Melbourne hospital receives its largest-ever donation

July 3, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The Eva and Les Erdi Humanitarian Charitable Foundation has given The Alfred Hospital the single largest donation it has ever received.


Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby, Rabbi Shmuel Karnowsky, Eva Erdi and The Alfred Health Board Chairperson Helen Shardey

Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby, Rabbi Shmuel Karnowsky, Eva Erdi and The Alfred Health Board Chairperson Helen Shardey

The gift will enable a major expansion and redevelopment of The Alfred’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, to commence early next year.

Mrs Eva Erdi was thanked at a public event at the Alfred this week.

Alfred Health Chief Executive, Associate Professor Andrew Way said, “The Alfred is fortunate to receive significant community support, and the generosity of Mrs Eva Erdi and her foundation is testament to the philanthropic spirit that exists throughout Victoria.”

The Federal Opposition Leader’s Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Michael Danby, the Member for Melbourne Ports said, “The Erdi family is a pillar of our community, and the philanthropic efforts of Eva and her late husband Les are something we can all be proud of.

Now, tens of thousands of Victorians will directly benefit from their generosity. Sometimes I sit in Les’ seat at the Elwood Shule, which I attend and to which he was a major benefactor.

The Erdis, Hungarian survivors of the Shoah, are paradigms of the benefit to Australia and of the successful resettlement of European survivors of the Shoah. Les, who passed away just two years ago, aged 90, was active in business and philanthropy, almost to his last hour.”

Danby added: “When I visited him, in his last days in hospital, he recounted with pride how he and Eva came to Australia and that he had built or reconstructed at least 64 major buildings in Melbourne and elsewhere. This included the deserted  Victorian Railway Headquarters on the corner of Spencer and Flinders streets, which he had sand blasted and renovated. There have now  been turned into one of Melbourne’s iconic hotels, The Grand (across the road form the Casino on the edge of the Docklands football stadium). Les Erdi was the prime Melbourne donor to the Emmy Monash homes for the aged, and was Mr JNF in Melbourne.

My lifelong friend, Philip Zajac, CFO of the Erdi Group of Companies, recounted to the ceremony at the Alfred that Les was the only person that the Melbourne City Council has ever named the square after while he was alive. The Erdi Plaza on Southbank is connected by the Sandridge railway bridge, adorned with the multicultural history of Melbourne and moving sculptures: again both visions of Les.

It’s inspirational to see Eva continuing his great work with the philanthropy to Melbourne’s most intensively attended emergency ward.”

The Alfred’s Emergency and Trauma Centre already provides treatment for more than 60,000 Victorians and is Australia’s busiest trauma centre. Its expansion will provide more treatment areas, including the establishment of an additional trauma bay. The Centre will be renamed the Eva and Les Erdi Emergency and Trauma Centre.

The hospital has confirmed the gift was the largest ever received but the amount has not been disclosed.

Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas MP, was also in attendance.



4 Responses to “Melbourne hospital receives its largest-ever donation”
  1. Margot Marshall says:

    What a wonderful legacy from Les & Eva Erdi. Their philanthropy has given a better Emergency ,& Trauma Centre at the Alfred Hospital. I shall always think of them when I am at Flinders station for work done by the late Les Erdi.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Yes; this is a worthy cause indeed.
    On the other hand, I hope that no Jewish philanthropy is extended to The University of Sydney while it hosts a major engine of antisemitism in Australia, namely, the “Peace and Conflict Resolution Centre.”

  3. Stan Black says:

    Wonderful Jewish philanthropists!

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