Local Projects

Education awards

Education plays a key role in advancing women, girls, and communities.

This is why the Zonta Club of Brisbane has a strong focus on fundraising so that it can provide education awards to students in high school and university. In the past 20 years it has enabled Zonta Club of Brisbane to award bursaries and prizes to more than 250 recipients.

The Education Awards are:

Zonta Education Award

Zonta Education Award
Education plays a key role in advancing women, girls, and communities. Bursaries of $500 are awarded each year to a girl in Year 10 for use in years 11 and 12 at six high schools in regions of social disadvantage.

Kingston Learning College

Annual award to young women wishing to undertake tertiary education or training to help them meet financial barriers to move beyond secondary school.

University Awards

Three awards are made to University students from gifts and funds raised by members to reward excellence in university studies in honour of distinguished Club members.

Local Projects

Zonta International Awards

Zonta International offers four awards which attract international applicants.

Amelia Earhart Fellowship

The Amelia Earhart Fellowship is a Zonta International Award for women pursuing PhD/doctoral
degrees in aerospace-applied sciences or aerospace-applied engineering. The program operates only
at the international level and is funded by the Zonta International Foundation.

Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

The Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is a Zonta International Award to help
women pursue undergraduate and master's degrees in business management and overcome gender
barriers from the classroom to the boardroom. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region
and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and
international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation.

Women in Technology Scholarship

The Women in Technology Scholarship is a Zonta International pilot program to encourage women to pursue education, career opportunities and leadership roles in technology. The pilot is being conducted in 2019-2020 at Club, District/region and International levels. Zonta clubs provide funds for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation.

Young Women in Public Affairs

The Young Women in Public Affairs Award is a Zonta International Award for young women demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation.

Cathy Hunt, Deb Suckling, Prof Margaret Sheil AO and Ian GillespieLocal Projects

Advancement of Women Award


To mark Zonta’s cententary year in 2019 the Zonta Club of Brisbane established the $5000 Advancement of Women Award to assist other women now and in the future.

This is an biennial, gender neutral award that recognises a person who, through their leadership, work or advocacy is progressing the status of women. This may be by either creating new pathways for women, facilitating women’s advancement along existing pathways, or advancing the interests of women through other endeavours in social, community, economic, academic, political or work environments.

The Club aims to reward persons from a broad base. For example, the recipient could be an administrator, scientist, teacher, business or industry leader, police officer, community worker, fund-raiser or a pioneer in their field.

This is an biennial award with nominations opening in July and closing in September.

The award is funded through  the Advancement of Women Fund set up in 2018 inaugurated with a living gift from charter member of the Zonta Club of Brisbane, Dr Joan Godfrey OBE. This fund will  grow with ongoing capital donations and bequests from members..

2019 Advancement of Women Award winner

Cathy Hunt

Cathy is co-founder of Of One Mind, a not for profit company behind the development of the Women of the World Festival in Australia. She was chosen as the winner of the Advancement of Women Award in  recognition of her outstanding 20-year track record creating programs to empower women in addressing gender inequality, engaging a wide range of communities of women in Australia and internationally creating new pathways through art and cultural efforts including your directorship of the WOW Festivals.

2019 Advancement of Women award finalists

Ian Gillespie, Director, RACQ Foundation and Chair of Global Mobility Alliance

Judges citation: In recognition of Ian’s work as RACQ CEO to create new pathways for women through gender targets, HR policies around parental leave, and a Female Mentoring program that has led, in part, to the appointment of more women to the RACQ Board and senior management positions.

Deb Suckling, founder of label SugarRush Music

Judges citation: In recognition of Deb’s pioneering role within the music industry in Australia supporting and empowering young women from regional communities to create their own labels, albums and  to express their voices in songwriting.

Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, Queensland University of Technology

Judges citation: In recognition of Prof Sheil’s long and outstanding record in creating new pathways for women in the academy and research, including the eligibility criteria for Australian Research Council grants, and  in  programs to promotie women in politics at the University of Melbourne and Queensland University of Technology. 

Funding and donations

The Advancement of Women Award is funded through the Advancement of Women Fund set up in 2018 inaugurated with a living gift from charter member of the Zonta Club of Brisbane, Dr Joan Godfrey OBE. This fund will grow with ongoing capital donations and bequests from members.

Donors to the Advancement of Women Fund

Donor category Name Amount Year
Foundation Donor Dr Joan Godfrey $50,000 2018
Member Donors Ms Susan Hocking (in memory of Lesley Hocking) $20,000 2018
  Ms Susan Davies (in memory of Anne Davies) $20,000 2019

If you want to donate to the award please contact info@zontabrisbane.com.au

Local Projects

Domestic Violence Safety Cards


In response to the growth of domestic and family violence in Australia, the Zonta Club of Brisbane in 2001 embarked on a long-term project to help reduce the incidence of family violence in the greater Brisbane area. The project involved designing and printing credit-card sized cards listing emergency numbers and services for women escaping domestic violence, and distributing the cards through relevant agencies. The card is a discreet tangible resource which is both empowering and reassuring as a source of information and a link to safety for women and children escaping domestic violence. 

The cards were first produced in 2001 for distribution through the Northside Alliance Against Domestic Violence (NAADV) which works out of the Nundah Community Centre in close collaboration with local police. A second edition of the Safety Card was produced for NAADV in 2003 and launched during Domestic Violence Prevention Week. The Club agreed to fund a third edition in late 2006 with payment made to NAADV for this edition during the 2007-2008 Zonta year. The fourth edition was funded in 2009 as part of this on-going partnership. Subsequently, editions are published approximately every two years with updated resources, contacts and information.

Several other projects were initiated in 2006 and 2007. 

(i) The Club produced a specific edition for BRISSC (Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivors’ Support Centre) which serves Brisbane’s southern suburbs using the same template and production process which had been refined through the two NAADV editions. 

(ii) With northern and southern districts of Brisbane covered, the Club set about identifying an agency in the eastern suburbs with which it could work to develop an edition specific to those suburbs. The Maybanke Accommodation and Crisis Support Services were chosen and the cards launched in late 2006. 

(iii) In December 2006, the Club agreed to fund production of an edition of the card to be developed in collaboration with the Ipswich Women’s Shelter, in order to extend the cards to the Western suburbs. This project was finalised in 2007. 

(iv) In 2007, an edition of the card was produced specifically for Indigenous women through Murri Sisters Inc. This project was finalised in 2008.

(v) In 2009, the Brisbane Domestic Violence Advocacy Service on Brisbane’s southside was provided with 40,000 cards. 

The project produced a number of valuable spin-offs. First, the police service, recognising the value of the cards, contributed significantly to the reprints for NAADV. Second, the obvious value of the cards led to the Club producing 10,000 leaflets in English and a further 10,000 in Tok Pisin for distribution in PNG in 2004 to combat domestic violence. Third, the southside safety card project grew into support for BRISSC’s CRUISE project (Creative Resources for Understanding Issues of Self Harm) in 2006.  

The aim was that, having been established by the Brisbane Club, the individual projects would become self-supporting as the agencies were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the resource when making approaches to various sources for funding. 

The burden on the Northside Alliance was reduced significantly by the production of cards by an agency in Caboolture, and the Brisbane Club hoped that other Zonta clubs in the Greater Brisbane Area would take up support of the projects begun by the Brisbane Club. 

The Safety Cards fulfil one of the core objectives of Zonta and have proven to be one of the Club’s most worthwhile and far-reaching projects in recent years, with the benefit being felt by thousands of women and at least one known instance of a life being saved directly by the card. 

Current history

Other clubs have become involved and the Zonta Club of Brisbane now supports the Northside Alliance Against DV. The Club currently shares the production costs of the cards with the QPF (North Brisbane District Vulnerable Persons and Domestic Violence Unit). Current cards are credit card size and made available to women who may be the victims of domestic violence. The telephone numbers of relevant organisations who help women experiencing domestic violence are printed on the cards. The Project involves printing of new cards and some promotional posters. The project is undertaken approximately every two years.

In 2019, due to increased demand, the Zonta club of Brisbane raised its contribution so that Northside Alliance Against DV could increase card numbers to 100,000 and posters to 250.

Local Projects

Cassandra Weddell Fund

Cassandra Weddell joined Zonta in 2002 and immediately demonstrated her commitment to Zonta’s ideals through her energy and hard work. She was elected to the Board in her first year of membership and in her brief time with the Club, charmed everyone with her humour and zest for life. She died in February 2003, aged 41. Cassandra was an educator and passionate advocate for the rights of children.

The Cassandra Weddell Fund was largely established through two donations – $10,000  from Cassandra’s estate by her partner Michael Drum who donated a further $12,000 in 2017. It was supplemented by further donations and service funds raised by the Club.

In June 2017, the Cassandra Weddell Grant of $10,000 was established with a call for project applications which fulfilled the ideals of Cassandra Weddell in early childhood education, utilised the arts and especially served disadvantaged children.

The first funding was provided in 2019 to two successful applicants:

  • Save the Children for their project Story Swags – $10,000
  • Trinity Tots Music Box: A Trinity Commons Project  – $5,500

To honour her memory and commitment, the Club also created the Cassandra Weddell Memorial Children’s Library. The Library collection is housed at the Women’s Prison where children up to school age are permitted to remain with their mothers. Managed by Save the Children (Queensland), the collection is funded for on-going expansion and maintenance through a dedicated investment account.

Publishers and book retailers have donated books to the collection and the books are covered to ensure that their condition is preserved. Book plates acknowledging Cassandra’s work for children are pasted on the inside front covers of the books. The collection holds over 1000 titles.

In 2018-2019, $1,197.09 was donated via Save the Children to purchase musical instruments for the prison library.

Local Projects

Windana Support Centre

Windana, a refuge for women and their children, was set up initially by Sunnybank Family Care and Support in November 1978. It operates within a framework of strength and social justice and is child focused and culturally sensitive. With decreasing resources and services available for women and children, there are often long waiting-lists for women who request counselling and for services for children. Windana acts on referrals from DV Connect, the domestic violence crisis line, and provides outreach support to families in their accommodation. During the week, staff are on site from 8.30 am to 7.00 pm and on call throughout the night and on weekends to respond to emergencies.

Windana currently operates six, two-bedroom units with one unit reserved for office facilities. The units are suitable for large families and have at times taken families with six to seven children. The premises have been modified, offering independent but safe living for families, whilst maintaining the benefit of communal spaces, both indoors and out. They currently have four transitional houses, offering an extra three months of supported accommodation. The staff continue to engage in outreach work with clients who are in these houses as well as any other referrals where possible.

The Zonta Club of Brisbane has supported Windana over many years and in various ways.

One longstanding project was the production and filling of ‘comfort bags’ for children at the Centre; another was storage of donated furniture, white goods and other household items for families when they moved into accommodation in the community.

A major project undertaken in 2010 was the refurbishment and landscaping of the grounds and the installation of playground equipment, using funds raised at the Club’s Wine and Roses event.

This was followed in 2011 by raising sufficient funds at the Sunset Reception at Blainsleigh to purchase a ‘people mover’ vehicle for the Centre. 

The Club currently assists by donating items when needed (e.g. dressing gowns, blankets) and by donating and delivering Christmas presents to all family members each year.