Education Awards

Esther’s education boost

We love to hear from the young women who receive one of our Zonta Education Awards.

This year, Yeronga High School Student Esther Etoka contacted us to let us know how much she appreciated receiving the award, a $500 bursary that goes to the school to enable winning students to pay for schooling needs.

“I sincerely thank you for your award that will help me assist with my study fees,” Esther said.

“I am very sure it will be helpful to me and lift me to another level in my studies. I am hopeful that this gift will help me fulfil the objective of Zonta club which is to stand for women’s rights.”

Zonta Club of Brisbane member Judith Anderson, who presented Esther with her award certificate, said: “Like every member of the Zonta Club of Brisbane, I was delighted to see Esther  receive our Education Encouragement Award. She is a most worthy winner and a fine model of Zonta’s mission and goals.”

Since 2000 Zonta Club of Brisbane has provided education awards provide encouragement to financially disadvantaged young women to complete Year 12.

The award is valued at $500 and goes to a female student at  six high schools in Brisbane: Mabel Park State High School; Bundamba State Secondary College; Glenala State High School; Aviation High; Marsden State High School; and Yeronga State High School.

To read more about the awards go here

Education Awards

Zonta Education Award

The Zonta Education Award was introduced by the Zonta Club of Brisbane in 2000 in response to a paper by Zonta Club of Brisbane member, Dr Gabrielle Caswell.

The original intent was to provide encouragement to financially disadvantaged young women to complete Year 12; to encourage young women to enter professions in maths, science, technology and engineering; to improve the status of younger women in educational institutions and in society at large; and to introduce young women and the wider community to the aims and goals of Zonta.

Twenty years later the awards still aspire to provide similar opportunities to young women with the award available to Year 10 and 11 female students.

Originally these awards were presented to students in a small number of schools identified by Education Queensland as disadvantaged in Year 11. In 2001, awards were extended to students in Year 10. The award value is $500 with $250 available to the student in each of years 11 and year 12 for their educational needs. In 2018, the Educational awards were reviewed. As a result the year 11 prize was phased out from 2019 and the award for the Year 10 student was increased to $500 to be available to them over two payments in their year 11 and year 12.

Selection is made by the school principal or their nominee/s in accordance with criteria determined by the Club.

This criteria states:


  • the students must demonstrate sound
    academic progress in the view of the school Principal or his/her nominee/s
  • the student must demonstrate participation
    in cultural and / or community activities in line with the objects of Zonta.

On the recommendation of school principals, cash prizes are not given directly to the students but funds are held by the school for the student to use to assist their education (e.g. for purchase of books or other learning resources, school excursion fees).

A certificate of recognition and information about Zonta is presented to winners at their school awards ceremonies, and a representative of the Zonta Club of Brisbane is invited to present the Awards to the winners. 

The award goes to students at these high schools: Mabel Park State High School; Bundamba State Secondary College; Glenala State High School; Aviation High; Marsden State High School; and Yeronga State High School.

2021 award winners

Aviation High     Alisa Burton

Bundamba    Chelsea Mostert

Glenala        Jasleen Kaur

Mabel Park    Melissa Baeni

Yeronga  Esther Etoka

2020 award winners

Aviation High    Francella Gabuogi

Bundamba State High School Holly Thompson

Glenala State High School Lisa Pham

Mable Park State High School Jemma Attard

Marsden State High School Farida Rezaie

Yeronga State High School  Aleena Eapen

Also, a retrospective award was provided to Alanna Beaumanis, Year 11, Aviation High.

2018-2019 award winners


Aviation High         Yr 10: Georgie Gahn;    Yr 11: Hannah Brown

Bundamba State Secondary College       Yr 10: Jade Gibson; Yr 11:
Madison Ahern

Glenala State High School         Yr 10: Trinity Leahy;  Yr 11: Emma Toomey

Mabel Park State High School   Yr 10: Gina Rambold-Dent    Yr 11: Drucilla

Marsden State High School      Yr 10: Grace Po Ching;   Yr 11: Isabelle Negrillo

Yeronga State High School      Yr 10: Yalda Asady;   Yr 11: Lyan Ding


Aviation High        Yr 10: Sarah Wade

Bundamba State Secondary College     Yr 10: Dream Brady

Glenala State High School        Yr 10: Felicity Pritchard

Mabel Park State High School            Yr 10: Quire Kaire

Marsden State High School                 Yr 10: Samantha Bayer

Yeronga State High School                  Yr 10: Tina Faiz Mohammad


Education Awards

Kingston Learning College

 The Kingston Learning College Education Award is a $2000 bursary to assist young women to meet any financial challenges to encourage them to progress to a tertiary education.

The first awards were given in 2003 with the current award incorporating aspects of Zonta’s Z-TOPs (Zonta-TAFE Opportunity Programs), first developed in 2006 by member Dr Ann Trezise. This was a partnership between the Zonta Club of Brisbane and the Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre to enhance young women’s opportunities to access TAFE and other courses.

In 2007, the concept was transferred to the Kingston Learning College  as many young women identify TAFE or other short courses that will increase their employment opportunities or support their career pathways, but are unable to access these programs because of the financial costs associated with up-front registration fees.

 As well as supporting young women to move beyond secondary to tertiary education or training it also takes on the Z-TOPS aim to provide the students with advice and, in a supportive environment, the experience of preparing an application for a competitive award, addressing selection criteria, budgeting, developing successful interview and presentation skills, and developing an understanding of compliance and reporting requirements. This process was designed to develop life-long skills in these areas.


To be eligible, the young women must face financial barriers to accessing the course, and must identify how the TAFE or university course fits with their career and work plans.

The young women then provide a plan, outlining how they intend to contribute towards the cost of the course and evidence of how they will accommodate the course into their study and life schedule.


Applications are screened and provisionally ranked by the Head of Kingston Learning Centre or their delegate. An interview panel consisting of one or two Zonta members and one or two representatives from the College is convened to conduct a 15-minute interview/conversation with each short-listed applicant to discuss her plans and application.

The Interview Panel ranks the short-listed applications in order of merit.

The $2,000 bursary is payable in two parts – the first on evidence that applicant enrolled in first semester of a tertiary course and the second payment on successful completion of semester 1 and enrolment in semester 2.

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Award winners

Year Name
2007 Chantelle Marie Young Jenna Bartlem
2008 Chloe Nelms Faren Matai Hepi-Tehuia
2009 Kristy Carr
2010 Hollie Jacobs
2011 Reyne Bishop
2012 Vanessa Provost
2013 Anastasia Rangiawha
2015 Nicole Finnigan
2017 Kaitlyn McLeod
2018 Margaret O’Hara

Nafisa Hussaini, Lacie Malcomson, Masoumeh Tavakoli
2020 Holly Martin
2021Maria Guillena
Education Awards

University Awards

Northern post for award winner

Travelling north for her first-year internship has been a boon for University of Queensland graduate Eleanor O’Neill and the Zonta Club of Brisbane 2022 Dr Helen Row Award winner. Since graduating from UQ last year, she took an internship to the Townsville University Hospital which is the only tertiary referral centre in North Queensland, Townsville…

Dr Helen Row Award

Annual $3000 prize awarded to the University of Queensland final year medical student with the highest combined marks in the paediatrics and mental health clinical rotations.

Babette Stephens Award

$1000 award to a female, second-year acting student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) program at the Queensland University of Technology.

The Leneen Forde Zonta Scholarship

The Zonta Club of Brisbane first offered a bursary at Griffith University, Logan Campus in 2013. The bursary is offered to a female who is a full time student, enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at Griffith University Logan Campus.