Cairns is the service centre for the top of Queensland including Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria, with agriculture, tourism and mining the leading industries. Nestled amidst the rainforest-clad mountains of the Great Dividing Range, sugarcane fields and the Coral Sea, it is a mecca for Australian and international tourists. Renowned as “the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef”, Cairns has an international airport and hotels, a busy cruise terminal, a picturesque waterfront with marinas, walking paths and a large swimming pool, lovely parks and botanic garden, great shopping and restaurants, and a relaxed tropical lifestyle. There is easy access to superb beaches and islands close by, to the beautiful Atherton Tablelands and the outback. It is also an international education centre with a university, a number of vocational training colleges, language and boarding schools serving local and international students. There is a vibrant cultural scene, driven by a number art, music, theatre, film and cultural organizations, and a strong sporting culture.
The Zonta Club of Cairns Inc was formed in September 1983 and was formally presented with its official charter as International Club No 1057 on 20 May 1984. One original charter member is still active in the Club. Current members are dedicated supporters of the Goals and Ideals of Zonta International, and new members are welcomed.
The Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Sheridan Plaza Hotel, Sheridan Street, Cairns at 6 p.m. for fellowship, followed at 6.30 p.m. by a dinner meeting. The Club can be contacted at PO Box 5750 Cairns, Qld 4870 or send an – email
The members of the Zonta Club of Cairns enjoy much fun and fellowship whilst participating in many events over the course of any year, including attendance where possible at Area Meetings, District Conferences and International Conventions, taking advantage of the opportunity to share ideas with other Zonta Clubs and members. Club activities encompass fund-raising for projects to address the needs of women in the community with a focus on the prevention of violence towards women; Zonta service projects to benefit women; student bursaries; influencing local decisions to support women; and fellowship and running of the Club.
The Club has supported a wide range of projects over the years to advance the situation for women in the community and to contribute to Zonta International projects. Funds are raised through activities such as an annual Melbourne Cup luncheon, high teas and raffles. The major fund-raiser is the Club’s annual strawberries and cream stand at the Cairns Show where present and past Zonta members and friends prepare some 2200 punnets of strawberries (550kgs) and 160 litres of fresh cream, raising important funds for local organizations and individuals, and raising awareness about the Club and its projects. As well as being our greatest fundraiser every year it provides a great way to build a strong Zonta team with great fellowship and fun.
Over the years, organizations to benefit from these efforts have been just as varied. Recent fund-raising projects have included Ruth’s Women’s Shelter, the purchase of a van for Cairns Meals on Wheels, comfort packs for young homeless people distributed though Rosie’s Friends on the Street, and programs addressing indigenous women disadvantage and disengagement.
Current biennium projects continue the Club’s work supporting Ruth’s Women’s Shelter, Project Booyah as well as supporting the North Queensland Domestic Violence Service.
Besides the ongoing commitment to Zonta’s International Projects, our Club asks its committees to research needs in our community and submit projects for fund-raising.
The club regularly holds “Sip, Stitch’n’Stuff” working bees at various members’ homes to produce Breast care cushions for people recovering from breast cancer surgery. The cushions are distributed through the Cancer Council Queensland, local hospitals and the Breast Screen Clinic to assist women (and a small number of men) suffering the after-effects of major breast surgery. More than 1000 cushions have been distributed in Cairns since 2002.
The Club presents an annual Encouragement Award of $2,000 to a female student graduating from secondary school to assist with university costs. Applicants must submit an application addressing specific criteria, and undergo a selection process with interviews.
Zonta Cairns also leads and collaborates with other community organizations on events providing widespread benefits. We have partnered with TAFE North Queensland to run a White Ribbon Day morning tea which was attended by over 60 people. A number of prominent local identities and members of Queensland Police and the Defence services made the white ribbon oath.
Every year Zonta joins with other Women’s Service Clubs at the Combined Women’s Service Club dinner, where women in the various organizations can discuss the work being achieved at local and international levels. The Club also participates in International Women’s Day activities and runs a “Gals at the Gallery” networking event and fund-raiser.
To find out more about the activities of Zonta Clubs throughout District 22 Click here