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Film night a pearler!

Fundraising for Zonta Club of Brisbane education awards received a boost thanks to a successful film night where over 150 Zontians and friends saw a private screening of Beneath the Surface, a documentary about the Australian pearling industry and in particular the pioneering Ellies family.

Aje Ellies (pictured with Margo McKinney and Barbara Kent), who now manages the family business in Broome attended along with Margot McKinney,  also in the documentary and uses the pearls in her stunning jewellery. The film was a family affair for Zonta Club of Brisbane member Susan Hocking whose son-in-law Sam Thies shot the film which was done on location in the Northern Territory around Broome.

The aim of the event was to raise funds for our Education awards and this was assisted due to a donation by Margot of a pearl bracelet which was raffled on the night. These proceeds will support our ZONTA Club of Brisbane TAFE and high school education awards. Last year we supported seven high school students to ensure they continued and completed their education. 

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Project gold star!

Banks don’t lend to older women – it’s a truism that is part of the homelessness risk for older women. Diving deep about the reasons behind it will be the subject of a research grant won jointly by Zonta and QShelter, the Queensland peak body for community housing with whom Zonta is affiliated.

Called the Gold Star Project, it’s part of Zonta’s advocacy push to reduce the homelessness risk amongst older women, currently growing at 50% every four years. The $18 000 Mercy Foundation grant will fund a project officer to investigate current finance “products” and possible new one to assist older women.

The collaborative action research approach of the Gold Star Project will invite cross sector participation from government and private financial institutions, researchers, community organisations inclusive of housing providers and support. The HOW Movement (Housing for Older Women) under the auspices of QShelter has established connections with supporters from organisations and other relevant stakeholders will also be asked to contribute to the Gold Star Project.The aim of documentation of the Gold Star Project including its processes and outcomes will provide valuable information to others across Australia who are keen similar products available in their states. Stakeholders with the authority to drive new product development will be targeted in the action research processes of the Project.

Key personnel are Q Shelter’s Maggie Shambrook and Zonta District 22’s Susan Davies (Zonta Club of Brisbane Advocacy chairperson).

The Gold Star report will be delivered in October this year.