Soroptimist International South Australia

SI Southern Districts of Adelaide Inc                   

Welcome to our club webpage! 
As part of Soroptimist International we work together to offer opportunities and improve the lives of women and girls. In our Southern Districts of Adelaide, we raise funds and provide practical items of support for people in our area and more widely in Adelaide, Australia and internationally. Our perspective stems from the international and reaches right down to local applications. We are an optimist and enthusiastic group of women and with a strong focus on education.
Would you like to be involved?
We meet monthly for dinner and a meeting, often at "The Holdy" Glenelg. Come along and find out more.  You will be among friends. You are invited to look in, visit or join.  Contact our club secretary on


Flinders University:  Our club provides an annual prize of $1,000 for a High Achieving Female Science/Engineering Graduate to assist with her postgraduate studies.

Adelaide University:  With other local Soroptimist clubs we provide prize money for two female students at Adelaide University, one for Biotechnology and the other for Gender Studies.

Literacy: We support literacy programs like Little Big Book Club for young children as the importance of being able to read cannot be underestimated.


"2h Project" (Safe Arrivals) in Cambodia to reduce maternal and neo-maternal mortality. Our
financial support has helped in the training of Traditional Birth Attendants, many who are
illiterate and have learned their midwifery skills through trial and error.
“Sight to Life Project” as part of the 2h Project we have provided money to assist in cataract
“Days for Girls” a project empowering women and girls worldwide by making and giving access
to quality sustainable hygiene products and health education 
● The "Hands on" Project – this involves the purchasing and assembling of prosthetic hands for
victims of landmines in Cambodia and Laos.
"Sanctuary Shelters" for Women in Fiji – assisting women and children who are victims of
violence and natural disaster. This is a project organized by the Federation of the South West


Ninko Kurtanagga Patpanagga (Southern Regional Aboriginal Family Violence Unit) - assisting with the upgrade of play areas, purchasing equipment for the children, providing an area for the women to meet and purchasing native food plants for the women to grow.

Cora Barclay Centre – providing assistance to enable suitable books, games and puzzles for the children.

The Southern Domestic Violence Unit – purchasing phone cards and gift cards for the women at the centre.

Hutt Street Centre – providing home starter kits for couples moving from the street into housing.

Angel Flights – assistance for the transport of patients and career from country areas to the city for treatment.


Congratulations : SCAS award 2018: Premier's Community Service Team

Award winning project for children

SI Southern Districts of Adelaide completed the Crisis Care Bags project in June 2018. Our aim was to help alleviate children’s trauma arising from situations of domestic violence. The recipients were children 18 months to six years of age, arriving at two women’s refuges in the southern area of Adelaide.

To assist the children to cope with the experience of leaving their homes, it was planned that the Crisis Care Bags would contain:
• Something to read (for children and for mum to read to them)
• Something to love (cuddly blanket, soft toy)
• Something to stay clean and fresh (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth)
• Something to do (pencils, paper, activity books, puzzles, sock puppets)
• Something to give to mum (scarves, hand-cream or lip-gloss)

Members made the 56 carry bags, knitted toys and scarves. We were assisted by donations from our group and from commercial enterprises. Bags were tagged according to three age ranges and hand-written cards completed the contents.

By helping the children, we believe we also helped their mothers to cope better with their situation. In October this year the Crisis Care Bags project was recognised as a winner at the CSASA Awards.


Lauren Common is this year's winner of the SI Southern Districts of Adelaide Prize for High Achieving women, a prize awarded to the highest achieving woman who has complerted the first three years of a Bachelor of Science.  Lauren is seen here with Inge Kirkwood, who presented the prize to her at the Flinders University Science and Engineering Awards Ceremony.
Lauren Common with SISDA member Inge Kirkwood-Bleys
Lauren completed a Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour) at Flinders University and is currently undertaking Honours, the focus of which is parasitism.
Lauren's childhood interest in animals, in particular birds and insects found while exploring her backyard, blossomed into an interest in conservation biology and biodiversity.  This, in turn, ultimately led her to the focus of her Honours degree, where her interest in birds and insects have been brought together in her study of a fly species, introduced in the Galapagos Islands in the 1960's, which attacks the multiple species of Darwin Finches found there.
In 2019, Lauren is hoping to go to the Galapagos where she will be "on the ground" undertaking observations and collecting data pertaining to this parasitism for her PhD.
Not one to stand still, during her studies Lauren undertook a month's practical work in South Africa helping with field research in biodiversity in some of the game reserves. She is currently preparing to travel to Vancouver Canada, to deliver a short presentation on data collected for her Honours degree.  On her return, Lauren will be a guest speaker at our September meeting.


Over many years SI SDA has staged major events to raise funds for our international projects. These events include a 1960's Fashion Parade and Dinner at the Glenelg Golf Club, a community event and Open Day in collaboration with Rolls-Royce Owners Club at the Motor Traders Training Centre at Royal Park and a 1940's Review/Soiree at the Fullarton Community Centre.
For over ten years in September, a Fashion Parade and morning tea at the Glenelg Golf Club has been organised by our members.
We also have a team of expert "barbecuers" working at Coles Glenelg and Bunnings Marion several times during the year, every year.

see our gallery

SI Southern Districts News

targetted groups for our projects in 2018

  • Homelessness for women over 50 years.
  • Crisis Care packs for young children arriving at Domestic Violence Units.
  • Days for Girls - Aim to improve access to feminine hygienic solutions and education.
  • OARS - providing care packs for women leaving prison.
  • Scholarships for young women at Flinders and Adelaide Universities.

 Little Big Book Club

In November a group from Southern Districts went to the Adelaide Showgrounds to help with the packing of school and pre-school cartons of books for the Little Big Book Club. We were well looked after with tea, coffee and snacks and it was a rollicking good time. We really got some speed up and achieved a lot in a few hours.

Women Leaving Prison

Our last project for 2018 was designed to help women leaving prison in the Adelaide area.
After a talk at our April meeting by Dot Stagg from Offenders’ Aid and Rehabilitation Services, we decided to support her work.

Our title “It’s in their bag!” reflects our pleasure in providing practical items and little touches of luxury for these women who often have nothing. We sourced large handbags through donations and careful shopping. A small committee worked diligently to gather purchased and donated goods and fill these bags.

The range of goods included toothbrushes and paste, shampoo and conditioner, hand cream, cleanser, emery boards, purse or wallet, and sometimes a scarf or lip gloss. Local businesses supported our cause too, as did our members with donations and effort.
Every bag was unique and designed to bring comfort to the women who receive them.  Our active engagement with the project ceased in October 2018, but in January we received a heart-warming message of thanks from one of the recipients. Among other things, she said that it was empowering to know that there was a group of strong women in the community, supporting her in this way.

UN – 16 Days of Activism, 2018
In November we marked the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence by going “orange” at our meeting.
Orange Meeting

A particularly innovative member displayed orange balloons and a banner and orange balloons on her gate! Many of the balloons lasted well into the second week. 
Some members also attended the White Ribbon March in November and the Women’s WAVE Rally (End Violence Against Women spelled backwards) in January 2019.

 SI members with banner at White Ribbon March

Rounding off 2018

December was a time of good news and happy connections.
A small group of us attended the Christmas Party of SI Torrens at The Rez, Newton. It was good fun and great to feel the fellowship between SI clubs at this celebration.
At our Christmas party we had a visit from our friend from SI Southampton Club. Betty always tries to attend one of our Soroptimist International meetings or events when she comes to stay with family in Adelaide.

Christmas Party
We also received delightful Christmas greetings of peace from our new friends at SI South Shields, a club visited by one of our members in August 2018. On International Friendship Day in October we exchanged with them.  We made ours quite impromptu from our morning tea gathering at a Glenelg café.


At our January meeting, our club farewelled Liz Webber.

Liz Webber with Janet Brand, 2017 President of SISDA

This year will make 28 years of Liz's service to Soroptimism. She was a Charter Member of SI Fleurieu, holding positions of President and Secretary. When that club disbanded in 1998, Liz joined SISDA where she was an active member in fund-raising and a long term member of the Executive Committee in roles of Secretary and UN Program Liaison Officer.  She continues to attend and support our events but her positive input and friendship will be missed at our meetings.