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President's Message
A Message From

The National President

It’s been a whirlwind few months since I stepped up to the National President’s role on June 28, 2018. I was privileged to meet many wonderful women in current and past leadership roles in NCJWA and tap into their passion, aspirations and experience. Supported by a wonderful, renewed National Board and my amazing Vice-Presidents, Di Hirsh OAM and Shirley Glance OAM; we have commenced implementing our new Strategic Plan. This plan, developed during my exceptional predecessors, Sylvia Deutsch OAM and Viki Nadel OAM’s time as co-presidents, is an ambitious blueprint to invigorate and position our important Women’s organisation for the future.

Managing an orderly presidential transition whilst moving the National Office back to Victoria was a mammoth task but also an opportunity to streamline our processes and reduce our costs, especially our IT expenses.

A few 2018 highlights stand out:

  • The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) Convention, hosted in Sydney by NCJWA in May, with close to 100 delegates from around the world.
  • We were thrilled that Shirley Glance and Victoria Nadel received Medals in the Order of Australia in June, recognising the outstanding work they have done for NCJWA and other organisations.
  • Implementing key planks of our National Strategic Plan well beyond our limited resources and capacity. The review of the Strategic Plan in July, enabled new and carryover Directors to focus on the progress to date, and discuss the areas that still require discussion and clarification.
  • The August launch of the NCJWA Sylvia Gelman Foundation with Sylvia z’l, one of our founding mothers, in attendance. Together with important guests and beloved family and friends, we basked in the glow of her wisdom and inspirational words. Sylvia was taken from us a few weeks later, as a true Tzadika, on Yom Kippur.
  • Appointment of part-time office administrator, Debby Kloot who commenced working in August and has already had a positive impact.
  • Following on from the three previous Presidents’ Fora (2017-2018), we held a very successful Leaders Forum in November with Sections’ leadership. Numerous vital issues were proposed, raised and discussions were constructive and forward looking.
  • The concept, format and dates for the 2019 NCJWA Quadrennial Conference were endorsed unanimously by the Leaders Forum and the conference will be held in Victoria in September 2019. Watch this space!
  • Advocacy is a vital plank of our organisation with much joint activity with our Sections and with external organisations such as Unchain My Heart and Equality Rights Alliance. Key initiatives include: work on Malka Leifer’s extradition, support for the NSW government strengthening its Anti-Discrimination Act, support for the Irish vote on the Abortion constitutional amendment, submission to the Australian Law reform Commission on Gett refusal.
  • Work has commenced on a new Constitution for NCJWA using the ACNC’s recommended model. This substantial undertaking will involve much consultation with our member Sections.
  • A new focus and emphasis on social media (primarily Facebook) and the approval by the National Board of a rebuild of the website.

Thank You to:

Our dedicated and wise National Board members: Vice-Presidents Di Hirsh OAM and Shirley Glance OAM , Hon Treasurer Sharlene Lustig, Rysia Rozen OAM, Carolyn Goldsmith OAM, Robyn Lenn OAM, Ester Steingiesser and Melinda Jones. Sylvia Deutsch OAM and Viki Nadel OAM for their achievements and mentorship and support during the transition.

NCJWA Sylvia Gelman Foundation Launch Steering Committee: Rysia Rozen OAM, Malvina Malinek OAM, Shirley Glance OAM and Di Hirsh OAM.

Section Leaders, who do a great job with so few resources and still find time to work on the future of our National organisation.

We are fortunate to have so many passionate and talented women leaders. All of you who have taken the time to encourage, support and wish me well. May 2019 see NCJWA grow, prosper and deliver on its Strategic Goals. I wish you, your families, Sections’ Boards/ Committees and members a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2019.

Negba Weiss-Dolev
National President