Geoffrey Edelsten passes away at 78

June 13, 2021 by Henry Benjamin
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Geoffrey Edelsten, the former Mount Scopus student who went on to attain degrees in medicine and surgery ahead of owning the AFL teams Sydney Swans has passed away in his home in St Kilda.

Geoffrey and Brynn Edelsten Pic: Wikimedia

According to Wikipedia, “following the establishment of Medicare by the Hawke government in February 1984, Edelsten began to run innovative and multi-disciplinary 24-hour medical centres which were the forerunners of modern corporate medical practices. Decorated with chandeliers, white grand pianos and mink-covered examination tables, the clinics attracted considerable media attention. Edelsten’s clinics were the first in Australia to bulk-bill patients to Medicare so that they incurred no direct cost. Within four months of opening, the first clinic was dealing with 2,000 patients every week. Edelsten eventually owned thirteen medical centres, in which approximately 20,000 patients consulted 200 doctors every week.

Edelsten supported the Chabad of Melbourne CBD, although he was not a practising Jew.

The congregation’s spiritual head Rabbi Chaim Herzog told J-Wire that he attended Edlesten’s marriage to American Brynne Gordon in 2009. He had a relationship with Edelsten up until Pesach this year.

Rabbi Chaim Herzog

He told J-Wire: “Geoffrey Edelsten was a contributor to Magen David Adom and to my centre. He was far from orthodox but he still held an interest in the Jewish community. On Pesach, I would give him Shmurah Matza but that was it as far as his religious life went.

We spent time together sometimes for hours during his ups and downs. With the amount of drive he has he was incredible. If he lost a massive amount of money, he was ready to start again.

Rabbi Herzog told J-Wire that Edelsten had set up in an office in Melbourne’s Bourke St and “we simply met in the street”.

Rabbi Herzog had many conversations with Geoffrey Edelsten mostly about sport and politics. He went on to say: “One time a business deal went sour and he wanted us to write a letter to the Rebbe…it was the only time when religion came in to play.”

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