December 2019 President’s Message

December 2019

Dear Ladies,

With Christmas less than four weeks away, it is one of the busiest times of the year for observing and celebrating the Festive season according to our own faiths and traditions. Keeping in touch with family and friends, some of whom we rarely see due to their worldwide locations, is so important. Social media has many advantages and so often comes to the rescue when we need to share important news.
May I take this opportunity to send every good wish to you all with the hope that 2020 will be a more settled and peaceful year for everyone.

When considering what presents to buy, do take a look at various charities, many of which have wonderful goods on offer giving us the opportunity to contribute to those in need.

Our FIWAL Festive Autumn Lunch was held on 12th November at the award winning Lykia Restaurant in Golders Green. The feedback from attendees was hugely positive. Everyone who emailed, texted or phoned mentioned the delicious food, and many guests included comments on the attractive food presentation and the attentive staff. I extend a big thank you to everyone involved in the organisation of this enjoyable event.

Along with FIWAL Honorary Treasurer, Sylvia Wallach, on 25th November I was invited to attend International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Commonwealth No More Campaign. This is being championed by the Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC Secretary General of the Commonwealth who gave an informative and moving speech. During the event Baroness Scotland signed the Commonwealth’s partnership with the NO MORE Foundation, designed to implement initiatives that work on the prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse as part of wider efforts to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.

‘NO MORE’ is having a huge impact on raising awareness of domestic violence with programmes such as ‘Peace in the Home’. There was plenty of advice given on what each of us can do to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Advice on how to pass on information to someone you know directly or through a third party was particularly valuable; victims can get appropriate help by contacting  The campaign has been backed by HRH Prince Charles and HRH Duchess of Cornwall and went public after the signing of the partnership with the 53 countries in the Commonwealth.

On the last sunny day in November, I had the privilege of seeing one of the best panoramic views of London. As a guest of Marianne Harper, President of NZWA, I enjoyed a splendid lunch held in the superb penthouse in New Zealand House. The speaker was Catherine Callaghan QC, BA, LLB (Victoria) LLM (Cambridge). Before taking silk in 2018 Catherine was already gathering recognition from her peers for, among other areas, her expertise in public and regulatory law, civil liberty and human rights. Her story, from childhood through school and university to Blackwood Chambers as one of the top women QC’s, is very impressive.

There are some lovely seasonal events to attend in December, as advertised in Dateline (our e-newsletter is distributed to FIWAL representatives of all our member associations). I look forward to seeing those of you who are involved in organising your event and those who will be attending.

Mark your diaries for Dinner at the Turkish Ambassadors Residence on Wednesday 26 February 2020, and FIWAL’s Biennial Conference on 20 April 2020 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. Full details will be sent as soon as available.

Wishing you all the Compliments of the Season.

With my best wishes

Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips
President, FIWAL

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