Gandels receive prestigious Victorian Premier’s award

October 20, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Melbourne’s John and Pauline Gandel are recipients of the Premier’s Award for Community Harmony.


Pauline Gandel, Robin Scott and John Gandel

Presented recently by the Victorian State Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott, the Premier’s Award for Community Harmony recognises “the outstanding achievement of an individual or organisation that has developed programs, strategies or activities which furthered cross-cultural or cross-religious harmony in Victoria”.

It is understood that this is the first time the award has been made to a couple.

At a ceremony at Government House, the Multicultural Awards honour ‘Victoria’s Diversity Heroes’,  generous and dedicated individuals actively work to promote social cohesion and a sense of community spirit.

The Gandels have made significant contributions to programs and activities related to social cohesion, multiculturalism, upholding human rights and fighting racism and anti-Semitism. As one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds, Gandel Philanthropy has engaged with a number of noteworthy programs, including the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem.

This initiative aims to equip Australian secondary school teachers with the skills and knowledge base to teach students about the Holocaust and human rights in a culturally sensitive way. The most recent program supported by the Gandels, the EMERGE cultural leadership program with Multicultural Arts Victoria, provides a skills development program to emerging artists from refugee backgrounds. Thanks to a major grant from Gandel Philanthropy, the ‘Hide and Seek’ program at the Jewish Holocaust Centre allows younger audiences to explore the Holocaust through age appropriate experiential learning activities. At last year’s ceremony for Victoria’s Multicultural Awards, this JHC program received an outstanding award for education excellence.

Given their ongoing, dedicated and passionate devotion to building an inclusive Australia, the Gandels are well-deserving recipients of this highly prestigious award. John and Pauline Gandel have demonstrated a tremendous amount of passion and dedication to the cause of combating anti-Semitism and preserving and upholding the memory of the Holocaust for younger generations. The award honours the commitment of the Gandels, whose generosity and passion has helped to foster greater community cohesion and spirit.

Past notable recipients include Graeme Yarwood, who is currently on the board of the Peter Mac Foundation and is a former CEO of Val Cinema Advertising; Rabbi Dr John Levi AA DD, Emeritus Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel and one of the founders of King David School and the late Les Erdi, founder of Erdi Group and a prominent businessman from the Jewish Community.

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