Upcoming 2024 Events

May Breakfast - 2024

Helen Lewis-Peel and Dr Susan Davis

Our May breakfast was most enjoyable! Delicious food at Headland Golf Club and an inspiring speaker, DR SUSAN DAVIS OAM. Susan described her pathway through life and her group Wildflower Women. A very pleasant relaxing morning in the company of members and guests.

Dr Sue Davis is an independent curator, teacher, writer and researcher with an extensive career in schools and universities.

For more on the event, please visit our Facebook page:

International Women’s Day Breakfast - 2024

Was held Saturday March 9th - Headland Golf Club

Rosanna Natoli

The Guest Speaker was Rosanna Natoli, a journalist who has worked with Channel Seven on the Sunshine Coast for 29 years and taught at the University of the Sunshine Coast for 24 years. Ms Natoli has donated her time to MC at charity functions.

Rosanna, a mother-of-three, is patron of homelessness charity Roofs to Recovery, the Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir, the Maroochydore Orchid Society, the Sunshine Troop disabled dancers, and the Rise2 Foundation for domestic and family violence recovery. She is an ambassador for the Buderim Hospital Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation, and is a member of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.

For more on the event, please click on the link below to visit our Facebook page:

Tropicana Trivia 2024 - Fundraising Event

Was held Saturday January 20th

For more on the event, please visit our Facebook page:

If you like, you can also see photos of our annual Christmas lunch (2023), there on Facebook.

November Breakfast - 2023

The Guest Speaker:

Catherine Stamp - GAICD JP (Qual)

Catherine was born to Maltese immigrant parents, joined the RAAF at 19 and served in Australia and overseas. Became a Commissioned Officer in 2001 and retired ten years later as a senior officer. Elected as first female President of the Caloundra RSL.

Certificates of Appreciation and flowers were presented to Jenny Hughes and Marilyn Keelty for their superb contributions to GWQ SC over their many years of membership.

For more on the event, please visit our Facebook page:

AGM - 2023
Was held on Saturday September 23

Our AGM was held at the Twin Waters Golf Club. The new committee was elected with our current President, Wendy Ashley-Cooper.

A photo of the new committee is here.

Certificates of Appreciation and floral gifts were presented to foundation member, Norma McMichael, and Bev Hinz, for their dedication and enormous contribution to GWQ SC over more than 30 years.

Bev Hinz presenting Norma with flowers and Certificate of Appreciation

Wendy presenting Bev with flowers and Certificate of Appreciation

Bursary Presentation Brunch - 2023
This highlight of the year was held Saturday July 15 at the Innovation Centre, University of Sunshine Coast.

Professor Denise Wood AM, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students), UniSC gave an enlightening presentation about her role, and the achievements made for, and by students at the various campuses including the newest at Moreton Bay. Professor Wood then presented the bursaries to the three recipients:

2023 GWQ SC Undergraduate Bursary Recipients (UniSC)

Gerrie Boeyen, Bursary Committee Chair, with bursary recipients Samantha Aquilina, Poppy Ball and Coby Leahy and chairperson Wendy Ashley-Cooper

Samantha Aquilina - Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours).

Poppy Ball - Third year Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree.

Coby Leahy - Third year Bachelor of Dietetics (Honours).

For more information, please visit our Education bursaries webpage:

Members donate their time and money to provide these bursaries.

May Breakfast - 2023

Was held Saturday 13th May - Headland Golf Club

GWQSC President Wendy Ashley-Cooper, Dr Mary Crawford and GWQSC past president Bev Hinz

The breakfast event was a great success. Our very accomplished speaker & president of GWQ, Dr Mary Crawford, provided a thorough history of women’s fight to be educated up to the present time. Despite more Australian women accessing tertiary education, the gender pay gap remains in favour of males. Worse, she reminded us that most women in the world are fortunate to receive any education.

New Members: Trish Manley, Kathy De Josselin, Carol Boulanger, Jan Jarman, Emilia White and Leah McKenzie

International Women’s Day Breakfast - 2023

Was held Saturday 10th March - Headland Golf Club

Dr Judi Wickes with Gerri Boeyen

The Guest Speaker was Aunty/Dr Judi Wickes (Kalkadoon/Wakka Wikka nations), a respected community Elder, researcher, author, social worker, historian and educator who writes and presents locally, nationally and internationally on the topics of stolen generation and the ‘certificate of exemption’ and its impacts on generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The event was attended by 39 members and 22 guests.

A tableful of groceries and baby goods was collected to donate to the STEMM program (Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring) at Burnside High School.

A raffle was held and raised over $300 towards our bursary program. Two of the current bursary holders attended as guests.

For more information and pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page:

New members are welcome. Please contact us at info@graduatewomen.org.au

Tropicana Trivia - Was held Saturday 21 January

Tropican Event Photos

Everyone enjoyed the Tropicana Trivia afternoon, which was a fundraiser for our bursaries.

Thanks to all who attended.

Please visit our Facebook page for photos of the event.

November Breakfast - 2022
Celebrating Indigenous and Multi-cultural Australia

Speakers at 2022 November Breakfast

Wendy Ashley-Cooper - Incoming President

Nasteho Mukhtar - REP Tertiary Bursary Recipient

Taryn Miller - Indigenous Tertiary Bursary Recipient

Wendy Ashley-Cooper, our new president, described her fascinating life, from childhood in South Africa, Rhodesia & Australia to becoming principal at The Glennie School in Toowoomba.

Taryn Miller, Recipient of the GWQ SC Indigenous Tertiary Bursary, told us why she chose to study Occupational Therapy at UniSC overcoming a number of hurdles. Her proud grandmother attended with her.

Nasteho Mukhtar, Recipient of the GWQ SC Refugee Education Program (REP) Tertiary Bursary, recounted her journey from South Sudan via Kenyan refugee camp to Australia. She credited her brave, resilient mother with saving her and her siblings from a war zone, & encouraging her studies to tertiary level. She is studying Social Work & Psychology.

Taryn and Nasteho were so inspiring and confirm why we work to give bursaries to assist in the education of women.

A sale of favourite books added to the enjoyment and raised money.

For higher resolution photos, please visit our Facebook page:

AGM - 2022
Was held on Saturday September 10

Our AGM was a successful event followed by a delicious buffet lunch provided by Twin Waters Golf Club. The new committee was elected with new President, Wendy Ashley-Cooper.

Gratitude and thanks we’re expressed to long-serving President, Bev Hinz, who was indefatigable in her service to GWQ SC over several terms.

Jenny Hughes presenting Bev with flowers and card

Bursary Presentation Brunch - 2022

Professor Helen Bartlett, Vice-Chancellor & President of UniSC
provided an inspiring update of progress made on all campuses before presenting the bursary certificates.

2022 GWQ SC Undergraduate Bursary Recipients (UniSC)

Jahne Café - Bachelor of Law (honours) degree (fourth year). Jahne has achieved the position of Judge’s Associate for Honourable Justice Paul Freeburn

Rebekah Belte-Dewet - Completing Honours in Psychology. Planning for a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology

Belinda Christensen - Bachelor of Nutrition / Bachelor of Biomedical Science (fourth year). Planning for a Honours year and PhD in 2024

Gerri Boeyen, chair of the bursary committee and Bev Hinz, our chair, introduced the proceedings.

May Breakfast - 2022
Was held on Saturday May 14
Guest Speaker Diane Carter, spoke on the subject of 'Dare to Live - Trust yourself!'

Bev Hinz, Ingrid Gray, Diane Carter (speaker)

Diane was an inspiring speaker with tales of a dangerous life in Africa & elsewhere that were opportunities for growth & resilience.

It was wonderful to have the company of postgrad students from University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) as well as mentees and their GWQ SC mentors from the university's special training program Skilling Queenslanders for Work. The aim of the traineeship is to build the confidence and skillsets of mature and migrant women who, for any number of reasons, have found it difficult to secure employment on the Sunshine Coast.

For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page:

International Women’s Day Breakfast - 2022
Was held Saturday 12th March - Headland Golf Club

Guest Speaker was Emma Thomas, CEO of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council

International Womens’ Day breakfast today at Headland Golf Club was very enjoyable! CEO of Sunshine Coast Council, Emma Thomas, entertained and inspired us with her career history, from when she followed her dream to become an aeronautical engineer in RAAF & Boeing, and other leadership roles resulting in her current role.

We congratulated Mealat Gehrehiwet from Ethiopia who was presented with our Refugee Education Program Tertiary Bursary by Janet Sweatman, chair of REP committee.

Years of membership Certificates were presented.

And finally singer/songwriter Melinda Wells delighted us with her beautiful song, Woman, just released.

November Breakfast - 2021
Celebrating Indigenous and Multi-cultural Australia
Was held on Saturday November 6th 2021
Headland Golf Club – Golf Links Road, Buderim

We all enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast on Saturday 6 November. Norma, our archivist & memory keeper, told us about our 30 years as a group raising money for the education of women & girls. She focused on the challenges and joys of the last five years. She and Libby are foundation members. Our Indigenous bursary winner, Rachel Taylor, spoke movingly about her life of giving to others as a pastor and her future goals in indigenous child welfare.

Certificates were presented to members for 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 & 5 years of membership.

Libby & Norma are seated beside President Bev (in blue) in photograph of all recipients

Rachel Taylor - with bursary certificate and bursary committee

Speakers at 2021 November Breakfast

Norma McMichael - Life Member, Archivist and Memory Keeper

Mealat Gehrehiwet - REP Tertiary Bursary Recipient

Rachel Taylor - Indigenous Tertiary Bursary Recipient

Welcome Members Morning Tea -
Was Held on Saturday June 12th - Twin Waters Golf Club

Morning tea at Twin Waters Golf Club was enjoyed by a happy group of new members welcomed by existing GWQ Sunshine Coast members. Delicious food, great service and of course superb company. President Bev welcomed our new members.

May Breakfast - 2021 -
Was Held on Saturday May 8th - Headland Golf Club

Guest Speaker – Stephen Vagg

Topic: “But what happens next?" A lighthearted look at writing for soap operas.

Meet Stephen Vagg, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Queensland, and MA in Screenwriting and MA (hons) in Screen Studies, Australian Film Television & Radio School

Stephen is a writer and historian based in Brisbane.  For over three years he was story producer on the internationally screened serial drama “Neighbours”, supervising the writing department and helping plot over a thousand thirty-minute episodes. Prior, to that he was a story producer, writer and script editor for several years on the serial drama “Home and Away”. He wrote the feature films “Jucy” and “All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane”, earning an AFI Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for the latter. He won an AWGIE Award for his “Neighbours” script for episode 6857, the first time the show had won in that category in a decade

He is the author of the biography, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in LA, which was turned into the documentary, “Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches”, in which Stephen appeared as an interviewee. He has always worked as a journalist, script editor, researcher and consultant, and is the author of several plays which have been performed around the world, including the AWGIE-nominated “Friday Night Drinks”

What a superb breakfast we had on Saturday 8 May 2021. Lovely food and a marvellous speaker. Stephen Vagg took us through the development of a possible new soap called Paradise (as shown in the photo).

For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page:

International Women’s Day Breakfast - 2021
Held Saturday, March 6 - Alexandra Headland Surf Club

Guest Speaker – Professor Helen Bartlett, Vice-Chancellor and President UniSC, addressing the audience

Over 70 people, including 3 brave men, were present at the wonderful International Women’s Day Breakfast on Saturday 6th March 2021.

Ruth Howard - Bursary Recipient thanking GWQ SC members for the bursary and their hospitality.

A bursary was presented to refugee student Ruth Howard who has commenced her Social Work degree at QUT. She aspires to helping others from similar backgrounds as she was helped. She spoke with joy and gratitude about her 2 weeks on the Sunshine Coast staying with members of GWQ SC.

Professor Helen Bartlett, the new Vice Chancellor and President of the University of the Sunshine Coast, then told us of her journey from student through academic positions in the UK, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia. Gerontology has been her research focus, and she described what she’d gained from working with people from other cultures. She talked about the attributes of good leaders and how she sets goals in each position and is then “relentlessly focused”. A very enjoyable morning. This writer even won a raffle prize!!

Janet Sweatman, Refugee Committee Chair, presents bursary to Ruth Howard

Founding member & archivist, Norma McMichael with husband Dr Mel McMichael and Professor Helen Bartlett

Ruth with husband, Blessing, and Professor Helen Bartlett

Professor Helen Bartlett with GWQ SC Chair Bev Hinz

International Women’s Day Breakfast - 2020
Was held on Saturday, March 7 - Headland Golf Club

Guest Speaker – Dr Gail Crimmins, SFHE

Senior Lecturer and Program Area Coordinator for Creative Industries at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

International Women’s Day (IWD) Breakfast
- was held on March 2019

Commodore Sarah Sharkey RAN CSC

Director General Garrison Health Operations

Director General Navy Health Services

Commodore Sharkey has served as a Medical Officer in the Royal Australian Navy for more than 20 years. CDRE Sharkey began her service under sponsorship while an undergraduate medical student at the University of Queensland and has since enjoyed a range of postings both at sea and ashore with her clinical background mainly in submarine and diving medicine.

In her more recent career she has enjoyed serving at the Director General level in Joint Health Command and as the Head of the Navy Health Community.


Previous May Breakfast - 2019

Guest Speaker – Dr Bridget Boyle

Bridget is a co-founder of debase productions - www.debase.com.au

Bridget spoke on the highlights and challenges of forging a career in the creative industries.
‘Everyone has a story’.


Bursary Presentation Breakfast 2019

Was held on Saturday July 6

Recipients of 2019 Undergraduate Bursaries

Kylie Gordon Bachelor of Environmental Management
Loretta Wilkinson Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
Georgia Moore Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Annaleesa Hinchcliffe Bachelor of Nursing

International Women’s Day (IWD) Breakfast

Dr Katie Seidler & GWQ SC President Bev Hinz

Katie presented: “The Psychology of Violent Crime: Lessons from the Inside"

The IWD breakfast at Maroochy Surf Club was a function to be remembered. In addition to members, we had a large group of guests, in total, 64 members and guests.

Our guest speaker Dr Katie Seidler was able to present a complex topic in a way that everyone could understand. As Member Robyn Nolan wrote: Our amazing speaker, Dr Katie Seidler, addressed “The Psychology of Violent Crime: Lessons from the Inside”. She wowed us with her twenty years’ experience as a Forensic Psychologist working with the violent and abusive people that others fear and avoid, whether they’ve been in prison, are in danger of incarceration or have been released. She has provided rehabilitation to murderers, violent and sexual offenders, and offers ongoing support after release. She explored the development of criminality from prejudicial childhoods, marked by poverty, abuse and neglect, or socialisation, into crime, by poor role modelling or conditioned by learning; or some or all of these factors. Her professional opinions are welcomed by the courts, media and Police. Her enthusiasm and optimism for the benefits of the work to society were impressive.

We were finally able to formally acknowledge the REP success at the 2017 Community Access Awards. Everyone in attendance was able to have a close look at the stylish trophy – the cheque for $2500 was already in the bank and being used!

A visual presentation on IWD breakfasts past provided many interesting and wonderful memories – from the almost debacles (weather and gales when Senator Claire Moore visited) to the inspirational women that have spoken to us with wisdom and love.

Marie Gracey, Elaine Wise, Barbara Campbell, Donna Lyden

Members Yvonne Koster, Nnenna Ike, Jan Dopson and guest Maureen Turner.

Members Coral Usher, Marilyn Keelty and Kayla Szumer.

The raffle (put together by Jan Leaks-Jones from member and other donations) raised an amazing $372!

Funds raised from this breakfast are directed toward our bursary program for the education of women and girls, including:


Bev Hinz Christmas 2018
President Bev Hinz

Bev Hinz with the GWQ SC Christmas Tree, as part of St Mark’s Anglican Church Buderim, Festival Of Christmas Trees.

Book sale November 2018 breakfast raised $257.55. It was organised by Bernice Anderson (seated).

Through the sale of paintings inspired by her recent trip to Central Australia, Sally Chandler has raised over $3,000 to fund a study bursary for indigenous women.

It’sinthebag# - Three shopping trolleys full of donations. The collection was organised by Judy Allinson, to provide women in reduced circumstances (e.g. homeless or in crisis accommodation) with personal items.

May 12 Breakfast

Captain Jan Becker
photo courtesy - beckerhelicopters.com

Guest Speaker was Captain Jan Becker, midwife, CEO Becker Helicopters Pilot Training, 2017 UniSC Alumnus Student of the Year, and QLD Woman's Telstra Business Owner Winner. Jan combines her role in the family business with her humanitarian work in Tanzania, assisting mothers and babies.

Australia Day Lunch - 2018

Linda Boyle and Acrostic Winners 2018

The annual Australia Day lunch was held at Palmwoods Hotel on January 15. Many attendees participated in the Acrostic competition, demonstrating that creativity and wit does not just reside in the young. The overall winner was Betty Vawser (right), who admits to being over 90


The 2017 International Women’s Day Breakfast
was held at The Yacht Club, Mooloolaba

Dr Bridie Scott-Park and member Val Ross

The Guest Speaker was Dr Bridie Scott-Parker (Senior USC Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council)

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker leads the Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ARRU) at the University of the Sunshine Coast. As leader of ARRU, Bridie is also interested in adolescent health and wellbeing generally and includes risk taking and the influence of personal, social and structural influence upon risky behaviour.

Theme for 2017 is “Be Bold For Change” – help forge a better working world, a more inclusive, gender equal world.

Bursary Events

2017 Bursary Recipients

Left to right: Committee members Janet Sweatman and Robyn Redknap with Bursary recipients Julie Reeves, Kate Whitaker and Eliza Berry with two other committee members Marijke Boonstra and Committee Chair Judy Allinson


The 2017 Bursary Presentation Breakfast
Was held at the Innovation Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast on 1st July.
Our successful under-graduate bursary winners shared their education journey.