Mazal tov to honourees
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Mazal tov to honourees

The AJN congratulates all those members of our community who have made us proud by being recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

They span the gamut of professional, communal and philanthropic endeavours.

Appointed Officers of the Order of Australia (AO) are individuals such as Philip Brass, a life governor of Jewish Care Victoria and co-founder of his own charitable foundation, who told The AJN, “If you’re going to do something, you do it to the absolute maximum of your ability and with single-mindedness and determination.”

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, also made an AO, regularly appeared in the media providing expert advice as Australia endured the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish her all the best as she recuperates after treatment for a brain tumour.

The list of Members of the Order of Australia (AM) includes communal stalwarts such as Ian Levi, who has given his all to a number of Jewish organisations over many years and whose motto is “if it doesn’t change your lifestyle, don’t think, just give”.

Or Kathy Laster, who was born in Hungary to a family of Holocaust survivors and went on to contribute to her adopted country as a law professor and the director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre.

And let’s not forget all of those who have been bestowed Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) or a Public Service Medal (PSM) for their contributions, whether they be to our community, the wider community, to the arts, to health or their professional fields.

Of the 669 awardees in the General Division of the Order of Australia, 34 Jews – or a whopping five per cent – were recognised for their contributions – making our world, for all its present woes, a better one.

Not bad considering that the Jewish community makes up only a tiny 0.4 per cent of Australia’s population.

Those honoured this week, and indeed all members of our community who give their time to help those around them and our society as a whole, embody the time-honoured Jewish value of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world”.

Every honouree does our Jewish community and the broader community proud and deserves our heartiest mazal tov.

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