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.