TRIBUTES to the memory of former governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen flowed at last week’s opening of the Jewish Museum of Australia’s (JMA) exhibition Calling Australia Home in the new Zelman Cowen Gallery of Australian Jewish History.
JMA director Rebecca Forgasz said the new exhibition featured 150 exhibits that told the stories of Australian Jews from 1788 to the present day.
“Our only sadness is that Sir Zelman is not here to celebrate the opening of this exhibition with us,” she said.
Sir Zelman’s widow, Lady Anna Cowen, told guests at the function that the exhibition in the new gallery tells a rich and complex story.
“Our family is very proud that it is named after him,” she said.
Sir Zelman was patron of the JMA from its inception in 1982.
The official opening was conducted by a former governor of Victoria, Sir James Gobbo, who said Sir Zelman was a friend for 60 years.
At the function, Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown said the museum was a cultural treasure with a national and international reputation.
“We are a nation of migrants and multiculturalism is one of Victoria’s great successes,” he said.
The JMA received a $400,000 grant in 2010 from Arts Victoria and the federal government towards the cost of the new gallery.