Champions of the Cause

Just how much talent do we have in Zonta? An amazing amount!

At our Zonta Think Tank meetings, members have been sharing their stories, and it has been fascinating to hear how they have been making a difference in the lives of people at home and abroad.

On this page, we celebrate our Think Tank members as well as our amazing guest speakers!

Building resilience

Charlotte Sterrett is the Yarra Riverkeeper. Before becoming a riverkeeper, Charlotte worked in many countries developing climate change and resilience-building programs that focus on gender and First Nations justice.   See her presentation for the District 23 Think Tank meeting on 19 August 2023 here.

Namaste Nepal

Dr Pamela White is a consultant with the Finnish Consulting Group based in Finland. A former vet and now an international development consultant, Pamela has worked on many projects including WASH (water supply, sanitation and hygiene), gender equality and women’s empowerment. Today she shared her work in the water sector in Nepal and highlighted the problems of women being excluded from their communities when they have their period. See her presentation from the 17 June 2023 Think Tank here.

UNDP demystifier

Margaret Thomas is a member of the Zonta Club of Central Coast in D24 in NSW. She has extensive experience in international development and from 2012 to 2021 worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. Prior to this she worked for AusAID concluding her career as First Assistant Director General with a focus on corporate reform issues. Today she provided an insight into the size and influence of the UNDP. See her presentation from the 17 June 2023 Think Tank here.

Friendly Climate Lobbyist

Joyce Erceg is a Regional Coordinator of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby Australia. This grassroots, non partisan organisation builds relationships with political and business leaders to influence policies that will create a more equitable world. See Joyce’s presentation to the D23 Think Tank on 15 April 2023 here.

Disaster ready

Amanda Lamont is the Co-founder of the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network and Chair of the Australasian Women in Emergencies for Climate Action. this organisation celebrates, promotes, recognises and supports the role of women in all emergency sectors. See her presentation from the April 2023 D23 Think Tank meeting here.

Leading Climate Conversationalist

Jane Stabb is the Co-CEO of Climate for Change a not-for-profit organisation committed to spreading the word about climate change. in a ‘party plan’ style of trusted conversations. Learn more about Jane’s role and the Conversations for Climate program in this You Tube video of her talk at the District 23 Zonta Says NOW Think Tank meeting in October 2022.

Occupational Health and Environment Specialist

Lesley Sweetman is the District 23 Advocacy Chair. She shared her fascinating career as an occupational health nurse, then, following further studies in risk management and HR to being an Occupational Health, Safety and Environment specialist. She has worked in many countries and many industries – including manufacturing, finance, rice growing, automotive, ferries, government, cement factories and mining companies. In her work, she advocates for workers from the shopfloor to the CEO – and now she applies these valuable skills to Zonta and building a better world for women and girls. Check out her talk in this You Tube video.

Leading in activism

Julie Lyford is the inaugural chair of Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA). WELA supports women to be better climate activists and leaders. Julie shares her own journey as a climate activist working to stop a coal mine in her local area. She was tapped on the shoulder by WELA to undertake a leadership training course and has not looked back! Learn more about WELA, Australia ReMADE and the Common Ground in Victoria by watching Julie’s story on this You Tube video.

Introducing the Metaverse

Lan Tran from the Zonta Club of Perth is the Chief Sales Officer of Ninja Syndicate – a Metaverse Gaming Studio. She took time out from the Consensus 2022 Convention being held in Texas to introduce us to the world of Web3, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Play-2-Earn crypto. You can live, play, earn and learn in the metaverse. Did you know that by listening to podcasts you can raise money for charity? Check out this You Tube video of her talk.

Golden Zontian

Dr Kay Stewart will take on the role of District 23 Governor at the Hamburg Convention. She has been a member of Zonta for over 50 years and was mentored by PIP Leneen Forde (former Governor of Queensland). In this You Tube video she shares her story from three priority perspectives: family, work and Zonta. She qualified as a pharmacist and after completing a PhD took on a teaching/research role at Monash University where she has enjoyed working with young people from all over the world.

Green Ninja

Professor Eugene Cordero has worked as a climate scientist with NASA and lectures in climate and meteorology at the San Jose State University in California. He also taught at Monash University for a few years. He describes how education is a key enabler of emissions reduction – just as effective as rooftop solar! He shows how the Green Ninja is used in middle schools to educate the next generation using more than science by hooking into personal connection, empowerment, social norms and empathy. View the You Tube video of his presentation here.

Why our health rests in the hands of climate change action

Dr Helen Brown is a Health and Environment Consultant and former Director of the WHO Centre for Health Impact Assessment based at Curtin University. In this YouTube video Helen talks about the health implications of floods, drought, and extreme heat and the key role that women can play in turning climate change around. Her slides are available below

Adventurous Meteorologist

Pia Hultgren is the President of the Zonta Club of Lidingo in Sweden. Pia was interested in the weather from a young age and loved physics and maths, so it was no surprise that she trained as a meteorologist. She now works as a television broadcaster of the weather in Sweden. She has sailed the Atlantic also spent ten months sailing to Brisbane. Pia provides a Nothern Hemisphere perspective on climate change in this YouTube video.

Environmental Defender

Dr Janice Dudley is an individual member of Zonta International. Prior to retiring in 2017, Janice was an Associate Dean in Learning and Teaching at the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University in Perth. Among many appointments, she worked as the Deputy Convenor of the Board of Management of the Environmental Defender’s Office. See her presentation on You Tube that takes us on a journey of climate change shifting from being a purely environmental issue to being a mainstream political matter. She covers intergenerational inequity, the pivotal role of women in the forthcoming election and the many reasons we have to hope for a positive future.

Legal eagle…

Christine Trenorden is a member of the Zonta Club of Fleurieu Peninsula. Christine’s climate journey has taken her to many countries in South East Asia and Oceania where she works to develop legal frameworks, train judges and educate lawyers in environmental law.

Currently, Christine is on the board of the Environmental Protection Authority of South Australia, and this presentation scratches the surface of her experience.

Take home message: Have they asked the women?

Hopefully, in future meetings, she will be able to share more of her experiences!

Energy Justice Pioneer

Dr Diane Kraal from Monash University shares her research that focuses on using taxation to increase the uptake of Electric Vehicles. She also shared her experience of attending COP meetings in Spain and Poland.

See her presentation on You Tube.

Re-markable Bronwen!

Bronwen Haywood is a member of the Zonta Club of Central Goldfields in Victoria. Bronwen is the brains behind our five Rs of waste management: reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink and repair.

After school, she chose to move from farming to pharmacy and is particularly concerned about the health impacts of bush fires and heat stress on people.

Currently, she is a member of her local climate action group that provides advice to the local council in the development of its climate response plans.

Capture her passion in this YouTube video. Decisions are made by those who turn up!

Australia All Over

Vicki Carman-Brown’s climate activism began when she fought to save Lake Pedder in Tasmania at the age of 15. Since then she has worked to conserve the environment and educate people to understand the environment better and take more care of it. Her story is one of advocating for gender equality and taking climate action to the most report parts of Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Be inspired – listen to her story on YouTube!

You are a Child of the Universe…

Sue Lees from the Zonta Club of Melbourne on Yarra shares her personal gender equality and climate action journey. She has turned her fascinating PowerPoint presentation from the June Think Tank meeting into this YouTube video that is set to music from the Tiwi Islands.

Sue’s journey started when she regenerated her local creek (pictured). Over the years she has worked to stop the Franklin River being dammed, volunteered in Nepal, and taught in Timor Leste and the Tiwi Islands. At each stage of her journey she reflects on why we need to take climate action if we are to achieve a gender equal world.

Follow her journey here.