Jewish indigenous woman honored in Australia


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A Jewish Indigenous woman was awarded a top honor in Australia.

Lisa Pulver, the co-founder and director of the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit at the University of New South Wales, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the annual Queen’s birthday honors list announced Monday. Pulver also is a professor of indigenous health at the university.

Pulver is president of the Newtown Synagogue, in Sydney’s inner west, and a board member of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led health research body.

In 2004, she addressed the British House of Commons on the state of Australian indigenous health, an experience she described as a “defining moment” of her career.

“This award acknowledges the work which I have done which is beyond the call of duty and is not part of my job description,” Pulver said.

Among the other Jews amid the 250-plus recipients this year was Perth-based Spanish dancer Deeana Blacher, the first castanets soloist to be invited by Zubin Mehta to perform with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn, a South Africa-born minister at St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne; and Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, the head of neurosurgery at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, which has a collaborative agreement with Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

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