President’s Message April 2020

Dear Ladies

In this chalenging time of the Covid -19 Pandemic I have had to clear my diary of social engagements for the foreseeable future.

However, before the government’s crowd control was initiated, I attended a very interesting event to celebrate the Women in Africa initative (WIA), the first international platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading and high potential African women. The Founder of WIA Mrs. Aude de Thuin gave an excellent speech on the positive impact WIA are having on building businesses and fostering the leadership of women. The event was held at the Moroccan Ambassadorial Residence by kind permission of H.E. The Ambassador Mr. Abdesselam Aboudrar and Mme Aboudrar. I was accompanied by FIWAL colleagues Zehan Albakri, 1st Vice President and Hulya Kocu, Diplomatic Liaison. We met many friends and colleagues of FIWAL some of whom have hosted events for us; Mme. Maha Benlarbi, Spouse of the Tunisian Ambassador and Mme. Augustina Owusu-Ankomah, Spouse of the Ghanaian Ambassador.

It is unfortunate, but essential, that due to government guidelines we have cancelled the FIWAL Biennial Conference 2020. We had a wonderful line up of experts to speak on diverse areas of health. Hopefully, the many months of work by our events team and others will not go to waste and when this pandemic is over we will consider a suitable date to reschedule. I am pleased to report that FIWAL will receive a refund  for all the monies paid to the venue.

The FIWAL Executive will be holding scheduled monthly meetings online. Therefore, if you have any queries that you would like to raise please do not hesitate to contact me. The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday, April 14th which is just after the Easter weekend. So please send your query by Tuesday 7th April.

We also have an informal WhatsApp account so that the Executive and Advisory Committee can keep in touch. This is something you may find beneficial for your own organizations.

Finally, on behalf of FIWAL, I wish you courage in the months ahead and invite you to enjoy the April Survival Links below.

Warm regards

Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips
President FIWAL

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter

April Survival Links

Women’s Art Blog 
10 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours

13 Books You Should Read in April

What Your Go-To Quarantine Read Says About You
The longlists for the Best Translated Book Awards
Some of the best online poetry, as read by actual poets
ReadInstead litfest schedule: April 3 – 9

Aussie Pops Orchestra Phones In In – What a Wonderful World
Bolshoi Theatre Youtube channel
Fabulous music that will move you to tears
Foreign films with English subtitles link

National Theatre

The English Garden

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
World Health Organization on Corona

Homes & Property

Sabrina Ghayour

Jamie Oliver:

Nigel’s Lawson:


HealthFlix: An online community built by leading experts in health and wellbeing to help us all get through the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis:

Meditation: Free classes during April with Gabriella Espinosa on Mondays & Thursdays
8:15 – 8:45am. Access Zoom Meeting “Sit With Me”  Join URL:

Posted in Uncategorized

President’s Message March 2020

Dear Ladies,

On the tail of February, March “arrives like a lion and leaves like a lamb.” I have known better Februaries, however the weather report for February 2020 was a high of 47degrees Farenheight and a low of 31degrees Farenheight. This would have been more evident if it wasn’t for the very strong winds, Storms Denis, flooding and even snow a few days ago.

We now have the threat of the Coronavirus. Last month I gave you the GOV.UK Coronavirus email address to use for daily updates. I have since discovered a very good BBC site:  I have taken to wearing gloves to avoid touching handles and hand rails and I carry hand gel as well as tissues. Sneezing from and touching an infected person are the main ways the virus spreads.

On a brighter note we had a wonderful evening of culture, food and music at the magnificent Turkish Ambassadorial Residence, by the kind invitation of His Excellency Ambassador Yalcin and Mrs Gul Yalcin. Pricilla Mary Isin gave a very interesting illustrated talk on her book “Bountiful Empire, A History of Ottoman Cuisine.” And we were entertained by two young ladies, both musical scholars who tackled some difficult works with great success by Eric Satie, and Maurice Ravel. The buffet food was very colourful and most delicious, also beautifully displayed in large silver serving dishes. The  hospitality we received will be long remembered by all those who attended, as witnessed by a long list of emails I received by so many of you who participated. This event was sold out early and had an eager waiting list, from which a few people managaed to acquire places.

Dateline, as ever, is full of interesting events and I hope to get to as many as possible over the next few months.

With warm wishes,

SiobhanSiobhan Hamilton-Phillips
President FIWAL

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized

President’s Message February 2020

Dear Ladies

In beginning a New Year we usually take time to look ahead and make plans for the future, in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Common themes are work (paid or voluntary), family, learning something new and taking care of our health.

Our Biannual Conference: Monday 20th April 2020 – Women’s Health – A Positive Future, will encourage us to do just that, manage our body and mind in a more informed and constructive way. Save the date, you will be updated on the details as soon as they become available.

When considering your New Year’s resolutions, taking a medium to long view e.g. looking two to five years ahead, takes the urgency away and helps to keep your chosen goals in persective, its not a competition but a means of improving our lifestyle.

Do include something you can do to address climate change. It’s one of the biggest problems we face and every little we do helps, and sets an example to others. Think about what you buy, how you travel and how you dispose of items. There are lots of sites to visit and a number of informative BBC and other programmes to watch. To keep up I prefer websites I can dip into over a coffee therefore, at the moment, my favourite is the NASA one for “Kids” and due to the catastrophc fires in Australia which gives brief updates on action being taken to address this horendous problem and the wider issues of climate change. We are all affected by climate change and we should all be involved in whatever way we can to slow down the destruction and repair, to preserve our only home, planet Earth.

If you are eager to have updates on the coronavirus, now declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the latest information and advice, GOV.UK Coronavirus, updated 2pm daily.

I attended the Australia Day luncheon on 24th January by kind invitation of Belinda Miles, President of The Australia Women’s Club London. This year’s theme was “Singing and Dancing Showcase.” It was a wonderful occasion with a three part harmony group “The Girl’s from Oz”. The atmosphere was ‘electric’ Australian women know how to celebrate!

I was lovely to see so many Club officers and representatives at our Board Meeting on January 20th. Gael Panhelleux of FOCUS gave an excellent presentation on Maintaining and Increasing Membership. Gael gave us practical tips that are easy to incorporate into our strategy.

On 22nd January Zehan and I attended the very enjoyable FOCUS Annual Party.

I’m looking forward to Wednesday 26th February 2020 to an evenng of culture, food and music to be held at the Residence of the Turkish Ambassador. Tickets have almost sold out so please see details in Dateline and make your booking asap. This promises to be a very lovely evening.

Dateline, as ever, is full of interesting events and I hope to get to as many as possible over the next few months and look forward to seeing you.

Warm wishes
Siobhan Hamilton-Phillips President FIWAL

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized

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

PS. FIWAL now has a Facebook page! Find us and like us

Please follow us on Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized