A golden opportunity for university students to help change the world

Published 5:00am 27 July 2022

A golden opportunity for university students to help change the world
Words by Ashleigh Howarth
Above: Some of the members of the Golden Z Club with Councillor Karl Winchester. Photos supplied by Kylie Burns.

A golden opportunity has arisen for young people to make a positive change in the world following the formation of a new club at the University of THE  Sunshine Coast’s Moreton Bay Campus in Petrie.

After three years of planning and persistence, the Zonta Club of Redcliffe were excited to officially host a charter ceremony for the university’s Golden Z Club on July 18.

This is the first Golden Z Club in the Greater Brisbane Region.

A Golden Z Club can be set up at tertiary education campuses and allows young members to follow in the footsteps of Zonta members who advocate for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence.

Zonta Club of Redcliffe President Marie Stewart said it was a long journey to get the club established due to COVID.

“When we found out there would be a university near us at the former site of the Old Paper Mill at Petrie, we decided it would be a good opportunity to set up a Golden Z Club at the new campus,” Marie said.

“We first contacted several people in the student guild asking what we had to do to set up the club.

“We had a great deal of support from different members of the student guild, however with COVID lockdowns, restrictions and staff constantly changing, we had to continually make new connections.

“After nearly two years planning, we got our first big break with student guild officer Sally Tsai, who was able to get us on to the campus for a market day - we were the only non-staff or students allowed.

“We met a young lady named Cherie Bushnell, who was very enthusiastic and even said she would stand for President.

“It was also at this day we met Dr Cheryl Livock, who joined Redcliffe Zonta, and was then our member on the ground.

“Covid then struck again, and it wasn’t for another six months that we were finally able to get the numbers to start.”

The club was officially charted on April 20, 2022, with the charter ceremony held last month.

Marie said the club had lots of support not only from the student guild, but also Councillor Karl Winchester, who gave them a grant to help with set up costs, banners and pamphlets to attract members.

A golden opportunity for university students to help change the world
Above: Golden Z Club USC president Cherie Bushnell.

Supporting the next generation

According to Marie, Zonta International believes young people are critical to achieving gender equality and ending violence against women and girls around the world.

Through the Z and Golden Z Club program, Zonta members work to bring Zonta International’s mission to students around the world and to stimulate new and meaningful student-led service and advocacy projects.

Z clubs are formed on secondary school campuses or in communities, and Golden Z clubs are formed on college and university campuses. These student clubs are designed to provide opportunities for young adults to develop communication and leadership skills, explore career alternatives, and increase their international awareness and understanding through service.

Zonta clubs sponsor Z and Golden Z clubs, and provide students with the resources, information and guidance they need to improve the world around them. Z and Golden Z club students then plan, organize and participate in unique activities that give them hands-on experiences in improving the lives of others at both a local and international level.

A golden opportunity for university students to help change the world

Club keen to expand into local high schools 

Marie would like to see high schools across the region register to form a Z Club.

If you are interested in finding out more, email the Zonta Club of Redcliffe at [email protected]

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