Colin is Visiting Professor in Politics and International Relations at ANU and the founding director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He has held chairs of Politics at the University of New England, Armidale and at Macquarie University in Sydney. He researches, teaches and writes in the fields of Aboriginal studies, Jewish studies, genocide, youth suicide, migration, and sports history. He is the author of 21 books.
Ilona Lee AM
Ilona is a former teacher, Senior Lecturer and Senior Manager with NSW Health. She has extensive Jewish community involvement having served on the board of Moriah College, on the Executives of JewishCare and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and as president of The Shalom Institute. Ilona chairs the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program. Her award in the Order of Australia was for services to the general community, particularly in the field of multicultural health, and to the Jewish community through a range of organisations.
Associate Professor Philip Mendes
Philip is the Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit in the Department of Social Work at Monash University, and holds an honorary appointment in the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation. He has been writing about and researching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over 30 years, and is the author or co-author of nine books including The New Left, the Jews and the Vietnam War, 1965-72 (1993), jointly edited with Geoffrey Brahm Levey, Jews and Australian Politics (2004), Jews and the Left: The rise and fall of a political alliance (2014), and jointly authored with Nick Dyrenfurth, Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The progressive path towards peace between Palestinians and Israelis (2015).
Professor Lucy Taksa
Lucy is a Professor of Management and the Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University and a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. She has served as a member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal, chair of the Board of State Records NSW, vice president and president of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, president of the History Council of NSW, member of the NSW Ministerial Roundtable on Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, on the board of Emanuel Synagogue, and as chair of its Social Justice Group and one of its Deputies on the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.
Jaimie is a Maroubra local. She grew up in Habonim Dror, participated in their 10-month leadership programme in Israel, and is passionate about her Jewish identity and Israel. She now applies experience and values from her youth movement background as an adviser and team trainer in a Registered Training Organisation, providing vocational training and education to young Australians. As the youngest member of our panel, Jaimie represents many of her generation who are emerging from a background of youth engagement and seeking more open and critical ideas, conversation and debate within the Jewish community.
Robin is a mediator and former Senior Counsel and has served in many Jewish leadership roles, including as president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and as a vice-president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He was a foundation director of The Sydney Alliance, inaugural president of the New Israel Fund Australia Foundation and editor-in-chief of Plus61J from its commencement in 2015 to the end of June 2017. He received the Community Service Award of the NSW Community Relations Commission for promoting understanding and mutual trust between the NSW Jewish and Muslim communities, broadening relationships between the Jewish community and diverse communities in NSW, building trust and fostering interfaith and intercultural cooperation and facilitating constructive discussions on a range of human rights and social justice issues in the Jewish community.
Alexandra is the founder and publisher of Australia’s highly respected opinion site, The Big Smoke, and provides her expertise as a digital publisher to +61J. As a social commentator, she is interviewed most days of the week on radio across the country.
With a BSc from Sydney University and BA Hons from the University of NSW, Uri joined Actors’ Equity, the trade union of performers in Australia, and rose to be its National Assistant Secretary. He subsequently became Deputy Registrar of Cooperatives, supervising also the regulatory regime of mutual non-bank financial institutions such as building societies, credit unions and friendly societies. Uri has been involved in the not-for-profit sector for many years. He chaired Marrickville Skillshare, and was a director of Job Futures Ltd, a national body assisting the long-term unemployed, has been Honorary Secretary of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and a member of its Executive for a decade, is a director of The Shalom Institute, was a co-founder in 2006 of Filling the Gap, which provides dental services to indigenous Australians, and has since served as the chair of that organisation.