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2018/19 – Joanne Harris

I wish to Welcome you to the website of Soroptimist International Northern Ireland, we belong to the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Ltd Federation,, which in turn is one of the four Federations within Soroptimist International (SI);

Our Federation, SIGBI, was granted Special Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, award notified on 14 08 2013.  To find out more visit  –  United Nations Social and Economic Council.

At the heart of our Organisation is Programme Action and this is the main reason why I am a Soroptimist, it is an organisation in which you will find like minded women who care about issues that affect women and girls, who want to make a difference and whilst helping others, we naturally build long lasting friendships, not only within their own club but throughout our Region and throughout the world.

We are currently updating our own website, if you wish to join any of our 13 Clubs in Northern Ireland please contact us through

I am truly honoured to be serving as the Regional President, for such an amazing group of women within the Region of Northern Ireland. I have health issues and could not have completed my year, without the support of not only my Regional executive, but also, the many supportive members within our Region.  I am currently near the end of my term of office and will have a full report available for the year 2017-2018, (October) this will include all Regional achievements during the year, including the attendance and presentation at Commission and Status of Women at the United Nations New York, it is only by attending The United Nations that I realised how strong the combined Soroptimist voice is.

If you have some time and would like to make a difference, have your voice heard, as well as make new friendships and socialize then please do consider coming along to any of our Clubs you will be made most welcome.

In Friendship

Joanne Harris

SINI Regional President 2017-2018


Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls with nearly 80,000 Members in 124 countries works at a local, national and international level to Educate, Empower and Enable opportunities for women and girls.

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) has 8000 Members in 350 Clubs in 28 countries including Great Britain, Ireland and countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Malta, who work at a local, national and international level to educate, empower and enable opportunities for women and girls. Search for your nearest Club now.


Women and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.


Soroptimists transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.


The principles of Soroptimism are to strive for:

  • The advancement of the status of women;
  • High ethical standards;
  • Human rights for all;
  • Equality, development and peace; and
  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace

What does Soroptimist mean?

The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin ‘soror’ meaning ‘sister’, and ‘optima’ meaning ‘best’.

Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as ‘the best for women’. From the founding of the first Soroptimist club in Oakland, California, in 1921, through to the present day where over 3000 Clubs are flourishing throughout the world, Soroptimists have continued to strive to achieve ‘the best for women’ in every sphere of their lives.


We work together to improve and transform lives in our local area, across the region and around the world. 

Soroptimist International of Northern Ireland has 11 Clubs in its region. Our clubs are located in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Bangor, Belfast, Downpatrick, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Londonderry, Lurgan, and Newry and Mourne.

Join us at one of our upcoming events

New members are always welcome. Contact Us


  • President:  Joanne Harris
  • President Elect: Catherine Milhench
  • Vice President: 
  • Immediate Past President:  Mary McKinney BEM
  • Honorary Secretary:  Maureen Maguire
  • Honorary Treasurer:  Joan Houston
  • Extension & Membership Officer:  Karen Elliott
  • Programme Action Chair:  Rita Allen
  • Federation Councillor:  Kate Courtney
  • Development Officer: Sharon McCaffrey
  • Regional Press & Publicity Officer: Melaine (Mel) Douglas
  • Web Administrator: Anne Orr


  • 23 September 2017 – Dungannon
  • 11 November 2017- Hunterhouse College, Upper Lisburn Road, Finaghy, Belfast
  • 2 December 2017 – NI PAC Meeting, Royal Hotel, Cookstown
  • 10 December 2017: UN Human Rights Day Event Afternoon Tea 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. Oxford Island Discovery Centre
  • 20 January 2018 – Regional President’s Lunch, Pot Belly Restaurant, Gilford
    3 February 2018 – NI Public Speaking Final – Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough, County Down BT26 6AR at 12 noon.
  • 24 March 2018 – Regional Council Meeting, St Saviour’s Church, Lurgan
  • 18 May – 20 May 2018 – ANNUAL JOINT NORTH/SOUTH CONFERENCE, The Brehon, Killarney, Co. Kerry
  • 15 September 2018 – Downpatrick
  • 8 September 2018 (previously scheduled for 15 September) – Hilden Brewery, Lisburn. Commencing at 12.30pm with a speaker from Mercy Ships, followed by a BBQ at 1.00pm and then the Regional Meeting at 2.15pm.
  • 15 September – 17 September – Friendship Weekend- Ballinasloe, Co Galway