Zonta captures history for the future

Published on Tuesday, 17 May 2022 at 10:20:00 AM

The Zonta Club of Perth’s History Book – 1972 to 2022 is a record of Western Australia’s social history over the past 50 years that will be a treasure-trove of information for future generations.   

Carole Theobald, a Zonta member for 23 years, took on the daunting task of writing the book and documenting the Club’s history but was well-supported by founding members Margaret Medcalf and Lennie McCall, both Order of Australia Medal recipients and Zonta Club stalwarts.  Information for the book was also provided by members who gathered stories and photographs of important milestones.  The book captures the Club’s activities since 1972.

City of Nedlands Mayor, Fiona Argyle joined author Carole Theobald, Zonta President Mary Gurgone and Zonta Governor of District 23 Sandra Burns on the Nedlands foreshore to launch the Zonta History Book 1972 – 2022.

“This book will be an inspiration for young women of the future, to see the work the membership carried out in its first 50 years supporting women and girls in our community - and globally,” Mayor Argyle said.

“I hope they will take inspiration from it and carry on with challenges of this kind.”

According to current President Mary Gurgone, the book shows how members from a wide range of professions have worked together to advocate for women's rights, support women in need and inspire female leaders through the ZONTA awards programs.

“A project from each decade is covered in the book.  For example, members entered an air race across the USA to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service; a training program was funded in Thailand so women could learn to make cheese from their dairy farm produce; art shows have been held to raise funds for disadvantaged families; and the Zonta House Refuge was established to support and protect women fleeing domestic violence,” Ms Gurgone said.

“Through the last five decades, Zonta has kept up with the issues of the day and continues to address contemporary social dilemmas.  

“Today, with climate change disproportionately impacting women and girls, the Club has initiated a project called Zonta says NOW to gender equality and climate action.  This program is rolling out internationally. 

“The World Economic Forum estimates that the pandemic has put gender equality back 35 years and climate change will put it back further. Through the Zonta Club of Perth's passion, energy and drive, members are doing everything they can to reverse this trend,” Ms Gurgone said. 

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