IWD 2020: Morgan Lynch, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2020 International Women’s Day (#EachforEqual), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Morgan Lynch shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

1. What were the benefits to you in being a 2019 NCWQ bursary recipient?

While I am of course appreciative of the financial support I received as the 2019 recipient of the NCWQ Lady Justice Bursary, as this has helped ease the financial strain of pursuing a double degree in law and economics, I am perhaps most grateful for the opportunity the NCWQ has given me to meet many highly accomplished women.  The members of the NCWQ, including, of course, my fellow  2019 NCWQ bursary recipients, come from vastly different backgrounds and have equally diverse career aspirations.  However, they are united in their overwhelming sense of compassion for others and unwavering determination to succeed in their chosen fields.  These are qualities I find immensely inspiring and hope to emulate as I complete my university studies and enter the workforce.

2. What are your goals for this year?

At the end of last year, I was elected to the 2020 executive committee of QUT Women in Law (QUTWIL).  In my role as Industry Engagement Officer, my goal is to create meaningful opportunities for QUTWIL members to engage with the legal profession at networking and panel events.

3. What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I am a big fan of the ‘“five by five” rule: If it doesn’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes being upset by it.  This rule helps give me the perspective I need to refocus my energy on pursuing my long-term goals, rather than spending time dwelling on the minor stumbling blocks I encounter along the way.

4. Who have been your most significant female role models?

On a personal level (and I realise this is going to sound extremely cliche), my biggest role model is my mother.  I hope one day to demonstrate her level of empathy, insight and, above all else, resilience.  My greatest professional role model, however, is US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Throughout her six-decade-long legal career, she has not only pursued academic and professional excellence, rising to occupy one of the highest judicial offices in the United States, but has used her time and skills to fight for causes she is passionate about including gender equality.

I have also attached the QUT Women in Law sponsorship prospectus to this email.  QUTWIL was founded at the start of 2019 and, in our first year on campus, we have quickly garnered a reputation for promoting a culture of diversity and inclusivity within the QUT community and its next cohort of legal graduates. As a result, our membership base has grown to encompass an engaged community of over 200 talented and high-achieving law students. By way of example, QUTWIL’s founding executive team of nine students included a QUT Law Medalist, 2020 Supreme Court and District Court Judges Associates, future graduates at Australia’s top-tier firms, champion mooters, Student Guild representatives and women dedicated to local and global social justice initiatives. 

IWD 2020: Leah Zandonadi, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2020 International Women’s Day (#EachforEqual), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Leah Zandonadi shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

  1. What were the benefits to you in being a 2019 NCWQ bursary recipient?

I was fortunate to be the recipient of the Quota International Centenary Bursary for Speech Pathology. This bursary has assisted me financially for travel and accommodation costs that are associated with my final year university placements.

2. What are your goals for this year?

My main goal for this year is to graduate university with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology! Within that big goal, one of my smaller goals is to be more confident as a clinician. I have set myself up well with the theory components of the course, but this final stretch is about putting that knowledge into practice. A goal for my personal life is to spend more time outdoors and with friends. I lost the work-life balance a bit last year unfortunately, but my housemates here on placement have kept me busy after work each day and on weekends by taking me to the hidden gems around the region I’m in. It’s something I definitely want to keep up when I am back from placement and can see my friends at home again!

3. What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

My personal mantra is “don’t fake it until you make it; know so you can grow.” At this point in my life I would say that I am academically driven, so a lot of what I do is to help me in that aspect. It for sure hasn’t been an easy road to get to where I am, but this quote keeps me on track and reminds me that I will benefit from putting in the hard yards over the duration of this degree because I want to be the best speech pathologist I can be.

4. Who have been your most significant female role models?

This is a hard one! I would have to say that everyone that has been involved in my tertiary education has influenced me one way or another, in my current life and my future. More than 95% of speech pathologists in Australia are female, so there’s so many women to look up to! I have been taught by the same female lecturers (who are all qualified speech pathologists) since my first year of study, meaning they have been there every step of the way to support and mentor me. I love hearing their stories about their experiences in the workforce, because I hope to have those same big life-changing impacts on my clients in the future. My clinical educators and supervisors on external placements are always reminding me that they were once in my shoes. They have been incredible in helping me build confidence as a clinician and know that this is just the beginning of a great career. And of course, my mum is another significant female role model in my life for more reasons than I can list. 

IWD 2020: Jess Honan, Bursary Recipient

To mark 2020 International Women’s Day (#EachforEqual), NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in and around the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Jess Honan shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month. 

What were the benefits to you in being a 2019 NCWQ bursary recipient? 
In 2017, I went to Germany as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and lived with a family in Duisburg. Thanks to the bursary, I could finally afford to go back to Germany and see my host family again. Not only was this a great opportunity to revive my German language skills, but it also meant a lot to me to be able to spend Christmas with my second family, after not having seen them in two years. 

What are your goals for this year

Going into my third year of arts/law degrees, my main focus for 2020 remains to stay as engaged with international humanitarian law as possible, and work towards my 5-languages-by-25 dream. Specifically though, I want to do more advocacy work when it comes to rural Australia and its role in Australia’s foreign policy agenda.

 What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I have a little sheet of paper on the top of my laptop that says ‘w.w.h.d.?’ – what would Hermione do? Having grown up with the Harry Potter series, I always aspired to be exactly like Hermione Granger. Reminding me to be more like Hermione always pushes me to put in the extra hours when I just want to give up. I have always wanted to be as successful, smart and strong as Hermione, and this little sheet reminds me that if I continue to work hard, I can be.

Who have been your most significant female role models?

As a Harry Potter fanatic from a very young age, I have always wanted to be Hermione Granger. Aside from being one of very few unashamedly intelligent female figures in children’s stories as I was growing up, I also appreciate how dynamic a character Hermione is. She might be powerful, wickedly clever and vivaciously ambitious, but is also very down-to-earth, sensitive and stubborn. To me, this personified Hermione – she was more than a literary character, but a real human with human characteristics that I could endeavour to emmulate. 

NCWQ Arts and Letters Report January 2020

The latter days of 2019 folded and parcelled the year with gifts of joyful choral sounds, and traditional folk and classical music from many cultures. Along our coastline TENORI TIMELESS shared a classic collection of songs that remain as current as the day they were written. Puccini, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lloyd-Webber, Simon & Garfunkel and Verdi are but a few. Costume, cheer, music, song and beautiful art shaped thoughts and feelings, both new and old, as the country held open arms to welcome a New Year.

In addition to wonderful exhibitions in the city of Brisbane and in Queensland’s regions, our National Gallery brought us exquisite pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from the TATE; Monet’s 1872 work ‘Impression Sunrise’, about which he had stated “Eventually my eyes were opened, and I really understood nature. I learned to love at the same time.” Claude Monet Imagine the pride and excitement of our early Women Artists and Sculptors, archived by NCWQ; Lynda Sampson Searle, Denise Pommeranz, Dorothy Hartnett, Debbie Scott, Wendy Mills, Clare Llewelyn and the Far North’s Ellen Jose, viewing more and more new works, housed with the ‘old masters’! Australians are still able to view two titans of the global art world, who, it is claimed, sparred – ‘traded jobs and parrying blows to redefine the nature of beauty in art’. National Gallery of Australia: program MATISSE and PABLO PICASSO are on display until 13 April 2020. In the context of their sparring, this, also, has been recorded: “No one has ever looked at Matisse’s painting more carefully than I; and no one has looked at mine more carefully than he.” Pablo Picasso SDGs 4/10/17

Our early Women Artists and Sculptors, Monet, Matisse and Picasso looked beyond the WHAT and explored the HOW and the WHY! 

In a major investment in education, a new permanent gallery is being established, which will be supported by an online resource centre for teachers, parents and students nationwide. Adjacent will be a new gallery space for the first creative learning centre, dedicated to the exploration and making of art in all its forms. All this has been made possible through the generosity of Tim Fairfax AC. www.nga.gov.au/visiting/familySDGs 3/4/5/10/17

Arts, Letters, Science, Literacy, Numeracy and Learning are in the spotlight! Few, however, are brave enough to speak bleak truths about these matters, but choose to evade responsibility for a weakening in many arenas, by blaming. One hopes that this New Year will reveal truths that have been avoided, and that we can, now, work with the HOW and the WHY and not just the WHAT of deficiencies. The Daily Telegraph has written: ‘…the inconvenient truth is that parents most certainly have had a hand in dumbing down our younger generations.’ Louise Roberts/p.13 Thurs Dec 5 2019. Much is attributed to ‘time-poor’ kids and not ‘time-poor’ parents. Students are claimed to be a full academic year behind in reading and science when compared with PISA results from the year 2000. 

Allusions are made to teachers who have a political cause to push – this assuredly exists in some Queensland public schools! Additionally, suggestions are made that if a child is considered ‘average’ teachers have basically given up on that child. Considered opinion and research has revealed that our kids, in Queensland schools, have done poorly in Maths, in NAPLAN testing, not necessarily because they don’t understand the Maths; or because teachers are seconded as Maths teachers, without adequate training – but because they are not sufficiently literate when reading the QUESTIONS in the Maths segment. Our children, our students and numbers of our teachers CANNOT AND DO NOT READ FOR MEANING. Because this is so, tricky questions can confuse them and consequently they are unsure WHAT they are meant to be doing to respond adequately and accurately to questions. This is not peculiar only to Maths, but contributes significantly to poor outcomes. 

So WHAT really is the message? We can see WHY things need to change, but HOWdo we change thing?  Parents – Get involved and stay involved! Some studies have revealed that the students whose parents have read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all. Parent’s engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance. One teacher, who is also a mum, responded to queries on HOW we are currently educating our kids – ‘Too much, too fast. Inconsistency, over stimulation, less time on basics, no quality practice in maths so kids are reinforcing their learning, going beyond their understanding too soon and setting them up for a long battle to catch up.” Additionally, because the inability to read for meaning continues to diminish, this teacher/mum responded: ‘Reading is a dying skill as we are overloaded and over stimulated. Kids’ brains are not thinking how we used to because we don’t read for pleasure or enjoyment anymore. READ TO YOUR CHILDREN NO MATTER THEIR AGE, GET THEM OFF THEIR DEVICES. EVEN USING TECHNOLOGY FOR READING HELP IS NOT READING FOR MEANING.’ There are composite reasons WHY this deficit exists – we now need to support and work on HOW to address such vital matters.  www.dailytelegraph.com.au SDGs 3/4/17

WriterMark MANSON, in an hilarious, confronting and refreshing book, reminds us that it is ok to be wrong…remembering that “…Five hundred years ago cartographers believed that California was an island. Doctors believed that slicing a person’s arm open (or causing bleeding anywhere) could cure disease. Scientists believed that fire was made out of something called phlogiston. Women believed that rubbing dog urine on their face had anti-ageing benefits. Astronomers believed that the sun revolved around the earth…” p.117 Ch. 6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F* Pan Macmillan Aust Pty Ltd. Sydney NSW 2000, 2016, 2017. 

This interesting young writer also reasons that ‘Failure is the way forward…Pain is Part of the Process…’ – which allows us to revisit current teaching delivery and important issues and change practices. The examples used are extreme, but so is our current plight!

‘When Pablo Picasso was an old man, he was sitting in a café in Spain, doodling on a used napkin. A woman sitting near him was looking on in awe. Picasso finished his coffee and crumpled up the napkin to throw away….”Wait!” said the woman, “Can I have that napkin you were just drawing on? I’ll pay you for it.”

“Sure,” Picasso replied. “Twenty thousand dollars.”

The woman’s head jolted back – “What? It took you like two minutes to draw that.”

“No, ma’am….It took me over sixty years to draw this.” He stuffed the napkin in his pocket and walked out of the café.’ pp.147/148

Change – ’In the 1950s, a Polish psychologist,Kazimierz DABROWSKI studied WW11 survivors. Traumatic, gruesome, mass starvation, bombings, the Holocaust, torture, rape and/or murder of family members, if not by Nazis, then a few years later by the Soviets…..Dabrowski noticed something surprising and amazing. A sizeable percentage of them believed that the wartime experiences, though painful and traumatic, had actually caused them to become better, more responsible, and even happier people. Many described their lives before as if they’d been different people then: ungrateful for and unappreciative of their loved ones, lazy and consumed by petty problems, entitled to all they’ve been given. After the war, they felt more confident, more sure of themselves, more grateful and unfazed by life’s trivialities and petty annoyances.  p.151

DECISIONS AND CHANGE ARE BASED ON VALUES. Manson defines Good Values as those that are……

  • Reality based
  • Socially constructive
  • Immediate and controllable

Poorer Values he defines as those that are…..

  • Superstitious
  • Socially destructive
  • Not immediate or controllable – Ihope all of the above may be useful for us to confront problems openly and effectively and enable us to change things. Please do not be offended by the wording of the book title* SDGs 1/2/3/4/16/17

FEMALE ‘SOFT POWER’ STEERS COURSE OF HISTORY – Writer, Miranda DARLING and Art expert, Viola RAIKHEL-BOLOT, describe the extraordinary women they want to showcase to the world through books and documentaries created by their newly formed production company VANISHING PICTURES. These women want to tell the stories that have been hidden – they allude to “…soft power – and the power of art and culture is ‘soft power’,” says Darling. 

Dividing their time between London and Sydney, the busy pair have produced the book IRAN MODERN: THE EMPRESS OF ART, all about a $US3bn lost art collection assembled by the former empress, Farah Pahlavi in the 1970s. That famous collection includes works by Picasso, Renoir, Warhol and Dali. Darling and Raikhel-Bolot are now working on a book about female spies. This includes Australian spy Nancy WAKE, known as “The White Mouse”. Milanda Rout, p.3: 5 Dec 2019/www.theaustralian.com.au   SDGs 4/5/12/17                           

A magnificent read! – ‘THE IDIOT GODS’ “Spectacular world-making.” The Times. 

AN EPIC TALE OF A QUEST FOR A NEW WAY OF LIFE ON EARTH. Written by David Zindell and told from the perspective of Arjuna the Whale ….this is a uniquely moving novel of the sea, exquisitely written, with a rare depth of perception, awareness, grace and hope, in symbiosis with an even rarer breadth of courage and wisdom! 

A rarity for avid readers! I had to resort to Fowler and old publications of The Oxford Dictionary at times and I read zillions of books…very, very beautiful. One word we will not discover in any of the above, is ‘quenge’.  To ‘quenge’, the reader is told, is the most quintessential part of a whale’s true nature…inexplicable though this may be. p.14

Ignoring the human peculiarities, the many strands of excrescence – ‘nets’ the humans called them – Arjuna wanted to hear the music. “And what music they made! And how they made it! I swam toward the boat, drawn by the mighty Beethoven chords that somehow sounded from beneath the water. The density of this marvellous blue substance magnified the marvel of the music. Joy, pure joy, zinged through my skin. I moved even closer to the boat and to the music’s mysterious source beneath the rippling waves. “

“O what a song I have for you!” I said to the humans. I knew that if I was to touch their hearts as they had touched mine, I must go deep inside myself to speak with the monsters and the angels that dwelled there. “Here, humans, here, here – please listen to this song of myself!” pp86/87 When Arjuna of the Blue Aria Family encounters three signs of cataclysm, he leaves his home in the Arctic Ocean to seek out the Idiot Gods and ask us why we are destroying the world. But the whales’ ancient Song of Life is beyond our understanding, and we know nothing of the Great Covenant between our kinds.

After capture and starvation and being forced to do tricks in a tiny pool, the Orca’s love for a human linguist gives him hope. As the whales’ beloved ocean turns toward the Blood Solstice, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance; for if Arjuna gains the Voice of Death he could destroy mankind. If understanding can prevail, he may, through the whales’ mysterious power of quenging, create a new Song of Life and enable human evolution to unfold. Harper Collins Publishers, London 2017     SDGs 2/3/4/6/14/17

Welcome to 2020 on Planet Earth – Very Best Wishes to All

NCWQ Arts and Letters Report February 2020

Queensland’s extraordinary and prolific Poet and Author, Stefanie BENNETT haspublished over a dozen volumes of poetry, a libretto and a novel. She has tutored in The Institute of Modern Languages (James Cook University); acted as a published editor and worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed heritage (Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee), she was born in Queensland, Australia in 1945. Stefanie, an ex-blues singer and musician, has been fluent internationally in poetry online and in print journals, and nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart! Of ALL her outstanding attributes, Stefanie has kept Poetry and Poets alive and well for as long as humanly possible! A stunning record – Salut, my Dear Friend!

“…Of all the women poets she has the greatest range and her writing is interesting even when it’s pretentious.” Frank Kellaway

“There are pieces of excellence, a call, at once witty and emotional for enduring, intelligent sisterhood.” Cheryl Frost

“No-one knew for sure where you were really at…now onward for your love of all the poets.” Robert Adamson


Published by Burringbah Books. Purchases: P.O. Box 1006 LISMORE NSW 2480


A chorus of blackbirds:

the eye

of the sky


It’s what didn’t get said

that matters


SDGs 3/4/5/8/10/12/17

A world of Music!! Sitting with friends discussing the Cornish film Fisherman‘s Friends, in which a fast-living London music executive heads to a remote Cornish village, trying to sign up a group of shanty singing fishermen. Contrasting the deep values of family, friendship and community and ‘fame and fortune’, this character is drawn to the depth of traditional ways whilst also presenting the world with some beautiful, traditional song! 

“…and what about OUR girl?” asked one friend, excitedly – Cairns audiences were spellbound and proud the night before our meeting, listening to CASSANDRA WRIGHT. Cassandra Wright and Jan O’Donnell in recital, featuring Dayna Johnston on clarinet and Charlotte Wright, Soprano. Two of my friends had taught Cassandra, thusly our excitement and pride was heightened!

London based soprano, Cassandra, is currently completing a Master of Arts majoring in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music. Since commencing her studies in September 2019, she has been accepted as a member of the Academy’s prestigious Song Circle and is preparing the role of Ilia (Idomeneo) for the upcoming Vocal Department Opera Scenes. She also performed in ‘The Magic Flute’. 

Cassandra holds a Graduate Certificate in Performance and a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the Queensland Conservatorium. Preceding myriad awards in 2019, Cassandra was the winner of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition in 2018 and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition in 2016. This outstanding singer’s operatic roles are also many and she performs regularly with the internationally acclaimed group, The 7 Sopranos. Our Congratulations are extended to Cassandra WRIGHT and continued good wishes for 2020. SDGs 3/4/5/17

Travel Associates in Cairns and colleagues nation-wide are proud of this: “Thank you Travel Associates for partnering with us and walking the journey with precious girls who had no voice, but who now know healing, hope and purpose.” Bloomasia. www.bloomasia.org   Empowering women to find a new future. Healing, hope and purpose for girls who have suffered horrific human rights abuses. 

M. was shading a beautiful rose with edible crimson, her hand steady, her face a study of concentration as she brought the hand-crafted sugar flower to life brushstroke by brushstroke. I caught her shyly looking up at me and she reminded me of a little child ….’This is absolutely beautiful’ I told her. She broke into a big smile and I thought of the power our words can have. This little one endured so much horror in her short life and was told she was worthless. A kind smile, a soft face and constant words of encouragement have the power to spark something new – a kernel of self-belief that maybe she has values, abilities and talent. Maybe she can think of a future with hope and excitement?

Details of abuse are not shared to protect and dignify the girls who come through Bloom. Bloom Asia was founded by Ruth LARWILL who worked with Travel Associates for many years before moving to Cambodia. Travel Associates Summer 2019/20 p.38 – SDGs 1/2/3/4/8/10/16/17

Stories! Histories! Queenslanders and Australians are reaching back into relatively recent social history, pulling sometimes gently, sometimes fiercely, threads of Truth, Dreams…Meaning is not always retrieved, or re-composed via this process, ‘though at times it may be….

Joan DIDION’s essay ‘The White Album’ was presented as theatre, by Lars JAN and Early Morning Opera, as part of the Sydney Festival. Didion famously opens her essay, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live…” – and then proceeds to lose the story and give us threads, fragmented scenes that she doesn’t claim to understand. The threads, fragmented series of scenes and those belonging to the dreams that defined the 60s and crossed generations. Didion claims that the essence of the 60s dreams died with the August 9 shock Manson murders. Rich in social history and fragments we may never understand, a chorus conveys the crowds, student groups protesting for peace, alternative dreams of communal living that were all such important features of the 60s, and so savagely destroyed by the violent, individualistic ‘commune’ leader, Charles Manson.  Then, in later decades, the dreams disappeared altogether, defeated by a blatant capitalistic-materialistic system. Challenging and interesting threads continue to be woven….. theaustralian.com.au/arts p.9 Jan 10 2020.  SDGs 3/4/5/11/17

On a recent trip to Fremantle, Western Australia I read an interesting novel. ‘NEVER NEVER’James PATTERSON and Candice FOX.

“It’s easy to go missing in the middle of nowhere.”

Detective Harriet Blue needed to get out of town, fast…from Sydney New South Wales to the West Australian desert, where three young people have disappeared from the Bandya Mine. In this unforgiving land, she has no idea how close she is to a whole new kind of danger…

This fast-paced novel is fraught with twists and turns and it reveals truths and the underbelly of our mining industry! It is disappointing NOT to discover further information about co-writer, Candice Fox – however, only an Aussie with genuine knowledge could have revealed the truths and underbelly that solidify setting, tensions and a plot to surprise readers!!   www.penguin.co.uk        SDGs 3/4/8/11/12

WOMEN’S HISTORY – ‘Wearing Paper Dresses’ Anne BRINSDEN.  A tremendously polished, heartbreaking debut… a story of mothers and daughters, a saga of two generations of women on the land. Enthralling. Tragic. Romantic. Absolutely unputdownable. A Woman’s Point of View by Jennifer: offers the CWA Cookery Book. Valuable Information: The Land: offers ‘….Naturally, considering the compilers, the woman who lives in the country has been carefully catered for. No longer, if she decides to tan a sheepskin, will she have to go further than her own bookshelf to learn the method. She will also find how to: make a wool mattress, cure bacon, construct a bush ice chest and a fireless cooker, make soup and candles; and repair an iron tank. Pan Macmillan Australia: Chapter Sampler, 2019. Social history! A compelling story of country Australia with all its stigma, controversy and beauty. SDGs 1/3/4/5/8/10/15

OUR HISTORY IN VISUAL ART! – PHOTOGRAPHY, SCULPTURE….MORE STORIES in exhibitions shaped with great love….

Interdisciplinary Artist, Emily PUXTY, combines ceramic and photographic works to consider HOW the retelling of the implicit vulnerability and intimacy of early shared adult experiences can be communicated.

‘WITH LOVE’    POP Gallery

381 Brunswick Street FORTITUDE VALLEY QLD 4006

‘THE TIME OF LIGHT’ – Brisbane based Artist, Courtney COOMBS, responds to the unique role of LIGHT in the Metro Arts galleries. As one of many former arts students who first exhibited at Metro Arts, this up and coming Queensland Artist offers her exhibition with tenderness and reflection, as a loving farewell to the space bneart.com SDGs 3/4/8/12/17

‘To whom shall I go to learn about the one I love?’

Kabir says: “When you are trying to find a hardwood forest

it seems wise to know what a tree is.’ 1440-1518: Hoka-Hey = Completeness Bennett S.

Reminder: NCWQ Christmas Luncheon December 2019

Members and friends are invited to celebrate with the National Council of Women of Queensland at our

Annual Christmas Luncheon

Thursday 5 December, 2019

12 noon for a 12.30pm commencement

The Women’s College, University of Queensland, Cnr College Road and Thynne Road, St Lucia

Tickets: $45.00 per person includes buffet festive lunch with dessert, juice and water, tea and coffee. Soft drinks and alcohol available for purchase.

RSVP with payment by 29 November, 2019

This year, NCWQ is supporting Mercy Community Romero Centre to provide basic pantry necessities for their clients. Suggested items are listed overleaf. To assist appropriate distribution, please do not wrap goods.

Beata Ostapiej-Piatkowski, Manager, will share with us some of the work of the Romero Centre.

To download the RSVP form, click HERE.

Guest blog: Day of the Girl

Today is the #DayofTheGirl. Read a wonderful blog by Sarah Cowley – her thoughts on today and her experience being part of Soroptimist International.

*Originally written for SI Moreton North Inc. Special thanks to Sarah and Chris Knight of Soroptimist International South West Pacific for sharing this blog with us.

“The theme for this year’s Day of the Girl is ‘GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable’. This important day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

For me, this theme resonates a lot with my personal beliefs and how I have tried to act and work throughout my adult life. I have always tried to ‘do my bit’, whether it be through education programmes, studying or working with young people to empower them. I have always done my best to use my voice to advocate for change, especially for women and girls. I think it is also important to recognise the women who’ve come before us an acted as trailblazers for the world we know now.

This Day of the Girl, I want all women and girls to know that they are unstoppable, and a force to be reckoned with. I want girls to know how powerful they are and what their potential is. I have also become a mum to a beautiful daughter this year, so I have been reflecting a lot on what I want to do to create a better future for all the girls of the next generation.

Freedom, equality and liberation all come to mind. I don’t want the equal pay debate to still be happening – it should be rectified. I want girls to have control over their bodies. I want equal representation at work. I want more men to support women in their quest for equality.

Wanting all of these things for myself and others is why I joined Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc (SIMNI). I wanted to be surrounded by supportive, powerful women who are leading change and are activists for women’s rights in their communities and the world. Women who are the voice. I wanted to be a part of something big, that will empower me to create change for women and girls too. I wanted to invest my energy into meaningful activities where I knew I would have a voice that was heard, so I could make a difference too.

And that’s what I’ve got.

From being a Soroptimist, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with women from all over the world, including in Australia, Nigeria and Cambodia. There are also opportunities as a Soroptimist – regional and international conventions, a global network and association with the United Nations. We can have a voice and be activists and leaders in our community and the world.

I am grateful for the friendships, support and opportunities that have come from being a Soroptimist, especially from the members of my SIMNI club. I am grateful for the activities I’ve been able to partake in because of this group. I am also grateful that, as a young woman pushing for change in this world, I have women supporting me.

I am grateful that I have a voice that is heard, and I will continue to keep working so other women and girls can be ‘Unscripted and Unstoppable’ too. Happy Day of the Girl to all!”

Bursary Fund-raising Morning Tea and Fashion Parade

NCWQ held its annual bursary fund-raising morning tea and fashion parade Thursday, 10 October. Leah Lever, previous recipient of the Elements Living bursary in 2018, charmed us with her beautiful singing. Ella Madigan, a recipient of last year’s Ipswich City Council bursary for a secondary student, spoke about her activity with NCWQ and the Young Women’s sub-committee.

Currently studying nursing, she intends to then study to medicine. With the theme of acknowledging women in medicine, the contributions of various women were highlighted by affiliated organisation Queensland Medical Women’s Society. Fashions were provided by Soubrét Pink, from Mt Gravatt, displaying the current trends ranging from casual to more formal occasions. NCWQ appreciates the support of all those involved, with the proceeds funding the NCWQ-sponsored 2020 bursaries.

Announcing the 20 Queensland Voices Female Leaders

This was first published here. Two young NCWQ members have been announced as part of the 20 winners! They are Taylor and Madison Birtchnell.


Queensland is built by amazing Queenslanders. Every day women in Queensland are taking action to make Queensland safer for women, to help women’s health and wellbeing, to build women’s economic security and to increase women’s participation in the workforce and female leadership.


These women are the unsung female heroes in our community. The carers. The game changers. Those challenging stereotypes. Women who have kept communities going through hardship. Those who work tirelessly without recognition or reward because it is just what they do. We want to thank them and celebrate their tenacity, endurance, thought leadership and consistency.

Taylor Birtchnell– is an exceptional 21-year-old who volunteers across many community organisations, including The Sanctuary Women and Children’s Refuge, and Women’s Legal Service, as an advocate for women and girls.

Madison Birtchnell – is the youngest member of YWCA’s Sub-Committee advising Board members to develop National programs and support initiatives for girls and women, to enhance their health and wellbeing.