A Redcliffe woman who has selflessly given five decades of her life to helping the community will be honoured at a special International Women’s Day breakfast this week.
Members of Quota Redcliffe will gather on Friday, March 10 at The Komo to celebrate the tremendous contributions Beris Pritchard OAM has made to the organisation since joining as a young woman in 1973.
Speaking to Moreton Daily, Beris said she had no idea how much her life would change after that first meeting all those years ago.
“I was working at Clontarf Beach State High School at the time when my boss said he thought I would enjoy being more involved in the community and not just focus on education,” Beris said.
“I was a home economics teacher before being appointed as Senior Mistress in 1970.
“My boss organised a member of the Quota Club to invite me to a meeting, which turned out to be their big dinner meeting which was held in February.
“Another woman was supposed to join that night, but she didn’t turn up, so they asked me if I would like to join instead.
“I said I suppose so since I am here, and that’s how I became a member.”
The following year Beris was placed on the board and was voted as President the year after.
“It was a very short initiation – I went in feet first,” Beris said.
“At first, I didn’t think it was for me, but the more I got involved with Quota, I really appreciated it.
“I wasn’t the sort of person who wanted to be at the top, but other people kept saying I should do it, or need to do it, or they wanted me to do it.
“What I really enjoyed was being involved with the business women in Redcliffe because back in those days, those women had a very high profile in the community and I enjoyed the diversity of being involved with them.”
Beris and her fellow Quota friends are also heavily involved in raising money for the community and helping various not-for-profit groups.
Quota Redcliffe have been instrumental in helping to install Soundfield Systems in classrooms to assist students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and have also assisted Meals on Wheels, Jebb House, Chameleon House, Hummingbird House and The Breakfast Club Redcliffe.
On the global stage
During her 50 years with Quota, Beris also represented Quota on the global stage.
“After being elected as a district officer in 1980, I was then elected to the international board in 1983/84 where I was a member for about several years,” Beris said.
“I then became the International President for Quota and was initiated into that role in Melbourne in 1988 during our bicentenary year.
“I was the first International President from Queensland and the third from Australia, which just seemed to happen.
“I did have a lot of competition along the way, especially from the Americans.”
During that role, Beris travelled extensively for Quota all over the world, visiting programs from South America to the Philippines.
Afterwards, Beris became the face of the South Pacific when she took on the role of Executive Administrator Asia Pacific.
Celebrating women and their achievements
Beris was also the driving force behind Quota Redcliffe’s first International Women’s Day breakfast.
“I started the International Women’s Day breakfast for the club in 1996 and our first guest speaker was actually my cousin who had done a solo trip around the world in her little wooden boat,” Beris said.
“I can still remember that breakfast – we had it over at Sizzlers, which is now gone, but we had lots of breakfasts there.
“She spoke about her drive and her ambition to do the trip, and how she left her husband and kids at home to do it.”
This year, Beris will be the guest of honour, and will speak about the many fond memories she has had with Quota, and the instrumental role it has played in the community.
The breakfast will be attended by Quota members, students from local schools, and community leaders.
A group for like-minded people
Quota Redcliffe has been operating on the peninsula for 65 years and currently have just over 20 members.
Having spent half a century with Quota, Beris said it was a great group for people looking to give back to their local community.
“Being part of Quota is a good opportunity to get to know the local community a little better and help make a positive difference,” Beris said.
“You also get to be part of a close friendship group because we do form close friendships with all the members.”
If you would like to join Quota Redcliffe, email [email protected]
Members of Quota Redcliffe meet on the first Saturday of each month at the Old Fire Station Community Arts and Volunteer Hub.
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