D24 Awards & Programs

Zonta International has developed the Amelia Earhart Fellowships program, the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships, and the Young Women in Public Affairs awards as a strategy to achieve its mission of improving the status of women worldwide. All three awards are offered annually at an international level to assist and recognise the achievements of women, and the Jane M. Klausman scholarships and Young Women in Public Affairs awards are also offered at club and district level. Find out more about these Award Programs on the Zonta International website.


District 24 and its clubs participate in the Zonta International awards programs. Click here to see recent District winners of the Amelia Earhart Fellowships, Jane M Klausman Scholarships, and Young Women in Public Affairs awards.

To complement the Young Women in Public Affairs awards, D24 also annually awards a D24 Achievement Award for a Young Indigenous Woman. This award is for a young Indigenous woman in year 12 who has made a marked contribution to the life of her school community through one or more of: her service, leadership, initiative, and/or determination to successfully complete her secondary education.

Recent winners have been:

  • 2012 – Jordan Ardler, Matraville High School
  • 2013 – Emily Grant, Bomaderry High School
  • 2014 – Tiana Edwards, Rooty Hill High School

From time to time, District 24 also confers the award of D24 Honorary Member  on individuals who, over an extended period, have demonstrated a substantial contribution to advancing the status of women through community service and/or their personal endeavours.

Recent winners have been:

  • 2008-2010 – Gemma Sisia from Guyra NSW, for her work in establishing and growing the School of St Judes for disadvantaged children in Tanzania
  • 2010-2012 – Assoc Professor Jennifer Burn from UTS, Sydney, for her work in supporting women who have been the victims of trafficking and/or enslavement in Australia
  • 2012-2014 – Professor Marian Baird from the University of Sydney, for her work in research, teaching and policy development about women and work In addition, clubs throughout the District make a wide variety of awards to support advancing the status of women in their local community.

 club awards:

Each club also has its own awards programs oriented to the needs of its own local communities. Typical awards include:

  • local level awards for the Zonta International programs of Young Women in Public Affairs and Jane M Klausman scholarships
  • awards to women in TAFE or local universities, made on advice from faculty, commonly to support educational attainment by encouraging women returning to the workforce or overcoming obstacles to work and study
  • awards to support and encourage women who are venturing into non-traditional areas for women e.g. engineering or technical trades
  • awards in maths and science – usually book prizes or certificates to encourage girls in upper primary or secondary school – often for a “most improved”, rather than high achievement per se
  • women of achievement – typically recognising quiet achievement or contributions to the community, or excellence in a field.


2013 Zonta International and D24 Young Women in Public Affairs winner- Abi Rajkumar

Abi Rajkumar completed Year 12 at Hornsby Girls High School in 2013.

In 2012, Abi was elected the Principal Liaison within her school’s Student Representative Council, responsible for making sure all student-formed ideas and recommendations for the school got to the Principal, and together, Abi and the Principal then thought of ways of implementing these ideas to enhance the school community.  Within the school community, Abi was a Prefect, a leader in the Community Services department and the Café Gratitude team leader, and she led the school’s 40-hour famine event for 3 years. As the leader of a High Resolves project at school, she led fellow students to create a campaign “educate to empower” in which they directly advocated on Sydney’s streets about the need for improvement of women’s status around the world.

In addition, Abi volunteers for her local temple and tutors Sudanese and Sri Lankan asylum seekers every Saturday.  She was elected by her local MP in 2011 to represent Castle Hill in the NSW Youth Parliament. She was chosen to attend the Global Leadership Convention 3 years in a row, and was selected to attend the State Constitutional Convention and then to represent NSW at the National Constitution Convention held in Canberra in 2013 to discuss the recognition of ATSI people in our constitution.

In July 2012, Abi travelled to East Timor as part of a United Nations Pacific Project to tutor young children.  As a result, she created Ahimsa (meaning “no-violence”) Projects to raise money for projects in East Timor.

In 2014, Abi began studying international studies and law, with a major in human rights, and hopes to pursue her passion for film to use that medium to spark change.

2012 D24 JMK Women in Business Scholarship winner – Kate Buchanan

Kate began her life in a small town near Port Macquarie, NSW. She worked multiple jobs during her high schools years and at the age of 17 moved to Armidale to pursue science aspirations. After a year, she decided to switch to Commerce and then to the University in Sydney. To achieve that goal, she has juggled full time work and part-time study while overcoming considerable personal challenges, and at the same time setting up her own book keeping business. Her presentation to the 2013 D24 Conference was inspirational.

2013 International Amelia Earhart Fellowship winner – Jendi Kepple

Jendi is an aerospace PhD research candidate at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Her PhD focuses on robust optimization of launch vehicle structures which is part of a larger collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre among other European partners.

Born in Jakarta to parents of Chinese and Caucasian descent, she lived in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand and New Zealand during her youth before commencing her undergraduate studies at UNSW. She says she was inspired to pursue engineering after reading ‘October Sky’ as a 13-year-old and “watching her dad fix things that her younger sister broke around the house”.

In her spare moments, Jendi enjoys building small cube-sats and playing the piano.

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