FotorMaree Gentle - SI Gore, New Zealand

Maree has been a Soroptimist for 10 years now and says that she learned about SISWP through a friend. She had also been looking for a service club that aligned with her values. Maree said " I have always felt it was important that all people regardless of sex, colour or creed be treated with respect and have equal opportunity in a world that doesn't yet provide that. I also wanted to be part of throwing more "starfish back into the sea".
"We are a worthwhile organisation. We make a difference one step at a time. I have stayed a member because I value the company of women who care to make a difference locally, nationally, and internationally. I value the friendships made and the opportunities to meet people I wouldn't normally come in contact with".


Vivien Kamen International Womens Day 2019 cropped FotorVivien Kamen – SI Karratha & Districts, Western Australia

Vivien has been a Soroptimist for 14 years and was invited to a Club Information evening by another Soroptimist. She was suitably impressed and realised that “this is what I had been looking for”. After joining Vivien’s goals were to gain knowledge from being a Soroptimist. “The ability to make a change to someone’s life, have understanding and empathy. I hoped that people will 'reach out' to me”. What she enjoys the most about being a Soroptimist is “the friendship and loyalty bestowed to everyone. I believe strongly in the ideals and philosophy and the thought that the world could be a better place”.

Maureen PughMaureen Pugh - SI Westland, New Zealand

Maureen has been a Soroptimist for 16 years and joined SISWP for the ‘Sisterhood’! Sisterhood. “I wanted to get to know the people in our community that were always so ready to help with community events, but who also supported women and girls”.
Asked about the goals Maureen set when joining and … she said that she wanted to be able to add her support to local projects and international programmes because of the difference they made. “Empowering women and girls is my goal, and it is done by living the example and always being alert to opportunities”. During her time with SI Westland, Maureen has been inspired by seeing a fellow member become Soroptimist International President and in there near future dedicate further time to SISWP projects.

  Judith Bennett Photo FotorJudith Bennett - SI New Plymouth, New Zealand

Judith has been a Soroptimist for 23 years and initially heard about SI New Plymouth through work colleagues. She joined SISWP to become a part of an organisation that cared for and helped women who may be disadvantaged by the society or culture they lived in, locally and internationally.
What Judith enjoys most about being a Soroptimist is the sharing the company of women with likeminded aims to work for the advancement of women and girls. “I gain a great deal of satisfaction from participating in the projects our Club undertakes and the fact that Soroptimists make a difference in society”.

Meredith WiseMeredith Wise - SI Brighton & Southern Districts, Victoria, Australia

Meredith has been a Soroptimist for 24 years and she joined after searching for non-paid volunteering work that aligned with her values of self-development and community service.
What Meredith enjoys most about being a member is the “friendship, sharing similar values, involvement in all aspects of Club life, including training, office bearing (Secretary after only 6 months—a great way to learn, then President, Treasurer, Newsletter editor etc.) plus fundraising and supporting local & international projects”.


Nisha Dobberstein Nisha Dobberstein - SI Damansara, Malaysia

Nisha has been a Soroptimist for 2 years and wanted to join an organisation that works towards “uplifting the living standards of marginalized women and children”. Helping women from lower sociodemographic groups become independently financial through entrepreneurial programs.
Nisha mostly enjoys the “spirit of working together as a team with like-minded women”.


Lydia Holmes Lydia Holmes - SI Brighton & Southern Districts, Victoria, Australia

Lydia has been a Soroptimist for 10 years and joined “to help make the lives of women and children around the world better”, through education and food and shelter security programmes.

Lydia mostly enjoys the friendships she has made by being a Soroptimist. Partnering with local charities and working with and learning from inspiring role models.


Julie CooperJulie Cooper - SI Brighton & Southern Districts, Victoria, Australia

Julie has been a Soroptimist for 22 years. She joined to help contribute towards local community-based projects. Julie enjoys being “able to assist those in the community who are struggling, and organisations trying to support the community in various ways”. To collectively work towards programmes which contribute funding towards assisting women and children affected by natural disasters such as drought, floods and bushfires.


Mamta Bajaj FotorMamta Bajaj- SI Bangkok, Thailand

Mamta Bajaj has been a member of SI Bangkok for 7 years, and was influenced in joining SISWP by her mother who was the President and a member for over 40 years of the Club. She joined SI Bangkok wanting to be part of an organisation focused on improving the lives of those in need through their projects and club work.
Currently in the role of SWP National Representative of Thailand, when we asked Mamta what she enjoys about being a Soroptimist, she said “In addition to the feeling of purpose I get from being of service to those in need, I enjoy the sisterhood. I enjoy interacting with members from other clubs and am constantly inspired by all of the conferences I have attended. There is so much to share and learn from one another, and friendships with like-minded people”.

Debby SheltonDebby Shelton – SI Hornsby, Australia

Debby has been a member of SI Hornsby for 12 years. Being interested in becoming involved in volunteer organisaiton, she liked the idea of being able to make a real difference in the lives of women and girls, locally nationally and internationally.
When asked what Debby enjoys about being a member, she said “I like being a member of SISWP because it links me to other like-minded ladies., locally, nationally and internationally. It gives me the opportunity to be involved in projects that make a real difference in other women's and girl's lives which is very satisfying and enriching. I have continued to be a member because our club has been involved in some great projects which I couldn’t have done on my own and I value the friendships I have made in the club”.

Munkhzul Ser Od FotorMunkhzul Ser-Od - SI Erdenet, Mongolia

Munkhzul has been a member of SI Erdenet for 5 years and has really enjoyed being involved in the ongoing projects SI Erdenet is focused on including the essay writing competition 'What do girls want’. This programme targets teenage girl's needs and issues and organises peer educator training for reproductive health. The next steps for the programme are to educate and stop peer violence and influence the girl's behavior.
When asked why Munkhzul joined SISWP, she said “I joined Soroptimist International for the wellness of society. To build a fearless bright future”.

Unurtsoo Myagmar FotorUnurtsoo Myagmar - SI Erdenet, Mongolia

Unurtsoo has been a member of SI Erdenet for 6 years and joined with the goals of helping to protect the rights of girls and women and help influence their development and education resulting in empowerment and the creation of more women leaders.
When asked what Unurtsoo likes most about being a Soroptimist she said she enjoys the unification of Club members, working together to achieve a common goal.

Oyuntuya Badam Fotor FotorOyuntuya Badam – SI Erdenet, Mongolia

Oyuntuya has been a member of SI Erdenet for 9 years and joined with the desire to focus on charity work and help others. She enjoys the feeling she gets when she sees the smiling faces and sparks from the eyes of the women and girls that are helped by the Club’s programs. “I feel happy to have lots of Soroptimist sisters”.


Val Trinder Val Trinder – SI Geelong, Australia

Val has been a member of SI Geelong for 40 years. She says that when she first joined SISWP “The aim of our work making the lives of women and girls better was of real interest. Volunteering as a Soroptimist gave me a real sense of achievement, I learned many new things, met friends both here in Geelong and overseas through traveling on grants of friendship – all things I would never have done if I had not been a Soroptimist.
Currently, Val aims to mentor younger members. “Take part in as many projects as I can and enjoy my many Soroptimist friends. I have stayed a Soroptimist for 40 years because I always felt it was a place where people were trying to help others less fortunate and I also liked the atmosphere of the club. The friendships I have made over the years have been special”.

Philippa Robert Fashion Parade FotorPhilippa Robert – Southern Districts of Adelaide, Australia

Philippa has been a Soroptimist for 3 years and joined after she retired as she felt it was time to give something back to her community. She says that the friendships and mutual support she has gained whilst being a member have been very rewarding.
Philippa says “I have held office as Secretary and found opportunities to have a say on issues. Membership has boosted my confidence and given me a new group of contacts who are from a variety of backgrounds. The experience has also opened my eyes to issues in the wider world as well as close at hand”.

Wendy May LoganWendy May Logan – SI Mackay, Australia

Wendy joined SI Mackay 22 years ago to help her business stay connected with other local businesses and to contribute back to her community. Wendy says that she likes the sincerity of friendships throughout the Federation and the sense of purpose she gains from being a Soroptimist.
Currently, Wendy is the SWP Assistant Membership Convenor for Australia and says that being a member of SISWP keeps her active physically and mentally.

Yvonne Simpson with school girls LabasaYvonne Simpson QSM – SI Westland, New Zealand

Yvonne has been a member of SISWP for 24 years and joined as she wanted to meet a cross section of women in her town outside of her profession, develop friendships and contribute to her community.
Yvonne is currently the SWP Membership Convenor and says “I am grateful that Soroptimist International has provided this ordinary Soroptimist with extraordinary opportunities to develop my potential and to empower others to step up and out of their comfort zones, out of limiting self beliefs and lack of opportunity to achieve dreams they never thought possible”.

Tsatsral Gansukh FotorTsatsral Gansukh – SI Erdenet, Mongolia

Tsatsral has been a member of SI Erdenet for 2 years and wanted to join a global NGO focussed on helping women and grils. Tsatsral enjoys the common goal of all Club members to help others and become a good role model for other women and girls.