On 8 November 2021 the Zonta Club of Brisbane celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The event – a gala dinner at the United Service Club – was an opportunity for members, club alumni and supporters to celebrate the Club’s proud history of realising Zonta’s vision and decades of work to support and help women and girls. The program for the dinner is here , with the event also marking the announcement of the second Advancement of Women Award.

A key part of celebrating the Club’s golden anniversary was remembering how we started in 1971 when Dorothy Thompson, on behalf of the Zonta Club of Toronto One, came to Brisbane to form the first Zonta Club in Queensland.

As a result, the Club was chartered on 21 October 1971 and started with 28 women who were all trailblazers in their fields. Zonta Clubs grew in Queensland with members such as Dr Helen Row personally forming 12 new clubs.

Zonta’s motto is Empowering Women Through Service and Advocacy. Throughout our 50 years we have supported women’s shelters, funded safety cards containing information for women and children escaping domestic violence and have lobbied governments for women’s shelters. We advocate and support activities addressing the risk and reality of homelessness in older women. Education awards have been presented to more than 260 female high school students in disadvantaged areas and 56 university students.

The Club has a membership of strong and vibrant women who work to empower women until gender equality in all aspects of life is reached and no women live in fear of violence.

Zonta Charter Members

  • Joan Corrigan
  • Sylvia Da Costa Roque
  • Deva Devahuti
  • Leneen Forde AC
  • Joan Godfrey OBE(C)
  • Lynett Gregson
  • Kathleen Harney
  • Barbara Hawken
  • Phyllis Hawken
  • Rachelle Heap
  • Audrey Lawrie
  • Shirley McCorkindale
  • Freda Parkinson
  • Alayne Peterson
  • Stephanie Pidgeon
  • Margaret Robinson
  • Helen Row
  • Bartz Schultz
  • Ann Shevill (nee Brabazon)
  • Barbara Stellmach
  • Babette Stephens
  • Kay Stewart
  • Barbara Van Den Broek
  • Coralie Van Straaten-Peretz
  • Beris Von Heim
  • Marie Watson-Blake
  • Yvonne Weier
  • Beryl Young

Zonta Club of Brisbane Presidents 1971-2021

  • Babette Stephens AM (1971–1976)
  • Leneen Forde AC (1976–1978)
  • Mary Magee OAM (1978–1980)
  • Merryl Ducat (1980–1982)
  • Shirley King OAM (1982–1983)
  • Ailsa Gillies (1983–1985)
  • Beryce Nelson (1985–1986)
  • Janet Delpratt AM (1986–1988)
  • Shirley McCorkindale (1988–1990)
  • Kay Stewart (1990–1991)
  • Pam Battershill (1991–1993)
  • Pixie Annat MBE OAM(C) (1993–1995)
  • Elizabeth Heber (1995–1997)
  • Joy Vickerstaff AM (1997 – 1999)
  • Coralie van Straaten-Peretz (1999–2000)
  • Sally McGregor (2000–2002)
  • Dina Browne AO (2002–2004)
  • Iris Scott (2004–2006)
  • Judith Anderson OAM (2006–2008)
  • Margaret Ferguson (2008–2010)
  • Julie Mannion (2010–2012)
  • Pamela Deakin (2012–2013)
  • Susan Davies (2013–2015)
  • Anna Herbert (2015–2017)
  • Emma Duncan (2017-2019)
  • Gwendolen Jull AO (2020 to present)

50 Years of the Zonta Club of Brisbane

50 Year Anniversary Message

50 & Fabulous

50th Anniversary Dinner - Photo Gallery

All photos: Bobby Rein

Memory Well

The 50th anniversary year is a time to remember members of the Zonta Club of Brisbane. We will be adding to this memory well during the year and we hope to have a collection of memories for people that will also act as a reminder of the women who have gone before us as the club looks to new endeavours in the 21st century.

Janet Delpratt AM– Zonta Club of Brisbane President 1986-1988.

Babette Stephens’ story

Shirley McCorkindale’s story

Liz Heber’s story

Anne Shevill’s story