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Sisters across the ocean

Zonta Club of Brisbane member and University of Queensland academic Dr Sam Hollingworth went to Ghana in January 2020, a country she has long had an affection for.

When she was there she met with Aba Qianoo, the president of Zonta Club Accra II. She was immediately invited to lunch with the Club and was delighted to attend where she was made welcome by the women of the club.

On her return to Brisbane Sam gave a talk to our Brisbane club in March 2020 about her work in Ghana and meeting the ladies from Accra II club. It was wonderful to see the work being done by our Zonta sisters across the ocean.

The club was asked to consider if we could be a Sister Club with Zonta Club Accra II and this idea was immediately endorsed at both clubs in June and July 2020.

Now the two clubs are very much in touch with each other via email and WhatsApp sending pictures, newsletters and updates on activities. In the future, we will continue this link and see what develops and when she is able Sam plans to visit the Zonta Club Accra II when she can once more travel to Ghana.

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Living on the edge

More than 400 people heard from an impressive line-up of speakers from near and far as part of the milestone Lady Musgrave Trust Forum on Homelessness and Older Women.

Zonta Club of Brisbane member and Advocacy Committee Chair Susan Davies (above) was one of many who tuned in to hear the speakers who had a keen awareness of the severity of homelessness in older women, from Dr Kay Patterson, Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner to the QUT Women’s Butterfly Project the focus was fully on the issue. Innovative ideas were put forward by Jeanette Large,  Women’s Property Initiative (Victoria), and Maria Brenton, of the Co-Housing Network UK (available post-seminar from the Trust’s website).

The Trust trialled an ambitious technological method of delivery for the webinar– YouTube, live studio chat, lived experience video, pre-taped interviews and live Chat questions. Most(!) things worked and glitches were dealt with seamlessly.

The forum  was a call to action for the 400 plus people logged on. Representatives from many women’s activist groups including 10 different Zonta clubs followed the program.       It also marked the launch of the new Handy Guide for Older Women, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Brisbane.   

Here are some of the quotes from key speakers –

“Homelessness is a Human Rights issue” – Kay Patterson Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner

“We need a re-set switch” – Kay Patterson

One in 8 women in regional areas is experiencing homelessness” – Charlotte Dillon YWCA

Life is about relationships” – Hon Luke Howarth, Fed Asst Minister for Housing

Homeless older  women don’t have complex needs, they have had traditional housing histories and just need safe, secure and affordable housing” – Kobi Maglen, HAAG Victoria

Everyone knows an older woman at risk of homelessness” – Jenny Clark, Lady Musgrave Trust director

“We found over-50’s housing is a viable option for older women” – Rachel Watson , Watson and Associates

The ABS statistics say homelessness in older women increased by 31% between censuses, but in Victoria it increased by 67%” – Jeanette Large, Women’s Property Initiative, (Victoria)

High Touch/High Tech” – Professor Melissa Bull, Women’s Butterfly Project

For those who missed the live webinar, here is the link to watch it at your leisure (including the missing pieces from the live version) –