Local Projects

Education awards

Education plays a key role in advancing women, girls, and communities.

This is why the Zonta Club of Brisbane has a strong focus on fundraising so that it can provide education awards to students in high school and university. In the past 20 years it has enabled Zonta Club of Brisbane to award bursaries and prizes to more than 250 recipients.

The Education Awards are:

Esther’s education boost

We love to hear from the young women who receive one of our Zonta Education Awards. This year, Yeronga High School Student Esther Etoka contacted us to let us know how much she appreciated receiving the award, a $500 bursary that goes to the school to enable winning students to pay for schooling needs. “I…

Zonta Education Award

Zonta Education Award
Education plays a key role in advancing women, girls, and communities. Bursaries of $500 are awarded each year to a girl in Year 10 for use in years 11 and 12 at six high schools in regions of social disadvantage.

Kingston Learning College

Annual award to young women wishing to undertake tertiary education or training to help them meet financial barriers to move beyond secondary school.

University Awards

Three awards are made to University students from gifts and funds raised by members to reward excellence in university studies in honour of distinguished Club members.

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Local Projects

Advancement of Women Award

 

 

The Zonta Club of Brisbane Advancement of Women award recognises a person who, through their leadership, work or advocacy, is progressing the status of women by either creating new pathways for women, facilitating women’s advancement along existing pathways, or advancing the interests of women through other endeavours in social, community, economic, academic, political or work environments.

The Zonta Club of Brisbane Advancement of Women Award is aims to target persons of any gender who are already on the path of helping women and who can use the funds to leverage the effect of their work. It seeks nominations from a broad base. For example, the recipient could be an administrator, scientist, teacher, business or industry leader, police officer, community worker, fundraiser or a pioneer in their field.

The Award provides $5,000 to the winner who will also be offered a year of collaboration with members of the Zonta Club of Brisbane Inc.

Photo caption: 2021 Encouragement Award winner Maggie Shambrook and 2021 Advancement of Women Award winner Thelma Schwartz. Photo: Bobby Rein

Background and History

To mark Zonta’s cententary year in 2019 the Zonta Club of Brisbane established the $5000 Advancement of Women Award to assist other women now and in the future.

This is an biennial, gender neutral award that recognises a person who, through their leadership, work or advocacy is progressing the status of women. This may be by either creating new pathways for women, facilitating women’s advancement along existing pathways, or advancing the interests of women through other endeavours in social, community, economic, academic, political or work environments.

The Club aims to reward persons from a broad base. For example, the recipient could be an administrator, scientist, teacher, business or industry leader, police officer, community worker, fund-raiser or a pioneer in their field.

This is an biennial award with nominations opening in July and closing in September.

The award is funded through  the Advancement of Women Fund set up in 2018 inaugurated with a living gift from charter member of the Zonta Club of Brisbane, Dr Joan Godfrey OBE. This fund will  grow with ongoing capital donations and bequests from members.

2021 Advancement of Women Award winner

Thelma Schwartz is the principal legal officer of the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS), an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisation providing legal and non-legal support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault in Queensland

Thelma identifies as of Torres Strait Islander heritage alongside her German, Samoan and Papua New Guinean heritage. She has more than 21 years post-admission experience working in commercial litigation in the Northern Territory and Queensland, in criminal law defence extensively across the Far North Queensland region representing men, women and children across multiple courts. In 2018, in recognition of her work in regional and remote Queensland, Thelma was the award recipient of the Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year 2018 by the Women Lawyer’s Association of Queensland. Thelma has extensive practice experiences working with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in the provision of legal services in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

Thelma appeared as a witness before the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and Inquiry into Family Domestic and Sexual Violence. She is a member of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.

Judge’s citation

Members of the panel were very impressed by what she has achieved in her legal career providing services to many victims and survivors of family violence across the state. But it is her ongoing and tireless advocacy against the national crisis of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and their children that is at the heart of this award. Thelma has taken this to a national level, serving on taskforces, committees and panels as well as appearing and speaking out in the media while always remaining grounded in the lived experiences of First peoples women and children.  Thelma wants to use the award to extend QIFVLS program for young people. She and a colleague are aiming to create a culturally appropriate framework and model to deliver the Love Bites training package for 60+ ATSI communities across Queensland. 

We believe her work is crucial to supporting safe pathways out of violence for Indigenous women and their children. And there is still much to do.

2021 Encouragement Award winner

Maggie Shambrook

Maggie Shambrook is a founding member of the Housing for Older Women (HOW) network. She has a long and impressive record working in the area of homelessness and housing for vulnerable people. A community development practitioner with post graduate qualifications, Maggie raised her three children as a single mum but later in life found herself in precarious housing situation.

Maggie applied her considerable skills and practice experience to advocating for older women in similar circumstances.

Judge’s citation

The selection committee were impressed with Maggie’s commitment to older women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Maggie has brought together her community development experience, her astute analysis of social issues and the need for solutions at policy, practice and lived experience levels.

She has advocated for and supported many women to share their experiences and to contribute to finding housing and living solutions for themselves and others. Working in partnership with other organisations and groups, this growing movement has brought the crisis of older women’s homelessness into the public spotlight and on to the policy agenda.   

2019 Advancement of Women Award winner

Cathy Hunt

Cathy is co-founder of Of One Mind, a not for profit company behind the development of the Women of the World Festival in Australia. She was chosen as the winner of the Advancement of Women Award in  recognition of her outstanding 20-year track record creating programs to empower women in addressing gender inequality, engaging a wide range of communities of women in Australia and internationally creating new pathways through art and cultural efforts including your directorship of the WOW Festivals.

Funding and donations

The Advancement of Women Award is funded through the Advancement of Women Fund set up in 2018 inaugurated with a living gift from charter member of the Zonta Club of Brisbane, Dr Joan Godfrey OBE. This fund will grow with ongoing capital donations and bequests from members.

Donors to the Advancement of Women Fund

Donor category Name Amount Year
Foundation Donor Dr Joan Godfrey $50,000 2018
2020
Member Donors Ms Susan Hocking (in memory of Lesley Hocking) $20,000 2018
  Ms Susan Davies (in memory of Anne Davies) $20,000 2019

If you want to donate to the award please contact info@zontabrisbane.com.au

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Global Impact

EID BI EID (Hand in Hand)

Jordan is currently
hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees, nearly 10 percent of Jordan’s pre-crisis
population, which has increased competition over resources, placed additional
strain on social services and heightened community tensions in some areas with
unintended consequences, including greater restrictions on women’s mobility.

While existing
programs that provide food and unconditional cash assistance have been
instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they are not
designed for long-term outcomes. As the government of Jordan opens the labour
market for refugees with work permits, targeted efforts are needed to empower
female refugees to harness income-generating activities. These efforts must
also support the government in meeting its commitment to increase overall
female participation in the workforce.

Eid bi Eid is a
multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of
employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian
refugee crisis. The project began in 2015 to support the immediate needs of
refugee women and vulnerable Jordanian women affected by the crisis. The second
phase, which began in 2017, utilizes a resilience framework for achieving
gender equality and women’s empowerment goals and promotes individual and
community ability to absorb shock. This is done through the provision of
livelihoods opportunities and protection support for refugee women living in
camp and non-camp settings, as well as Jordanian women living in hosting
communities.

How Zonta helps

Zonta International
has committed US$1,000,000 to UN Women to improve Syrian refugee and Jordanian
women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection
services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and
reduced violence against women.

To find out more about our International Service Program go here

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Global Impact

Let us learn

About 90 percent of
Madagascar’s population lives on less than US$2 per day, leaving children
particularly vulnerable. Aside from endemic poverty, Madagascar is prone to
natural disasters, which further impede economic growth of the agricultural
economy and make it even more difficult to escape poverty and prioritize
education for children.

More than a quarter
of Madagascar’s children are excluded from formal education, and one out of
three girls will become pregnant before the age of 18. Junior secondary school
enrolment fees are prohibitively expensive for families, forcing parents to
select one child to continue their education, often leaving girls behind.

UNICEF’s Let Us Learn is an integrated
education program that is creating opportunities for vulnerable and excluded
children, particularly girls, in Madagascar to realize their right to an
education in a secure and protective environment. The project is focused on
reaching out-of-school children, expanding girls’ education and improving
quality outcomes for learners.

To find out more
about Let Us Learn Madagascar:

https://foundation.zonta.org/Let-Us-Learn-Madagascar
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Global Impact

Ending Child Marriage

Worldwide, almost 650 million women alive today were married before their 18th birthday and an estimated 280 million more girls are at risk of becoming brides. If current trends continue, the number of girls and women married as children will reach nearly 1 billion by 2030.

Child marriage is a global violation of human rights that can be found in cultures, religions, ethnicities and countries around the world. Recognizing that only a long-term strategy will ensure the desired outcomes, UNICEF and UNFPA have joined forces and formally launched a multi-country initiative to protect the rights of millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls. The program brings together governments, civil society, families and young people in a collective effort to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls.

To date, more than 1 million girls have been reached through life skills and school attendance support and 1.67 million individuals have been engaged in community-based behaviour change and sensitization activities.

How Zonta helps

Zonta International has committed US$2,000,000 to UNICEF USA to support the UNICEF/UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage in 12 countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

To read more about this exciting Zonta signature project go here

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Local Projects

Cassandra Weddell Fund

Cassandra
Weddell joined Zonta in 2002 and immediately demonstrated her commitment to
Zonta’s ideals through her energy and hard work. She was elected to the Board
in her first year of membership and in her brief time with the Club, charmed
everyone with her humour and zest for life. She died in February 2003, aged 41.
Cassandra was an educator and passionate advocate for the rights of children.

The
Cassandra Weddell Fund was largely established through two donations – $10,000  from Cassandra’s estate by her partner Michael
Drum who donated a further $12,000 in 2017. It was supplemented by further
donations and service funds raised by the Club.

In June 2017, the Cassandra Weddell Grant of $10,000 was established
with a call for project applications which fulfilled the ideals of Cassandra
Weddell in early childhood education, utilised the arts and especially served
disadvantaged children.

The
first funding was provided in 2019 to two successful applicants:

  • Save
    the Children for their project Story Swags – $10,000
  • Trinity
    Tots Music Box: A Trinity Commons Project  – $5,500

To
honour her memory and commitment, the Club also created the Cassandra Weddell
Memorial Children’s Library. The Library collection is housed at the Women’s Prison
where children up to school age are permitted to remain with their mothers. Managed
by Save the Children (Queensland), the collection is funded for on-going
expansion and maintenance through a dedicated investment account.

Publishers
and book retailers have donated books to the collection and the books are
covered to ensure that their condition is preserved. Book plates acknowledging
Cassandra’s work for children are pasted on the inside front covers of the
books. The collection holds over 1000 titles.

In
2018-2019, $1,197.09 was donated via Save the Children to purchase musical
instruments for the prison library.

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