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National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) held their 30th conference in Sydney, from 31 May to 3 June. The delegates from WA included Jill Green, Noreen Sher, Shelley London & Ester Steingiesser. We all played an active part in the Conference.

The first session was the Community Services one, and was chaired by Jill Green who was the National Community Services Chair. This session included the announcement of the new “Angela Davis OAM Community Services Award” that will be awarded every four years at the Conference.  Every session sent a nomination. WA nominated Viv Bensky for this award, for her incredible work with the Menora  Charity Fund.. The winner was Zina Conway OAM from NSW, an amazing woman and a volunteer for NCJWA NSW since 1973. After this came the presentations by the Fanny Reading Scholars, and Shelley London, our Fanny Reading Scholar, impressed everyone with her words.

Other sessions include a workshop on the role NCJWA can play in combating Family Violence, the issue of Agunot in Australia and internationally, Trafficking and how to stop it, and women’s contributions across cultures, with speakers from diverse communities. This was organised by the Interfaith and Intercultural portfolio, that Ester Steingiesser was co-chair with Dr Anita Shroot from Canberra. The panel was excellent and made us closer to diverse people and communities. Di Hirsh, our National President called Ester Steingiesser and handed her the Miriam Stein Award : “ In Recognition of a woman who displays exceptional vision & leaderhip in the area of education or the promotion of interfaith relations”.

The next day it was the chance of the chairs of the Israel Projects and we were well represented with Noreen Sher, the co-chair of the Haifa University Ethiopian Fund, talking about the interesting and important work the University provides with NCJWA funding. At the AGM we elected Rysia Rozen OAM as our next President. Most of us know Rysia and admire her for her passion to NCJWA, her dedication and expertise.

We finished with a lively workshop discussing the future, what is important and what can we do. We came back inspired, motivated and with many ideas. We are looking forward to a successful year with productive work, working for our Projects in Israel and also for our important Projects in Australia and in the Jewish Community.