Speakers and Facilitators

Virginia NelsonVirginia Nelson – 2016 Telstra Australian Business Woman’s Public Sector and Academia Award Winner, Member Zonta Club of Rockhampton Inc

Early in her career, Virginia worked general duties and prosecutions in a number of regional locations before moving to Brisbane.  Whilst in Brisbane, she worked at the Operations Support and State Crime Operations Commands, followed by a period in the Office of the State Coroner (Queensland) as the senior coronial officer. In 2008, Virginia was promoted to the commissioned rank where she undertook duties as a Projects Officer, Staff Officer and Traffic Coordinator and is now the Inspector in charge of Capricornia District’s largest patrol group.

Virginia has been involved as a mentor on the QPS Leadership and Mentoring Program for a number of years and has undertaken the role of Operational Commander for the QPS response to Talisman Sabre, the bi-annual Defence Exercise with the United States held in Central Queensland several times.

Virginia has completed various tertiary studies in leadership and management.  Virginia has successfully completed the University of Queensland Leadership for Executive Women Program.

She has undertaken the role of Visiting Fellow twice on the Queensland Police Service Management Development Program and in 2014, was awarded the Bronze Award for Excellence in Leadership at the QPS Awards for Excellence.  In 2015 Virginia was privileged to undertake the role of Visiting Fellow as the QPS representative at the AIPM in Manly.  In 2016 Virginia was awarded the Australasian Council of Women and Policing’s most prestigious award – the Bev Lawson Memorial Award for her leadership in driving change for women in policing and for creating mentoring and leadership opportunities for women in policing.  In 2016 Virginia was also the winner of the Queensland and Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Public Sector and Academia for her work in policing.

Virginia is on the Board of The Cathedral College,, a Board member of Every Child Central Queensland, a member of the Rockhampton Zonta Club, Secretary of the Rockhampton Branch of Community Supporting Police Inc., an associate member of the National Council of Women Queensland and a member of a number of community advisory and sporting committees.

Dr LucDr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu – Medical Director Mission in Healthcare and Development DR Congo

Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu is a pastor, medical doctor and Member of Parliament for DR Congo. DR Congo is a democratic country with elected representatives.

Dr Luc’s primary area for community development work has been in Luvungi and the surrounding regions, South Kivu province, in the east near the Rwanda and Burundi borders.

In 2006 received his degree as a medical doctor and started Mission in Health Care and Development, a humanitarian non-government organisation providing cheap, good and proper health care in villages and rural areas. He is the Director. MHCD and its paid and volunteer helpers work in 6 of the 11 provinces of DR Congo.

He has specialist training in Naturopathy as with few commercial medicines available they grow and use local medicines to heal and specialist training in Epileptology.

In 2008 built a hospital in Luvungi town South Kivu Province which has expanded to 12 buildings and More recently in 2016 built a hospital in Kinshasa Rural in Kinshasa province.  He has opened schools in Kahororo, Sange, Bukavu, Milo, Kanduyi and Lubarika  villages and opened orphanages in Bungoma and Luvungi, and supporting street children in Kahororo and Lubarika.

Dr Luc started many microfinance programs for the women Traditional Birth Attendants to bring whole communities out of poverty and provide sustainable food and income and send children to school and since 2006 he has worked with the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia and has over time distributed over 150,000 clean birthing kits to women giving birth at home, and personally trained 980 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) at 3 – 5 days seminars. In 2011 opened a birthing kit distribution centre at the hospital.

In 2014 and 2015 he also trained 36 Midwifery Seminar Trainers who themselves have now trained over 3000 TBAs.

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Kate TullyKate Tully, Chief Executive Officer YWCA Queensland

Kate joined YWCA Queensland as CEO in 2011. Since then, she has spearheaded significant growth and development, reinforcing the position of the YWCA as a respected and valued champion of Queensland’s women and girls.

Kate brings to YWCA Queensland both her extensive business experience in the private and non-profit sectors, and her passion for social justice issues. Originally trained as a journalist and editor, Kate has had a lifelong focus on issues affecting women and children, and has been active in this area for more than 25 years.

In addition to her role with YWCA, Kate has extensive experience serving on boards and other governing bodies; she is currently Chair of the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and a member of the Board of Governors of the national body ACOSS.

She was appointed by the Premier to the Queensland Plan Ambassadors Council, and is also a member of the Queensland Government’s Gender Equity and Violence Against Women Reference Group.

Kate holds a Master of Business (Philanthropy & Nonprofit Studies) from QUT and a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia. In 2016 Kate was awarded the Alumna of the Year Award by QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, for her contribution to the nonprofit sector.

Jenny WeaverJenny Weaver – Director, Birthing Kit Foundation


  • Secondary School Teacher 1974 – 1987
  • Workers Educational Association – Education Officer 1987/88
  • Wine – partner of a wine making business in the Adelaide Hills 1978. Involved to 1989
  • Financial Adviser, CFP qualified, 1989 – 2010 at Women’s Investment Network, NAB, Bain and Co, Accumulus Financial Planners (merged with) Prescott Securities

Personal Interests and Service Roles

Zonta International, a service organisation supporting women and girls through service and advocacy

  • Member of the Zonta Club of Adelaide Torrens           1992 to the present
  • President of the Zonta Club of Adelaide Torrens         1993 – 1995 and 2012-2014
  • Coordinator Combined Status of Women Committee   2002-2004
  • Vice Area Director Zonta District 23 Area 2                 2004 – 2006
  • Coordinator of the Zonta Combined Advocacy Committee 2010 to 2016

 MHCDASA an incorporated body set up in 2014 assisting Mission in Health Care and Development (MHCD) an NGO in DR Congo (MHCD is a partner of the Birthing Kit Foundation) Role: Treasurer

  • Sent 2 containers of goods (including using Rotary’s Donations In Kind) to MHCD
  • Mainly raise funds and transfer money to support MHCD programs.
  • Advocated for Zonta to support micro finance programs and radio programs for women

 Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) – an NGO which oversees the production and distribution of birthing kits to women in developing countries and which runs training programs and in-country kit production programs. Started to assist the Zonta Birthing Kit Project in 2005 and became a Board Member when the foundation was formed in 2006.

  • Chair the Board in 2010, 2011, 2012.
  • On the BKFA International Programs Committee for several years overseeing programs in Vietnam, India and Ethiopia. On the ground experience has provided a sound understanding of the issues and obstacles for people and programs in developing countries.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation trips for the Birthing Kit Foundation to Ethiopia (2010), Vietnam (2006, 2008 and 2013) India (Tamil Nadu) in 2013.
  • Current role, Director and on the Advocacy and Finance committees.


  • I love travelling – travelled to 46 countries
  • Physical fitness – long term member and attendee of a gym and a snow skier
  • Reader – both fiction and non-fiction and provide book reviews for ‘Raising Literacy’.
Linden PeacockLinden Peacock – YWPA District 22 Winner 2017

Many human rights issues are inherently gendered, which is why Linden Peacock’s greatest passion is working to solve gender inequality on a global scale. Currently in her second year of a Bachelors of Arts/Laws at the University of Queensland, she hopes to specifically tackle violence against women upon graduation. In addition to her studies, Linden volunteers as Human Resources Director for UN Youth Queensland, a youth-led non-for-profit organisation that educates young people on the United Nations’ mission and goals, and mentors a team of high school students in gender advocacy at the One Woman Project. In her spare time, Linden can be found practicing Korean for her Diploma in Languages and admiring Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits.


Phoebe FrederickPhoebe Frederick – ZI & District 22 YWPA Winner 2016

Phoebe Frederick is one of ten 2016 international recipients of Zonta’s Young Women in Public Affairs Award. She is currently a fourth year university student at the University of Queensland and is pursuing a Bachelor of Law/Arts with majors in public policy and international relations. She has volunteered her time with many organisations – UN Youth Australia, 180 Degree Consulting, the UQ Law Society, the United Nations Association of Australia – all with the aim of promoting youth empowerment, women’s rights and Indigenous rights. She is also an avid baker and enjoys spending her spare time reading. After Phoebe graduates, she plans to work in policy development, either with a think tank or an intergovernmental organization


Georgia GraysonGeorgia Grayson – JMK District 22 Winner 2016

Georgia is a student at the University of the Sunshine Cost, studying Tourism, Leisure and Event Management.Georgia may describe herself as an ‘idealist’ but she is realistically mapping a pathway forward. She believes that we can eliminate ‘poverty’ by enhancing and forging connections through tourism and international development.

Her passion for her study and her work as a Research Assistant at USC in both marketing and international development has further sparked her ambitions to undertake an honours degree to study tourism’s potential to alleviate poverty. A very real concept noted by the United Nations.

Further ambitions: Georgia would like to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship which would allow her to study at Oxford University, along with the ultimate ambition to work at the United Nations.

Val business photo 2014-2016Val Sarah AM, DSJ – Zonta International Past President – Member ZC Ballarat, Victoria

Val joined Zonta in 1978 as Charter President of the Zonta Club of Ballarat in rural Australia. She served as Governor from 1986-88 when District 16 included 83 clubs and one Z club in Australia and New Zealand, well before email was introduced to make the art of communication so easy.

Val has served in many leadership positions throughout Zonta. From 1998-200, Val served as International President.

Between 1997 and 2000 she spearheaded the publication of “Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide,” a history of Zonta International 1919-1999, celebrating Zonta’s 80th Anniversary.

Val brings to Zonta the experience of a 50-year working career in television, fashion, travel and family welfare.

Val has served three consecutive terms as Chairman of the Centennial Anniversary Committee leading up to Zonta’s 100th Anniversary in 2019, encouraging clubs to “honor the Past and herald the Future.”

Lynne FoleyLynne Foley OAM – Panel Facilitator, Member ZC Brisbane Breakfast Inc

Lynne is an exciting motivational speaker, who is passionate about leaving her audience with new ideas and thoughts, full of confidence to break through personal and professional barriers. She has a particular interest in working with women of all ages to engage with their skills and capabilities, to develop new ways of working through insights into individual behaviours and that of others.

Lynne is expert in assisting executive teams to review, design and implement strategies to improve business outcomes and organisational culture across the organisation. She is passionate about assisting business to understand future trends, to set innovative goals, and design and implement appropriate strategy to ensure business success.

Lynne’s extensive executive experience ensures a crafted and targeted approach to meet client goals. With particular expertise and experience in review and evaluation in business, the VET and education sectors, Lynne accesses her knowledge gained as a successful CEO in fully commercial organisations, and Regional Executive Director and Principal roles operating across urban, regional, rural and remote Queensland. As Institute Director, Lynne led Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, a large government provider of vocational education and training services to be one of the highest performing institutes in Qld. She has extensive  high  level knowledge of international program sales and delivery, and management of off-shore operations, focused on SE Asia.

Lynne contributes to community through her involvement with Zonta International, as a Board member of Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club. Previously President of Rockhampton Rotary Sunrise, as well as a 20 year association with Guides Australia, demonstrate her strong engagement with local communities.

Lynne is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and has won awards from State and Federal Government, Australian Institute of Management, and been a finalist in Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She has attended the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Executive Fellows Program. As a Graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors, with more than 20 years’ experience as a company secretary, board appointments, and reporting to boards, Lynne brings a robust understanding and practical knowledge of governance and business best practice.