Live Governorship for Dr John Serry

November 20, 2012 by Ayal Tusia
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A Life Governorship Award was presented to Dr John Serry who has been a dedicated Chair of the Jewish Mutual Loan Company Committee since 1991 and member of Melbourne Jewish Aid Society since 1987 at Jewish Care Victoria’s Annual General Meeting.

Professor Andrew Markus presenting the report on Poverty & Emergency Relief Photo: Dean Schmideg

The audience of 150 held at the Monash University Caulfield Campus was presented with an overview of key financial and operational milestones over the past year and the unveiling of exciting new directions for the year ahead.

Highlights of the year included the opening of the much anticipated Adult Respite Centre in Caulfield and an significant partnership with Port Phillip Housing Association which will provide additional housing to those in need in our community for the next 30 years.

Jewish Care President Bruce Rosengarten said: “Our community faces a tremendous demographic shift over the next 20 years as the generation of Baby Boomers begins to age. Jewish Care’s service planning considers this issue very carefully by revamping existing facilities, acquiring new land and generally focusing on the growth of healthy ageing services.”
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During his long period of service, new Life Governor John Serry’s vision has shaped and enhanced the way in which Jewish Care provides Financial Services, including the introduction of Financial Counselling, the Saver Plus program, the Accelerated Debt Reduction Loan and Small Business Mentoring Scheme.

The AGM was also the launching pad for a new report Poverty and Emergency Relief, part of the Monash University Gen08 series. An engaging, eye-opening panel discussion on the topic of Poverty in the Jewish Community followed, dispelling the myth that poverty does not exist amongst members of the Jewish community.

“According to Census 2011 results, close to 6,500 people in the Victorian Jewish population aged 20 or above have a weekly income in the range $200-$399,” said Professor Andrew Markus, the report’s leading author. “More than 2,250 Jewish persons in Victoria live in families with an income below the poverty line.”
Distinguished panel members included Professor Andrew Markus, Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation; Penny Wilson, CEO, Victorian Council of Social Service and Dr Philip Mendes, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy & Community Development in the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine at Monash University.
The panellists discussed the important role of community organisations like Jewish Care in alleviating everyday pressures from those in need and providing support to lower-middle class community members who struggle to cover education-related expenses and the general cost of living in a Jewish community close to schools, synagogues and local retail shops.
“Jewish Care believes in strong ties with other community organisations, industry bodies and educational institutions to benefit the Victorian Jewish community into the future,” said Jewish Care CEO, Bill Appleby.

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