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Award an honour

Zonta Club of Brisbane’s education awards are there to help women reach their academic and career goals.

They are also the key focus of our fundraising activities. So it was great to meet the 2021 Dr Helen Row Memorial Award winner Dr Sarah Cameron who attended our club dinner meeting in April.

Sarah is working at The Prince Charles Hospital as a resident and is passionate about mental health issues especially for young people.

At our dinner she talked about friends, fellow students she knows are grappling with severe anxieties and depression. And numbers are very high. 

Sarah, pictured above with Zonta Club of Brisbane’s Lesley Chenoweth,  admitted she studied very hard but never saw herself as an academic high achiever. She worked hard to make sure she passed! 

So, she was really thrilled and honoured to win this award. 

As yet, she is not sure how she will spend the $3000 award. First-year residents have no leave for professional development, so she plans to use her five weeks leave in November at the end of her first-year term to undertake further earning opportunities and is  looking at conferences and seminars already.

Sarah attended Sommerville House in Brisbane and she is aware of Zonta and our support for women internationally. She was involved with Zonta’s birthing kits as a student.

Sarah is the eldest of three girls and brought her mum Margaret to the dinner as a guest.   

The Dr Helen Row Zonta Memorial Prize was established by the Zonta Club of Brisbane in 1992 to honour Dr Row’s contribution as a pioneer in the field of child psychiatry in Queensland and as a charter member of the Club.

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Helen Row legacy

Flashback to 2001 and our Dr Helen Row Award winner was Professor James Scott, then a graduate: fast forward to 2021 and Prof Scott is a leading researcher working to free young people from the burden of severe mental illness such as psychosis.

Over the past 20 years he has made some ground breaking discoveries, notably leading the first study correlating exposure to child maltreatment with severity of psychosis symptoms. His story is told on the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)  website alongside many other stories of ground-breaking research led by Queenslanders. The story link is here – scroll down the page!

We would like to think our award set him on his path to research success, with additional research grants providing the clinician researcher with valuable time needed to solve questions they come across almost every day.
“Grants bridge the gap between asking an important clinical question and doing the work to answer it. They enable researchers to employ an extra staff member to collect data, to get the ethics in, to keep everything in order so that you’re complying with research integrity – all those things which if you area busy clinician you just don’t have time to do.”
Zonta Club of Brisbane established the Dr Helen Row Award in 1992 and since then we have been awarding an annual prize of $3000 which goes to the University of Queensland medical student, male or female, with the highest combined marks in the paediatrics and mental health clinical rotations.

We are very proud to award this year’s prize to Sarah Cameron, who achieved the highest combined marks in the Paediatrics and Mental Health clinical rotations for her year, which is an outstanding effort given the challenges many faced in 2020.