Soroptimists conference first for city

SPECIAL EVENT: Donna Kraschnetefski with Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School students Nunkeri Walker and Felisha Pearson and the torsos they made, and Jayne Acutt at the Soroptimist conference.
SPECIAL EVENT: Donna Kraschnetefski with Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School students Nunkeri Walker and Felisha Pearson and the torsos they made, and Jayne Acutt at the Soroptimist conference. Sarah Harvey

THE world's largest women's service club, Soroptimist International (SI), has held its first conference after setting up new clubs in Ipswich and Springfield.

With 90,000 members in 125 countries, SI is an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls. It is dedicated to issues facing women and girls including sex trafficking, sexual slavery and domestic violence.

Ralda Forzin, Soroptimist clubs of South Queensland (SISQ) president, said it was exciting to have such a wonderful conference at the Metro Hotel in Ipswich.

Women travelled from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia as well as from all over south Queensland.

"'We chose to extend into the Ipswich area because of its strong sense of community and rapid growth - a strong foundation for a community service organisation like ours," Ms Forzin said.

"It was wonderful to have six women local to the Ipswich area join us from the two new clubs."

The conference began with guest speaker, Jane Anderson from Inside Out Training and Coaching, who she showed how to craft a personal brand.

Ipswich Girls' Grammar teachers, Donna Kraschnetefski, indigenous support co-ordinator, and the dean of students Jayne Acutt and their indigenous students spoke about the excellent program at their school for indigenous students.

Beautiful torsos decorated by Nunkeri Walker and Felisha Pearson, symbolising how they felt on the inside, were proudly displayed and greatly admired.

This session gave an insight into the difficulties these students have as they leave their homes for boarding school.

Sharon Sobolev, an associate with Fragomen, spoke about developing an advocacy plan followed by Springfield resident, Luise Manning, who is an advocate for road safety and spoke about her project.

The Ipswich meetings are at the Humanities Building 56 South St, on first and third Thursdays. Phone Bev on 0414 340 216.

The Springfield meetings are in the Orion shopping centre community room on first and third Mondays. Call Shelley on 0419 546 013.

Topics:  domestic violence sex slavery soroptimist international

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