Meet some of our newest Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific members and hear about the reasons why they became Soroptimists and the benefits they have gained from joining.
Karess Dias - SI Fremantle, Western Australia
Soroptimists are an international community of women who are dedicated to changing the lives of women and girls. The organisation works towards the empowerment and enablement of women from the local level (through club projects) up to the international stage (through their representation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women).
As a Soroptimist, I have found a community who are working towards a common purpose. It is extremely fulfilling to be a part of an organisation that is addressing the issue of gender equality in such an encompassing way. The skills I have developed throughout my time as a member has led me to club President this year. Photograph: Karess Dias far right
Sarah Stamp - SI Brisbane, Queensland
I first heard about Soroptimist International (broadly) when attending the Rosie Batty Roadshow in Brisbane, an event which SI South Queensland was instrumental in bringing to fruition. Later at another event I met two representatives of SI South Queensland who told me about the organisation and encouraged me to make contact. I did... and am now a member of SI Brisbane Club. Through this membership, I have learned of SISWP and its links both globally and locally.
The reasons behind me joining was that I had been looking for an outlet for excess energy, and through which to discharge my desire to give back to the community. Upon seeing the breadth of project work undertaken by SISWP, all of which had an explicit focus on empowering women and girls - linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - I felt it was a natural fit.
I'm continually impressed by the caliber of women in the SI Brisbane Club, in the region (SISQ) and in the federation (SISWP). I'm proud to be amongst the ranks of high performing, driven, and community-minded women representing SISWP. Having recently delved into SI Brisbane Club's history and learned of the extraordinary accomplishments of our members over the past seven decades, I'm thrilled to be part of this continuing legacy which empowers women and girls to fulfill their potential.
Gantsetseg Batbuyan – SI Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The reason I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific was so that I could help as much as I can to improve the quality of life of people in need. As I am a health professional and mother, I believe that girls and women can protect themselves through education. Like the education projects ran by SISWP. Then we can make a better world together.
I have found that there are many advantages of being a member of SISWP, in particular, that it gives me a chance to meet new people and it is beneficial in me gaining more knowledge about topics that interest me.
Kim Hainsworth – SI Burnie, Tasmania
I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific as I wanted to help raise funds and awareness of initiatives/issues that will support women and children locally, nationally and internationally. I would also like to be involved in lobbying and advocating for women's and girl's rights. Empower women and girls to stand up for their rights.
As a member of SISWP, I hope to meet some like-minded people and use those networks when needed to achieve change in relation to women and children. Also to gain some skills to assist with lobbying, advocating and developing funding submissions
The best thing about being a member is that I am proud to be able to drive and have input into initiatives at a local and international level and to promote the great work Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific does, I’m able to learn more about global issues and understand the bigger picture.
Kirsty Mawer – SI Mackay, North Queensland
I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific as I wanted to share my skills and abilities with a volunteer organisation and be a part of something bigger than me.
I also wanted to participate in activities at a local level. What I enjoy about being a member is the group activities and doing something positive for other people.
Also, I enjoy using my skills with social media which I utilise in getting our club noticed!
Rebecca Tichbon – SI Bunbury, Western Australia
I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific Bunbury Club as the values and aims of the club match my own personal values and goals and I thought that I could really contribute to the group.
I enjoy networking and meeting new people and I thought joining the Club could be a great way to do this. As an educator and health advocate, I am passionate about the education and empowerment of women, and so I believe I can help achieve goals in this area through belonging to Soroptimist International.
I enjoy the social aspect of belonging to the club. I come away from meetings feeling buoyed by our achievements, spending time with like-minded women, and I usually learn something from our discussions and guest presentations. I feel like I am valued and am supporting great causes through our activities and events. SI is a valuable organisation to the women of my local community and the international community. I look forward to the opportunities that will come from being a Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific member, such as being able to present to the local and other clubs, becoming a part of local activities and even travel to international events.
Maria Surian - SI Mackay, North Queensland
I joined SISWP as I wanted to involve myself in activities and projects to help those in need who can’t or maybe too scared or embarrassed to ask for help. I really enjoy being part of SI Mackay, as it feels good to give something back to my community and be introduced to like-minded women.
Jill Larsen – SI Albany, Western Australia
I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific as I wanted to support other women and give support back to my community. And also work alongside compassionate and like-minded women.
Kellie Cowling – SI Perth, Western Australia
I joined Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific after a friend invited me to a Club breakfast meeting and I learned of all the important projects. I wanted to assist in the fundraising efforts to help other women and children in need. What I enjoy best about being a member of SI Perth is I have made many wonderful new friends! The meetings are run very professionally and I am proud of the important work we achieve together.
Find out more about becoming a Soroptimist and how to find a local Club to join.