Gabrielle Upton at NCJWA NSW

August 23, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Local State Member of Parliament Gabrielle Upton was guest speaker at the National Council of Jewish Women NSW’s 90th anniversary.


Mary Grozinger, Gabrielle Upton MP, Jenny Burman, Victoria Nadel

Mary Grozinger, Gabrielle Upton MP, Jenny Burman, Victoria Nadel


In her address, the  Liberal MP said:
Thank you for your kind invitation to join you tonight. I am honoured to be the special guest on your 90th anniversary, and particularly as the Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel – our bipartisan group in the NSW Parliament that seeks to build an understanding of Israel and the Jewish people.

The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) was one of the first Jewish Communal groups I learnt about when I first became the Member for Vaucluse in 2011 – when former President Dalia Ayalon Sinclair reached out to me with her infectious warmth.

I commend you all for your constant activism on such a wide range of women’s issues – those that affect both the Jewish and non-Jewish community.

What an extraordinary history the organisation has had. Your history exhibition and oral history project certainly bears this out.

Amongst many things, you are the first Jewish women’s organisation in Sydney providing assistance to immigrants on their arrival under leadership of founder, Dr Fanny Reading.
I want to mention two initiatives in particular which I have seen close up, and personally commend.

First, the MUM FOR MUM program – which assists mothers of young babies by pairing them for one year with an NCJWA volunteer who provides weekly support.

This program goes from strength to strength. You were awarded the Woollahra Council Citizenship Award (2013), which recognised the program’s “outstanding contribution to the community”. I was proud to be there when you received your award!

Secondly, the annual “PINK SUNDAY” in October – which raises funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia.

As Assisting Minister in NSW Government for Tertiary Education and Skills, I also commend your work in support of Ethiopian women attending Haifa University; and supporting indigenous medical students at the University of New South Wales.

The late Dame Margaret Thatcher said “in politics if you want anything said ask a man, if you want anything done ask a woman”!

I am myself a member of number of women’s groups in support of community, so l like to think that I speak with some authority.

I have always found that women bring a purpose, industriousness and common sense to their communal work – we roll up our sleeves without pretension.

It is about ‘outcomes’ rather than ‘hierarchy’ – in politics it’s about envelope stuffing, patiently calling people and doing the not so glamorous work that keeps things ‘ticking’.
It is the purity of strategy and execution of projects that leads to some of the very best work there is in our communities!

I wish you all the very best on your 90th anniversary as you continue to act purposefully and generously in service to Jewish religion; in service to Jewish people; and in service to Australia.


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