• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE6370

Soroptimist International of Victoria

(From 1948 – )
  • Occupation Service organisation, Women‚Äôs advocacy


Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women in management and the professions working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women. Soroptimists work at all levels of civil society, local, national and international, and are involved with a wide spectrum of women’s concerns.

The inaugural meeting to discuss the formation of a Soroptimist International organisation in Victoria was held in 1947. Founded by president Dr Jean Littlejohn, the ‘Divisional Union of Victoria’ (later the Region of Victoria) was accepted by the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland in November 1948. The Victorian Region, along with others in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, remained a member of the Federation until the establishment of the Federation of the South West Pacific in 1978.

The first Soroptimist International branch in Victoria was the Melbourne club, which received its charter on June 24, 1948. Dr Jean Littlejohn (CBE) was also the founding president, alongside members Margareta Webber and Myrtle Chisholm. Hilda Chandler was appointed honorary secretary.

The Morning Peninsula club was the second Soroptimist International branch in Victoria, receiving its charter on September 18, 1952. By 1982 there were 15 branches throughout Victoria.

Archival resources

  • State Library of Victoria
    • Records, ca. 1949-ca. 1982. [manuscript].
    • Records, 1948-1999 [manuscript].

Related entries

  • Related Women
    • Farmer, Margaret Anne (1933 - )
  • Membership
    • Mackinnon, Gracemary (1911 - 1994)
    • Wedgwood, Ivy Evelyn Annie (1896 - 1975)