Quiz Night: Friday 18th October, 7pm

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Join the Zonta Club of Perth for a fun Quiz night next month with the support of Next Gen Kings Park.

When? Friday 18th October 2019, 7pm – 10pm
Where? Next Gen Kings Park, RKPTC Pavilion
21 Kings Park Road, Kings Park WA 6005
What? An evening of fun, fellowship and support for projects and scholarships improving the lives of women and girls.

Tickets: $20pp, bonus points for teams of 10! If you don’t have 10, no problem, we’ll make team up.

Nibbles provided on the tables and there will be a bar available to purchase drinks from.

Book now! Buy your quiz tickets here, https//www.trybooking.com/BFCHW

Any questions, please let us know via zontaperth@gmail.com

Support the WA Women’s Hall of Fame

The WA Women’s Hall of Fame recognises, promotes and celebrates the achievements of Western Australian women, past and present.  It was established in 2011 during the Centenary of International Women’s Day when the first 100 women were inducted at a special event held in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

In 2012, a Roll of Honour was established to honour women who are no longer with us.  Today, nearly 200 women are in the Hall of Fame and Roll of Honour.  

The Zonta Club of Perth has been a strong supporter and was one of many women’s groups inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Since its inception, the Hall of Fame has relied on Lotterywest and the Department for Communities for financial support.  To ensure its longevity the Hall of Fame has developed a Sponsors Prospectus to attract ongoing sponsorships from more diverse sources.

Can you please help the Hall of Fame find sponsors and share the Sponsors Prospectus with organisations that would like to promote gender equality in WA?

Did you know that you can become a member of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inc?  For more information visit the WA Women’s Hall of Fame website.

Questions from the Cosmos…

Photo L-R:  Dr Katarina Miljkovic, Dr Ellie Sansom, Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker, Professor Lyn Beazley, AO

Cosmos Calling on 15 August was a wonderful night at the SciTech Planetarium that celebrated the ‘cutting edge’ of science being undertaken right here in Western Australia.

Professor Lyn Beazley was an excellent MC, keeping the session engaging and highlighting the role Australia has had in space exploration.  She set the evening up describing the early days when Aboriginal people’s movements were guided by the position of the ’emu’ in the Milky Way.  She then went on to describe Carnarvon’s critical role in the final ‘go or no go’ decision to land men on the Moon and the current day where we are on the threshold of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) becoming a reality.

Our three speakers were outstanding:  Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker, Dr Katarina Miljkovic and Dr Ellie Sansom.  Together, they literally bring a world of knowledge to WA – having studied extensively overseas and now all collaborating on international teams.  We are so lucky to have such bright, passionate, inspirational scientists here in Perth.  They are all excellent science communicators, clearly guiding us through their work and the importance of it.

Natasha’s work with the Murchison Widefield Array (the precursor to the SKA) showed the Cosmos as a place of beauty.  Thankfully, she persevered to paint the whole Cosmos in ‘radio colour’ (not just focus on a part of it) and wow doesn’t it come alive! The darkness of space is only due to our inability to see what is really there – and when the non-visible wavelengths are coloured it all looks so beautiful.  The colours even showed up the ‘Cosmic Corpses’ – what a great expression!  Over one million people have viewed Natasha’s TED talk – have you seen it yet?

Katarina’s personal ‘life on Mars’ involves her listening for things that go bump in the night (and day) on Mars.  On her project with NASA’s InSight mission, she is monitoring the seismic activity on Mars. If an impact or volcano causes a movement on the surface – she wants to know about it.  Why? So she can find out what lies beneath the surface and discover if Mars has a centre that is ‘soft or hard-boiled’.  It was surprising to learn how many probes and landers are now on Mars – all doing different things to help build our understanding of this ‘near neighbour’ planet.  A lasting image was the InSight lander taking a ‘selfie‘ of itself on the very flat Martian landscape.  This was a selfie on another planet – blows the brain!

Ellie admitted that liking both arts and sciences at school, she found it hard to make her career choice.  This became more difficult when a career questionnaire revealed she was suited to a career as a ‘chimney sweep’ – but luckily for us, she discovered geophysics and now works with the Desert Fireball Network!  In a world-first, images of WA fireballs were projected onto the Planetarium’s dome.  It was fascinating to see the beads of light showing the trajectory of the meteorites.  There are 50 cameras around Australia now monitoring the skies for fireballs and the images are spectacular.  The cameras can also monitor the changing orbits of satellites.  The Desert Fireball Network proactively found partners in other countries to create a global Fireball Network.  You can become part of this just by downloading an app!

The panel discussion was lively, but painted a disturbing picture of science today and raised many questions.

What has science done for us?  This ‘chestnut’ of a question was easily answered through looking at the things we take for granted every day.  Without radioastronomy, we would not have Wi-Fi.  Wi-Fi was an Australian invention that involved the CSIRO.  The Apollo landings gave us memory foam, miniature cameras (that we now use in mobile phones) and the computer mouse. Without science, there would be far less innovation and in today’s fast-moving world we need innovation to create jobs.

Why do we make life so hard for our scientists? The team explained that they work under short term contracts, have to have the begging bowl out every few years to secure funding and, are easy prey to political cost-cutting exercises (just think of the recent decimation of the CSIRO).  It is no wonder bright minds may look to other careers.  Scientists are clearly the unsung heroes of our economy. 

Is an academic career in STEM harder for women?  It appears that at the lower levels of academia, no.  However, rising to higher levels in academia is still very hard for women and this is reflected in the stats that show the higher up you go, the fewer women there are.  

The discussion highlighted the need to get more politicians interested in STEM and encourage them to learn more about the benefits of research to the economy.

It became clear that we need to promote STEM widely so more women and girls take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Politicians respond to their communities; if more people take an interest in science, so will politicians.  We need to start with ourselves, be well-informed and spread the word.

What is the secret to collaboration in science?  All of the speakers are part of international collaborations and pointed out, ‘from space there are no borders…..’

The SciTech staff were wonderful – Acting CEO Kalien Selby welcomed everyone during the pre-show drinks and canapes and Leah Kalameris provided an illuminating narration during a special scene-setting planetarium show developed especially for the event. This was followed by the Capturing the Cosmos show that focussed on the Australian Sky Mapper and SKA projects using some amazing special effects.

Carole Theobald, Club President, welcomed everyone to this special Zonta Centennial event and provided an introduction to Zonta and its work.  She dressed as a suffragette to celebrate the fact that besides being Zonta’s 100 year anniversary, it is also 100 years this week since women in the USA obtained the right to vote.  Judy Gorton, Zonta International Director, provided a heartfelt vote of thanks to the speakers and audience, explaining how funds raised will go towards Zonta’s service and education programs.

So many members (and partners) contributed to this successful event – and our thanks extend to them and the fabulous audience, who dressed up as the past, present and future to celebrate Zonta’s Centennial!




Photo L-R:  Carole Theobald, President of the Zonta Club of Perth with Judy Gorton, Director of Zonta International at the Calling the Cosmos: Space the Next Frontier event held at SciTech Planetarium, Perth to celebrate the Centennial of Zonta International.

Honouring and Empowering..

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Photo  L-R:  2019 Awardees –  Kimberley Wilde, Shakila Rathnayake, Taylah Thompson and Paris McNeil

The August Awards Night reminded members of why they are in Zonta.  Over sixty Zontians (from the Zonta Clubs of Perth, Bunbury, Swan Hills and Perth Northern Suburbs), friends and family members gathered to celebrate the achievements of four special women:

  • Paris McNeil – Zonta International Young Woman in Public Affairs Award – Zonta Club of Perth Awardee 2019
  • Shakila Rathnayake – Zonta International Women in Technology Scholarships – Zonta Club of Perth Awardee 2019
  • Kimberley Wilde – Zonta Club of Perth Education Awardee 2019
  • Taylah Thompson – Zonta Club of Perth Yvonne Burgu Education Awardee 2019

These women generously shared their stories and enthralled us with their achievements and aspirations.   Paris is a role model for advocacy – a teenager walking the talk of seeking social justice and Shakila is working on the cutting edge of geospatial technology, planning for a more sustainable world.   Kimberley and Taylah exemplified resilience in adversity, both turning their lives around through hard work, determination and education.  We were all touched, moved and inspired by their presentations – they all spoke from the heart and expressed their gratitude to Zonta for helping them on their journeys.

Brianna Ozies, the 2018 Yvonne Burgu Education Awardee provided a moving Acknowledgement of Country and also presented the 2019 Yvonne Burgu Education Award to Taylah Thompson.  Yvonne Burgu was ‘auntie’ to Brianna – so it was very fitting for Brianna to ‘pass on the baton’ to this year’s winner.

The club was honoured to have a team of ‘high ranking’ Zontians to present the other awards:

  • Zonta International Director Judy Gorton provided a fascinating account of life on the International Board and presented the Young Woman in Public Affairs Award to Paris McNeil.
  • Area 3 Director Faith O’Brien, who works in a science based industry, presented the Women in Technology Award to Shakila Rathnayake.
  • District 23 Lt Governor, Sandra Burns, a former teacher, presented the Education Award to Kimberley Wilde.

It was a busy night as, in addition to the presentation ceremonies, two Centennial Projects were ‘launched’:

  • the Alumnae project aims to contact the 140 women who have been presented with awards in the Club’s 47 year history.  This is a work in progress as many awardees have moved interstate and overseas.  The four previous awardees in attendance,  Sharon Turner, Tracey Fickling, Emmelyn Wu and Brianna Ozies each provided a spontaneous update on what had been happening in their lives since they received their awards – a wonderful group of inspirational women;
  • the Centennial Edition of the History of the Zonta Club of Perth provides an update to the club’s history from 2012.  The last seven years have been added to the book and this evening it was ‘soft launched’ – meaning that the proof copy presented by Club President Carole Theobald to Club Archivist ‘Tricia Summerfield, will be updated to include this evening’s awardees.  The Ebook version of the book will be free, and donations to the Zonta Internataional Centennial Endowment Fund will be encouraged.

We would like to thank the Zontians who had come from the Zonta Clubs of Bunbury, Swan Hills and Perth Northern Suburbs for helping to make the Awards night a very special occasion in this centennial year of Zonta International.

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Photo:  Zontians, awardees, family and friends at the Zonta Club of Perth Awards Night 2019

Celebrate our Awardees and Zonta’s Centennial

August is turning into ‘celebrate Zonta’s Centennial’ month with two special events:

At our Awards Night we will celebrate and honour our 2019 Awardees:

  • Paris McNeil – Young Woman in Public Affairs Award 2019
  • Taylah Thompson – Yvonne Burgu Education Award 2019
  • Kimberley Wilde – University Education Award 2019
  • Shakila Rathnayake – Women in Technology Award 2019

We will also be ‘soft launching’ the Zonta International Centennial Edition of our Club’s history.  Our Club, the oldest in WA, has contributed to 47 of Zonta International’s 100 years of service.  The Club’s pictorial history describes how members have helped women and girls in the local community, nationally and internationally during this time.

Our Cosmos Calling: Space the Next Frontier night is all about highlighting the astronomical work that is being done in WA by some amazing women and showing why it is important to encourage women and girls to take an interest in STEM subjects  The evening will start with canapes and drinks in the foyer of SciTech’s Planetarium.  Guests will then enjoy the Capturing the Cosmos planetarium show.  Professor Lyn Beazley AO is our MC for the night and will introduce presentations and facilitate a panel discussion with:

To celebrate the centennial guests may dress up as someone from 100 years in the past,  or 100 years in the future – (not compulsory!)  This is a major fundraising event with all proceeds going to Zonta projects to help women and girls achieve their potential on planet Earth!

Don’t miss out on our August Centennial events!  See flyers for more details:

Women in Science

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Photo L-R:  Lan Tran from Game Changer Awards with Kalien Selby, Acting CEO SciTech Discovery Centre

The Zonta Club of Perth strongly supports women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) so they may be future workforce ready.  At the July meeting,  Kalien Selby, Acting CEO at SciTech explained that many of today’s school children will be doing jobs in the future that have not been invented yet.  The rise of robotics, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and virtual reality all provide new opportunities for those who are STEM literate.  Kalien described the future plans for SciTech and by all accounts there is plenty to look forward to.

Lan Tran followed up on the science theme by describing the Game Changer Awards.  These complement the highly prestigious WAITTA INCITE Awards, but are geared for schools.  Lan is an ambassador for Game Changer and her company, 3D Audio Visual is a supporting partner.  The winners of the 2019 Game Changer Awards will be presented on 23 November at ECU Joondalup Campus.

Cosmos is Calling – Celebrate Zonta’s Centenary


Download poster here.

This year Zonta turns 100 and that calls for a big celebration – and you can’t get bigger than the Cosmos!

Cosmos Calling – Space the Next Frontier will be a special night at the Sci-Tech Planetarium.  There will be a planetary show followed by presentations and panel discussion from four of Australia’s top women scientists.

And there is more!

Mix in some pre-event canapes and drinks and then stir in a big dose of fun – and you have a recipe for a night to remember!

For those that want to get fully into the spirit of the Centenary occasion, why not dress up as someone from 100 years ago or someone 100 years in the future? (It is not compulsory…!)

Professor Lyn Beazley, neuroscientist and former WA Chief Scientist, will be the MC for the evening and will be joined by:

  • Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker who uses precursor SKA radio telescopes to create a map of the sky in radio colour
  • Dr Katarina Miljkovic who leads the only Australian plaentary science group working on NASA’s Mars InSight Mission
  • Dr Ellie Sansom who is the science team lead for theAustralian Desert Fireball Network

Tickets are $75 from Trybooking.   

All proceeds go to Zonta health and education projects to empower women and girls on planet Earth.

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Enquiries to zontaperth@gmail.com.


News from the DR Congo

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Many members would have met Dr Luc Mulimbalimba and his wife Delice from the Democratic Republic of Congo and collected clothing and stationery items to help them in their work.  In 2005, they established the Mission in Health Care and Development (MHCD) an NGO based in Bukavu and Uvira (on the borders with Rwanda and Burundi) and Lubumbashi (on border with Zambia).

Dr Luc advises that in DR Congo, the rape capital of the world, raped women are left isolated and without support.  As a result MHCD developed community projects to help women recover from rape and regain their dignity.  They provide employment, build capacity and create financial independence. The MHCD uses the Zonta Birthing Kits as part of its mission to train birthing assistants.

Dr Luc has emailed to say that, as a result of  interest generated through their Birthing Kit train-the-trainer program, the first classroom for a midwifery school has been built at Luvungi (between Bukavu and Uvira).  The students currently undergo three weeks of training as birthing assistants and return to their villages to help deliver babies, undertake pre and post natal consultations, conduct immunisations, treat malaria and typhoid and provide family planning services.  The women want to become fully trained midwives (4 years of training) and this first classroom will help them to do this.  Dr Luc is seeking help to build another 5 classrooms to complete the midwifery school.

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But that is not all…. they have opened a market building too….!

Katogota is a village near Uvira that suffered a dreadful massacre during one of the Congo wars.  Rebels from neighbouring countries stormed the village and butchered almost everyone.  Many women and girls were raped, houses were burned, belongings stolen and since this time the survivors have lived with the trauma and stress. MHCD has helped the villagers rebuild their lives by distributing pigs and creating fish ponds for microfinancing projects.  The women sell fish, vegetables and charcoal to survive and send their children to school.

Selling products from the roadside is challenging especially when it is extremely hot or there is torrential rain.  To solve this problem, all of the women contributed what they could from their sales, and with donations from Dr Luc and Delice and others, were able to construct a market building. Dr Luc is shown below in front of the market that is called the Market of Martyrs in remembrance of the fallen villagers.

It is always inspiring to see the marvellous work that Dr Luc does!

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AGM Changeover Dinner – May

The AGM was a time of honouring the outgoing Zonta Club of Perth Board and empowering the incoming Board!

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L-R: Incoming President, Carole Theobald thanks outgoing President Donella Caspersz for her outstanding service.

Donella Caspersz and her marvellous team have led members through some memorable experiences in the last two years.  We have been inspired by our award winners, awed by our speakers – who have done incredible things – and had lots of fun at some of the fundraising events through the year.  You can read more about the year in our latest Annual Report

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L-R: Guest speaker Rishelle Hume is thanked by Kate Ellson

The Guest Speaker at the AGM was the incredible Rishelle Hume AM.  Rishelle is the Manager Aboriginal Employment Strategy at Chevron Australia. She is a proud Noongar Woman and has traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Boodja peoples. She has worked tirelessly with Aboriginal communities to create employment opportunities, promote leadership and preserve culture.  She is co-chair of the WA Aboriginal Leadership Institute.  Her achievements were recently recognised when she was inducted into the WA Womens Hall of Fame in March 2019.

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L-R: Gabrielle Walker, Emma Stenhouse, Kate Ellson, Tanis Jackson, Ute Schierhorn, Val Gandossini, Carole Theobald and Judy Gorton (ZI Director)

At the AGM Judy Gorton. Zonta International Director, installed the new Board led by the 2019-20 President, Carole Theobald.  The Board is looking to create a memorable year for members as we celebrate the centenary of Zonta International.