May…Service is what “We Share”

Quota Centennial Banner BOLD

In Quota’s first years of existence, the organization’s full focus appeared to be on leadership and growth; it was not until the fifth Convention held in Buffalo in 1924 that there is any record of a focus being placed on service.  At that convention, the organization-wide service program adopted by all clubs was called “Service to Girls”.

“Service to Girls” & Beyond

Projects that aimed to enable girls to remain in school longer and to identify underprivileged girls in need of assistance and special training were the forerunners of a wide variety of Quota club service activities to fall under the umbrella of “Service to Girls”. Such activities were the primary, and unifying focus of Quota clubs for the fourteen years.  Then, in 1938, the concept of service activities was broadened by President Elsie M. Yellis when she proposed a five-point community service plan. This plan became the basis of our Objects and Action Committees today.  The five-point plan for Quota community service encouraged clubs to build their activities around creating opportunities, specifically: opportunity for good citizenship; opportunity for international service; opportunity for friendly relations; opportunity for the recognition of the achievement of women; and the opportunity for service to women and girls.Elsie Yellis

War Service

When World War II interrupted the lives of so many worldwide, Quota Club International came of age.  At the 1940 Convention held in San Francisco, a resolution was supported which allowed for individual Quotarians to contribute to the war effort in their local communities. As a result, individual members raised enough money for the Red Cross to buy two ambulances!  Other war and defense projects included: selling bonds; blood typing; sewing; knitting; nursery and canteen work; first aid and civilian defense.  The next five years certainly provided opportunity for Quotarians to establish a reputation in their communities for their war service and emergency relief.  Additionally, during the war, the conventions planned for 1943 and 1945 were cancelled – a challenging sacrifice for the relatively young organization.  Members were kept informed as best as possible through The Quotarian and continued to focus on the organization-wide five-point plan for community service, with each Board Member serving as the Chairman of one of the five-point activity programs that had been adopted two years previously.  Thankfully, Quota continued to grow throughout the war.

Quota International Fellowship Fund

Despite the war raging on, in 1943 the Board of Quota Club International allocated $500.00 of funds to create an educational fellowship award in honor of Quota’s silver jubilee which would be celebrated in 1944.  The criteria for the fellowship award mandated that the applicant must work in a field of service supporting women and children.  The first Quota Fellowship Fund awardee was Catalina Rodriguez del Pozzo from Cuba who used the money to enroll in a graduate study program at Louisiana State University’s School of Commerce.  The continuation of the award was approved at the 1944 convention and in 1946, a resolution made the project an annual grant by directing that provision be made for it in the annual budget.  In 1949, the eligibility for the grant was extended to include all countries not under Soviet domination.  At the 1951 convention a resolution passed which further established a separate Fellowship Fund to which clubs, members, and districts could donate. With the creation of the Fellowship Fund, “Miss Quiff” arrived.  The “Miss Quiff” was a piece of art symbolic of the young women who were chosen to receive financial assistance from Quota’s Fellowship Fund in the 1950’s and 60’s.   To further protect the money raised for fellowship awards, a trust was set up and managed by a Board of Trustees for the protection of the funds and the careful investment of the principal. Over the next 27 years, 61 women benefitted from the Quota International Fellowship Fund – a program that created a closer bond of friendship and fellowship in service to women and children in 24 countries. Miss Quiff

Partnering with CARE

Quotarians at the 1969 Convention approved a partnership between Quota and the international relief organization, CARE.  Under the title “Quota/CARE Key to Development”, a number of international service projects were adopted by Quota.  These international projects, funded by Quota Clubs and directed through CARE, included: a home canning project in Turkey; the building of middle schools in Korea (2 were completed in mid-1972); the training of nurses for hospital duty in Afghanistan; the provision of clean water to remote villages in Kenya; a food production project in the Philippines to provide food for malnourished students; and the building of day-care centres in India.  From 1968 to 1988 when Quota’s own World Service Club to Club program was established, Quotarians contributed more than $100,000.00 to support CARE programs.

Quota Commits to Help the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired

In 1970, Jeanette Healey was elected International President. It was during her presidency that Quota lay the groundwork for the United Service Project that would take shape in the years following.  Quota’s service projects were so different from club to club that the organization as a whole was not receiving recognition for the work that the clubs were doing around the world. It was determined that if all clubs worked towards a common goal, Quota would develop a unique identity and stronger reputation in the public eye. Therefore, at the 1971 convention, a resolution was adopted urging every club and district to undertake at least one project involving financial assistance or personal service in the field of hearing and speech.  Further, at the 1972 Convention, a subsequent resolution specified aid to hearing and speech impaired people as the official United Service Project of Quota International; additionally clubs in every country were urged to observe their country’s national hearing awareness month. In 1974, the Fellowship Fund focus was changed to provide scholarships to students who were deaf or hearing-impaired, or preparing to work with hearing-impaired people.  This change resulted in a close partnership between Quota and Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. the world’s only university for the deaf.   The students who became recipients of a scholarship from the Fellowship Fund from this point on were international students studying at Gallaudet University.

In 1974, during the presidency of Helen Turk, the Board of Directors established a Quota International Incorporated Charitable and Educational Foundation, a tax exempt, not-for-profit organization.  The purpose of the Foundation would be to fund and guide the United Service Project by encouraging and directing activities through which local clubs could educate the general public about deafness and its resulting problems.   The role of this Foundation, now known as the ‘We Share Foundation’ is still described in Quota’s Bylaws under Article XI – Section 5D. Helen A Turk

In 1978, the inauguration of the Deaf Woman of the Year occurred, recognizing an outstanding  deaf woman for her achievements each year, selected from nominations submitted by clubs.  The inaugural winner was Irene Tunanidas of Youngtown, Ohio.  Charlotte Schamadan, nominated by the Monrovia Quota Club in California, was another Quota Deaf Woman of the Year who subsequently joined the Monrovia Club, then in 1997 was elected International President, and never stopped her advocacy for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Charlotte Schamadan, Past International President

In 1980, the South Pacific Area joined the United Service Project by establishing the Quota SPA Scholarship for Work for the Hearing and Speech Impaired.

Lastly, the campaign, “What is Silence”, which transformed into “Shatter Silence”, was supported by all Quota Clubs through projects that benefitted deaf and hearing-impaired individuals in their local communities.  This campaign continues to this day through the support of more modern projects like funding cochlear implants for children, “Signing Santa”, the distribution of ear plugs, and the installation of classroom technology to assist hearing-impaired children and their teachers.


In 2019, the “Unified Service Committee” has been revitalized to ensure Quota International’s service projects continue to support every Quota community.


June…… Quota’s Administration and Administrators.


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South Pacific Area Scholarship Trust Celebrates Decades of Service by Announcing 2019 Winners

Since 1981, the Quota South Pacific Area Scholarship for Work in the Fields of Speech and Hearing has been awarding scholarships to students working in the fields of speech and hearing. Although operating under a Deed of Trust completely separate from Quota International, Inc., throughout its history, the Trust has been funded by Quota clubs in the South Pacific area, as well as by private donors. The trust is managed by three Trustees and a small committee of Quotarians from clubs in Australia and New Zealand.

 2019 Scholarship Winners

The Trustees of the Scholarship Trust have just announced 2019 winners – four recipients who will receive a combined scholarship amount of AUS$16,000.00.

  • Jessica Balfour-Ogilvy and Jennifer Bergman from the Hear & Say Centre in Brisbane, Queensland will share AUS$8,000.00 to visit Centres in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Spain. Their trip will include giving three presentations at the AG Bell Symposium in Madrid, a precursor to the AG Bell Convention in Brisbane, Queensland in 2020. The conference in Brisbane will be hosted by Auditory Verbal United Kingdom, Western-Danish Cochlear Implant Centre (Denmark), AG Bell International and the Ear Foundation, Nottingham (United Kingdom) and will facilitate numerous professional, local, national, and international community networking and educational opportunities. It will also be an opportunity to highlight the amazing contribution Quota makes to support people with hearing loss world-wide.


  • A scholarship of $5,000.00 has been awarded to Suzanne Hopf of Charles Sturt University, School of Community Health, in Bathurst, New South Wales. Suzanne is an Australian trained Speech-Language Pathologist with dual Fijian- Australian citizenship. She will be meeting with communication specialists in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu on a project to bring together speakers of Pacific Island indigenous languages to ultimately create a functional Word-list for these islands. Such a list will assist South Pacific Area Specialists with the early diagnosis and treatment of communication disabilities.


  • The Sheila Drummond Bursary Scholarship of $3,000.00 has been awarded to Jayne Simpson-Allen, an Auditory-Verbal Therapist from The Hearing House in Auckland, New Zealand. She will use this money to attend the AG Bell Symposium in Madrid to present her paper “Babies: Talk, Sing, Read, Repeat” and/or “Home and Away: Teletherapy for Tots to Teenagers”. This Auditory-Verbal therapist teaches parents to use natural situations to enhance their infants hearing with the aim of learning to listen and speak.

History of the Trust’s Beginnings

South pacific scholarship photo
Governor Sheila Drummond presenting the Charter to President Audrey Cunningham for the Caulfield Club, chartered on November 3, 1973. 

It was at the Combined Meeting of the Australian clubs held in Nambour, Queensland, in 1977, chaired by Area Director Patricia Walsh and attended by International President Isobel Sullivan, that a proposal was put forward to establish a scholarship fund. Well-known Speech Therapist Sheila Drummond, member of the Caulfield club in Victoria, proposed an investigation into the feasibility of establishing a Scholarship Trust to support those working in the fields of speech and hearing. The proposal was given the “go ahead”. At the next and first Area Meeting of the South Pacific Area clubs, held in Sydney, Australia, under the chairmanship of Area Director Joan Dooley, and in conjunction with the first International Convention to be held in Australia in 1980, a motion to set up a Scholarship Trust Fund was adopted as well as a motion to appoint three Trustees and an outline for operation. The three Trustees were appointed by the Area Director: Sheila Drummond, chair of the three-member Selection Committee; Audrey Cunningham, an Accountant and chair of a three-member Finance Committee; and Noreen Cloonen, a Solicitor, chair of a three-member Advisory Committee. All Trustees at that time came from clubs in Quota’s former District 38, in Victoria. Joan Dooley, then Area Director, was Ex-Officio to the committee – a policy which continued for a number of years, and was then expanded to be included in the scholarship selection process.

The process of drawing up the Deed of Trust then fell to Noreen Cloonen and her committee, and on May 4, 1981, the Deed was legally signed by the three Trustees. Fundraising began at that time.

The establishment of the legalities and financing of the Scholarship proved to be a complicated and on-going process for a number of years, managed by each current South Pacific Area Director of the time. But in the 1981-82 Quota year, the first Scholarships were awarded to Elizabeth Armstrong from Victoria for AUS$2,800 and to Elisi Netiunarride from Fiji for AUS$752.30.

Committee Membership Expands Beyond Victoria

After Audrey Cunningham and Sheila Drummond resigned in 1988 and 1990, respectively, these initial Trustees were replaced by two more members from Victorian clubs: Betsy Compton as Finance Trustee and Jean Evans as Selection Trustee. The two appointments were made by then Area Director Beth Hogan. For the convenience of communication and because the Deed of Trust was drawn up according to the Victorian Trust Act of 1958, all committee members came from Victorian clubs. However, the Deed of Trust was revised in 2000 and re-written again in 2004 when June Young was South Pacific Area Director, thereby extending committee membership to members from any State in Australia. The current Trustees, Karen Morrison, Christine Ryder, and Barbara McCabe, all from Region 14, aim to have a committee representative from each Quota Region in the South Pacific Area.

The funding of the Trust by clubs in Australia and New Zealand has continued for 38 years, reaching a total today of AUS$325,461, and the work of the Scholarship Trust continues to be administered by a dedicated group of Quotarians. These committed members voluntarily give of their time and financial resources to attend two meetings a year to select the Scholarship recipients. They also attend an annual general meeting to ensure that the Trust Fund continues to serve its purpose: to support speech and hard-of-hearing individuals through the facilitation of professional development opportunities for those working in these medical fields.