Port Pirie's Soroptimist International group continues to empower, educate and enable women and girls

LEADERSHIP: Current President of Port Pirie's Soroptimist International club Debbie Devlin. PHOTO: B'Elanna O'Dea.
LEADERSHIP: Current President of Port Pirie's Soroptimist International club Debbie Devlin. PHOTO: B'Elanna O'Dea.

The Port Pirie Soroptimist International group celebrated 34 years at their annual handover dinner at the RSL Clubrooms last month.

The group is one of the largest women’s service clubs in the world with more than 75,000 members in 132 countries and territories. Port Pirie's group is one of six country clubs in South Australia.

On local, national and international levels, members strive to empower, educate and enable women and girls across the world. 

At the handover dinner, the honor of Port Pirie SI group president was passed on from foundation member Jenny Hughes, to 17-year member Debbie Devlin.  

Kathryn Johnson, Port Pirie Regional Council’s infrastructure director, received a Women's Achiever award for her services in building the community.

All members have the opportunity to serve as interim president for a term or one or two years as the role provides valuable leadership skills.

During the dinner, club members Elaine Owen and Pam Ayliffe received awards and recognition for 25 years of service. Kathryn Johnson, Port Pirie Regional Council’s infrastructure director, received a Women's Achiever award for her services in building the community. She spoke about the importance of how infrastructure works as a base of unity from which a community can thrive.

Ms Devlin's personal goals for her term is to maintain the Look Good, Feel Better program, in partnership with breast cancer nurses and professional beauticians. The scheme helps chemotherapy patients to look and feel their best. 

The group also hopes, during the redevelopment of the park, to restore and move the Women's Memorial so that it stands alongside the other similar memorials. 

Through fundraising, the group also awards an annual Educational Leadership Bursary to a female student who has shown merit and determination in her studies and school life. 

This year local Soroptimist International plans to raise $600 so that it may be divided equally between the awardees from three high schools in the region, John Pirie Secondary School, Mid North Christian College and St Mark's College.

Ms Devlin says that she loves being a member of Soroptimist International because of the sense of “friendship and fellowship” it provides. She says she appreciates that she gets to lead a “diverse group of interesting, capable and fun-to-be-around women.”

All women who want to make a difference and seek reliable friends that care and support are welcome to join.