…and then there were four more

June 11, 2019 by J-Wire News Service
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Four late arrivals on J-Wire’s Queen’s Birthday Awards have pushed the total number of recipients on the “Jewish List” to a record number of 42. Meet them now and our apologies for their initial omission. The president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Anton Block told J-Wire: “It is a matter of pride and satisfaction to see the unusually large number of members of the Jewish community who have been acknowledged for their significant contributions to our wonderful country.

The ECAJ will be writing to each and every one of them to congratulate them on their achievements.”

But first the statistics.


AC      2

AO      2

AM    17

OAM 21

BY STATE in total:

VIC   21

NSW 17

WA     2

ACT    1

SA       1

…and here are the three we missed:


Emeritus Professor Leslie Joshua COPELAND, NSW

Les Copeland

For significant service to agricultural science as an academic and researcher.

University of Sydney

  • Emeritus Professor of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, since 2017, and Professor, 2001-2017.
  • Research Integrity Advisor, since 2010.
  • President, Association of Professors, 2008-2017.
  • Chair, Committee of Deans, 2006-2007.
  • Former Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, 7 years.

Professional Appointments

  • Foundation President, Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture, 2007-2008.
  • Director, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, since 2017.
  • Director, Council of the Australasian Grain Science Association, 2014-2015.
  • Member, Australian Cotton Innovation Network, since 2013.
  • Member, Biological Science and Biotechnology Committee, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Energy, since 2009.
  • Director, Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre, 2001-2008.
  • Member, Research Advisory Committee, Australian Farm Institute, since 2004.
  • Director, Australian Cotton Cooperative Research Centre, 2003-2005.
  • Director, NuFlora, 2001-2002.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Cereal Chemistry, since 2016.
  • Foundation Editor, Agriculture Journal, 2011.

Awards and recognition include:

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, American Association of Cereal Chemists – International
  • Fulbright Fellow.

Les Copeland told J-Wire: “It’s nice to receive recognition but much of the credit goes to the great colleagues and wonderful students I’ve worked with over many years, a supportive family, and doing what you enjoy. Being an urban champion for our rural sector has been a great reward in itself.

Dr David Mark THURIN, Toorak VIC 3142

David Thurin

For significant service to sporting organisations, and to community health.

Melbourne Football Club

  • Member, Remuneration and Compliance Sub-Committee, 2012-2013.
  • Member, Audit and Risk Sub-Committee, since 2014.
  • Member, List Management Sub-Committee, 2008-2011.
  • Donor, Foundation Heroes, since 2008.
  • Board Director, since 2008.
  • Life Member, since 2018.

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

  • Member, Institute and Remuneration Committee, current.
  • Board Member, since 2008.

International Diabetes Institute

  • Chairman, 2007-2008.
  • Board Member, five years.

The Gandel Group

  • Joint Managing Director, 2001-2002.
  • Director, 1993-2006.

Gandel Retail Management

Joint Managing Director, 2002-2006.


  • Director, Vicinity Retail Property Trust (formerly Novion Property Group), since 2014.
  • Managing Director, Tigcorp, since 2007.


  • Donor, various organisations including the Olivia Newton-John Wellness Foundation and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

David Thurin stated that he felt deeply honoured to receive such recognition.

He also said that it has been a privilege to be able to work for causes that he is passionate about. “I am grateful for the opportunities that Australia has given to me and my family and I feel a strong sense of responsibility to use those opportunities to serve the Australian community in any way I can”.

David has made a substantial contribution to the Melbourne Football Club both at Board Level and in a philanthropic capacity. For his significant involvement, he was awarded life membership in 2018. “It is incredible how sport can bring people together from all walks of life, help create a strong and inclusive society and lead to positive change. While it is particularly important that Melbourne is now set up off the field for long term sustainable success, I am also proud of the amount of communal work the players and Club do”.

After working as a medical doctor for over 15 years, David entered the business world becoming Joint Managing Director of The Gandel Group and then establishing his own property company focused on retirement villages and land subdivision. However, medicine has always been in his DNA and as Chair of the International Diabetes Institute, he led its merger with the Baker Heart Institute and has served on the combined Board for over 10 years. “The Baker intends to be a leader in personalised medicine in the cardiovascular and diabetes space and has many collaborations around the world.  In particular, it gives me much pleasure to see the strategic alignments being created between Australian and Israeli organisations in medical research.



Bruce Levet

Bruce LEVET, Woollahra NSW 2025

For service to the law in New South Wales.

New South Wales Bar Association

  • Volunteer, providing legal assistance to unrepresented parties under the Bar Association’s Legal Assistance Referral Scheme, since 1996.
  • Member, since 1991.


  • Barrister, University Chambers 1991-1997 and Henry Parkes Chambers since 1997.

Australian Army Reserve

  • Panel Leader, New South Wales, Australian Army Legal Corps, current.
  • Army reservist, since 1976.


  • Secretary, East Timor Children’s Relief Fund, 2000-2008.

Bruce Levet told J-Wire: “The award came as a great surprise to me. I can think of lots of people far more deserving than me.

I have always given about ten per cent of my time to people who can’t afford a lawyer and would otherwise be unrepresented. I’m fairly discriminating about who I give my pro bono time to. It has to be a case where my sense of justice is offended and where I think I might be able to make a difference. It is nice for that to be recognised, but the real reward is making a difference in someone else’s life.

I would encourage anyone to give some of their time to make a difference. It doesn’t matter how small the contribution. Every bit helps.”

Michele Jan PHILLIPS, South Oakleigh VIC 3167

Michele Phillips with her granddaughter Harper

For service to wildlife conservation.


Wildlife Conservation

  • Owner/Operator, South Oakleigh Wildlife Shelter, for 20 years.

Michele Philips owns the South Oakleigh Wildlife Shelter for 30 years, on-call day and night for animals in need.

She told J-Wire: “It means a lot to me as the wildlife are so important and I feel honoured. My late parents Ellen and Les Pahoff would be so proud. I have also received the Pride of Australia award in 2014 and the Sir John Monash commendation in 2013.”

Michele Phillips has also received various volunteer awards from the local councils with which she works.

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