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Eastern Districts

Eastern Districts of Adelaide include the council areas of Mitcham, Unley, Burnside, Norwood,Kensingtonand Campbelltown, taking in a large section of the fothill of the Mount Lofty Ranges which form a backdrop to the city of Adelaide.


The club was chartered in July 1968 at a dinner held in Burnside. Charter President was Lucy Retalic. Memberswere greatly honoured to have Dr Mary Esselmont as a special guest, a high ranking Soroptimist from the Divisional Union Federation, United Kingdom. Twenty one women were inducted to membership. The first meetings were held at teh Glenside Hospital, courtesy of then charter member Mercia Birch who was the matron. As a result, members were known amongsthospital staff in those early days as "Matron's Ladies".


Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month in the Burnside Community Centre commencing 7.30pm with a business session followed by either a speaker or discussion o na specific topic. The Executive meets in the third Monday of each month. There are 2 or 3 dinner meetings and sme informal get togethers for membersto socialise and have fun.

Members are invited to serve on one or more of the following committees:

Extension and Publicity

Socialand Hospitality


Youth Awards


Members are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise in business and the professions. Current members come from a variety of occupations including physiotherapy,various areas of education and nursing, sccountancy.


Latest News From Eastern Dist Of Adelaide Inc

Women's Safety Strategies in AdelaidePrintE-mail
Written by Louise Bruce  
Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Women’s Safety Strategies in Adelaide

Soroptimist International Eastern Districts of Adelaide Inc (SIEDA) recently held a packed women’s safety education evening at the Burnside Community Centre, giving specialist advice on personal security methods and self-defence in all kinds of environments. The speakers, a South Australian police officer, a self-defence school director, and the SIEDA club president, worked to heighten women’s safety awareness in the community by discussing ways to handle theft, assault, and other dangerous situations. The audience listened to prevention strategies applicable to safety at home, in the car, on public transport and on the street.

By sharing information, discussing, and debating the speakers and the attendees exemplified the Soroptimist International goal of working together to help create strong and peaceful communities, in which women can live in a safe and healthy environment. SIEDA member Margaret Connelly said the Club’s motivation to plan the event was to deliver practical information and empower women; key areas of focus for Soroptimism.

Senior Constable Jane Tan said one of SAPOL’s main community roles was to educate the public about how women can ensure personal safety through prevention tactics and working with the police. She encouraged the audience to ask questions about theoretical unsafe situations and also to share stories of unsafe encounters. Senior Constable Tan also emphasized the importance of immediately reporting crimes, calling for police aid in dangerous situations, and working towards crime prevention together as a community. She discussed security measures people can consider for their homes, ways to maximize alertness and response speed when reacting to potential threats on the street and on public transport, and how to look after your belongings. Senior Constable Tan said handbags should not contain many valuables, and should always be kept close.





Training Director Peter Koegst of the Academy of Self-Defence and Martial Arts described practical self-defense techniques and ways to discourage attacks and then acted out possible theft scenarios with an audience member. “Don’t negotiate with a robber, just give up your belongings, keep your life, throw away your bag,” Mr Koegst said. Mr Koegst said safety events were important because they increased awareness of the need for safety precautions and the individual’s capability for risk assessment. ‘My advice to any person is react, make a scene, draw attention, protect yourself first!” he said. Mr Koegst said in order to stay safe, people must consider their posture, the weakness or strength projected by the way they stand, sit and walk. “If you’re feeling down, or shy or timid or scared, you then need to put on a brave face and lift your chin, not aggressive-looking by any means, but more alert-looking,” he said. Learning how to react to most potential dangers, Mr Koegst said, was a matter of reading between the lines in a situation. “Use your instincts about people, follow those instincts, trust your gut feeling—it’s so important, use that instinct,” he said.

Ms Connelly said Mr Koegst’s advice of trusting your intuition was helpful to her. “I’ve been in one or two situations overseas, in the underground in New York, you go and stand with people, you don’t stand by yourself, you need to trust what you feel, is this safe or isn’t it safe?” she said. “When you hear the stories, you think about people who are out to scam you, rob you, I think on a whole that hasn’t actually happened to me personally, but I might change a few things that I do, I might let a robber have my handbag, someone drawing a gun on you, that would definitely make me drop it!”

Attendee June Bell said she came to the event because she went to a safety course ten years previously while her husband was away working overseas. “It made me so much more aware of situations I could get into, so I was interested in an update,” she said.

Senior Constable Tan said SAPOL offer free consultation sessions, advising people how to better protect their homes and possessions against break-ins and theft.







SIEDA member Louise Bruce said a woman having the ability to keep herself safe was very important because there are many women who live alone. “There are a lot of single women now, older women too, who have been widowed or divorced, and they’re on their own, and I think they should feel that they can move around in the community without feeling that they’re being threatened.”

The club is hoping to host a similar event next year.

By Sophie Comber. 

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