Eminent community members join NIF Australia Advisory Council

Justice Stephen Rothman AM and Justice Ronald Sackville AO, in Sydney, and Associate Professor Mark Baker and Robyne Schwarz AM, in Melbourne, have become inaugural members of NIF Australia’s Advisory Council.

Announcing the NIF Australia Advisory Council image

Stephen Rothman AM is a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He was President of the NSW Jewish Board Deputies from 2000 to 2004 and is Co-Chair of the Australian Council of Jewish Schools, a position he has held since 1994. He is a Director of the Association of Independent Schools (NSW) and Chair of the board of Fighting Chance, a charity providing employment and other services for the disabled, particularly cerebral palsy sufferers.

Ronald Sackville AO was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1994 until 2008. He is currently an Acting Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Prior to his appointment as a Judge, he held a variety of positions, including Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of New South Wales (1979-1981), Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission (1981-1984) and Chairman of the Judicial Conference of Australia (2004-2006).

Mark Baker is Director of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and Associate Professor of Holocaust and Genocide studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical and International Studies. He completed his D.Phil at Oxford University and was twice a fellow at the Hebrew University. He is the author of The Fiftieth Gate, a book about memory of the Holocaust which was the recipient of numerous awards and is taught on the NSW curriculum for HSC English studies. He is the President of Shira Melbourne, an Orthodox egalitarian congregation, and was editor for ten years of Generation, a quarterly journal of Australian Jewish life.

Robyne Schwarz AM is a Life Governor and Past President of Jewish Care Victoria. She has served on several Public Sector and Not-for-Profit Boards since retiring from the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2002. She is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization at Monash University, a Public Member of the Australian Press Council, and a member of the Royal Children’s Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee.

NIF Australia’s president, Robin Margo S.C., said this week: “We are delighted that such eminent members of the Australian Jewish community have decided to join our co-patrons, Ambassador Martin Indyk and Ronni Kahn, the CEO of OzHarvest, in supporting the values and work of NIF Australia. Their combined experience of decades of service to the public and the Australian Jewish community provides NIF Australia, its directors and supporters with an invaluable source of advice and encouragement. Two families, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney, have also made it possible this year to engage Liam Getreu, past chairperson of the Australian Zionist Youth Council and past national chairperson of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, as the Executive Director of NIF Australia. These developments show that the value and justice of NIF’s work is being recognised by more and more Jewish Australians.”

NIF Australia was established in 2011 to promote equality of civil and human rights, social and economic justice, women’s rights, religious pluralism and tolerance and environmental protection. It has directors in Melbourne and Sydney, a younger members’ section, NIForum, and a large database of supporters and donors that is continuing to grow. In Israel, it supports registered Israeli not-for-profits through the New Israel Fund, which is the leading organisation advancing democracy and equality for all Israelis, widely credited with building civil society from scratch.

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