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Playing the winner!

History did repeat at the awarding of this year’s Zonta Club of Brisbane Babette Stephens Award.

The $1000 award was won by Queensland University of Technology student Harper McIlroy and presented at a performance of Shakespeare In a Suitcase by students where there were two former winners of the award in the audience.

Also at the performance was a former Babette Stephens award winner Miyuki Lotz who won the award in 2006. Miyuki has returned to Brisbane after working in the US and has been working in movies as well as winning roles in Queensland Theatre productions such as White Pearl and Return to the Dirt.

2020 winner Stevie-Lorelle Answerth was also in attendance as well as Dr Andrea Moor, Senior Lecturer in Acting at QUT, who has extensive professional background having worked extensively in theatre, film, television and radio both in Australia and overseas.

The Babette Stephens Award is given in honour of Zonta Club of Brisbane’s first Club President, Babette Stephens who was a charter member of the club from 1971.

Photo: Stevie-Lorelle Answerth, Harper McIlroy, Miyuki Lotz.

For more information on the award go here

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Prize supports dream

Congratulations to Rhianna Crosthwaite, awarded the 2021 Leneen Forde Zonta Scholarship.

Rhianna is in the final year of study for a Bachelor of Midwifery at Griffith University.

A mother of seven children, she has wanted to be a midwife all her life and she now can accomplish her dreams.

“I would like to start by thanking the members of Zonta and Leneen Forde for the opportunity provided by this scholarship,” Rhianne said.

“I have wanted to be a midwife my entire life.  Leaving school, I started a Bachelor of Nursing with the plan to go on to midwifery postgraduate study.  After 12 months my then immature self, decided to drop out in favour of a paying job, thinking I would return to study once I was living independently.  At 19 I married and then the following year had my first child. 

“I quit my career in medical administration management and 12 months later enrolled into the first year of a Bachelor of Social Work to get a ranking high enough to get into the highly competitive Bachelor of Midwifery.  The day I got my acceptance email into midwifery was one of the happiest of my life!”

Rhianna, her husband and her family – her daughters range in age from 4-22 years old – have sacrificed a lot for her to get to this point but she is determined. Now in her final year of study, she has followed a Midwifery Group Practice midwife full-time, attending all antenatal appointments, births and postnatal appointments for the 35 women she has a continuity relationship with. 

The Leneen Forde Zonta Scholarship offers $2000 is offered to a female who is a full-time student, enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at Griffith University Logan Campus, had successfully completed the first three semesters of her degree program with good academic standing, and could demonstrate that they were in significant financial hardship.

Rhianna said: “This scholarship has made a huge difference in my life so that now all I have to worry about is finishing my final assignments, working with my preceptor midwife and applying for graduate midwife jobs.  My family thanks you all.”

For more information on the scholarship go here

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16 Days of Activism

ZONTA SAYS NO to any violence against women and girls and NO to child marriage and the growing issue of women’s homelessness. These topics will dominate the 16 Days of Activism from 25 November to 10 December 2021 as clubs across Queensland join in this global campaign.

For over 100 years, ZONTA International’s 28,000 volunteers, have fought to raise the issues of women’s rights in 63 countries, with 45 District 22 clubs numbering approximately   1000 members adding their voice to the campaign.

Bridget Mather, District 22 (Qld and Northern NSW) Governor said: “We remember all Queensland women, killed by their partner or ex-partner in pre-meditated acts of unspeakable violence.  We especially remember Alison Baden-Clay, Hannah Clarke and her three children and Kelly Wilkinson.

“Every week a woman dies in Australia at the hand of their partner or ex-partner and a child dies every fortnight.

“Brisbane ZONTIANS will paint the city orange with bridges and buildings lit in orange.  There will be a banner on the Story Bridge, the Story, Leo Hielscher, Victoria and Kurilpa Bridges lit orange as well as City Hall and King George Square, Raddacliff Place and the Casino.

Some key Brisbane events include:  Zonta Says No Walk 24 November at 6pm starts from King George Square, ZONTA Redcliffe breakfast with Hannah Clarke’s parents as guest speakers, 25 November;  ZONTA E-Club business lunch at The Bracken Ridge Tavern 25 November; 23 November  ZONTA  Paint the Bayside Orange Breakfast at Wynnum Leagues Club, ZONTA Brisbane East Breakfast 2 December at the Greek Club. 

To find an event near you go to the ZONTA District 22 website at

If you want to get involved in our social media campaign just download this sign or these posters:

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Print poster and post to your socials and tag Zonta Club of Brisbane #16days #ZONTAsaysNO.

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Our Julie wins honour!

Everyone in the Zonta Club of Brisbane knows that the heart of the club is embodied in the work of club member Julie Mannion.

A long time club member since 2001, and former President (2010-2012), Julie is now chair of the Fellowship Committee.

She is always looking for ways to bring people together and has a remarkable ability to find events and places to go where club members can gather and enjoy each other’s company. Through her work with the Fellowship Committee, Julie is also the connector to our club’s history and ensures that older members stay connected and informed on happenings in the club. She is also chair of the Nominating Committee and has coordinated the Babette Stephens Memorial Award since its inception in 2004.

So it was no surprise that she has been awarded the D22 Governor Award and named on the Dianne Leggo Honour Roll.

The Award recognises and honours individual Zontians who have personified the ideals of Zonta at a club level through their support and promotion of local projects and Zonta International.

Nominees have ‘gone above and beyond’ the expectations of membership and provided inspiration to other members through their service to Zonta and the community.

On receiving the award Julie said: “I was  deeply honoured to be announced to be a recipient of the District 22 Governor’s Award:  Dianne Leggo Honour Roll.  Dianne is an inspiring Zontian who has contributed so much to women all over the world through her work as a member of Zonta International.  I very much appreciate being nominated by the Zonta Club of Brisbane, to receive this award.”

Congratulations Julie – this is an award that is much deserved.

Photo: Zonta Club of Brisbane President Gwendolen Jull and Julie Mannion


Homeless action stations

For two years, Zonta District 22, which comprises clubs across Queensland, has been working with the HOW Movement (Housing Older Women) to bring about solutions to the shocking scale of older women at risk of homelessness in Queensland.

Several Zonta members have joined HOW working groups including Zonta Club of Brisbane’s Susan Davies, Anne Landsberg and Kate Rose. Susan Davies (pictured with Kate Rose) recently took part in a HOW workshop that developed these five wide-ranging initiatives:

  1. A specialist advisory service where older women at risk do not have to use unfamiliar technology to access help and friendly information (based on the Victorian Home at Last model).
  2. Support for at least three innovative schemes to demonstrate new ways of providing suitable affordable housing for older women.
  3. Town planning regulations reform to enable more suitable houses to be built.
  4. Access land for new housing projects for older women.
  5. Support for a display village to showcase innovative housing designs such as co-housing, tiny homes and other initiatives endorsed by the HOW movement to raise awareness and to see that change and hope is possible.

To read the latest edition of the HOW newsletter go here