State Reception with Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast Member, Megan Milne, was privileged to attend the recent State Reception with Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the 19th April 2014 at the Sky Room, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre which was part of the Royal Tour.

The 230 attendees were selected from a group of nominees mostly between 25 and 35 years old, put forward based upon their involvement in their local communities throughout Queensland spanning across the social service, arts, science, and sporting fields.

Megan was invited through the paid and voluntary positions she holds with Suited to Success, which manages the Dress for Success Brisbane program, as well as her involvement in Zonta. Megan was honoured to be included amongst these young Queensland achievers and  to be part of such a special and rare event.


megan invitation state reception jpg

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April Breakfast Guest: Dulcinea Hernandez

Recently, Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club had the pleasure of meeting Ms Dulcinea Hernandez. Dulcinea is the Director of Community Participation at Volunteering Queensland. Dulcinea discussed with the Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club a project called ‘Bright Futures’.

Guest Speaker- Dulcinea Hernandez, Director of Community Participation of Volunteering Queensland

This project involves the mentoring of women to enhance their opportunities to return to the workforce. To successfully operate such a program there is a three step process. This involves women dedicating their time to being a mentor, sharing their skills in the area of marketing/fundraising/networking and sponsorship.

Dulcinea gave the Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club ladies the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for partnering with Volunteering Queensland in order to provide mentoring services.

Many wonderful ideas were considered, and going forward Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club hopes to offer such services to assist in the progression of women back into the workforce.

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Dr. Luc, Birthing Kits and ZBB

For a long time our club has supported the Birthing Kit Foundation and our Birthing Kit Day is one of the biggest events in our Zontian yearly calendar. Last Wednesday the 19th of February we had the privilege of hearing Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu, Medical Director of Mission in Health Care and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and an agent for the Birthing Kit Foundation in the DRC as well. PwC kindly provided us with their premises and we were joined by club members, representatives from our Birthing Kit sponsors, Talisman Energy and The Birthing Kit Foundation, and members of the public.

Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu gave an excellent insight into the maternal and infant health challenges throughout the East African region where he works and how his work with the Birthing Kit Foundation not only provides birthing kits but trains traditional midwives as well as educating communities about healthy eating, providing education, and providing channels for traditional midwives to refer women to hospitals when complications arise.

We also heard about how the Birthing Kit Foundation was providing employment opportunities for women by employing them to make the birthing kits and enabling them to invest their incomes in small grassroots agricultural of animal husbandry projects that focus on the particular strengths and skills of communities and give them the materials to earn a living from this. Considering that the DRC lost roughly 5 million people in its civil war with rape and sexual violence rife throughout this time, the work that Dr Luc and the Birthing Kit Foundation are doing in helping to address social, economic and health issues, in particular maternal and infant health and wellbeing in East Africa, is astounding.

We have seen pictures and heard reports about how the Birthing Kits that we assemble every year change the lives of mothers and their babies is countries around the world, but to know that this project also works with communities to establish strong foundations to address the causes of maternal and infant health risks, is fantastic.

If you would like to know more about the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) and the work they do, please go to If you would like to also become involved in the Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast Birthing Kit Day, please check our club website regularly to receive updates on how to register for this year’s Birthing Kit Day (



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February Breakfast

This month we had the pleasure of hearing from Amanda Dearden of Isis:

Amanda Dearden – Mental Health Accredited Social Worker and Co-ordinator at Isis – the eating issue centre talked to the club members about the free services provided to the community which are unique to the centre and tailored to meet the needs of their clients. The one on one counselling and group work doesn’t end when a person is in recovery, clients are encouraged to remain engaged with Isis which provides them with life-long support.

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Amanda also talked out the Isis I love Me project which celebrates the diversity of humanity among school children and shared the positive results of this early intervention campaign.

Amanda has studied psychology and social work. She has been working in the fields of eating issues and sexual assault support and prevention since 2001 – providing counselling, group work and education. Her interests are in feminism and empowerment principles and the need to educate and raise the awareness of eating issues among the community; working towards prevention.


The Zonta Brisbane Breakfast Club supported Isis in late 2013 with funds to assist them with the relocation of their office to the existing site at Highgate Hill.


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Presentation by Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu

ZBB PresTo go to the Event page and purchase your ticket, please click here.


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December Breakfast

Last Friday we enjoyed our last club breakfast for 2013 and in light of Zonta International’s current 16 days of activism to stop violence against women and White Ribbon Day on the 25th November, we continued with our focus on domestic violence with a fantastic guest talk by Jane Sleight-Leach who shared her story with us and was a true inspiration to the club with her strength and perseverance. Jane also gave us an insight into the Life 2 Project, which is an organisation started by Jane to provide the tools and support to empower women to be confident, true to themselves and able to find peace within their lives. More information about the Life 2 Project can be found at and we strongly encourage you to read more into the great work Jane is doing.

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We also had the honour of inducting our newest club members with an astounding 7 ladies becoming official members of our club. We would like to extent a very warm welcome to our newest members; we really look forward to working with you and feel very lucky to have such a talented group of ladies joining us.

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Lastly, as our fundraising efforts this year have been so successful due to the hard work undertaken by our Finance and Fundraising Committee and all of the support received by the Brisbane Community, we have been able to raise an additional $1000 for service projects. We have decided to donate this to the Young Parents Program ( who provide a fantastic and much need support service to first time pregnant and parenting young women to improve pregnancy and birthing outcomes for young women during the antenatal period and general health and social outcomes for mothers and babies for the first year in the postnatal period. The particular program we chose to support was the Welcome to Motherhood Pamper pack Project, which provides various items to mothers, for themselves and their newborns such as baby clothes, nappies and lotions to compliment the emotional support offered by the organisation. What a great service!

We wish everyone a very relaxing and safe Christmas, and a Happy New Year. 2014 is looking like it is going to a great year for our club with so many exciting and fun things planned to advocate for the empowerment of women – we can’t wait!

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Supreme Court Breakfast – White Ribbon Day

This morning many of us were thrilled to be present at the Supreme Court Breakfast for White Ribbon Day – as usual, clad with our bright orange Zonta Says NO shirts.

White Ribbon Day Breakfast 1


White Ribbon Day Breakfast 2



This kicks off the 16 days of activism to say NO to violence against women – see the Zonta says NO website for more information and ideas!

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Zonta Says NO – Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls

On November 9th hundreds of Zontians, including a great contingent of members and friends of Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast, attended Newstead Park to walk 6.5kms in support of the Zonta Says No Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast Says No!


It was quite hot, but a beautiful day and a wonderful setting. We had many people come up to members and curiously ask what it was all about – and truly this was what it should be about: Getting the word out there about the Campaign, and Zonta.

At the conclusion of the walk, we were honoured to hear from three wonderful speakers. Dr. Shannon Spriggs spoke on the importance of changing bystander behaviour, and finding ways to be empowered to change individual and social behaviours to put an end to the existence and acceptance of violence against women and girls. A member of the Queensland Police spoke about the definition and instances of Violence in Queensland and Australia. Finally, a survivor of domestic violence told us her story, and I think everyone was moved by her bravery and courage, as well as her conviction to help others in similar situations.


We would like to thank the District 22 organisers, and especially Amena Reza, District 22 Area 3 Director, for making the event such a successful and memorable experience for all those involved.

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November Breakfast – Advocacy

On Friday the 1st of November we were very fortunate to have Dr. Ans Van Erp speak to our group about the important concept of “Advocacy” within the organisation.

Dr. Ans Van ErpI think everyone in attendance walked away with a far better understanding of what Advocacy means – both in general, and in terms of what we as a club can do to Advocate for women and women’s rights, locally and globally.  I am certain many felt enabled and inspired to do more, thanks to Ans’ wonderful insights and inspiring words.

We were also once again thrilled to celebrate the award recently given to our Club by the United Nations Association of Australia Queensland Community Award. Please see below a picture of Judi Hutchison, who received the award on behalf of the Club, and our Club president Karyn Lees, with the Award.

Judi and Karyn with the UNAA Queensland Community Award


What a fantastic breakfast meeting – we look forward to seeing you at the next one!


(P.S. Have you still not bought your tickets to the Estee Lauder event? Click here!)


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Walk to End Women’s Cancers – Cheer Squad

On Saturday the 26th of October, at 5.15am (an ungodly hour it has been argued by unnamed person/s) a small contingent from the Zonta Club of Brisbane Breakfast volunteered their time to cheer on the participants of the first annual Brisbane Walk to End Women’s Cancers.

Not only was it a really worthwhile event to contribute time and energy towards, but it was a lot of fun! We were given “clappers”, a cow bell, and some streamers with which to welcome people coming into the Roma Street Parklands for the event – yes, we were a Welcoming Cheer Squad!

At the same time as spreading some enthusiasm and happiness amongst participants, we were all wearing our Zonta Says NO t-shirts, and we did have a few people ask about it – so we were able to raise the profile of the campaign, and of Zonta.

Amazingly the Walk was able to raise $3.5 million! We were amazed, and inspired by the enthusiasm and efforts of all involved, and hope to be back again next year.


The Welcome Team

The Welcome Team

The walkers gathering.

The walkers gathering.


P.S. Are you looking for the link to buy tickets to the Estee Lauder event? Click here!

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