Jewish Care Hosts 35 Israeli Delegates from Disability Sector

August 16, 2016 by Jenna Chaitowitz
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Jewish Care Victoria hosted a group of 35 Israeli professionals and owners of private and not-for-profit organisations that provide services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


CEO Israel Elwyn, David Marcu; The Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing; Bruce Bonyhady, Chair National Disability Insurance Agency; Jewish Care President, Mike Debinski; David Southwick MP; Jewish Care CEO, Bill Appleby

The multicultural delegation visited Jewish Care and other disability service providers in Melbourne prior to attending the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities World Congress, to be held on 14-19 August.

Jewish Care hosted the delegates at various events across the three days. The Welcome Reception at Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, held on the evening of 9 August, commenced with an official welcome to country by Aunty Di Kerr. The warm welcoming event saw key Jewish dignitaries attend including His Excellency Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, Israeli Ambassador to Australia; Marcus Mandie, Chief Executive Officer Victoria Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Huppert, President Jewish Community Council of Victoria; Sharene Hambur, President Zionism Victoria and Mike Debinski, President Jewish Care.

Bruce Bonyhady, Chair National Disability Insurance Agency provided a personal keynote address at the industry breakfast function held at Westpac, Melbourne on 11 August. Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing also addressed the breakfast guests. Guests included numerous key organisations and government agencies from the disability sector, as well as Chief Executive Officers from the nine disability services agencies that facilitated tours for the delegates.

The Israeli delegation also toured Jewish Care’s new Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre and met with clients at the Independent Living Accommodation, The Manders Villas on 10 August. David Southwick MP attended the proceedings.

The events included thought-provoking discussion about the disability services industry in Israel and Australia, including the roll out of the innovative National Disability Insurance Scheme.

David Marcu, CEO Israel Elwyn (disability services provider), delegation leader said: “Jewish Care, its fine team of professionals and its leadership made us feel welcome and gave us a unique opportunity to witness what is being done in Victoria with regard to services for people with disabilities.”

“We were overwhelmed by the scope and professionalism of Jewish Care’s services and the beauty of its facilities.  Jewish Care truly is worthy of its name as it clearly cares for each and every service recipient.”

Mr Marcu also highlighted the multicultural nature of his group from Israel, which included Jewish, Christian and Muslim delegates. Many of them had existing relationships through working in the disability sector.

“We are proud of the multicultural nature of the delegation and the cordial relations among us,” Mr Marcu added.

Jewish Care CEO Bill Appleby said: “The delegation’s visit was informative, stimulating and challenging.  We learnt from each other’s experience and knowledge, which underscores the importance of looking outside of one’s own ‘backyard’.”

“The participants’ reflections on the similarities and differences in the provision of services in both countries were particularly interesting. We certainly have much to learn from each other!”

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