Community minded: Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle, Eloise Amirtharajah and Zonta Ballarat vice president Catherine Taylor. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Zonta awards young leader

November 27, 2020 BY

FOUNDED on the empowerment of women all around the world, Zonta Clubs continue to support budding female leaders and offer support to long-standing members of the community.

Recently, Ballarat’s Zonta Club awarded local high school student, Eloise Amirtharajah, with the Young Women in Public Affairs Award to recognise her outstanding community efforts.

Aimed to celebrate young women aged 16 to 19, the award is handed to women who show strong leadership and a commitment to participating in public and political circles.

As the 2020 Ballarat award winner, Ms Amirtharajah said she was excited for the opportunity and to be recognised for her hard work.

“Volunteering is a big part of my life, I’m active in the Food Is Free community garden, I also help tutor students from disadvantaged backgrounds and before COVID I was a part of the Youth Council,” she said.

“Next year, I would like to study international studies and help women in the global community, not just in Ballarat.

“My father is Sri Lankan, so I’ve always had an interest in developing countries and how far behind they are in terms of how women are represented in politics and their rights and it’s really important for those women who are further behind, to help bring them forward.”

In thanking the young community minded women who applied for the award, the vice president of the Zonta Club of Ballarat Catherine Taylor said they were blown away by the extracurricular activities all the applicants were involved in.

“It is amazing the projects and experience these young women contribute to our community as well as excelling with their studies,” she said.

“Eloise will now go on and represent the Zonta Club of Ballarat at the District 23 Awards, which will be held next year and if she wins, then on to the Zonta International YWPA Award.”

As one of the judges for the award, Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said while there were some amazing other women, Eloise and her community service work stood out from the crowd.

“When I was contacted by Zonta to be a judge I was absolutely delighted to be involved in recognising the leaders of our future,” she said.

“We really need to make sure we have women’s representation in Parliament because women need to be where the decisions are made.”