Australia Day Honours

Australia Day Honours

This year 39 Australian Jews have been recognised in the Australia Day honours awards.

Pauline Gandel and Rhonda Galbally  received the highest honour, being made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) while six Jews were made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 14 Jewish people were honoured as Members of the Order of Australia (AM) and a further 17 received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Briefs on each recipient can be found below, with full interviews in next week’s AJN.


Pauline Gandel AC

PHILANTHROPIST Pauline Gandel has been recognised as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), one of the highest levels in the Australia Day Honours.

Gandel’s award cites her work of many years in the community, in humanitarian, philanthropic and fundraising endeavours, and in social inclusion, as well as in building closer relations between Australia and Japan.

Interviewed by The AJN, Gandel spoke about her philosophy of being communally active. “My philosophy is simple – be directly involved, and also give with your heart, as well as your head! 

Asked to name a few projects that have particularly stood out for her, Gandel emphasised that her award reflected the totality of her communal involvement, but she noted, “Our work in the Jewish community has always been the greatest source of pride and joy to all of my family.”

Turning to the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators, she described it as “our jewel in the crown”. “Meeting those teachers, the majority of whom are actually non-Jewish, hearing their stories of how they change their students’ perceptions about the Holocaust and human rights on a daily basis, is beyond inspirational – it is truly life-changing!”

She and John Gandel “are just very lucky to have been successful in life and we want to share that fortune, give back, contribute, and help others less fortunate to build fulfilling lives”.

“I am very passionate about our country and the wonderful multicultural society that we have here. Australia is as successful as it is exactly because of all the differences that, I believe, bring us together and make us stronger, rather than pulling us apart.”


Professor Rhonda Louise Galbally AC

Professor Rhonda Louise Galbally has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia for her eminent service to the advancement of social equity, particularly to the health and welfare of people with a disability, and to the community

Galbally, who was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991, is a board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency and has previously served as the chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carers Council.

She has also been the chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital for a decade, the pattern of the Compassionate Friends of Victoria was the recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2001.


Susan Maslin AO

AUSTRALIAN film industry icon Susan Maslin has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service to Australian cinema as a producer and through her work in professional film bodies.

As the inaugural director of the Festival of Australian Films in Israel, a project of the Australian Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE), Maslin helped blaze the trail for Australian cinema in Israel. Maslin recalls the enthusiastic reaction by Israelis to the first ever curated festival of Australian cinema in Israel. “I really valued meeting with Israeli filmmakers as well as the Israeli funding bodies,” she told The AJN.

Maslin has been principal of Film Art Media since 2008 and is the current patron of Women in Film and Television. She has also been closely involved with Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

She has been executive producer of films including Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, Paper Trails, Ringbalin: Breaking the Drought, and Irresistible. 

A personal career highlight was producing The Dressmaker. “The film lives on,” she said, referring to a touring exhibition of costumes from the iconic 2015 film – in fact, Maslin was busy freighting costumes for the exhibition when The AJN called.

Maslin is currently the president of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, a film scholarship she helped found in 2011, named in honour of Australia’s only female cinema entrepreneur. Maslin has also played a strong educational role in the film industry, as Adjunct Professor at RMIT University’s School of Media and Communication since 2010, and as a Charles Herschell Industry Fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne University.


Elena Kats-Chernin AO

AWARD-WINNING composer and pianist Elena Kats-Chernin’s musical repertoire is a treasure trove of beautifully crafted and internationally acclaimed work that not only spans four decades, but multiple genres and forms.

The Sydney resident has been commissioned by leading symphony, chamber and Brandenburg orchestras around Australia and the world, written operas for the stage and television series, released solo and collaborative albums including ARIA classical chart toppers Butterflying and Unsent Love Letters, and composed Deep Sea Dreaming for the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Her immense contribution to music has been recognised through becoming an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Kats-Chernin said she feels very proud, but also “surprised and totally amazed”, about becoming an AO. “I’m a migrant – I was born in Uzbekistan, I studied in Moscow and worked for 13 years in Germany … so I feel incredibly lucky and honoured by this.”


Jillian Segal AO

THERE are “so many ways and so many opportunities to make a difference”, businesswoman and Jewish communal identity Jillian Segal told The AJN after being honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

“The sky is the limit as to what one can choose to do and it just needs that mindset of wanting to make a difference,” she said.

Segal’s honour recognises her “distinguished service to the banking and financial regulation sectors, to not-for-profit organisations and to women”.

A varied and decorated career has seen her take on a number of senior roles in the finance industry, in academia, and in both the Jewish and wider communities.

She said she is particularly proud of her involvement with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, of which she is currently deputy president, her work as chair of the Sir John Monash Foundation and her achievements with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, where she helped facilitate the establishment of a joint venture with the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

She added it’s been “extremely gratifying” to be involved with the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and seeing the tangible result of its work both in terms of interest in the start-up nation and actual business transactions.

A strong role model for young women, she encouraged all young people to put their best foot forward. “Young people should not wait until they are retired to contribute to community,” she said,


Professor Sharon Lewin, AO

PROFESSOR Sharon Lewin has an infinitely long list of credentials to her name – her latest, becoming an Officer of the Order (AO) for distinguished service to medical research, and to education, in the field of infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS. 

“I was very excited to find this out. It was very unexpected and a great honour,” she told The AJN. 

Lewin holds several esteemed roles spanning across the University of Melbourne, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Alfred Hospital, Monash University, Burnet Institute, National Health and Medical Research Council, Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, the World Health Organisation and state and federal Departments of Health. 

But she began her journey in infectious diseases as she concluded her medical training. It was the mid-1980s and the peak period of HIV/AIDS. The largely unknown disease evoked fear and social stigma for its terrible prognosis. In 1989, Lewin spent a year in Kenya, working firsthand with those suffering from the disease. 


Emeritus Professor Harold Luntz, AO

PROFESSOR Harold Luntz has been made an AO for his distinguished service to legal education, as an academic and editor, to professional development, and the community. 

And his contributions are significant indeed.

A senior lecturer in law at the University of Melbourne from 1965-1970, Luntz enjoyed an impressive upward trajectory, climbing the ranks as professor, dean of the faculty of law from 1986-1988, professorial fellow, and George Paton Chair of Law from 1976-2002, before becoming emeritus professor in 2008. 

But law was something he “drifted into”, unsure of the path he wanted to pursue at university. Recognising the prospects to work and travel, Luntz gave law a go, and “became fascinated” with it, before entering the world of legal education. 

Considered a foremost world expert in torts, Luntz received the inaugural John G Fleming Memorial Award for Torts Scholarship in 2000, an honour which he reflects upon as a highlight of his career.


Ronni Kahn AO

FOUNDER and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn has a long string of successes to her name.

Through her not-for-profit organisation, she founded Australia’s first ever rescued food supermarket, a training program for at-risk youth, and a consumer focused food waste prevention education program called Fight Food Waste.

She also received an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 2017, and was named Australia’s Local Hero as part of the Australian of the Year Awards in 2010.

But the fearless food fighter insists these aren’t achievements, they are simply a list detailing what she loves doing most.

For distinguished service to social welfare, particularly through the development and delivery of innovative programs, Kahn has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia.

OzHarvest’s model has spread to lands far and wide, particularly with the commencement of UKHarvest and KiwiHarvest in the last few years, and now with an added honour to her portfolio, Kahn remarked, “There is absolutely no doubt that an award such as this will help to share what OzHarvest does.”


Robert Gavshon AM

SERVICE to the Jewish community is in Robert Gavshon’s DNA, the businessman and communal stalwart said upon being recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Gavshon’s honour is in recognition of his “significant service” to education, to business and to the NSW Jewish community.

Gavshon has held a number of board roles at Moriah College including president, in addition to his work with JCA and chairing the recent Karshrut Committee Inquiry.

He said he is particularly proud of his tenure at Moriah.

In the business world, he said he is proud to have helped build some of Australia’s most iconic brands, including Barbecues Galore, Rebel Sport and Oporto, and more recently in the education sector, Open Colleges, Think Education and Cluey Learning.

He said his best piece of advice to people starting out is “to retain focus and only do those things about which they are passionate”.


Lynette Chester AM

FROM holding lamington drives to manning the phones in the early ’80s as a co-founder of Australia’s first Alzheimer’s disease support group, to serving in leadership positions on state and national associations and convening the inaugural National Alzheimer’s Conference, Lynette Chester has been a champion for raising awareness about dementia.

The Perth resident was officially announced on Australia Day as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her tireless work helping thousands of people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Chester is a founding member – and now a life member – of the Alzheimer’s Association of Western Australia [now Alzheimer’s WA], and she served terms as its secretary, treasurer, vice-president and president between 1987 and 1998 when it evolved from a completely volunteer-run group to a professional organisation with more than 500 members.

She also held senior roles including treasurer and vice-president at Alzheimer’s Australia [now Dementia Australia] in the early ’90s.


Ron Grunstein AM

ALL of us appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep, so it is apt that Professor Ronald Grunstein should be recognised for his contribution to sleep medicine.

Grunstein’s recognition as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) is for “significant service to medical education and research in the field of sleep disorders”.

The son of Holocaust survivors said, “It is an individual honour but it reflects on the people around you.

“It was good that the field I work in is recognised, that the work that I’ve done is recognised and the people that I work with are recognised. For my family, they support me to allow me to put in the hours to do this, so for them it’s important as well,” he said.

Grunstein’s decorated career – with senior roles in the World Sleep Society, Sleep Disorders Australia, the American Thoracic Society, the Australasian Sleep Association and other bodies – began by chance.


Sally Goldner AM

SALLY Goldner has been recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the LGBTIQ community.

Goldner holds key roles with various LGBTIQ organisations, as treasurer and media spokesperson for Transgender Victoria, an organisation she co-founded in 1999 and was executive director of.

Since 2010, the LGBTIQ advocate has been treasurer of Bi-Alliance Victoria, and helped establish it. She was a treasurer and spokesperson for the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby for five years, and helped found the Seahorse Club of Victoria in 2007.

She co-founded Transfamily, a support group for parents and siblings of transgender people.

Goldner was involved in the launch and management of the No to Homophobia campaign, and has been on the Victorian Attorney-General’s Ministerial LGBTI Advisory Committee for 10 years.


Peter Cohen AM

WHEN The AJN phoned Peter Cohen during a visit to Israel, the widely travelled sports administrator was upbeat about being recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his long years in sports administration.

Cohen’s AM follows his recognition with an OAM in 2000 for his contribution to Australian hockey.

Starting out playing in A-grade Victorian field hockey, Cohen later took up hockey administration when he began practising law, and eventually moved into the international sphere.

From 2001-11, he was honorary secretary-general of the International Hockey Federation (IHF), the number-two position in world hockey, a role that took him to sports events around the world, including the Olympics. Cohen looks back fondly on attending four Olympic Games,

As much of the IHF’s activities were based in Europe, Cohen was able to use the time difference to Australia to attend to his law profession by day and to his volunteer work with the federation in the evening hours, liaising with IHF staff in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Jon Faine AM

IN what can be seen as a fitting farewell for broadcaster Jon Faine, who has revealed that 2019 will be his last year behind the ABC Melbourne microphone after a 23-year run, the veteran morning host has been recognised as Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Faine’s citation refers to his “significant service to the broadcast media as a radio presenter, to the law and to the community”.

At ABC Melbourne, Faine has hosted The Morning Show and The Conversation Hour since 1997, and is a former host and producer of The Law Report on Radio National.

As a lawyer, he was involved in the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Fitzroy Legal Service and the Tenants Union Legal Service, and is a past member of the Victoria Law Foundation and has been a trustee and foundation member of the Tim McCoy Trust since 1988.

No stranger to awards, Faine has netted the Distinguished Fellowship at Monash University in 2013 and the ABC Local Radio Broadcaster of the Year award in 2003.

Announcing his plans to step down from The Morning Show, Faine told listeners, “It is rare for someone who does my gig to get to choose the timing of their departure — instead of having it chosen for them. I never expected to be in this privileged role for anything like as long as I have been, and change is not something to be afraid of.


Allan Vidor AM

FOR businessman and communal identity Allan Vidor, being honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia is “a reflection on the leadership teams at both JewishCare and within our [Toga] hotels business”.

When Vidor became involved with JewishCare in 2006, “I wanted to get involved with the organisation really that helps people at grassroots within the community and JewishCare was the obvious choice,” he said.

He listed his two great achievements at the organisation as the composition of the current board and JewishCare’s professional leadership team.


Joseph Aarons AM

VETERAN lawn bowls administrator Joe Aarons has been recognised as an AM for his significant service to the sport, particularly at national and international level. 

Aarons is no stranger to having prestigious honours bestowed on him, with the Maccabi Victoria hall of fame member awarded an OAM on The Queen’s Birthday in 2006 for his service to the Jewish community through the Maccabi movement.

Aarons was “really surprised and elated” when he received the news of his most recent honour and he identified Keith Rubinstein as the person who sparked his passion for the sport.

The highlight of his career came in 2012 when he became the first Jewish person and the second Australian to be voted in as president of World Bowls, the sport’s governing body.  “Being Jewish and invited to the Maccabiah Games as president of the world bowls, yes that was a highlight,” Aarons reflected.

Aarons previously had senior roles at  Bowls Australia, Maccabi Ajax Lawn Bowls Club, Bowls Victoria, MCC Kew Sports Club and Caulfield Park Sports Club.


Anita Jacoby AM

RENOWNED Australian film and television producer and journalist Anita Jacoby – who has worked since the early 80s on award-winning programs including Witness, 60 Minutes, Enough Rope and The Gruen Transfer – has become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to broadcast and print media, and to community mental health groups.

Jacoby was a non-executive board director at Headspace from 2013-2016, and a member of Dementia Australia’s NSW Advisory Committee until 2017.

She established the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship in 2013 – in memory of her father, Phillip – to support talented young journalists, and is currently a board member and mentor at Women in Media, and at the Screen Producers Association.

Jacoby told The AJN her upbringing was irreligious, and she only discovered her Jewish heritage recently when doing family research.

She came across transcribed interviews of her father conducted by the war-time Australian Aliens Control Tribunal, in which he shed light about living in Nazi Germany as a Jew in 1933, what he went through, and how he escaped.


Brian Seidler AM

SIGNIFICANT service to the building and construction industry through professional organisations has seen Brian Seidler become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) this long weekend.

The Sydney resident has been executive director of the Master Builders Association of NSW since 1999 and has overseen improvements in policy and industry practices while serving in committees that focus on training, industrial relations and workplace safety.

Since the mid-1990s he has also served as a director, chair, advisor or committee member at industry organisations including the Building Workers Assistance Centre, the Construction Industry Drug and Alcohol Foundation, the Construction Employees Redundancy Trust, the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity, the National Labour Consultative Council, and Mates in Construction.

The latter organisation, which Seidler has served as chairman since 2014, assists people who suffer depression and mental health conditions and work in the construction industry.


Nathan Cherny AM

DOCTOR Nathan Cherny was “blown away” to have his accomplishments in palliative medicine and cancer care recognised with the title of AM by his native Australia, despite making aliyah 30 years ago.

Cherny is a medical oncologist, director of Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Service, the co-founder of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Medicine Department and Chair of Humanistic Medicine at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem. 

Cherny’s pursuit of a career in oncology and and palliative care was born of personal experience — when he himself underwent cancer treatment at Peter Mac and the Alfred Hospital as a young medical student.

Cherny has also received the title of Associate Professor of Medicine from Ben Gurion University in 2008; and more recently in 2017, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Monash University. 

The doctor lists his ability to generate ideas about improving care and seeing them impact on the wellbeing of his patients and their families at Shaare Zedek — and globally beyond — as one of his proudest contributions. 


Noah David Grace AM

PROMINENT Jewish barrister David Grace has been honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to criminal law, and to the community through pro-bono contributions to sporting bodies.

Grace, a Queen’s Councel solicitor in Victoria and Western Australia since 1994 and 1996 respectively, is widely recognised as one of Australia’s finest criminal lawyers and advocates.

With over 40 years of experience, Grace has held a number of significant positions, including a recently concluded 15-year stint as Co-Chair, National Criminal Law Committee, Law Council of Australia.

Boasting a long list of achievements, Grace believes there is one that stands out for him.

Reflecting on his honour, Grace said, “I have always been of the opinion that if one has the skills, ability and expertise to contribute to the betterment of society then one should do so”.

Grace has been fortunate over his career to combine two of his passions, with his contribution to local, state and national sport a strong element of his AM recognition.

He has acted as an Arbitrator on the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2000 and has been a constant presence on the Australian Olympic Committee.

His passion for athletics saw him take on a number of roles with Athletics Australia, which culminated in life membership last year.

Since 2004, Grace has also been involved with AFL club West Coast Eagles as their Honorary General Counsel.

At community level, his involvement and contribution to the Maccabi organisation has been extensive, earning him life membership in 2018.


Professor Paul Haber AM

SYDNEY’S Professor Paul Haber has become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his substantial contribution to medical education and research, particularly in the field of addiction medicine.

Professor Haber has been the head of Addictive Medicine at the University of Sydney since 2008, a senior staff specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital since 1998, and is the clinical director of Sydney Local Health District’s Drug Health Service.

He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the regional editor of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

A practitioner research fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council, Professor Haber served as president of the Royal Australian College of Physicians’ Chapter of Addictive Medicine from 2011 to 2013, and he won the senior research award in 2013 from the Professional Society on Alcohol and Drugs in 2013, and won a National Drug and Alcohol Award for Research Excellence in 2007.

Professor Haber is also a former board member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine, and served that organisation as a section editor of its ISAM textbooks, and as a member of its curriculum committee.


Milton Cohen AM

MILTON Cohen has been honoured with an AM for his significant service to medical education in the field of pain management.

Cohen served as the Dean of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists’ Faculty of Pain Medicine.

He was a conjoint associate professor the St Vincent’s Clinical School for 14 years before becoming a conjoint Professor at the same school in 2013.

He has also been the senior editor of the International Journal of Pain Medicine, the secretary of the Australian Pain Society and an external project collaborator in the Pain and Opioids in Treatment study, conducted at then University of NSW.


Alex Gottshall OAM

ALEX Gottshall’s decorated career, which has seen him bestowed with an OAM, began at The AJN.

He started his career at the Australian Jewish Times, becoming assistant editor when it merged with the Jewish News and then Sydney correspondent for the Melbourne edition.

In 1987 he founded Alex Gottshall Communicators, providing strategic advice in the fields of corporate, media, financial and government relations.

His OAM recognises more than 40 years of service and contribution to the media and communications sector in addition to providing pro bono advice to charitable, community and not-for-profit organisations including The Salvation Army.

He is also a former state president and fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, tertiary lecturer and mentor and a multiple recipient of the PRIA Golden Target Awards for Excellence. 

He said he and his sister Eva were inspired by their Holocaust survivor parents, Rabbi Dr Benjamin and Rebbetzin Jana Gottshall, with the values of kindness, respect and understanding, a love for Australia and an appreciation of community service.


Anthony Henry (Tom) May OAM

ANTHONY Henry (Tom) May deserves commendation for his significant contribution to Jewish life in Melbourne, and to the broader community, but it is his service to the law that has earned him an Order of the Australia Medal.

May is the director of the Law Institute of Victoria, a member on the taxation and revenue committee of the institute, and head of tax at Madgwicks Lawyers.

Drawn to tax because he was “trying to think of an area in which [he] should specialise, and which wouldn’t be boring”, the rapid pace of change keeps May’s professional life challenging and interesting.

May is vice-president of Caulfield Beth Hamedrash, a trustee on the Melbourne Chevra Kadisha and has been its chairman since 2003, but the position of which he is most proud is the role of chairman on The Chessed Foundation.


Leonard Hyman Levy OAM

ACTIVE community member and pharmaceutical professional Leonard Levy has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the pharmacy profession.

Levy’s contribution spans decades and has been multifaceted, as evidenced by his long and decorated resume.

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has been a common beneficiary of Levy’s service and expertise.

Levy, an honorary life member, was a councillor between 1990-1999, honorary treasurer and a past chair on a number of committees including the Continuing Pharmacy Education, Victorian Pharmacy Self-Care, Legislation, Ethics and Membership, Methadone Committee for Pharmacists and Drugs and Harm Minimisation Committee.

Among the highlights of his career has been the privilege, “to be a leading member of a team which developed and conducted courses for the education of pharmacists who supply Methadone to Heroin addicts”.

Among his many honours collected over his career, Levy received the Pharmacy Society of Australia (Victorian Branch) Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his decade-long contribution as a state committee member.

Away from his profession, Levy has been an active member and servant of a range of organisations in the Jewish and broader community.

The St Kilda Hebrew Congregation are richer for his multiple stints as president, vice-president and board member over the years. 

Other organisations who have benefited from his involvement both past and present, 3rd St Kilda Scout Group, Jewish Museum of Australia, Courage to Care, Maccabi Australia, Yavneh College, and Rotary Club of St Kilda.


Julian Black OAM

FOR the past 34 years, Julian Black has tirelessly served the Jewish community – and indeed it is for this reason that he has received an OAM.

Black began his foray into communal life when he attended a Bialik College sports day in 1985 in support of his competing children. He was then asked to come aboard as assistant treasurer of the school. He did, and two years later he became the treasurer – a role that he claimed for the ensuing seven years.

Meanwhile, Black also became the state treasurer of the United Israel Appeal (UIA) in 1998, and then moved to the position of federal treasurer in 2005 – a post that he still occupies. 

According to Black, the recognition is the result of “perspiration, not inspiration”.

When reflecting on the highlights of his communal work, Black noted receiving the Yakir Award at a large reception in Israel attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year. 


Eitan Drori OAM

WHILE Eitan Drori has received an OAM for his service to the Jewish community, he says, “This is not just about personal achievement.

“It is also a tribute to a wide range of exceptional Australians and Israelis who, through sharing their knowledge and expertise, have forged links of enduring benefit to their countries,” he said. 

Drori is a stalwart of the Israeli community in Australia. For the past 13 years, he has been executive director of the Victorian chapter of Australian Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU). Prior to this, he was the executive director of the United Israel Appeal (Victoria), and the founder of the Association of Israelis in Australia. 


Colin Rockman OAM

CONNECTING through sport with Perth’s vibrant Jewish community runs in Colin Rockman’s veins.

The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recipient began playing sport for Maccabi WA in the 1950s, and in 2016 he was inducted into the organisation’s Hall of Fame.

In between he won administration awards, served two terms as president, chaired the Maccabi Trust, became a life member, and sponsored countless Maccabi WA events.

Rockman currently leads a Jewish seniors group called Living in Retirement, whose 50 members meet weekly at the Maccabi WA headquarters in Yokine.

He chaired the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) Council of Presidents in 2007/8 and is a life member and a former president of West Perth Football Club.

Outside of sport, Rockman co-founded the WA Motor Industry Foundation, held leadership roles with local Rotary and Apex clubs, and he currently volunteers as a justice of the peace, and is the Perth Jewish representative on the Council of Christians and Jews of Western Australia (CCJWA).

Rockman said he “humbly accepts” the OAM honour.


Professor David Mace Greenberg OAM

PROFESSOR David Mace Greenberg has received a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to medicine in the field of mental health.

He is the founder and director of the Court and Community Liaison Service at the NSW Justice Health and Community Mental Health Network, which won the 2003 NSW Premier’s Public Sector Gold Award (Social Justice Section). 

Professor Greenberg also works as the senior conjoint academic at the School of Psychiatry at UNSW, and is a member of the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health at the National Health and Medical Research Council.

From 1999-2002, Professor Greenberg was the director of the State Forensic Mental Health Services at the Western Australia.

He has co-authored various papers on topics including reducing impulsivity in repeat violent offenders, and mental illness and intellectual disability in Magistrates Courts in NSW, Australia.

The AJN was unable to speak with Professor Greenberg, despite a number of attempts.


Brian Samuel OAM

COMMUNITY stalwart Brian Samuel has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his widespread services to the Jewish community, including senior roles at the helm of the Union for Progressive Judaism, Progressive Judaism Victoria, Zionism Victoria and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. He has also volunteered in multiple roles at his shule, Temple Beth Israel (TBI).

In numerous leadership positions at Neighbourhood Watch Victoria, including as president from 2005-07, Samuel helped build closer relations between that organisation and the JCCV’s Community Security Group.

Samuel said he derived particular satisfaction from his involvement with White Ribbon Australia since 2015, working towards ending men’s violence against women.

In the business realm, Samuel has held leading positions with the Australian Marketing Institute.

He said his communal involvement, which has given him “the greatest joy”, began with AJAX sport after he finished his school years.

Samuel paid tribute to “a family tradition of involvement with the community”, he said, particularly noting his well-known brothers Graeme, Ian and Neil, and his cousin Alan Samuel.


Barbara Rozenes OAM

WHEN Barbara Rozenes heard she had been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), her thoughts turned to her parents.

They had escaped from Poland just before the outbreak of World War II, and their arrival in Australia paved the way for her own achievements.

Rozenes is the ambassador of the Court Network, a community organisation that helps people to access the court system through non-legal support, information, and referrals to services in areas such as family violence, victim support, housing, mental health, and community legal centres.

A board member since 1998, and its past president and vice-president, Rozenes was instrumental in the Court Network’s expansion into Queensland more than 10 years ago.

She described her volunteer work for the Court Network as “humbling” and at the “coalface” of the law.

Among multiple volunteering roles across the community, Rozenes has been a board member of the Victorian Association of Care and Resettlement of Offenders since 2011. 

She is also the inaugural convenor of the Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation, and since 2015 has been a member of the Critical Care Clinical Network at the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally she is a consumer representative at the department’s Safer Care Victoria unit.


Max Shub OAM

MAX Shub isn’t the best at remembering dates – yet August 14, 2004 will forever stay with him. It was the day he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. 

But little did he know that the diagnosis would lead him on a journey which, 15 years later, has resulted in him receiving an Order of Australia Medal for service to community health. 

“Shortly after I was diagnosed, I first heard about a support group. I went along and found it incredibly valuable,” Shub shared with The AJN. 

Eventually he would take over running the group, and further expanded his support activity involvement to state and national levels at the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. He held the position of chair of the Victorian and Tasmanian chapter for four years and has also been a member of several psycho-oncology research groups. 


Joan Hillman OAM

JOAN Hillman has always embodied the volunteering spirit. Back in Glasgow, Scotland, Hillman began volunteering at age 13 for the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade, helping to promote the personal and social development of young people.

After arriving in Perth in the early 1980s, Hillman began volunteering with Maccabi in 1989. “I got involved in Maccabi in Perth, and being the person that I am, I like to get involved in the whole show, which is why I got involved in Maccabi Australia, which included attending three Maccabiah Games,” said Hillman, who is now a life member of Maccabi Australia and sits on its board of governors.

For her service to sports administration, Hillman has been awarded with an Order of Australia Medal. 


Raphael Shammay OAM

FROM teaching Jewish seniors computing and social media skills, to using his knowledge of radio transmission to assist emergency services personnel in remote locations, North Bondi resident Raphael Shammay has a solid record of community service.

It’s why he’s received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), an honour he admits came as “a bit of a shock”.

Since 2008, Shammay has been volunteering at the Sir Moses Montefiore Home.

Shammay is an active member of the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network, and has been a member of Waverley Amateur Radio Society, and its treasurer, since 1993.


Madeleine Buchner OAM

FOR Madeleine Buchner, caring for her brother and her mother, both of whom have special health issues, has shaped her perspective on life, and has earned the 26-year-old an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Around 10 years ago, Buchner and her friend Bec Abelman co-founded Little Dreamers Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that works with young carers under the age of 25 who grow up caring for a parent or sibling with a serious illness or disability.

In 2016, Buchner’s book, My Brother Is Sick Again, was published, explaining the challenges of caring for a sibling with health challenges.

Buchner supports the Young Carers Festival and has also been a volunteer for Stand Up for many years.

No stranger to awards, she has also been recognised as a Westpac Social Change Fellow, was given the Queen’s Young Leader Award and was a finalist for Young Australian of the Year from Victoria in 2015.


Peter Smaller OAM

“I’VE always felt that you get out what you put in,” Jewish National Fund (JNF) national president Peter Smaller told The AJN upon being recognised with an OAM.

Smaller received the recognition both for his work with JNF and his service to the steel industry.

“I’ve always tried to do the right thing, I’ve always supported the steel industry, [and] the Jewish community. I feel that each of us has a responsibility to do whatever you can,” he said.

Smaller’s involvement with JNF began in 1998 when he felt compelled to become involved communally. He had just attended a “very good” JNF function and the shaliach of the day also encouraged him to get involved.

After serving as NSW president for five years, Smaller remained on the executive, taking on the federal presidency in 2012.


Esther Leah Gans OAM

“I DIDN’T know how I’d be able to handle it,” remarked Esther Leah Gans about proving emotional support to ill kids and their families at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

But, continued Gans, “it gets to the stage where it’s not about you, it’s about them – you just attend to parents and their kids, and the children are so intuitive and resilient. I think they could teach adults a thing or two.”

Among the volunteers’ various responsibilities, Gans said they “see what parents want in the ward and we are an extra pair of hands for nurses”.

For this service to the community since 2001, Gans has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

Since 2005, Gans has also been a volunteer interviewer for undergraduate admissions, Medicine and Education at the University of New South Wales, and from 1986-2006, she taught English as a second language at the Institute of Languages.


Cynthia Pollak, OAM

WHEN Cynthia Pollak received the email informing her that she had received an OAM, she dismissed it as junk and almost sent it to her trash folder. But later that day, she decided to open it, and learned of the privilege that had been bestowed upon her. 

Pollak received the Medal for her service to community health. Perhaps best known as the force behind the Jewish Bereaved Parents group, she established the group in 2011 following the devastating loss of her 29-year-old son, Danny, to an incurable form of vascular cancer. Last year, Pollak also published the book After the Death of Your Child: A Jewish Mother’s Perspective, aiming to help other families with providing support.


Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM

IT is gratifying, explained Rabbi Chaim Ingram, that a rabbi who “stands up publicly for Torah values even at the risk of making himself unpopular in certain quarters can still be honoured for this work for Judaism and the Jewish community in the Australia of 2019”.

And indeed, Rabbi Ingram, who has served as the honorary secretary of the Rabbinical Council of NSW since 1998, and as the honorary resident rabbi of COA since 2004, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Rabbi Ingram also serves as an aide to the Sydney Beth Din, and was an itinerant rabbi at the Surfers Central Synagogue Queensland from 2006-2007. 


Further interviews in next week’s edition of The AJN.