Zonta Club award to put Peel's young women on the map

Zonta Club Peel has teamed up with Mandurah-based not-for-profit The Makers to recognise and empower the region’s young women.

For the first time in the club’s history, Zonta will be holding an annual Young Women in Peel Award to honour local women under the age of 30 for their contribution and commitment to the region.

“The purpose of the award is to recognise community involvement, leadership and volunteering and to encourage all applicants to continue their involvement into 2018,” Zonta’s Jane Oakley said.

The award will consist of a $500 cash prize, a $100 donation to a charity of their choice, a free annual Make Place membership and two tickets Zonta’s International Women’s Day breakfast function, where the award will be presented.

The idea to create a Zonta Club award for young women was the brainchild of Ms Oakley, who was frustrated about the club’s inability to find candidates that met Zonta’s international young women award guidelines. 

Zonta International currently runs a Young Women in Public Affairs Award, which recognises young women aged 16 to 19 years old with strong leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes.

However, candidates must meet very strict international criteria. 

“We have had difficulty in the Peel region in getting someone to meet the criteria for the international award so we just thought we wanted something to recognise in our own community,” Zonta president Lorraine Webb .

Ms Webb said there was a lack of recognition for young women in the region, a reality that Zonta was determined to change.

She said the club was trying to bridge the gap between their members and younger women, by opening up to the region’s youth.

“Overall there’s 30,000 women in Zonta worldwide, and 60 per cent are over 60, that’s really the demographics that have got to change so that’s why we are working towards a younger,” she said. 

In a bid to bridge the gap, she said they were currently working on a club for high school girls, to teach them about Zonta and how to get involved with the organisation’s national and international projects.

Applications are now open for the Zonta Young Women in Peel Award. 

Suitable participants need to live in the Peel region and demonstrate their contribution to the Peel community and their personal and professional growth.

Nominees need to be 30 years old or younger.

To nominate a highly committed young woman go to surveymonkey.com.

Funds for the award are raised by Zonta club members through fundraising events and functions.