With the fast approaching conclusion of the 2018-2020 Biennium, we have asked our SISWP Board members and National Representatives to focus on capturing the SISWP spirit of gratitude, joy, and united celebration through the most memorable and impactful initiatives they have implemented or been involved in during this Biennium.
The Singapore delegation at SI Convention 2020 in Kuala Lumpur - the largest ever at an SI Convention - were all so inspired by our amazing sisters and their passionate projects! We have made lifelong friends and are as motivated as ever to carry out our projects as a global voice for women!
Joyce Lim Siok Ching, National Representative of Singapore (2018-2020)
Over the past two years, SI Australia has supported the Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Trust in an effort to help more indigenous women train as midwives. This programme supports the culturally specific wishes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women while giving birth close to or in their own communities, as well as
strengthening maternal and newborn health care afterward. So far SI Australia has raised approximately $8,130 for the Trust scholarships.
Photo: Katherine Gribble, Charisse Buzzacott ( Chairperson of the Trust) with Catherine Evans
Katherine Gribble, National Representative of Australia (2018-2020)
Soroptimist International of Bangkok has been actively working on its Climate Change Initiative with tree planting and plastic-free SI Bangkok. March 19, 2020, amidst the COVID19 pandemic (before the stay at home) SI Bangkok was granted an audience with HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the Dusitalai, Suan Chitlada Palace.
Well prepared with matching floral masks on to represent our Fundraiser titled Flower Power. We had our body temperature checked and practiced social distancing, showing that by being resilient we can fight COVID19. SI Bangkok Fundraiser titled Flower Power raised funds for our charities, mainly Climate Change Initiative and Nursing Scholarship. “Phra Thep” which means “princess angel” was presented with a cheque for the Princess charity fund to support projects that improve people's living conditions, a Soroptimist pin, a traditional Thai fresh flower garland, and our SI Bangkok brochure detailing our projects. Phra Thep was very gracious, down to earth, and showed curiosity and interest in our work and we had the opportunity to talk about our mission.
Mamta Bajaj, National Representative of Thailand (2018-2020)
Together everyone achieves more. A huge shout out to Federation President, Anusha and all my fellow Board members from the 2018-2020 Biennium, to Soroptimist members from around the globe, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and sharing experiences with and last, but not least, my Soroptimist Sisters from Soroptimist International Aotearoa New Zealand (SIANZ). Thank you for your friendship and for being there for me – your mentoring, friendship, encouragement and support is appreciated and will never be forgotten. Thank you, in particular, to those who have put so much effort into our national project, Tu Tonu – Rise Up. The success of the project is clear to see in the feedback from participants. Thank you also to those who assisted with the SIANZ Response to the NZ National Voluntary Review. It is great to advocate in this way. Some of my favourite moments as National Representative/President are captured below – there are many more, but I have had to choose a select few.
Joanne Fannin, National Representative of New Zealand (2018-2020)
My most memorable and impactful initiative as the National Representative of Malaysia during the biennium 2018-2020, was firstly the great honour given to me to carry the Malaysian Flag at the Parade of Flags for the Opening Ceremony at the SI-Convention 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. Also being part of the Local Organising Committee of the SI-Convention 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, where I led the Social Committee who organised the Friendship Nite and the Gala Evening. Lastly,
I was also very happy to be involved in a small way together with SIROM's President, the Extension and Membership Convenors, in the Charter of the new club SI Bentong on 20 October 2019.
Anita Pater, National Representative of Malaysia (2018-2020)
I am proud to be associated with Soroptimist International South West Pacific as the National Representative of Fiji and a Director to the Board for the biennium 2018-2020. It was an honour and privilege for me to be involved in the Federation Project “Sanctuary Shelter Home”. The project was completed in February 2020. I commend our Federation President Anusha Santhirasthipam, Project Liaison, Theresa Lyford, and the entire team for the successful completion.
“Every Women’s Success Should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on” Serena Williams
Veena Sharma, National Representative of Fiji (2018-2020)
“Although there is no end to the horror of natural disaster, it is the warm feelings of love and caring that remain in our memory…” - Taking part within the joint effort project of SI, SISWP and SI Indonesia to help women in the disaster area of Palu.
Sylva Hutagalung, National Representative of Indonesia (2018-2020)
Crafting a Code of Conduct for Soroptimists to uphold as an individual member and as a Club required a fair amount of research and understanding of what It means to be a volunteer in an international service organisation and a Soroptimist. It had to be dignified and at the same time realistic, it had to reflect characteristics found in codes of similar organisations and yet have our SI flavour. Reaching so many members via a presentation and a webinar to obtain feedback was an impactful experience as their interactive nature meant that Soroptimists played a part in setting their expectations of themselves and fellow members.
“Let's be brave and bold, So good SISWP stories can be told”.
Nora Lam, SWP Constitution Convenor (2018-2020)
Together we started the Biennium with significant challenges. Committed to the work and promise, we delivered our due diligence with extreme professionalism.
Our journey began, thank you to President Anusha, IPP Theresa, and the SISWP Team for the solidarity as we moved on with numerous tasks before us.
From Sanctuary Shelter Home Project to the SI Convention, we left nothing behind with zero regrets.
We worked as a team, with compassion and trust and succeeded through our endeavors. I am equally proud of my personal development under the guidance of the dynamic leadership of President Anusha and the experienced Board.
In conclusion, and as I approach my term to lead the SISWP Federation, I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the Leaders, Directors, Federation Board and clubs for instilling the qualities I needed for the challenges and changes we have to bring together to support the work and take our organisation forward.
Let’s celebrate now! Take ownership! Become a Soroptimist and make a difference!
Suman Lal, President Elect (2018-2020)