We want action

Zonta District 22’s HOWZing project that seeks to reduce homelessness in older women is ramping up its efforts to push politicians to find solutions.

In the run up to the Queensland Government State election on 31 October, the HOWZing Committee is calling Queensland Zonta clubs to put homelessness in older women front and centre for all candidates. Zonta District 22 has approved the campaign to write to all contesting candidates and to provide them with a series of questions.

Zonta Club of Brisbane’s Advocacy Chair Susan Davies, who is on the HOWZing committee with Glynnis Gartside, said this action was vital with over a quarter of a million older women set to become the unseen victims of the post-pandemic recession in Queensland. The number of older women at risk of homelessness is now at 282,601 (ABS 2018) and rising at an alarming rate.

In the media release District Governor Bridget Mather urges all candidates to place the scourge of escalating homelessness among older women front and centre in their housing platform for the upcoming election.

District Governor Mather called for measures specifically tailored to helping the “Hidden Homeless” – an Information Call Centre, increased expenditure on social housing, and local and state government support for new innovative housing models.

Media release

Questions to candidates


Homelessness Project unites Zonta Clubs

In a first for District 22, a total of 13 SEQ Zonta clubs coordinated by Brisbane Club’s Advocacy chairperson Susan Davies have joined together on a project to combat homelessness in older women. Using their local knowledge each club contributed to a Master Distribution List for The Lady Musgrave Trust’s Handy Guide for Older Women. In August each club will personally distribute the booklets to key organisations designed to reach older women at risk of homelessness.This is part of our over-arching HOWZ-ing initiative seeking to spotlight the lack of options for older Queensland women.

FREE! Make sure you register for The Trust’s online Forum on Homelessness August 5 10am- 12pm




Homelessness in Older Women

The Zonta Club of Brisbane’s signature project for 2020 is Homelessness in Older Women. Women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing category of people either on the verge of, or actually experiencing homelessness. The Club is working in collaboration with the Lady Musgrave Trust in their 2020 Ending Homelessness for Older Women Project.

Karen Lyon Reid, CEO, of the Lady Musgrave Trust, and Jennifer Clarke, Board Member, from The Lady Musgrave Trust joined us at our Club dinner meeting in October 2019 to discuss the project.
Since then club member Susan Davies has been working in collaboration with the Lady Musgrave Trust, attending a Critical Friends Group meeting, towards contributing to project development and shaping Zonta’s contribution.

There has also been an unbelievably generous anonymous donation of $20,000 to the Lady Musgrave Trust in recognition of the Zonta Club of Brisbane’s commitment to supporting the LMT. We are extremely appreciative of this donation and offer our unreserved thanks.

The club’s efforts for this signature project will focus on advocacy and service in addressing the problem of Homelessness in Older Women. At the District 22 Areas 1 and 3 meeting in February 2020 there was an inspiring presentation by Karen Lyon Reid and Jenny Clark. Susan Davies is now working with other Zonta clubs on a new project called HowZing, which will for the first time will see clubs in Areas 1 and 3 work together on a signature issue through their Advocacy committees.


Lores Bonney Riverwalk

In early 2016, Zonta Brisbane’s Advocacy Committee began lobbying the Brisbane City Council to commemorate Australia’s greatest woman flyer Lores Bonney as part of the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade. Following this consultation with the Zonta Club of Brisbane and with the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, the Brisbane City Council announced that the new Kingsford Smith Drive riverside promenade and cycle path would be named the Lores Bonney Riverwalk. The Riverwalk was opened on 22 June 2019.

The naming of the Lores Bonney Riverwalk places our very own Australian aviatrix in the forefront of Australian aviation history, inspired by US hero Amelia Earhart. Lores Bonney learnt to fly at Eagle Farm airport in a de Havilland DH-60G Gipsy Moth biplane. Lores was a quiet achiever but her achievements in the 1930’s speak for themselves.

  • 1931: First woman to circumnavigate Australia by air
  • 1932: First woman to fly from Australia to England
  • 1937: First person to fly from Australia to South Africa

For her Australia-England flight, Lores Bonney was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire by King George V. The Bonney Trophy, which she presented in England, is still awarded annually to an outstanding British female pilot. World War Two interrupted her flying and Lores relinquished her licence in 1948.

Lores Bonney retired to the Gold Coast, Queensland where she lived for another 50 years. She died on 24 February 1994, aged 96. Tributes to the aviatrix flowed with The Royal Queensland Aero Club mounting a fly-past and Parliament of Australia acknowledging her role in the development of Australian and international aviation.