Freelander to stand for Macarthur

April 21, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Prominent NSW Jewish paediatrician and university lecturer, Dr Mike Freelander has been selected as the Federal Labor’s candidate in the marginal electorate of Macarthur in Sydney’s south.

The once-safe Liberal margin has been slashed from 11.4 per cent to 2.8 per cent. The seat is currently held by Liberal MP Russell Matheson.

Dr Mike Freelander tends a young patient

Dr Mike Freelander tends a young patient

Born in Strathfield, Dr Freelander, 62, has dedicated his life’s work to make sure NSW children get the best start they can. Currently, he is a paediatrician at Campbelltown and Camden hospitals.

Educated at the University of Sydney and trained at the Children’s Hospital in Camperdown, Dr Freelander started his residency as a paediatrician at Campbelltown Hospital in 1984.

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair and NSW Deputy Opposition leader in the NSW Legislative Council Walt Secord welcomed the pre-selection of Dr Freelander as a Labor candidate.

“Dr Freelander lives by the Jewish principle – tikkun olam – and I have met him and know his family. I am convinced that he will be an outstanding member of the Federal parliament if elected later this year,” Mr Secord said. “He has strong principles and will stand up for his community,”

Dr Mike Freelander moved with his wife Sharon to the Macarthur region in 1984, where they raised their six children and now have five grandchildren.

He had his bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel, Woollahra,  now known as Emanuel Synagogue where his parents had been married by Rabbi Rudolph Brasch. He comes from a medical and dental family.

Freelander is proud to be part of one of the oldest Jewish families in NSW and is the sixth generation descendant of Abraham Amos Rheuben.

Rheuben was a convict on the second fleet transported to Tasmania for stealing a sovereign. He was a founder member of the Hobart synagogue andas serving as an alderman on the Hobart city council.

Mike Freelander’s paternal grandfather, William Freelander was one of Australia’s first country Jewish mayors, serving as Mayor of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

His great-grandmother, Jenny Scott Griffiths was a leader in the early Australian Labour movement – and was the editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, but she was removed in 1916 for her views on anti-conscription.

Dr Freelander’s father, Selwyn was the president of Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club.

In 1990, Dr Freelander took on the role as Head of Paediatrics at Campbelltown Hospital.

He set up a practice in Campbelltown and later in Camden, to make sure families could access health care in Macarthur, when and where they need it.

He also teaches a new generation of doctors as a lecturer at Western Sydney University in Campbelltown.

His hard work and dedication to the region has earned him the respect of local families and residents. In his 32 years as a paediatrican in the Macarthur region, Dr Freelander has seen more than 200,000 patients.

Dr Mike Freelander said “As a doctor, I have seen the impact of the Federal and State Liberal-National cuts to health and seen firsthand the effects of the $57 billion cuts to hospitals and Medicare.”

“Health and education are great levelers in an unfair society.”

“I want to serve the families of the Macarthur region and ensure that they get the proper access to medical support and education; that is why I decided to stand for the forthcoming Federal election.”

Dr Mie Freelander told J-Wire: “I have lived in the region for a long time but many members of my family are active within Sydney’s jewish community…and I am a Zionist.”



4 Responses to “Freelander to stand for Macarthur”
  1. Tali Hannah says:

    I think it is wonderful ! As a Jewish family growing up in Camden it’s great to know there are other Jewish families in the area and someone as prominent as he is fantastic news!

  2. phil levy says:

    Is Mike a left or right wing Zionist??

  3. Ian Katz says:

    Why labor ?

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