Rockhampton, with a population of approximately 60 thousand and situated on the Tropic of Capricorn just 45 kilometres inland from the Pacific Ocean, sits astride Queensland’s largest river, the Fitzroy. Queensland’s favourite tropical city is bounded by the magnificent Berserker Ranges and Mount Archer (607 metres high) which provide an imposing backdrop to a busy, growing city that is both friendly and vibrant. Rockhampton’s location between the coast and the rural hinterland provides visitors and residents with the choice of unlimited investment and recreational pursuits.
The Zonta Club of Rockhampton received its Charter on 05 August 1983 and in August 2023 celebrated 40 years of service, supporting local and global projects. The club began with a membership of 32, committed to “empowering women and girls worldwide through service and advocacy”. Currently there are 19 members in the club.
The Club meets mid-week each month in the Board Room, Rocky Sports Club, Wandal at 5.00pm for a 6.00pm meeting followed by optional dinner at 7.00pm. When necessary, meetings are held by ZOOM teleconferencing. If you are interested in learning more about Zonta and would like to join our Club in its endeavours to empower women and girls, you may e-mail the club with your contact details, and we will contact you with information. You are also welcome to join a club meeting as a guest if you wish. Please email us for details to attend.
Since August 1983, thousands of dollars have been raised of which most has been returned to the local community by way of local projects with the rest being donated to the Zonta International Foundation Fund for Zonta International global projects. Click here to read about them.
A Potted History of the club, which documents activities for the thirty years from Charter in 1983 to June 2013, appears below on this page and gives a record of the club’s work over those years.
Rockhampton Zontians are proud to be part of a worldwide organization with approximately 27,000 members in almost 1000 Clubs in 63 countries. Rockhampton Zontians are proud to work with members around the world, who are committed to improving the lives of women everywhere. To achieve this, Zonta
- Participates in service projects that empower women and girls worldwide, to help women to achieve their aspirations and enjoy a better quality of life.
- Advocates Zonta’s position on women’s issues locally and internationally, safeguarding women’s rights as human rights.
- Achieves greater impact on the international platform by combining our voices with likeminded organizations and through our consultative status with the United Nations as a non-governmental organization.
- Works with government and community leaders who share common goals.
- Encourages and helps students to develop leadership skills, explore career options, and participate in community projects.
To find out more about the activities of Zonta Clubs throughout District 22 Click here
Rockhampton Club 30th Anniversary Celebrations:
Zonta Rockhampton Potted History 1983 – 2014: Zonta Rockhampton Potted History – Years 1983 to 2014
Awards Program and Local Service Projects:
Through Central Queensland University, Zonta offers two encouragement awards for women in the areas of Engineering and Paramedic Science and a third encouragement award in the STEPS program. Zonta began this partnership with the University in June 1985 when it offered two awards in the then Faculties of Science and Engineering. The awards were increased to three when an encouragement award in the Faculty of Information Technology was added to the list in June 1999. In 2010, during consultation between Zontian representatives and academic staff at the University, consideration was given to the changing climate in universities regarding full time and part time students, on campus and distance study in these courses. As the original aim of the awards was to target courses with low female enrolment, it was decided to offer two academic awards in the areas of Engineering and Paramedic Science commencing 2011. The STEPS bridging course award was introduced also in 2011, to support female students wishing to enter tertiary study. The successful completion of the STEPS course enables students to gain admission to an undergraduate degree.
The Young Women in Public Affairs Award is offered annually to encourage secondary school women to enter careers or seek leadership positions in social policymaking, government and volunteer organizations. Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, the Young Women in Public Affairs Award honors young women of age 16 to 19, who demonstrate a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. 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. The club recipient receives AU$500, 32 District recipients receive US$1,500 each, and 10 international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of US$4,000 each.
J M Klausman Scholarship:
The Zonta International Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarships first awarded by Zonta International in 1998, are open to women enrolled in at least the second year of an undergraduate program through the final year of a Master’s program in business leading to a business management career. The program is designed to encourage women to enter careers and to seek leadership positions in business-related fields in their communities and throughout the world. The Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarships look to the women of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta Club of Rockhampton provides a AU$500 scholarship for the club recipient. Zonta International awards 32 scholarships of US$2,000 each at the district/region level and 6 international scholarships in the amount of US$8,000 each. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships are awarded annually and may be used for tuition, books or living expenses at any university, college or institution offering accredited business courses and degrees.
Since 2003, a Living Treasure Award has been offered each year to coincide with celebrations on International Women’s Day. All women over 16 years of age are invited to apply. Nominations are sought from the shires of Rockhampton and Livingstone. Personal qualities and attributes such as capacity and capability to achieve, capacity to inspire, empower and influence others by one’s achievements and capacity to bring about change for a group, community, town, city, region are sought in nominees to be considered as a Zonta Living Treasure. Sponsorship is usually sought from business to fund the award.
In 2001, the club adopted the service project of making and supplying Breast Care Cushions to the local Breast Care Nurse for distribution, free of charge, to patients undergoing breast surgery in hospitals. The cushions provide comfort in the post-operative phase. The Zonta Breast Care Cushion project was initiated by the Zonta Club of Botany Bay NSW in 1995. The project was adopted by other Zonta Clubs throughout Australia progressively from 2000 and by early 2008 the tally of cushions made nationwide was approximately 46,500 cushions. The project has also been adopted by Zonta Clubs around the world since being showcased at the Zonta International Convention in Melbourne in 2006. The project has been active in places as far flung as Germany, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Macedonia. Throughout the year Zonta Clubs hold sewing bees to make these sought-after cushions. Approximately 120 cushions are made yearly by Rockhampton Zontians.
A new project has been introduced recently by the Rockhampton Club. In October 2012, the Zonta Club of Redcliffe launched a documentary DVD for breast cancer patients, which is being made available through other Zonta Clubs. In November 2012, Zontians presented a Rockhampton Breast Care Nurse with the DVDs for distribution to patients. More will be purchased as the need arises. The 45 minute DVD, titled ‘Side by Side’, comprehensively covers all stages of the breast cancer journey. It provides a very non-clinical, guided tour of the host of services, resources and people that are available to help support the patient along the individual breast cancer journey. The DVD is provided to patients free of charge. This film is a powerful (virtual) road map or guide to the breast cancer journey and the people who could be by your side along the way. Owing to a change in method of delivery, this DVD is now available on line. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfDGj7j4ckfiVoujyltOAwg
One viewer’s comment – “I thought the documentary was absolutely marvellous. It did not portray breast cancer as being a scary subject but as something that can be managed with the right people behind you. I felt as though I was the one sitting there, having the conversations with these lovely people in a calm and relaxed way without fear or in trepidation. It gave me goose bumps.”
Women’s Shelter and Essential Packs:
As part of Zonta’s ongoing support for the Women’s Shelter, the local women’s refuge, Zontians prepare Essential Packs containing essentials for household use by the women entering the shelter. The local women’s refuge was first to receive donated funds and clothing in 1983 when the Zonta Club was chartered. This support has been constant over the years. As the need for personal essentials has decreased in recent years, the club now donates essential linen, towels and household goods.
In 2010, Zonta Club of Rockhampton partnered with Girls’ Time Out (an organization which supports young ‘at risk’ women aged 12 years to 25 years) to deliver programs for young mothers which addressed issues such as pregnancy support, parenting and family nutrition. One of the programs, “Starting Strong”, was developed by Queensland Health and was delivered by staff at the Girls’ Time Out Centre in Rockhampton. The program was offered to young mums with babies. The implementation of the program had been made possible by the donation of funds by Zonta. The aim of the program, which ran for eight weeks, promoted secure attachment between baby and mother which was achieved with group work to engage the young women and encourage active participation in which they could share and address their feelings and concerns.
The project for 2013 was to supply finance for the purchase of car seats for the GTO vehicles to enable the safe transportation of clients’ children and to also provide nutritious food and drink for the pregnancy support program. There is no current project in place.
For the last two years, our club has supported the Homeless Connect program which is conducted by the Rockhampton Regional Council. The Homeless Connect event provides an opportunity for those people who find themselves in difficult situations without safe, secure and affordable housing, to attend a day where different services and agencies are on hand to provide help and basic essentials and advice. Businesses and not-for-profit organizations can also donate essential items such as toothbrushes, soap, towels, blankets, non-perishable food and other basic items to a central point. This is a great example of how our community comes together and displays their generosity and support. Zonta supports the program by donating basic hygienic and personal products for homeless women. The club also supports women through the ‘It’s in the Bag’ project, organizing essential and hygienic toiletries in useful tote bags, which are then delivered to a collection point for distribution.
Sexual Assault Support Centre:
Zonta also supports the Sexual Assault Support Centre within the Rockhampton CIB with clothing for the victims of sexual assault. For a number of years now, the club has purchased clothing in different sizes to be available for women following sexual assault. The need is monitored, and restocking takes place regularly and delivered to the Queensland Police Service.
RUBY (Rise Up, Be Yourself)
Zonta is part funding this program during 2017.
This program is a free physical fitness program for women who are, have been, or likely to be experiencing Domestic and Family Violence (DFV). The program is designed to empower women by building physical strength and contributing to general well-being, emotional resilience, self-esteem and confidence through physical exercise in a violence free and safe environment.
RUBY is not just a fitness class, and it’s a unique program of weekly sessions, allowing women in a group environment a different outlet and tools to combat the domestic violence cycle. The weekly sessions cover a variety of activities (circuit, pump, boxing, weights, aerobic classes, etc.), with sessions running at the same day and time each week.
The program will take place in the safe environment of the PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Clubs). A qualified Personal Trainer will deliver the fitness sessions and a female police officer will also attend the sessions in order to break down the barriers between victims and police.
The Qld Police Service will provide female police staff, one of whom will be a qualified Personal Trainer who will take the sessions, PCYC will provide a female youth worker and use of the facility. As some DV victims may require child minding while undertaking the program, Zonta has agreed to part fund this cost of the program, thus enabling the women to attend.
Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign:
“Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” is a Zonta International campaign to raise awareness of and increase actions to end violence against women and girls around the world. The campaign features the service and advocacy actions of Zonta clubs and districts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in their local communities.
It also highlights Zonta International’s ongoing efforts to end violence against women and girls through the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence against Women (ZISVAW) program and through Zonta’s partnerships with the United Nations and its agencies.
November 2013 – The club hosted an Information Booth at the Rockhampton Heritage Village Markets on Sunday 24th November 2013 (the annual Christmas markets). The aim of the booth was to educate passing ‘traffic’ (estimated to be approx. 6,500) about the “Zonta Says NO” campaign and to raise funds to support the campaign. To achieve this, members distributed information flyers and brochures and sold orange ribbons. Posters to detail relevant points re the campaign also ‘told the story’. Domestic/Family Violence safety cards were made available. Representatives of the club were also active in a recent two-day Domestic Violence Forum in 2014. Participants committed to a Domestic Violence Steering Committee which ultimately led to a dedicated services ‘hub’ to provide coordinated approaches to better service domestic violence clients in Rockhampton. This is an ongoing project. The club will continue to support the ongoing Zonta Says NO campaign.
November 2014 – The Zonta Club of Rockhampton, Queensland participated in the 16 Days of Activism by providing a speaker at two White Ribbon functions, distributing 50 “color your neighbourhood orange” packs to be displayed at businesses and government departments, and with a social media campaign.
November 2015 – The Zonta Club of Rockhampton partnered with the Women’s Health Centre in supporting the Centre’s White Ribbon events for 2015, which included a breakfast in Rockhampton and a lunch in Yeppoon. The Centre organized the events and the program for the day with the Club identifying opportunities to promote the Zonta Says NO to Violence against Women campaign throughout the program.
November 2016 – Our Club was significantly represented in the community and at workshops over this period of time. Thanks to all members who were involved. Activities attended by members include:
- Women’s Health Centre Reclaim the Night March.
- RA organised Men’s Behaviour Change workshop for practitioners.
- Livingstone Shire Council DV Working Group re White Ribbon Day Program for Yeppoon.
- Judge Anne Demack (Fed. Court Family Law Circuit Judge) – Conversation on shared experience of client types with lawyers and DV service providers.
- Daily social media – Facebook and Twitter campaign and posting on ZI ‘Share your Story ‘ site.
- Transport of “Orange Women” to sites in Yeppoon and ROK for 16 Days of Activism Campaign.
- WHC White Ribbon Day Breakfast.
- Qld Police White Ribbon Day Dinner and launch of 16 Days of Activism..
- Target Shopping Centre Stand for 16 Days of Activism.
- Yeppoon Sailing Club and Livingstone Shire Council DV Working Group: White Ribbon Celebration ‘Women in Art’.
To find out more about the campaign go to http://zontasaysno.com/
November 2017 – The club’s participation in the 16 days of Activism Campaign was very visible in both the Rockhampton and Yeppoon districts.
- A number of sites in Rockhampton and Yeppoon were organized for placement of orange silhouettes.
- Displays were organized at Yeppoon and Emu Park libraries and also at local politician’s offices.
- A display was also set up at Rockhampton Airport and the City Council joined in with publicity re the Campaign.
- Approval was obtained to hang large Zonta Says NO banners in Rockhampton and Yeppoon.
- The Wreck Point Lookout at Yeppoon was lit in orange as was the lighting at the Singing Ship Lookout in Emu Park.
- Quay Street along the banks of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton was also lit in orange.
- Interviews were organized with ABC Capricornia and the Rockhampton City Council.
- The Social Media publicity was extensive.
- Members attended the White Ribbon Breakfast hosted by Women’s Health.
- Advocacy Committee members worked hard to bring about a successful Campaign.
November 2018 – Participation this year in the 16 days of Activism Campaign.
- 21 November-10 December 2018 – Display at Rockhampton Airport
- 25 November-10 December 2018 – Heritage façade and buildings along refurbished Fitzroy Riverbank lit orange
- 25 November-10 December 2018 – Wreck Point Lookout at Yeppoon and the Singing Ship Captain Cook Memorial at Emu Park lit orange
- 25 November-10 December 2018 – Yeppoon Foreshore Stage lit orange
November 2019 – Zonta continued with these activities through 2019 and will continue these activities during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in future years.