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A Brief History of the Zonta Club of Kyneton Inc.

District 23, Area 4. Club 1489.

The Zonta Club of Kyneton was Chartered on 8 September 1994

The Sponsoring, Organising and Mentoring club was Zonta Club of Bendigo Inc., with Marcia Clements as chair of the Committee. An information night was held on 3 March 1994 and the Organisation Meeting on 29 April 1994; both were held at the Steam Mill Restaurant, Piper Street, Kyneton. The Charter certificate was presented to the club by Governor Naomi Arnold at a dinner held on 29 October 1994, at the Steam Mill Restaurant, Kyneton. The club had 28 Charter members. Charter President was Ronda Walker with Vice President Annamarie Perlesz and Secretary Ruth Perry.


Meetings: Usually held on the 4th Wednesday of each month, except December. Most meetings include a guest speaker. Meeting venues have included Steam Mill Restaurant, Quintessence Café, Gonella’s, Cottage on Piper, Annie Smithers’ Bistrot, Albion Hotel, Aperitivo Wine Bar and Tony’s Place.


Club Board and committees: For most of its history the Board of the club has comprised: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and three Directors. The Vice President and three Directors each chair a committee. Currently these are Advocacy, Event Management, Membership & Service.


Membership: Member numbers reached 36 in 1996 and fell to 20 in 2005. At 31 March 2019 the club had 29 members. In 2012 the club sponsored Kyneton Secondary College Z Club and co-sponsored the Zonta Club of Central Goldfields, Maryborough. In 2016 the Club sponsored formation of the Zonta Club of Mitchell. 


Advocacy projects: Every year since 1998 the club has organised a very successful International Women’s Day dinner in Kyneton. We supported the White Ribbon Campaign from 2007 and now focus on the Zonta program: ‘Zonta says NO to violence’.


Service projects: Service projects have addressed the Zonta priorities of health, education and economic self-sufficiency of women and girls. Ongoing local projects have included awards for girls at local primary and secondary schools, including STEM awards. The Zonta Club of Kyneton supports a Z Club at Kyneton Secondary College.


Fundraising activities: The first fundraiser was a monthly Market in Piper Street, Kyneton which ran for a short time. Raffles, fashion parades and second hand book sales were successful for many years. Recent fundraisers have included garage sales, Antiques Valuation Day and sausage sizzles.


Area activities: The club has been represented at all Area Meetings since Charter and hosted Area meetings in 2001, 2009 and 2016. Three club members have served terms as Area 4 Director. Two Club members have also held office in the Victorian Past Presidents Group.


District activities: The club has always been represented at District 23 Conference. Several members have held, or currently hold District leadership positions: Ronda Walker, Margaret Dearricott, Judy Rothe, Margaret Lynch, Annamarie Perlesz and Sharona Smith.


District Projects: The club has supported District 23 Birthing Kit project since 2004, making up to 1000 kits in most years. The club has supported the District 23 Breast Cushion project since 2003.


International involvement: The club has been represented at all International Conventions since 1996 and supported the 2006 Convention held in Melbourne, Australia. Ronda Walker has served on various international committees including the Nominating Committee and Centennial Anniversary Committee.


Zonta International Foundation: Every year since its formation the club has contributed 1/3 of funds raised to Zonta International Foundation. The percentage of members making individual contributions has increased over time. Since 1998 the club has supported the Young Women in Public Affairs program by making a local award and by contributing funds to the program.


Prepared by Ronda Walker in January 2014, updated March 2019. Archives are held in Kyneton by Annamarie Perlesz and include a complete set of Annual Reports, minutes of club meetings and photograph albums.

Prepared by Ronda Walker, Jan 2014, updated June 2016. Archival material held in Kyneton by Dr Annamarie Perlesz and available if required. This archive includes a complete set of Annual Reports and club minutes. Minutes are held in loose leaf binders; it is proposed to have these papers bound for ease of future reference.

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