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Video captures 50 years

Leneen Forde AC was one of the founding members of the Zonta Club of Brisbane and remembers very well the first dinner that was held by the club in 1971.

Who knew back then that this gathering of women at the Zebra Motel in George Street would continue for 50 years, making an enormous contribution to the local community and Zonta International.

Club member Sandra McLean recently caught up with Leneen to make a special memory video as part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Those early days were very much about finding their way but when the club found its path there was no stopping them, going on to seed the beginnings of many Zonta Clubs in Queensland and leading internationally with two club members – Leneen and Mary Magee – becoming International Presidents.

The changes that were happening in society were reflected by changes in the club – the causes they supported from women’s shelters to education awards and the membership which today is a mix of women leaders in professions that 50 years ago didn’t fully exist for women. Leneen, who was a solicitor when she joined the club, remembers how there wasn’t a professional club category for fellow new member Coralie van Straaten who was a system engineer for IBM because there simply weren’t women in those roles in the club!

More will be heard about Leneen’s memories of 50 years of Zonta when the club releases a special video as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations in November 2021. Watch out for it!

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Extra-ordinary Judith!

Well, it’s official – there is definitely nothing ordinary about Zonta Club of Brisbane member Judith Anderson OAM.

We have known this for a while and over her 38 years in the club Judith has shown extraordinary leadership and commitment to the work of Zonta, as a member of the ZI International Board 2016-2018, the ZI International Nominating Committee 2018-2020, ZIF Endowment Fund Regional Representative 2016-2022 and District 22 Governor 2012-2014.

Now she has been officially deemed extraordinary by His Excellency Paul De Jersey, Governor of Queensland. In a letter to The Courier-Mail, he wrote: “A caution to the Editor: there is nothing “ordinary” about Judith Anderson, who was featured in the Ordinary People column for her new book Earning a Crust. “She is one of the prized team of speech writers and volunteers at Government House. I read Judith’s book, Earning a Crust, with absolute intrigue. A fascinating tribute to the history of the town and its wonderful people – and Judith!”

And many others have read her book and thought the same. Judith started writing her book about the extraordinary people who lived in her hometown of Warwick in regional Queensland and, most importantly, those who worked in the baking trade. She has covered a century of characters in her book, which was sparked by a query from the owner of her father’s old Holden ute. He had tracked her down in his search for history and, in turn, sparked Judith’s own journey back in time to discover her own family history.

She learned much about people like her grandfather Martin Brown and her father Ralph Brown who ran Brown’s Bakery in Warwick. And rediscovered her childhood growing up in Warwick, noting “it made me look at my childhood in a whole new light”.

Judith launched her book on 19 June 2021 at the Warwick Art Gallery and since then she has been busy on the promotion trail – and perhaps learning a whole new set of puns! However, we are sure Judith has heard them all before, after all baking was her family’s bread and butter for years. Apologies Judith!

Remember that if you happen to see Judith at Government House!

Earning a Crust, Judith Anderson, $25 judithanderson.com

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