SISWP member May Lamont in Beijing

1990 – 1999 Decade - the Last Hurrah of the 20th-Century!

Written by Leigh Ellwood Brown, Past Federation President. 

The Globe experienced the biggest change to date in technology in the 1990’s with the introduction of the internet and the mobile phone, which began to change the face of telecommunications and entertainment. This is the decade that introduced exciting new technology such as:

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The 80's decade, big hairdo's, bright clothes, shoulder pads, large velvet scrunchies for our hair, the introduction of spandex, leisure clothes, Nintendo arrives with the biggest ever gaming console. the invention by Sony of the Walkman, music on the go, the casette tape, how we loved to make our own music playlists, Michael Jackson singing "Thriller", and Michael J Fox in "Back to the Future", which is what this blog is about;  In 1983 Sally Ride, became the first American woman to go to space. 

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The decade when the Vietnam war escalated, inflation spiraled, and email was invented, little did re realise how the invention of email would become the main source of written communication and the empact on our lives. The decade that SISWP finally come of age, when we cut ties with SIGBI and become a separate identity of Soroptimist International
The Soroptimist International President attended the first United Nations Women’s Conference in Mexico city. This conference produced the World Plan of Action – the General Assembly endorsed this plan and proclaimed 1976-1985 the decade for women with three objectives equality, development and peace

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Swinging sixties - 60s were a period of radical social and political change, equal rights were at a low ebb, women’s liberation movements were being formed, rapidly changing attitudes presented a new challenge to Soroptimist International, how to continue in a changing world. Oral contraceptives were marketed and the Vietnam War, and the assignation of American President JohnF Kennedy in 163, all having an impact on our lives.

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The First Two Decades of SWP

Whilst the ideals of Soroptimist International were spreading across America, Europe, England and Ireland. Way across the Pacific Ocean in Australia a remarkable woman named Edith Glanville, who was one of the first of two women to become a Justice of the Peace in NSW. Edith was actively interested in helping immigrants, her life was dedicated to the service of others, it was about this time in 1921 that Edith formed the first Quota Club in Australia. Edith having traveled to America for a Quota International Conference and attended a meeting held by the American Soroptimists was so impressed by our international aspirations, she returned to Sydney, sent back the Quota charter and formed her band of followers into Soroptimist International Association of Sydney.

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SI Sydney 21st Birthday Celebration 1958

This decade was the time for Soroptimists in Australia and New Zealand to face challenge and set the wheels in motion to becoming a Federation of our own.  The established clubs in Australia and New Zealand were still attached to the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.  Communication was a great challenge with correspondence often takening as long as 6 months from sending to receiving.  Emerging futures leaders of SWP joined the organisation and joined with existing members to set the wheels in motion.  We were on our way

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