A century after Zonta was founded on the bold idea of empowering women, the international organisation remains a champion for the cause.
And Port Macquarie has its own leading light in Margaret Bateman.
Elevated to the Zonta International Board in 2018, the local resident says she's proud to see the organisation continuing to foster and promote young female leaders.
Mrs Bateman will be guest speaker at the centenary celebrations in Boston - the birthplace of Zonta - on November 7.
The centenary celebrations are being used to re-set for the future and to double down on their mission statement.
"We are hosting a series of conferences to coincide with the centenary of Zonta," she said.
"The Boston event's theme is building on the next 100 years.
"As an organisation we are very keen to take on the next century.
"Zonta is working with relevant world-based organisations, including the UN and UNICEF, on issues including ending child marriage.
"We are certainly making inroads and continuing to work on empowering women," she said.
Some of that work includes training Syrian refugee women to be able to support themselves so they have a trade and can look after themselves.
In Madagascar, Zonta is supporting families to send their girls to school. It is one of the poorest countries in the world but through education it is helping young girls realise their dreams.
"Zonta's aim is to create a future that will belong to young female leaders," she said.
"That's why in Port Macquarie we offer scholarships, advocacy and information.
"There is a lot of competition out there (for your time) but we are empowering women through service and advocacy.
"And that is our focus; it's our mission statement."
There is a lot of competition out there (for your time) but we are empowering women through service and advocacy.Zonta's Margaret Bateman
To remain relevant, Mrs Bateman says the organisation is working in universities and at the tertiary education level on a number of ideas.
Their focus is now shifted beyond Gen X to Gen Z - the millennial children.
Other plans include creating a new category of membership called global members. This is tailored to busy women who still want to make a contribution at any level.
Mrs Bateman says Zonta is a truly global organisation and is established in some 63 countries.
"We certainly punch above our weight and have many good programs," she said.
"I enjoy Zonta and believe that I am making a contribution and making a difference."
In her Boston address, Mrs Bateman says she plans to focus on the future by understanding the organisation's founding.
"One hundred years ago, women leaders who were so fortunate to have received a good education and held interesting jobs, founded Zonta," she said.
"They did not want women to be in the background.
"They advocated for women's right to vote and they knew that this was only a first step toward gender equality. They knew the way might be long.
"In 1919 even joining a group of professional women, with the aim to promote the status of women wasn't following a trend, it was a radical move by a small group of women leaders who knew that they wanted more - they wanted a better life for women.
"Quite a few of them were also leaders and pioneers in their own professions."
The Zonta Club of Port Macquarie will celebrate the centenary of Zonta International on Sunday November 24 at Charles Sturt University with an afternoon tea.
To RSVP for this event email email@example.com
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