SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Australia presented one of its highest awards to the Jewish woman who made history when she climbed Mount Everest with her daughter.
Cheryl Bart was made an Officer of the Order of Australia on Monday — one of 536 Australians honored on Australia Day.
The Sydney resident dedicated her award to her late father, Eric Klinghoffer, who migrated to Australia from Hungary after the Holocaust.
"I’m a first generation Australian. My mother came from Poland and my father came here with no money, no job; he was a concentration camp survivor," she told a local newspaper in Adelaide. "I dedicate this honor to him."
Last May, Bart and her daughter, Nikki, became the first mother-daughter duo to successfully scale the world’s tallest peak. The pair, who carried a flag of Israel to the summit of Everest, also became the first mother-daughter team to scale the highest peaks on each continent.
The award recognizes Bart’s service to sport, as well as to the economic and cultural development of South Australia and to social welfare organizations.
Among other Jewish awardees were Justice Ronald Sackville of the Federal Court of Australia; Michael Naphtali, the immediate past president of the Jewish National Fund; and the late Dr. Philip Opas.
Since 1975, Australian honors have been awarded twice a year — on Australia Day and the queen’s birthday.