Great women to be celebrated

February 10, 2024 BY

Empowering: The Ballarat’s Great Women initiative, led by a committee including Val Sarah, is one of the Zonta Club of Ballarat’s key programs. Photo: FILE

BALLARAT is home to many people working and volunteering with an aim of making their community a better place to live.

As part of acknowledging the effort, next month the Zonta Club of Ballarat will celebrate six women, as the organisation’s members induct them onto the Ballarat’s Great Women honour roll.

In the coming weeks, The Ballarat Times will publish profiles on each of the inductees.

“We will read about six outstanding women who have made a significant contribution to our city and continue to inspire us by their leadership,” Zontian and Ballarat’s Great Women committee member, Val Sarah said.

“The concept of local women nominated by their peers for recognition began as far back as 2006.

“To date the program of Ballarat’s Great Women coordinated by the Zonta Club of Ballarat has produced an honour roll which proudly bears the names of over 200 local women of all ages and background, whose achievements have enriched our community.”

This year’s honourees are advocate for women in trade unions Dulcie Corbett, Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute co-founder Gail Elsey, and advocate for health, aged care, disability, and social support policy development Dr Mary Hollick.

Also being inducted are former State minister and Western Victoria upper house MP Jaala Pulford, Food is Free Ballarat founder and director Lou Ridsdale, and Robogals Global chair and STEM education advocate Dayle Stevens.

“What does all this have to do with members of our Zonta Club in Ballarat?” Ms Sarah said.

“Our Mission is to build a better world for women and girls, focussing on award programs for high achievers and support programs empowering women who are marginalised, traumatised, lack resources, and cannot speak for themselves.

“Ballarat’s Great Women is one of our signature programs.”

Zonta International has branches across the world and by undertaking service projects and advocacy work, they have goals to support women and girls to succeed, to achieve gender equity and climate action, and to combat violence against women.

“The six honourees about whom you will be reading in the coming weeks are showing us the way to build a better world for women and girls, their families and communities,” Ms Sarah said.

“We honour their vision and commitment to creating a brighter future for us all.”