Human Rights Award final berth for Philip

October 22, 2019 by Henry Benjamin
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Philip Feinstein is a musician and long-time advocate founded Music for Refugees, a self-funded music and literature program designed to ease the burden of life in Australian detention centres and is one of five candidates to be awarded the individual gong for his work.

Philip Feinstein with Judy Hall and Jenni Michelson

Philip Feinstein runs the Music for Refugees organisation which has been providing free music instruments for refugees and asylum seekers for the past 10years throughout Australia

He has devised a colour-coded aid to teach piano to refugees.

Over the years he has received unwanted instruments to give to the detainees paying for the repairs that many needed.

A composer himself, Philip Feinstein regularly visits the Villawood detention centre where he organises jam sessions for his pupils with the Federal Government funding him to travel to Christmas Island to organise its music program as well as instruments shipped to Nauru and Manis Island.

The Council for Aging [COA] in Sydney benefits from Feinstein’s community work where he acts as a volunteer bus driver.

He organised huge clothing drives for the Zimbabwe collection program and shipped two container loads of clothing from Australia to Zimbabwe.

Since 1985, he has run the Smokenders program to help those who wanted to quit smoking. As well as the general public, Philip Feinstein visited prisons in NSW. He told J-Wire: “This was to try to improve the recidivism levels as the program involves personal growth.”

This is not the first time Philip Feinstein has been in line for a major award.

He was awarded a Humanitarian Award from STARTTS in 2016. and has been= nominated for Australian of the Year. He won the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award.

He commented: “To receive a nomination like this means a lot to me. Having experts in the field recognising what I have been doing, and what I will continue to do, is a great incentive.

Although I do not do this work for status or recognition, anyone who receives a pat on the back for their accomplishments is always pleasurable and keeps the wheels of helping well oiled.

Recognition of this type will help me in my future dealings with governments   –  I believe they will then take more notice of me.”

Philip Feinstein also write articles for the Muslim Times. He said: “I definitely do it to get peace between Jews, Muslims, Christians and other faiths.

This can be seen in my previous articles:

And this is exactly why Linda Ben-Menashe asked me to be the Jewish spokesperson at the Uniting Church Interfaith service two weeks ago. ”

His focus these days is the plight of the refugees in Burundi.

The Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award is awarded by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The award-winners will be announced on December 13.

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