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 $750 with $375 available to the student in each of years 11 and year 12 for their educational needs.
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.
2023 award winners
Aviation High Lilliana Zardani
Glenala State High School Jessica Nguyen
Mabel Park State High School Tiara-Rose Lawson
Marsden State High School Josephine Ten
Yeronga State High School Shirley Mokoe
Bundamba State Secondary College Letylha Crichton
2022 award winners
Aviation High Christine Couper
Marsden State High Fatimeh Feli
Bundamba State High Shaylee Kancheff
Glenala State High Almaas Hussein
Mabel Park State High Vanessa Shikuku
Yeronga State High Pooja Babu
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.