Tributes to Lady Anna Cowen

June 14, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Tributes have received the passing of Lady Anna Cowen who was the widow of former Australian Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen.

Sir Zelman and Lady Anna Cowen  [2009]

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “Today we mourn the passing of Lady Anna Cowen AM.

Gracious and caring, Lady Cowen was personally driven by her genuine interest in people.

In 2015, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for vice-regal support patronage and support roles, as well as personal, significant service to youth, medical research, educational, historical and cultural organisations.

I thank Lady Cowen for her contribution to our national life. The Government extends its heartfelt condolences to Lady Cowen’s family.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry stated:  “Lady Anna Cowen was a remarkable public figure in her own right.  She was a passionate proponent of gender equality and environmental sustainability long before these causes became mainstream.   Those who were fortunate enough to have met her will remember her as kind, good-humoured, intelligent and filled with an endearing generosity of spirit.   The Jewish community and the whole of Australia have lost a national treasure. We wish long life to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  May her memory be a blessing.”

Mark Leibler, National Chairman and Dr. Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council said: “AIJAC mourns the passing of Lady Anna Cowen, a woman of distinction who made extraordinary contributions to both the Jewish and wider Australian community. As well as her role as an outstanding partner to Sir Zelman, Lady Cowen was recognised in her own right for her intelligence, dignity, consideration and warmth. Her exemplary efforts to support numerous charities was recognised when she was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015.  Her great contributions to Australian life and pride in her Jewishness also made her a much-loved figure in the Australian Jewish community, who will be profoundly missed.”

Zionism Victoria president Yossi Goldfarb commented: “Lady Anna Cowen served both our country and our community with great distinction over many years.

As the wife of the late Sir Zelman Cowen – a winner of Zionism Victoria and the Zionist Federation’s Jerusalem Prize – she not only stood shoulder to shoulder with the Governor-General as he steered our nation through one of its most turbulent political eras, over the years she actively supported a number of worthy causes benefiting Australian society as a whole and Australian Jewry in particular.

Our deepest condolences to all her family. We wish them long life.”


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