DISTRICT 22 HISTORY
The first Zonta Club in Australia was established in 1929 in Sydney and included Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar, among its members.
While the Club disbanded in 1935, a Canadian Zontian, Dorothy Thompson, reintroduced Zonta International in Australia and New Zealand in 1965 with the organisation of 12 Clubs, one in each Australian capital city and five in New Zealand. These Clubs became District 16 of Zonta International.
By 1990, the number of clubs in District 16 had grown to the extent that, at the Zonta Zonta International Convention in Dallas in 1990, District 16 was divided into 3 separate Districts: District 16 (New Zealand), District 23 (Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory), and District 24 (Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory).
Further growth in Clubs and membership led to a decision at the 2008 Zonta International Convention in Rotterdam to divide District 24 into two Districts: District 22 (Queensland and the Northern Rivers of New South Wales) and District 24 (the remainder of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
After debate at the 2015 District Conference District 22 on 13 June 2016 was registered as a Public Company Limited by Guarantee – Zonta International District 22 Ltd ( Australian Company Number 612 963 194).
District 22 has 44 Clubs from Cairns in the North and Mount Isa in the west to Lismore in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. We have one District wide E-Club. In addition Clubs in the District actively support and sponsor a number of Z Clubs (members are students in High Schools) and Golden Z Clubs (members are students at tertiary institutions).
The District has more than 900 active and engaged members including two former International Presidents of Zonta International: Leneen Forde AC who served for the 1990-1992 biennium; and the late Mary Magee OAM who served for the 2000-2002 biennium. Many Zontians from the District have served at the international level either as an elected Director of the Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women Boards or as an appointment to a Zonta International Committee.
In 2019 the first InterDistrict Conference was held in Brisbane with Zontians from District 16, 23 and 24 attending. The then Zonta International President also attended. A book outlining the history of Zonta in Australasia – “Zonta International – Down Under and Across the Ditch” was released at the Conference. Limited copies are still available for purchase for $A25.