Media Centre
President's Report

President's Report

03 September 2012

COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS

The attendance at the first meeting of the Council of Presidents was excellent and interactive.

There has been very positive feedback from Presidents, including three invitations to hold Plenum meetings next year at their premises. The May 2013 meeting will be held at the Jewish Holocaust Centre, and the two other affiliates to host a Plenum meeting will be the Jewish Museum and National Council of Jewish Women.

The concept behind these external meetings is that by going to each other’s venues, the affiliates will get to know each other better and appreciate the work done in the community. It is proposed that there will be half an hour prior to the Plenum during which delegates can look at the premises and the host will provide a brief overview of its activities. The proposal is that we hold three external meetings per year.

The Presidents expressed an interest in meeting again and the next Council of Presidents meeting will be held on 15 October 2012, as there is a 12 week break between the September and November Plenum meetings. The purpose will be to brief the Presidents on the major issue which will be raised for discussion at future Plenums, such as affiliation fees, JCCV budget, succession planning and youth involvement.

WORLD VISION

At the request of Reverend Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision, I met with him and Professor Tim McCormack re Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Centre about the AusAID funded Australia Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement (AMENCA) 2 project implemented by World Vision in Gaza.

Shurat HaDin are considering bringing civil proceedings seeking a declaration from the Federal Court that AusAId and World Vision have “directly or indirectly ma[de] an asset available to a proscribed person or entity” namely, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in contravention of section 21 of the United Nations Charter Act 1945 by providing funding to United Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC).

MEETING WITH CHIEF COMMISSIONER KEN LAY AND PACMAC

Simon Glynn, head of the CSG and I met with Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on matters affecting the community. We discussed, among other issues, the downsizing of the Multicultural Unit and the ramifications of this, the recent BDS decision and the provision of VicPol speakers to YAP, which is being cut out.

JCCV hosted the Police and Community Multicultural Advisory Committee (PACMAC) August meeting. The meeting covered a number of issues, including a presentation from the Police and Youth Leaders Engagement team, which seeks to prevent youth criminal activity in new and emerging communities, particularly African communities, before it happens, rather than having to deal with it once it has occurred. Other matters for discussion were Victoria Police’s efforts to create a culturally diverse workforce and a preview of the Victoria Police Blueprint 2012-15.

Being part of PACMAC enables the JCCV not only to represent our community on matters relating to it, but also to interact with representatives from other major community representative bodies, such as the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria, as well as forging a closer relationship with VicPol and creating greater understanding of the Jewish community.

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY AND CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY

The JCCV Child protection Policy will be brought for ratification at the Plenum.

At last month’s Plenum, we requested input from the community to enable us to co-ordinate a community response into Government Inquiry into handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations”.  We were provided with only one response, from the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence. It was decided that the Taskforce would make a separate submission in its own right and that the JCCV will make a wider, more general submission.

Please contact our Project Manager Jo Silver if you wish to contribute to or to be involved in this submission.

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION NATIONAL ANTI-RACISM STRATEGY LAUNCH
“RACISM – IT STOPS WITH ME”

I attended the launch of the National Anti-Racism Strategy which seeks “to promote a clear understanding in the Australian community of what racism is and how it can be prevented and reduced”. The launch was excellent, and attended by a large number of representatives of the whole spectrum of our multicultural society. ECAJ is an official supporter of the National Anti-Racism campaign.

BDS

After a fairly quiet first half of 2012, BDS activities and publicity have increased recently.  In late July 2012, BDS received much media publicity after a Melbourne magistrate dismissed charges of besetting premises and of trespass at Max Brenner's chocolate bar at QV square that had been brought against sixteen protestors who a year earlier had demonstrated against the shop. According to the Magistrate, private corporations own QV Square and the laneways around it, but they are bound by an agreement with Melbourne City Council to allow continuous public access, with very limited exceptions. This means the owners did not have authority to put conditions on the protestors’ entry, or to have them removed for failing to comply with those conditions. The existence of such an agreement with the Council was of critical importance and will very much limit the effect of the decision on protests in different circumstances.

Although the dismissal of trespass charges in the QV case made the news, almost no media in Australia picked up the fact that two of the defendants were convicted and fined for assaulting police and another two protesters were fined for resisting arrest.

The Premier, Ted Baillieu, condemned the BDS protesters and speculated about the need for the law to be toughened. Victoria Police has decided not to appeal the decision.

MATTERS OF CONCERN

This month there have been a number of concerning matters, such as the Triple J announcer Tom Ballard making a mockery of the Holocaust, a “Sieg Heil” comment by Michael John Howson and the eviction in Caulfield of a man who had participated in anti-Semitic acts and comments. There was community response on all these matters and I particularly commend Dvir Abramovich’s excellent article.

PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING

JCCV, in partnership with Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) held an outstanding Professional networking session last week. Over 50 professional attended, as well as a number of affiliate Presidents. Sandy Cardin, President of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network which runs the well-known ROI program, outlined his commandments of how to successfully engage and inspire young Jews with new approaches. He spoke of turning possibility into reality and of utilising venture capital to create human capital.  The session generated great excitement and many opportunities for networking.

Jo Silver organises the Professional Networking Sessions three times a year, and they are an excellent example of the support which JCVV provides to its affiliates.

DIARY

We have had many enquiries as to the availability of the JCCV Diary and Directory, and I am pleased to be able to tell you that the diary will be out shortly.

 

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