Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013

June 10, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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An engineer blessed with vision and a Holocaust survivor who has dedicated her award to those who saved Jews and a woman whose career sharpened to perfection the French accents of Australian Opera are among those honored within the Jewish community…

 

MEMBER [AM] IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA

The Honourable Mrs Rosalind Marianne (Roz) BLADES, Noble Park Vic 3174

For significant service to local government, and to the community of the Greater Dandenong region.

Roz Blades

Roz Blades

Mayor, City of Greater Dandenong, 1998 and 2010/2011; Councillor, since 1997; Council representative, Eastern Transport Coalition, since 2007; Member numerous committees including Audit and Advisory Committee, since 2010; Early Years Partnership, since 2010; Public Art Reference Group, since 2009.

Mayor, City of Springvale, 1992; Councillor, 1987-1990 and 1992-1994.

Chair, Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau, for 4 years; current Vice-Chair.

Member, Springvale and District Historical Society, since 2010.

Member, 1994-2000; first female Member; Community Services Director, 1996-1997; Member, Youth Services Committee, 1995-1996 and 1998-1999; Member, Vocational Services Committee/Membership Committee, 1997-1998.

Chairman, City of Greater Dandenong and District Scout Association, 1997-2011; awarded Silver Arrowhead.

Honorary Member, Noble Park Sub-Branch, Returned and Services League of Australia, since 2005; introduced free parking for Department of Veterans’ Affairs gold card holders in the City of Greater Dandenong, 2001.

Current President, Noble Park Community Action Forum; also served as Vice-President; formerly the Noble Park Keysborough Drug Action Committee.

Volunteer, Springvale Benevolent Society, since 1995; Life Member, 2012.

Member, Eastern Regional Mental Health Association, 2002-2006.

Media Liaison, Noble Park District Community Bank Committee, 2002-2004.

Involved in establishment, South Eastern Region Polio Support Group, Springvale, 1991.

Executive Member, The Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong, since 2010; Statutory Council Representative, since 1997; also serves as Tour Guide.

Former Statutory Representative, City of Springvale Interfaith Network.

Member, Standing Committee on Local Government and Cultural Diversity, since 2007.

Awards/recognition include:

Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Noble Park, 2006.

Roz Blades lives in a city whose population encompasses 156 nationalities. She has lived in the area since she arrived in Australia at the age of 20 and has spent her life working in interfaith and was once ordained to become a rabbi. She told J-Wire: “I do all I can to help people who have fled from other lands.”

 

Dr John Graham ROGERS, Toorak Vic 3142

For significant service to medicine in the fields of clinical genetics and paediatrics.

Dr John Rogers

Dr John Rogers

Emeritus Senior Medical Geneticist, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, since 2008; Honorary Secretary, Alumni Association, 2008-2013; Director, Department of Genetics, 1986-1989; Senior Medical Geneticist, 1989-2003; Medical Geneticist, Birth Defects Research Institute, 1980-2002.

Senior Medical Geneticist, Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, 1989-2008;

Clinical Geneticist, Monash Medical Centre, 1989-2003.

Senior Associate, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, 1989-2003; Senior Lecturer Paediatrics, 1976.

Registrar, Australian College of Paediatrics, 1983-1986; Deputy Editor, Australian Paediatric journal, 1980-1983.

Medical Geneticist, Mercy Maternity Hospital in Tasmania, and the Royal Women’s, Royal Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospitals.

Staff Member, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, 1989-1995.

Psychotherapist, private practice, since 1991.

Chairman, Ethics and Social Issues Committee, Human Genetics Society of Australasia, 1999-2001.

Committee Member, Human Genetics Society of Australasia, 1977-1981 and 1983-1984; Emeritus Membership, 2003; Member, since 1976.

Foundation Secretary, Board of Censors in Clinical Genetics, 1985-1989.

Life Member, Society for Mucopolysaccharide Disease, 1997.

Honorary Life Member, Very Special Kids, 2002; Member, Medical Advisory Committee; Chair, Hospice Medical Advisory Group, 1996; Chairman, Health Services Advisory Group, 1995; Board Member, for 5 years.

Board Member, Quest for Life Foundation, 2009-2011.

Genetic Adviser, Donor Insemination Bank, Queen Victoria Hospital.

Published over 112 original articles in various medical journals and publications.

Member, Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists, since 2010.

Member, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, since 1975.

Member, American Society of Human Genetics, since 1974.

Member, Australian Human Genetics Society, since 1976.

Member, Australian College of Paediatrics, 1976-2001.

Member, Teratology Society USA, since 1976.

Awards/recognition include:

Chairman’s Medal, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2000.

Dr Rogers told J-Wire that the award represented recognition of the contribution he has made in his chosen fields. He said: “I am both humbled and proud.”

 

Adjunct Professor Ralph TOBIAS, East Lindfield NSW 2070

For significant service to the development and commercialisation of technological innovations.

Ralph Tobias

Ralph Tobias

Consultant and Director, Corporate Enterprise Developments Pty Ltd, since 1984.

Founder and Managing Director, CEDCOM Pty Ltd, 1989-2011.

Co-Facilitator, CHIPSKILLS Program, 2001; providing microelectronics skills for engineering students.

Member, Victorian Government Chipskills Advisory Board.

Member, New South Wales Technology Board.

Adjunct Professor, Enterprise Development, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, since 1999.

Managing Director, Corporate Enterprise Investments Pty Ltd.

Director, Semiconductor Technologies Australia Pty Ltd (now a subsidiary of Acqutek); Amalgamated Equities Ltd; the Enterprise Development Institute of Australia; Corporate Advisory Services, Karis Pty Ltd; Corporate Bodies International Pty Ltd; and Goldspar International Pty Ltd.

Fellow, Engineers Australia, since 1979; Member, since 1955.

Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce, United Kingdom.

Department of Science and Technology, 1980-1984.

First Assistant Secretary, Department of Productivity, 1977-1980.

Independent Reviewer, Personal and Establishment Management System (Mandata), Public Service Board, 1976-1978; Project Manager.

Public Project Coordinator, National Industry Development, Department of Industry and Commerce, 1976-1982; including the commercialisation of such programs as the Interscan Microwave Aircraft Landing System and the Cochlear Ear; formulated Industrial Research and Development Legislation, 1977; Supervisor, Productivity Improvement Program,
1976-1979; Founder, Technology Transfer Council, 1976-1979; Founder, Adventure Workshop in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (now Enterprise Workshop), 1979; initiated the Public Interest Grant Program; responsible for Industrial Research and Development Scheme, 1978.

Program Developer and Manager, Defence and Technology, Department of Supply,
1961-1973; Department of Industry and Commerce, 1973-1976; including technology development and project management for such areas as St Marys Guided Weapons Repair Facility, the Barra Sonobuoy and the Government Aircraft Factory; Local Industry Content Coordinator, Destroyer Project.

Engineer and Administrator, Department of Civil Aviation, 1952-1960.

One of Ralph Tobias’s most outstanding contributions to the world was his involvement with the Cochlear bionic ear. He told J-Wire: I was alerted to a development in the production of this ear at a Melbourne university and was told there was good news…and bad. I asked for the bad news and was told that there was an option out to the 3M company in America but the good news was that it was expiring in three months’ time. We secured the project but although we have several million dollars invested we ran out. It took a fair bit of persuasion but the Government came good and the Cochlear bionic ear has brought hearing back to hundreds of thousand around the world.”

Another favorite story in his colorful history is about his insistence to produce walkie-talkies made in America produced locally. He said: “The American ones were not accurately cpnstructed. It turned out that during the Vietnam War, the Americans did all they could to secure the Australian equipment in preference to their own.”

Ralph Tobias was also involved in the development of Interscan….a bad weather aircraft landing system. “It was the work of my department to make it a commercial proposition.”

 

MEDAL [OAM] OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION

 

Mrs Henrietta ALTMAN, Caulfield North Vic 3161

 

Kitia Altman

Kitia Altman

For service to the community, particularly through the Jewish Holocaust Centre.

Guide, Jewish Holocaust (Museum and Research) Centre, since 1988; contributor, Centre News magazine, for many years; Member, Mentor Program.

Raising awareness of the Holocaust in the community at large.

Author of a range of literary works, including the memoir; Memories of Ordinary People: for those who have no one to remember them.

Co-Author, A Green Parrot: the unearthed memories of a Jewish child living under Nazi occupation.

Provided testimonies which led to Mr Alfred Rossner, a German, and Ms Genia Pajak, a Polish woman, being recognised as ‘Righteous Amongst the Nations’, by Yad Vashem (Israel).

Debated David Irving, Holocaust denier, on national television, 1992.

Contributor to The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, play, by Neil Cole, 2005.

Supporter, Courage to Care (Victoria), since 1992; Guide and presenter at various exhibitions.

Member, Jewish Care Committee, 2001.

Presenter/Member, Australian Council of Christians and Jews.

Kitia Altman told J-Wire: “I feel of course humbled and very proud but I also feel very fulfilled. To receive an honour for raising awareness of the Holocaust in the community at large has great meaning for me.” Kitia Altman had special words for those who helped Jews in WWII many of whom have been awarded the Righteous Among Nations awards. She said: “There were those who had choices and they rejected those who believed in superiority of other races and their extermination. “They endangered their lives to save a life. I honour and cherish them and I remember them with my family and friends who perished.” She said the Jewish Holocaust Centre deserved to be included in the award for the universal importance of the work that they do.” She expanded beyond the Jewish community and said that are those in history  who had been civilised, honest and educated and had perpetrated crimes not about religion, not about geography and not about economy.”

 

Mrs Dalia Bluma AYALON SINCLAIR, Randwick NSW 2031

For service to the Jewish community.

Dalia Ayalon Sinclair

Dalia Ayalon Sinclair

Current National Vice-President, National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA).

Current Co-Chair, National Public Relations and Publicity Committee.

Chair, Israel Public Relations and Information, since 2003-2007; Founder, Working for Peace program, and Annual Celebrating Israel, 2004.

Chair, Israel Affairs (both national and state), 1986-1990

President, New South Wales Division, NCJWA, 2007-2011.

Founder, Hilla Group, 1983.

Representative, Jewish Communal Appeal and Wolper Hospital, 2007-2011.

Founding Member, HaMoadon, since 1980; Honorary Secretary, Public Relations and Events Manager, ongoing.

Representative and guest speaker at Jewish and non-Jewish organisations Australia-wide.

Founding Member, Jewish Arts and Culture Council, 1988.

Founding Member, Israeli Folklore Dance Club and Troupe, 1982.

Foundation Member, Women in Peace Forum, 1998.

Coordinator and Broadcaster, SBS Jewish program, 1982-1988.

Established Jewish radio program on Radio 4EB Qld, 1991.

Established, NCJWA ‘Mum for Mum’ program Australia-wide, 2008.

Founded, NCJWA ‘Pink Sunday’ Australia-wide annual event, 2008; and the ‘Queens Street Pink Week’ annual event, 2010; raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer and BCNA.

Dalia Ayalon Sinclair arrived in Australia from Israel in 1973 from her native Tel Aviv. Her parents were Holocaust survivors who married in Bergen Belsen. She told J-Wire: “They gave me a sense of commitment and the drive to do at least one good deed each day.”

As a young child she worked with handicapped children and has continued to support those in need  to date. Has worked with SBS multicultural radio almost from its inception. She has paved the way to faciliate programs that engage and better the lives of Israelis in Australia.  She told J-Wire:  “I feel very proud and privileged. Most of all I am grateful for the opportunity to be embraced by the Jewish and wider community of Australia, so that I could learn, be involved, contribute, grow and become an integral part of the community and to be able to initiate, facilitate and volunteer in programs and events which have helped meet many challenges, to try and secure a meaningful life for those seeking support. In particular I thank organisations as NCJWA and the entire community with whom I share this honour.

 

This recognitions exceeds all that I have ever expected and it reaffirms that there are still some surprises for those who believe that the act of giving is a gift in itself.

 

Mr Abram GOLDBERG, Elsternwick Vic 3185

 

Abe Goldberg

Abe Goldberg

For service to the Jewish community in Melbourne, and as a proponent of Yiddish language and culture.

Executive Board Member, Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre, since 1989; Treasurer, for 20 years; Founding Member, 1984; volunteer Survivor Guide, since 1985.

Participant and Guide, ‘March of the Living’ (international event), accompanying 60 Australian Jewish high school students to Poland for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Board Member, ‘Kadimah’ Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library, for over 30 years.

Founding Member, Sholem Aleichem College; former Member, School Council; involved in their activities for 38 years; supporter of their bilingual Yiddish program.

Abram Goldberg will be 89 in October and on this day when his award is announced he will celebrate his 66th wedding anniversary. He has participated in three Marches of the Livings and wants to do it  yet again. He told J-Wire: “I have vowed never to forget and this award is for my family who perished and for the six million who perished with them. I promised with my survival that I would do everything I could to make a contribution to Jewish life and I am proud that after so many years my work has been recognised.”

 

Dr Jonathan (John) NATHAN, Brighton Vic 3186

For service to medical education, particularly in the field of optometry.

 

John Nathan

John Nathan

President, Australian College of Optometry, 1970-1979; Director of Studies, 1950-1964; Board Member, for 30 years; part-time lecturer and Senior Clinical Tutor, 1947-1986.

Involved in establishing the National Vision Research Institute of Australia, Optometry School, University of Melbourne, 1973; Board Member, 1973-1979; Senior Research Associate,
1983-1991.

Chairman. Optometry Section, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, 1955, 1977 and 1981.

Member, Optometrical Services Committee Tribunal, Commonwealth Department of Health, 1982-1987; Member, Committee of Inquiry, 1987-1994.

Member, Optometrists Registration Board of Victoria, 1958-1968.

John Nathan told J-Wire that he was surprised. “Whereas it’s very nice to be appreciated there are many others who are worthy of a reward like this.”

 

Mr Harry PROCEL,  Glen Huntly Vic 3163

For service to the Jewish community and to sport through contributions to the Maccabi movement.

Harry Procel

Harry ProcelVice-Chairman, Maccabi World Union, 2005-2011; Executive Member, since 1995.Member, International Maccabiah Committee, since 1995.Member, Maccabi International Sports Commission, since 1998.

Member, Regional Games Standards Committee, since 2009.

Founding Member, Maccabi Hong Kong, since 2008.

Facilitator with Maccabi Carasso, Auckland Junior Carnival, New Zealand, 2008.

Facilitated purchase of a unique memorabilia collection for the Maccabi World Union Museum in 2009.

President, Maccabi Australia, 2005-2011; Board Member, since 2001.

Vice-President, 2001-2005; Life Member, 2010; Chairman, International Sport, 1997-2001 and 2011-2013; Councillor, 1994-2001.

Head of Delegation, JCC Maccabi Games, USA, 2000 and 2001.

Head of Delegation, Pan American Maccabi Games, 2003.

Chef de Mission, European Maccabi Games, 2007.

Head of Delegation, Maccabi Games (8), 2001, 2005 and 2013; Chef de Mission, 2009; General Manager, 1997; Member of Management, 1981, 1985 and 1993.

Board Member, Maccabi Victoria, 1980 and 1985-2002; Life Member, 1992; has served as Chairman, Vice-President, Treasurer and Councillor.

Trustee, Maccabi Victoria Sports Foundation, since 2005.

Member, Maccabi Victoria Athletic Club, since 1967; President, 1977-1982; Treasurer,
1976-1977; Competitor, 1967-1992; Life Member, 1985.

Awards/recognition include:

Australian Sports Medal, 2000.

Inaugural Inductee, Maccabi Victoria Hall Fame, 2000.

Harry Procel was a competitive sprinter until an injury in 1977 put paid to his active sporting career. But there were other options open to Procel and he has embraced a lifetime since then in sports administration.He told J-Wire: “This award serves as recognition not only for my involvement in sport but also the contribution that has come from my family.

 

Mrs Isabelle Lynne SHAPIRO, Bellevue Hill NSW 2023

For service to the community of Woollahra.

Isabel Shapiro

Isabelle Shapiro

Mayor, Woollahra Municipal Council, 2010-2011; Deputy Mayor, 2007-2009; Councillor,
2004-2012.

Chair, Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, 2006-2007 and 2008-2010.

Chairman, Community Safety Committee, 2004-2012.

Involved in the development and implementation of the ‘Gap Park Master Plan’ project to prevent suicide accidents at the Gap Park in Watson Bay, for which the Council was awarded ‘LIFE Award’ in 2011.

Involved in the implementation of ‘cleaning and preventing graffiti’ project.

Involved in the establishment of the Woollahra Public Art Trust.

Member of a range of boards and committees including Standing Committee; Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils; Legal Committee; Strategic Planning Working Party; Double Bay Commercial Centre Working Party; Double Bay Commercial Centre Liaison Group; Public Art Advisory Committee; Investment Working Party; Community Transport Forum; Woollahra Citizens Welfare Association; and Citizen of the Year Assessment Panel.

Consumer Representative, Breast Cancer Network Australia, since 2011; Member, since 2008.

Member, NSW Women’s Advisory Network, since 2008.

Member, Jewish Women’s Breast Cancer Network of NSW, since 2008.

Volunteer Fundraiser, ‘Can Assist’ Cancer Assistance Network, since 2008.

Co-Chair, Relay for Life fundraising event, Cancer Council NSW, 2011.

Involved in organising various fundraising and promotional activities including Pink Sunday; Field of Women LIVE 2010; and Charity Golf Day at Boonie Doon Golf Club.

Speakers Bureau, National Breast Cancer Foundation, since 2009.

Isabelle SHapiro said that she was overwhelmed by the honour. She said: “I am passionate about suicide prevention, breast cancer advocacy and making a meaningful contribution to Woollahra. It’s an enormous privilege to have been recognised for my efforts in these areas and I have been greatly assisted by many outstanding people and I want to acknowledge their contribution. I feel fortunate to have worked on a number of community projects and the most important to me is the suicide prevention measures at The Gap. The result was a national award for suicide prevention and I now continue my efforts to raise awareness of and destigmatise suicide through the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network. As a breast cancer survivor, I am able to use my experience to support other women, act as an advocate and to raise much needed funds for research and I look forward to continue working in these life-saving efforts.”

 

Mr Phillip Zelman SHULMAN, Kew Vic 3101

For service to the community of Victoria through a range of multicultural, charitable and social welfare organisations.

Phillip Shulman

Phillip Shulman

President, Jewish Care (formerly Jewish Welfare), 1986-1990; current Life Governor; Honorary Solicitor, 1967-2002; Board Member, 1967-2002.

Trustee, Marion and Kurt Lippmann Foundation, 1988-2012.

Trustee, Lily and Egon Weiss Foundation.

Representative at meetings in Bologna and New York to negotiate the migration of Russian Jews to Australia, Jewish Communities Services, during the 1970s.

Volunteer Migration Lawyer, Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (formerly Victorian and Immigration Advice and Rights Centre), since 1995.

Volunteer Migration Lawyer, Ethnic Communities Council Victoria.

Member, Law Institute of Victoria.

Member, Migration Agents Registration Authority.

Professional includes:

Migration Section, Zolis Lawyers and Consultants (formerly Zolis Barristers and Solicitors), 1999-2005.

Established migration service, Schetzer Brott and Appel, 1995-1999.

Associate to the Honourable Justices Howard Nathan and Norman Michael O’Bryan, Victorian Supreme Court, 1991-1993.

Abbott Stillman & Wilson Lawyers (amalgamation with Archer Shulman and Co), 1991-1993.

Founding Partner, Archer Shulman and Co Solicitors, 1960-1991.

Solicitor, Frederick Owen & Associates Solicitors, 1958-1960.

Philip Shulman told J-Wire: “This is a great honour and I am very appreciative. Looking over the years, my fondest recollection is of the work that I did in assisting Russian immigration.”

 

 

Mrs Miriam SUSS, Caulfield North Vic 3161

For service to the Jewish community.

Miriam Suss

Miriam Suss

General Manager, Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, since 2011.

General Manager Development, JewishCare (formerly Jewish Community Services and Jewish Welfare Society) (JCS), since 2010; Manager, Social Work Services, JCS, 1987-1998; Acting Chief Executive Officer, JCS; Social Worker, JCS, 1972-1987.

Chief Executive Officer, United Israel Appeal, 2002-2010.

Executive Officer, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, 2001-2002.

Executive Director, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, 1998-2001.

Member, various government and ministerial committees in Victoria and New South Wales supporting cultural diversity.

Volunteer, Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Community Ambassador, SBS, since 2011.

Director, Victorian Interpreter and Translation Services, 2008-2012; Member, Human Resources and Remuneration Committee.

Board Member, Australia Day Committee – Victoria, since 2005.

Board Member, Multicultural Arts Victoria, since 2012.

“I am truly honored for being recognised for the work I have done and continue to do within the community”,  said Miriam Suss.

 

Mrs Rimma SVERDLIN, Caulfield South Vic 3162

For service to the Jewish community.

Rimma Sverdlin

Rimma Sverdlin

Current Chair, Women’s Health, National Council of Jewish Women; former Chair, Social Justice Portfolio.

Vice-President, Victoria Branch, for 10 years; Founder, Golden Age Club, since 1998.

Member, Advisory Committee, Jewish Care Organisation, 2002-2004.

Executive Member, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, for over 6 years and ongoing; current Chair, Community Research Portfolio; current Convenor, Youth Alcohol Program; former Chair, Social Justice Committee.

Former Member, Integration Task Force, Steering Committee, and Counselling and Services Committee.

Currently overseeing Child Protection Reference Group, Jewish Community Council of Victoria.

Curator/volunteer, Jewish Museum of Australia, 1999-2002, Curator, award winning ‘From Russia with Hope’ exhibition, 2002.

Co-Founder, Shalom Association, 1989; active Member, for over 20 years.

Representative for non-English speaking population, Port Phillip Library Advisory Committee, 1996-1998.

Co-Project Officer, Multicultural Conference, 1996; Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria and Arthritis Foundation.

Member, Bayside Health Advisory Committee, 2004-2009.

Founding Member, Bayside Health Cultural Diversity Committee.

Organiser, Mental Health Community Educational Project, 1998.

Current Member, Blood Matters Advisory Committee, Victorian Government.

Member, Ministerial Multicultural Human Services Council, 1996-1998; Women’s Health Committee, 1994-1995.

Rimma Sverdlin arrived in Australia in 1981 from the Ural Mountains. She said the award made her “very touched and humbled”. She added: “This is a process which has provided something very positive for the Jewish community.” She praised the co=operative efforts of the NCJW and Jewish Care and also cited work she had done with the Claims Conference. “It has always been two way traffic with the National Council of Jewish Women.”

 

Mrs Marie-Claire SZEKELY, Castle Cove NSW 2069

For service to the performing arts, particularly opera.

Marie-Claire Szekeley

Marie-Claire Szekely

French Language Coach, Opera Australia, since 1976.

Performer, 1959-1987; Opera, concerts, theatre, revue and Australian television; own ABC Radio series, 1960.

Performer, Elizabeth Theatre Trust, 1963-1965.

Board Member, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, 1998-2005.

Organiser, Costumes of Dame Joan Exhibition, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 2000.

Volunteer French language coach, VCA Opera School, 2002-2004.

Volunteer French language coach (French opera studies), Sydney Conservatorium Opera School, 1986.

Volunteer Announcer, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Volunteer French broadcaster, SBS Radio, 1976-1993; as well as cultural specials in English.

A lifetime of voluntary work for the community as a performer, broadcaster, teacher and hostess.

Marie-Claire has brought joy to opera lovers for many years in her capacity as French coach to the Australian Opera. She told J-Wire: “I learned to sing in Paris and arrived in Australia in 1959 but developed a tumor in 1965 which put paid to my opera career although I did sing in variety for many years. In 1976, I had a meeting with Moffat Oxenbould who was the artistic director of the Australian Opera Company at the time I was working on the Young Artists Program for the opera and he got me involved with Richard Bonynge as the coach for the opera’s French repertoire. I made ten world tours with him starting with Carmen and the opera Lakme which starred his wife Dame Joan Sutherland.”

Marie-Claire has already received two of the most prestigious awards that France could offer her…Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneure and the Chevalier dea Artes et des Lettres. She added: “I am proud of my students’ achievements.” Marie-Claire has coached French pronunciation at the fabled Covent Garden in London and the New York Met.”

 

 

 

 

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