Maccabi launches formal investigation

October 8, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Following Maccabi Australia’s announcement that it would  conduct a formal and independent review of the organisation’s handling of matters relating to the sexual assault of Maccabi members by Shannon Francis, a Committee of Review has been established.



Francis, now 37, offended between 1999 and 2000. Although he was jailed in August for eight years with a minimum of five and a half. Nevertheless, victims have claimed that Maccabi did not heed their cries fro help. This lack of involvement has necessitated the establishment of the review committee.

The members of the Committee of Review are:

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat is the Committee Chair. She is the current President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) as well as the Vice President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ). ). Nina has had over 30 years’ experience as a lawyer and has previously held positions on a variety of Jewish and Community organisations and boards, in Australia and on international organisations and is an outspoken advocate for human rights and social justice.

Harry Rosenberg

Harry Rosenberg enjoyed a successful career as a principal in Chartered Accountancy practices from 1977 to June 2010. Harry left the profession in June 2010 to establish Quintessential Equity Pty Ltd, which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence to offer Wholesale Clients and Sophisticated Investors the opportunity to invest in property syndicates.

Over the years Harry has been involved in undertaking a formal review of management and other organisational issues in numerous communal organisations including The Jewish Crisis Centre, The Jewish Museum and the NCJWA Foundation.

Daniel Aghion

Daniel Aghion is a barrister, practising in a broad range of civil and commercial disputes as well as being a nationally accredited mediator. In 2013, Chambers & Partners Global identified Daniel as one of Australia’s leading junior barristers. Daniel has also been formally acknowledged by his peers and his industry for his commitment to social justice in acting and advising in pro bono matters.

Daniel has expertise in organisational issues arising from reporting (including mandatory reporting, self-reporting, and whistleblowers’ protection schemes), including child protection matters.

The Committee commenced meetings last week and is working to provide a report by mid November 2013, but has been granted the option to extend this should the need arise.

CEO of child sexual abuse advocacy group Manny Waks told J-Wire: “As previously noted, we welcome this review. In my opinion, it would have been appropriate to also appoint someone with a significant background in child protection issues, which is something I raised with Maccabi officials. This seems to be lacking and I hope that it won’t impact the findings.

I hope to continue to work with Maccabi to achieve justice for these courageous victims and to ensure Maccabi is better placed to address such issues into the future.”
A spokesperson for Maccabi Australia told J-Wire: “The MAI Board mandated Barry Smorgon and Jeff Sher to find appropriate people. They selected Nina based on a review of likely candidates and then with her reviewed options for other members with the appropriate skills.”
Francis was jailed for five and a half years



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