Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award

Zonta International believes that young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service. It offers the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award, which recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

Established in 1990, since then Zonta has given 1013 awards and US$1,207,250, to 851 young women from 58 countries (to 2021).

The program operates at the Zonta club, district/regional and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/regional and international awards are funded by the Zonta Foundation for Women. Our club awards $500 to the winner and the District (national) winner receives NZ$1,000 from District 16, and from Zonta International US$5,000 each.


Women, aged 16-19 on 1 April each year, studying at a secondary school, college, or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply. 

  • Active commitment to volunteerism.
  • Experience in local government, student government, or workplace leadership (paid or unpaid).
  • Volunteer leadership achievements.
  • Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
  • Support in Zonta International’s mission of empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply and are encouraged to do so.

May 19, 2024

Application Process:

The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the deadline printed on the application. An application downloaded from the Zonta International website must go through a local Zonta Club. The Zonta Club of Christchurch-Canterbury applications close 31 October 2023. The 2024 application form can be downloaded at the end of August 2023.

Use the Contact Us button on the home page and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

Available to young women, ages 16-19, members of Z Club are encouraged to apply for this award.

Past Winners:

2023 Mackenzie Butler – Darfield High School

2022 Carmen Holdaway – Riccarton High School, plus District 16 Winner

2020 Katherine Hadler – Darfield High School

Other Zonta International Awards & Scholarships:

  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Zonta annually awards up to 35 Fellowships of US$10,000 each to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.   Further information can be found here

  • Jane M Klausman – Women in Business Scholarship

Zonta helps women of any age who are studying in a business-related field, and who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field. Subjects of study include accounting, economics, finance, business management, business technology, information technology, marketing, operations management, human resources management, international business or entrepreneurship.

The successful applicant receives a $500 award from the Zonta Club of Christchurch-Canterbury, and their application is put forward for the opportunity to win a national award of US$5000 plus NZ$1000.  One national award is offered each year.


Women studying in any of the above fields, from 2nd year of an undergraduate degree, through to the final year of a master’s programme are eligible to apply.

Application process:

Applications open in May each year and close in July. See the News/Events tab above for this year’s deadline date.

Further information and an application form is found at    Completed applications are to be emailed to

Past Winners:

2022  Lauren Thomas – Lincoln University, plus District 16 (national) winner

2023 Ashley Tierney – Lincoln University

  • Women in STEM Scholarship

Zonta helps women who are pursuing a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree, and who demonstrate outstanding potential. 

Those studying at 2nd year, through to the final year of a master’s program are eligible.

The successful New Zealand applicant receives US$5000.

Further information can be found at

Zonta Canterbury Tertiary Education Scholarship

This scholarship is given by the Zonta Canterbury Tertiary Education Trust which is made up of Trustees of the four Canterbury Zonta clubs. It was established in 1990 by the Zonta Clubs of Christchurch to assist Canterbury women undertaking a course of tertiary study. Preference is given to women students over 30, in need of financial assistance.

The current value of the Scholarship is up to $3000 per annum to support tertiary study. The tenure of the Scholarship may be for a period of up to three years (subject to proven academic achievement being reached each year), including the current year. The next  scholarship will be advertised again in early 2025.

Please Use the Contact Us button on the home page to request more information and we will respond to you within 48 hours.