Club member, Deb Mason, was honoured at a Rotary Club of Como event on 29 August when she received a Paul Harris Award for her magnificent contribution to helping families in crisis.
Deb established a charity called Starting Over Support (SOS) to provide furniture and household items to women leaving refuges – so that they could start their new lives with a furnished home. Over the years the program expanded from a shed to an industrial unit – from using cars with trailers to having a furniture truck funded by Lotterywest.
Deb worked tirelessly with SOS and has helped put hundreds of families back on their feet in times of crisis. Congratulations Deb – a well deserved honour!
In these days of Covid-19 social distancing requirements, our Birthing Kit Assembly Days have had to be re-worked. We have replaced our large events that involved dozens of volunteers assembling hundreds of kits – with mini assembly days in member’s homes and workplaces.
Vera Riley has done a magnificent job organising members to assemble bundles of forty kits at a time. Vera drops off the kits, complete with instructions and video links so volunteers can learn how to assemble the kits and see where the kits go. Members meet in very small groups and assemble the kits. Vera collects the kits and sends them to Kit International for distribution overseas.
We can all keep socially-distanced, yet still experience the satisfaction of providing hands-on service to help women around the world.
If you would like to know more about the birthing kit program, visit Kit International.
At our August meeting, guest speaker, Gracia Mukiibi, shared memories of growing up in a large family of 13 children – and how the family survived one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts in the Congo and sought refuge in Australia.
Gracia is a contributing author in a book called – A Mile in Our Shoes that brings together the stories of nine high achieving, trailblazing women from around the world.
Gracia read excerpts from her part of the book and inspired members with her passion, drive, and grace. She is the consummate advocate for empowering women – she gives voice to the women who are oppressed, violated, sold as commodities, forced into early marriage – and those who have lost their lives in pursuit of equality.
She quoted an African proverb, “If you go alone, you’ll go quickly – but if we go together we’ll reach further” – a quote that beautifully captures the philosophy of Zonta’s collaborative approach to empowering women.
Angie Perkins, the fabulous Service Delivery Manager is leaving Zonta House after 7 years. Angie has made a significant contribution to the organisation, staff, volunteers, students and the women we walk alongside over this period. Angie has truly embodied and championed the Zonta House values of Care, Integrity and Dedication during her time with the refuge.
We are thrilled for Angie who will take on a new role working with youth and wish her the very best for her next endeavours in mid-September. Angie will continue to be dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives and contribute to a safer community. In the meantime the Refuge is continuing to focus on delivering high quality services to women and families it supports.
It also means that there is an exciting and rare opportunity to work with the refuge in a senior management role. Do you know someone who is dynamic and solution-focused to join the Refuge team in the Service Delivery Manager role. For more information please see the enclosed link https://www.seek.com.au/job/50327096
Applications close on the 21st of August. For a copy of the full Duty Statement please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelda Opperman, the Zonta House Refuge CEO is happy to have a confidential discussion with anyone interested on 0429 008 911.
Please circulate this information through your networks.