A fresh direction for MDA

A fresh direction for MDA

"MDA is at the forefront in first aid … and so we want to bring a little bit of that back here and pass it on to our community..."

New MDA CEO David Freed.
New MDA CEO David Freed.

New Australian Friends of Magen David Adom (MDA) CEO David Freed wants to see the organisation engage more with the local community.

Freed started in the role late last year after a successful business career.

“The key reason I came here was partly to give back to the community,” he said.

“The other major thing is when you look at what MDA does in Israel, and you look at the people behind the name, you just feel so proud of who they are.”

While the local organisation supports MDA in Israel by fundraising for essential equipment, Freed perceived “a missing link between Israel and Australia”.

To that end he is overseeing the introduction of MDA first aid kits and courses to school students free of charge in order to foster a closer connection with the local community.

“MDA is at the forefront in first aid … and so we want to bring a little bit of that back here and pass it on to our community so they have a better understanding about who we are, what we actually do, what our values are,” he said.

The organisation has just launched a youth committee. A program will begin later this year to engage gap-year participants who undertake MDA courses in Israel and keep them connected when they return.

“It’s going to enable the youth to have a purpose when they go and do the course and then to come back here and be an advocate, be an ambassador,” said Freed.

In other MDA news, Moriah College students held an MDA Day last year with a virtual challenge to travel from the north to south of Israel.

Using the school’s gym equipment for the challenge, students ran 88 kilometres around the Golan Heights, rowed 110 kilometres around Lake Tiberias, cycled 156 kilometres from Haifa to Jerusalem and hiked 30 kilometres along the Jerusalem Trail.

Close to $4000 was raised to purchase a defibrillator for an MDA ambulance in Israel.

“We congratulate Hillel house captain Ben Lonstein for rallying support and organising this very successful event and the students for their participation,” MDA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, when MDA first responders were called to a serious road accident on Highway 4 in Israel recently, one of the first vehicles on the scene was a medicycle donated by a Sydney donor, the late Bruce Block.

“Australian Friends of Magen David Adom is proud to play a critical lifesaving role in these emergency situations by funding the purchase of ambulances and medicycles,” MDA said.

More info on MDA: magendavidadom.org.au or (02) 9358 2521.

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