Members from the Zonta Club of Redcliffe are helping to empower women and end gender-based violence by engaging with the community in various projects.
Dressed in their signature orange shirts, members have been seen in local parks and sporting events on the peninsula where they have been spreading their message and handing out vital, lifesaving information.
Zonta Club of Redcliffe President Marie Stewart says this branch has been operating in Moreton Bay for almost 42 years.
“Zonta International has been going for 102 years, and our club, which is part of Zonta International, will be celebrating 42 years this month,” Marie says.
“We are a not-for-profit advocacy group that aims to end violence against women and girls, creating more educational opportunities, putting an end to female genital mutilation and stopping child marriages.”
One of the projects Zonta Club of Redcliffe undertook recently was the unveiling of a Red Bench at Zonta Place at Pelican Park in Clontarf.
The aim of the Red Bench is to raise awareness of domestic violence and provide an opportunity for this important issue to remain visible.
“The Red Bench is an initiative of the Red Rose Foundation, and here in the Moreton Bay Region there are a few Red Benches,” Marie says.
“This was the first Red Bench our club has unveiled.
“We put in a grant to Council with Karl Winchester and Sandra Ruck, and they were able to provide some money. The Zonta Club then paid for the rest.”
It is hoped the Red Bench will halt people in their tracks to stop, sit, and read the plaque, which says ‘Change the Ending: Let’s stop domestic violence’.
Marie says everyone in the community plays a part in stopping domestic violence, and it is hoped the bench would be a conversation starter for people who walk by or visit.
Zonta members were recently seen at Moreton Daily Stadium where they had a marquee at the Brisbane Roar game on April 3, as well as the Auckland Warriors match on April 30.
Marie says it is her goal for sporting competitions to have an ‘orange round’ to highlight the importance of domestic violence.
“I want to have an Orange Round in all sporting codes because little kids look up to sporting heroes and they need to set a good example,” Marie says.
“With the Brisbane Roar and Auckland Warriors getting behind us and the idea, they are sending a message to the community that they as a club don’t tolerate violence.
“Other sporting codes have different coloured days - For example in cricket they have pink days (pink stumps for Jane McGrath) - so I want to have an orange round which focuses on domestic violence because it is an issue that affects so many in the community.
“It is my goal to have this in every sport in 2024. First in Queensland, then Australia and then the world.
“If any other sporting codes would like to contact us, I would be really happy to hear from them.”
While at the stadium, club members gave out information which included important numbers for different hotlines and domestic violence services.
Marie hopes to have another marquee at one of the Redcliffe Dolphin’s matches this month.
Marie’s term as club President is coming to an end this month when another board will be chosen to lead the club for the next two years.
Marie says she is proud of everything she has achieved in the last two years.
“I helped to establish the Golden Z Club at the University of Sunshine Coast at the Moreton Campus, which is a student organisation focused on empowering women through service and advocacy,” Marie says.
“I’m also really proud of getting the club involved with the different sporting clubs.”
Marie says when it comes to making a real change in the community, it is a group effort, and they would not have been able to achieve everything they have without the assistance and support of all members.
The Zonta Club of Redcliffe currently has 18 members but are keen to welcome some new faces.
Some other initiatives the club undertakes on a local level include supporting other local not-for-profit groups, hosting events like trivia nights to raise money for charity, as well as a 16-day campaign of action dedicated to ending violence from November 25 to December 10.
Through this, lots of orange women cutouts are placed at businesses and public spaces across the region to send the message that the Zonta Club of Redcliffe says no to Violence.
If you’re interested in joining, the club meets on the fourth Monday of each month at The Komo in Redcliffe.
A new members information night is scheduled for May 16, so this will be your opportunity to meet club members and find out more about the work they do.
If you are interested in attending, phone 0422 932 337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org