Sarzin settles in as new chair
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SHALOM GAMARADA

Sarzin settles in as new chair

In her first message as Shalom Gamarada’s chair, to the charity’s members and supporters in its latest newsletter, Sarzin described stepping into the role as “an enormous honour”.

Incoming chair of Shalom Gamarada, Lisa Sarzin.
Incoming chair of Shalom Gamarada, Lisa Sarzin.

The Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Scholarship Program has welcomed Lisa Sarzin as its new chairperson, replacing the organisation’s co-founder Ilona Lee in that role.

Sarzin has been doing strategic partnerships work for many years for Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training, and is also a trustee for the Rona Tranby Trust.

In 2010, she co-wrote – with her mother and journalist, Dr Anne Sarzin – the landmark book Hand in Hand: Jewish and Indigenous people working together, commissioned by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and in 2015, she wrote the children’s picture book Stories for Simon, about the historic national apology to the Stolen Generations, told from a non-Indigenous perspective.

In her first message as Shalom Gamarada’s chair, to the charity’s members and supporters in its latest newsletter, Sarzin described stepping into the role as “an enormous honour”.

Shalom Gamarada’s 2023 induction event for students, hosted by Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training.

“I thank Ilona Lee for entrusting me with the responsibility of continuing the incredible work she has done over 17 years, to nurture, sustain and steward the Gamarada program,” Sarzin wrote.

“This program has a longstanding commitment to promoting access to higher education for Indigenous students who may face significant barriers to pursuing their academic goals.”

“Over the years, it is the many hands and generous hearts of donors, board members, executive team members, volunteers and supporters, that have ensured the program’s ongoing success.

“I am excited to build on that strong foundation, and work with all of you to further our shared goals … and I’m particularly grateful to Ilona for staying on the board until the end of the year, to ensure a smooth transition.”

She described the conversations she has had so far with Shalom Gamarada student scholarship holders, donors, and the executive director Gina Cohen, as inspiring, adding, “I look forward to working with her [Cohen] to amplify Gamarada’s positive impact.”

At the end of 2022, Shalom Gamarada celebrated its 69th Indigenous student graduating at the University of NSW through its life-changing residential scholarship program based at Shalom College.

Many of those graduates earned degrees in medicine or law, and some in economics, social work, science and engineering.

In the current university semester, Shalom Gamarada warmly welcomed a new cohort of successful scholarship applicants to the Shalom College community.

These included Wiradjuri woman from Newcastle, Charlise Buddingh – who is studying medicine; Budawang man Jack Kremer, who has enrolled in a Bachelor of Economics; criminal justice student Jasmine Cole-Winter from Darwin; and Sarah Scott from far north-west NSW, who is in her third year of a Bachelor of Social Science and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in criminology and criminal justice.

Scott said when she graduates, “I have a massive opportunity to work with Indigenous people, including my own community in Bourke.”

Shalom Gamarada held its 2023 induction event for students, at Sarzin’s behest, at Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training, further facilitating a promising partnership.

 

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