Since 1921 women, who are Soroptimists have voluntered in their communities, bringing about social change and improving the lives of women and girls, This work has involved advocating at local, national and international arenas, never giving up the challenge, raising their voices and working as one voice for women and girls everywhere. These women have many stories to tell, the challenges, the wins, the fun, the never ending moving of the goal posts to achieve their goal of gender equality and basic human rights for all. The Soroptimist Reflections series will provide a platform for soroptimists voices, over this series you will hear many stories, learn about our bright past, as we move to a brilliant future where our voices and stories will continue to shine bright as we accomplish what we set out to do 100 years ago.

Barbara Wagner, a Member of Southern Districts of Adelaide and Honorary Life Member of the Region of South Australia

Barbara joined  the Southern Districts of Adelaide, in 1967, when Soroptimist International in Australia was still part of the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.  Barbara promptly became Minute Secretary and then Secretary from 1968 – 1970 of the Divisional Union of SA (now known as the Region of SA)..  This was during a period of great change in the Soroptimist movement.   She became President of the Club in 1974 and again in 1981 and later was the President of the Divisional Union (now Region).  Barbara exemplified leadership in both her professional and volunteering life

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KUCHING – A “FIRST TIMER’S” EXPERIENCE
Since joining SI of The Hills District in 2008 I have mainly been involved in our own Club’s activities, projects and fundraising ventures to contribute towards the improvement in the lives of disadvantaged women and girl and sometimes the bigger picture of what Soroptimism is really about is not acknowledged.

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Kerry was a charter member of SI Benella, joining in 1985, Kerry has held many positions at club level and was the editor of the magazine "The Soroptimist, SWP", from 2006-2014.  Kerry resigned in 2020.

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Alicia became a Soroptimist in 2012, first joining Singapore Garden City and now a member of Singapore.   Alicia has held several positions at club level including President, National Representative for Singapore 2016-2018 and has been instrumental in membership development in Asia as part of the Federation Membership team for 2018-2020. 

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Siew Yong with the Conference of Clubs Tshirt

Siew Yong was a charter member of SI Petaling Jaya (SIPJ) in January 1994 and became the President of SIPJ from 1998 to 2000 after 1 year as Vice President. I was President of SI Region of Malaysia (SIROM) from 2005-2007 after serving as Vice-President (2001 – 2003) and President-Elect (2003 – 2005). SI National Rep for Malaysia in 2008 and President of SISWP 2012-2014, recently Siew Yong was the chair for the Soroptimist International Convention 2019 held in Kuala Lumper, the first time a International Convention has been held in Asia. 

Siew Yong Gnanalingam’s Adventures

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Annette Smith, National Representative New Zealand 2012-2014

Annette has been a Soroptimist and member of SI Waimea since 1993.  Annette has contributed to Soroptimist life at all levels of governance including being a National Representative of New Zealand,   SI Waimea awarded Annette with a life membership of the club for her contribution to Soroptimism.

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Lynn Ciurlionis currently a member of SI Melba, past member of SI Sydney and Thailand

Lynn held the position of Thailand National Representative 2002- 2006

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Lorna Mead  has been a member since 1973, when she became a charter member of SI Townsville.  Lorna is a well known business woman inTownsville, is a professional florist and a gemmologist.  Lorna has been involved at all levels of the organisation, holding office at Club, Region and Federation and Soroptimist International levels. Federation Extension Convenor twice 1990-1994 and 2000-2004, Federation President 2006-2008, and held office at Soroptimist International from 1995-1999.   Lorna did extensive extension work in Asia and the Pacific Isles, as well an working with the All China Women's Federation. 

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Soroptimists Delores Caboche, Margaret Lobo and Carolyn Hudon, reflect on the Peacesat meetings.

Could this possible be our very first Soroptimsit Virtual meeting,   We think that 2020 has really brought us all together via virtual meetings, but in 1980 Betty Loughhead then SISWP President Elect and Sylvia Spear, spearheaded a satellite link up.
After a satellite above the south pacific completed weather experiments, the PEACESAT project was implemented providing opportunities for consultations and development programs in health, education and community services.
SISWP Soroptimists gathered at the PEACESAT stations in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Australia, Western Samoa and USA. Thousands of miles apart, Soroptimists from the two federations SISWP and Americas were lined in an exchange of news and views , later they also linked with Europe and SIGBI.

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Isla is an Australian, born and raised in Sydney, her professional life took her to Indonesia where she has worked and lived for the past 35years. Isla is a charter member of SI Jakarta, joining in 1992.
Isla has held many positions at club and federation level, and will be remembered as the SIJ Project Director, Rebuilding Lamreh Village Project, read more about this amazing accomplishment below in Isla’s reflections.

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