Zonta Club award presented to Collyer’s Feminist Society leader

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This week Collyer’s student Antonia Nelson was presented with the prestigious Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs Award for 2014 by Anna Hummel, president of the Zonta Club of Guildford. Funded by the individual Zonta clubs, the award is aimed at 16 to 20 year old young women and encourages participation in political, public and community projects.

Anna Hummel told members of the Collyer’s community: “Your young women came across as real individuals and they’ve obviously been encouraged with great passion by their teachers here at Collyer’s. The judges were particularly impressed by Antonia’s understanding and determination to address the many inequalities faced by women locally and globally.”

Prior to the presentation ceremony, the audience enjoyed a talk by Anna, who highlighted Zonta’s valuable work in over 1200 clubs across 67 countries. The name Zonta is a Sioux Indian word which signifies “honest and trustworthy”. Founded in 1919 in Buffalo, USA, it is now a global organization with consultative status with the United Nations. Individual clubs across the world select, fund and participate in community projects that address issues such as women’s economic self sufficiency, legal equity, access to education and healthcare, and eradication of violence.

Antonia Nelson, who is leader of the Collyer’s Feminist Society, said: “It is wonderful to leave the Collyer’s Feminist society on such a high note. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for me and I hope that the relationship between Zonta and Collyer’s continues to grow and thrive.”

Melanie Russell, Assistant Principal at Collyer’s said: “We are thrilled to welcome Zonta to Collyer’s today and so proud that Antonia has been recognised by this incredible organisation.”

Anna Hummel added: “Congratulations must also go to their teacher, Emma Hawkins, who has helped the students to run the Feminist Society here at Collyer’s. We hope that the men and women in your Feminist Society build on this year’s success into the future.”

A proud Collyer’s Principal Dr Jackie Johnston said: “The Collyer’s Feminist Society has gone from strength to strength in recent years and Antonia and the runner’s-up also recognised today have been integral to this. The work of Zonta is truly inspirational.”

Report and picture contributed by Collyer’s