club meeting Events Guest Speaker Members service

Zonta in the age of Zoom

Catch up on our last few meetings, including excellent speakers, plus online events - Zonta has gone virtual!

We’ve been a little quiet on the website for the past few months. Not because nothing was happening, but given the long lockdown which started in Sydney and now has encompassed much of our state at different times and Victoria as well, we had some other priorities for a little while. But as we look at what the opening up and new “Covid normal” might look like for everyone, we are starting to tentatively plan some events and catch ups.

But first, to recap the last few months. Zonta Club of Sydney members have kept in contact and up to date by moving our meetings online. The Board have been meeting by Zoom for the past year or so, and so they remained business as usual. And club members also embraced Zoom for our August and September club meetings.

Guest speaker for August was Paige Thomson, who was awarded our UTS MBA Award, given annually to a graduate of the MBA program. Paige told us about her extensive and interesting experience in working in numerous Women’s organisations including Women’s Community Shelters, and her current work in the demanding case worker space helping women in need across Sydney.

In September, our guest speaker was Associate Professor in Midwifery Allison Cummins from University of Newcastle. Allison spoke to us about her work as a midwife, her experience in midwifery continuity of care and current projects including discovering experiences of women during Covid-19 pandemic based on model of maternity care. Her work ties in of course with the ongoing District 24 support for packing Birthing Kits and it was fascinating to hear her speak.

As well as our club meetings, one of the silver linings of the pandemic is that with more events moving online, members can more easily attend events run by our fellow Zontians across the city and perhaps further afield. In June, many of our members were able to “virtually” attend the presentation from Zonta Club of Sydney West with Claire McMahon, Senior Transition Worker for Women from the Community Restorative Centre. The Community Restorative Centre is a non-Government organisation which provides support to women and their families who have been in prison. Programs aim to break the entrenched cycles of disadvantage, offending, trauma and imprisonment, and are strong aligned with the Zonta District 24 service and advocacy project, Keeping Women out of Prison (KWooP) . It was wonderful to hear from Claire and hear her passion and care for the women she supports.

In September, we were able to attend the Zonta Club of Sydney Breakfast’s event for Women in Engineering and Information Technology. Not only did we hear from speaker Stephanie Rodriguez, entrepreneur and Founder of WanderSafe, who was inspirational (an overused term but one which applies here!) but also applauded this years award recipient, Mariah, who is studying Biomedical Engineering at UTS. An excellent event, and perhaps usually the 7am start may have meant it was more difficult to attend!

And of course also in September we attended the District 24 conference online as well. A big round of applause and thanks to our Governor, Karen Tromp and all the conference committee who despite the trying circumstances were able to deliver Conference, get the voting and business done and still have time for some fun. And due to it being online, all Zonta members could attend rather than the limited numbers which an in person event may have allowed. We will, however, all be happy to be able to see each other in real life again in two years time!

Our October club meeting is likely to remain a virtual one until we have more clarity about requirements, however we look forward to seeing each other in person in November. Watch this space for some of our future speakers, who we sadly had to postpone during lockdown but we hope to see next year.

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