Having a ball at Zonta awards

About 400 people got dolled up on Saturday night to celebrate local women at the Zonta International Women’s Day Dinner. 

Julie ‘Jules’ Goodfellow was crowned Mount Isa’s Woman of Achievement. 

Zonta president Lyn White said Ms Goodfellow “personifies what it means to give selflessly”.

“This year’s winner is a lady who has a passion for making a difference to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Ms White said. 

“Her passion for advocating, supporting and promoting the right for young people to have a safe and secure home and community life has not waned in the almost 10 years that she has worked with and for young people in Mount Isa.”

Ms Goodfellow is an active member for Paws, Hoofs and Claws, devotes significant time each year to the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal and is a strong and positive influence in the life of many children and families in the North West region.

Sixteen-year-old Vidhusha Lakshman was named the 2018 Young Woman of Achievement. 

Ms White described the young achiever as a woman “who epitomises all that our community could hope for in a future of Mount Isa women”.

Ms Lakshman is a leader at her school, whilst regularly receiving first place awards for her scholastic endeavours.

She has represented the region at national forums, has served on the Isa Youth Council for two years, plays several sports and instruments, and fundraises.

Ms Lakshman dreams of becoming a doctor and hopes to represent Mount Isa in London at the International Youth Science Program.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Kristee Shepherd. Ms Shepherd sustained a spinal cord injury when she was eighteen years old after falling from a ledge outside her college dormitory room in 2004.

Ms Shepherd shared her journey to independent living with the audience, and spoke about the importance of trusting ones own intuition.

“As a woman, the way we interpret the world and our feelings is very different from a man’s,”Ms Shepherd said. 

“That raw gut feeling we get when we know something is wrong. The internal feeling that prevailing thought tells you that something is not right before any signs even appear. 

“It is one of the most powerful, almost magical forces on earth,” she said.