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President's Report

President's Report

02 February 2015

Meetings with Government

With the election of a new Victorian Government, we are in the process of arranging meetings with the Premier and a number of Ministers, including the new Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Robin Scott.  I have spoken briefly with Minister Scott.  While he is still developing policies in this area, he is keen to work with the Community.

I will include details in future reports.

Proposed Changes to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act

The Minister for Equality, Martin Foley, has announced changes to equal opportunities legislation which would reduce the ability for religious schools to discriminate in employment.  These changes would reinstate the provisions removed by the previous Liberal Government in 2011.

I was asked to provide a statement to The Age, which was published on 8 December 2014.

Interfaith and Multicultural

I have attended a number of interfaith and multicultural events since the AGM, including:

  • Annual General Meeting of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria;
  • Launch of Gesher - Council of Christians and Jews
  • Army Chaplaincy Interfaith Chanukah Ceremony

David Marlow and I met with Ghaith Krayem, the President of the ICV.  It was a useful meeting, concentrating on our common interests.  Ghaith expressed a particular interest in organising a joint function with young people from both communities.  We are planning a dinner with the Muslim community, which will be held on 22 March 2015.

Terrorism in Paris

The JCCV has joined with Jews throughout Australia and around the world in condemning the recent terrorist attacks Paris, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Security

As a result of the siege at the Lindt Café in Martin Place, Sydney, the CSG increased the security level in Victoria to “severe”, however this was reduced to “high” after the siege ended.

Together with David Marlow and a number of other community leaders, I attended a briefing with Commander Sue Clarke of the Victoria Police on 16 December.  This was part of a broader community consultation process after the Lindt Café siege.

Child Protection

As previously reported, JCCV is continuing its work in the area of Child Protection in 2015.

A number of the participants in last year’s workshops will continue to meet to discuss the development and implementation of Child Protection Policies.

JCCV is holding a second series of Child Protection Training Workshops, commencing on 26 February 2015. Participants include representatives from Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah, Bialik College, Mount Scopus Memorial College, Leo Baeck Centre and Jews of the CBD.

JCCV was asked to submit documents to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse but has not been asked to appear.

Relationship with ADC

At its recent AGM the ADC amended its constitution to remove all references to the JCCV.  The result of this is that the President of the JCCV is no longer a member of the ADC Board. The Chairperson of the ADC remains a member of the JCCV Executive.

Community Events

On 27 November 2014, together with ZCV, UAI, CHC and ZFA, we co-hosted a very successful evening with the Chief Rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth Ephraim Mirvis at Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, which was attended by approximately 200 people.

Together with Jewish Care, JCCV co-hosted a community information session on “Educating, Assessing and Empowering the Melbourne Jewish Community about the Risks of Heat to the Elderly” which was held at Beth Weizmann on 10 December 2014.

I spoke at the B’nai B’rith end of year function on 11 December 2014 regarding the role of JCCV in the community, and our plans for 2015.

Social Inclusion Leadership Committee (SILC).

I attended a meeting of SILC on 19 January.  The members of SILC and its sub-committees are working on strategies for improving the inclusion of the members of the community with disabilities in the areas of education, employment and training and housing, and is also developing a communication strategy.  As part of its communication strategy, SILC has asked if it can make a presentation at a Plenum later in the year.

Professional Development

JCCV’s first professional development program for 2015 is a training course on “Governance and Financial Reporting for Non-Profit Directors”, which will be held on 19 February.  The session is booked, but if there is continuing interest, we will hold a second session later in the year.

Affiliates

The following organisations have given notice under clause 16 of the JCCV’s Constitution that they no longer wish to be Constituents of the JCCV:

  • Hadassah Australia
  • Wizo Victoria
  • Melbourne Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society
  • Friends of Beth Halochem

The following Constituents are no longer in existence:

  • Association of Katzetlers Partisans and Fighters
  • Am Echad

Forthcoming events

  • Governance and Financial Reporting for Non-Profit Directors - 19 February
  • Child Protection Workshop - 26 February

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