Our Management

nilly berger wizo board

Nilly Berger

President of WIZO NSW

Born in Israel, Nilly’s bond with her homeland even as a young child was fostered by family and her Zionism always strong. 

She effortlessly chose WIZO as her connection to the Israeli people and now 40 years later it is still an integral part of her life.

Nilly joined WIZO Yaffa, a newly formed group of likeminded women and lifelong friendships were quickly formed.   In her quiet manner, Nilly soon showcased her sensible, pragmatic approach to the group’s planning and operation.   She caught the eye of President Leila Share (zl) who brought her into the NSW Executive where she still has a position today.   She contributed to many successful events which saw Yaffa become one of the highest achieving groups for many years and then continued to do the same on a State level.

With her total commitment and passion for the work of WIZO she infuses those around her and hence has brought in many new members and donors.   To help the people of Israel she is strong, unwavering, committed and dedicated.   She has a calm, practical voice when times have been tough and a constant reassuring presence within our leadership.

benita kam wizo board

Benita Kam

Vice President

Benita is the founder and owner of a 20 year-old wedding and events planning company called BNT Management.

I like to create magic, make memories anywhere in the world.

First and foremost, though I am a wife, mother and recently have become a grandmother

I have a huge knowledge and love of Israel and due to the fact I have a Speech Pathology and Audiology background and worked with children and adults from lower socio economic backgrounds, as well as having immigrated from South Africa, I have a true passion for the underprivileged and needy.

I have hence been a long standing member of WIZO and joined their board of Management a few years ago hoping I could assist with events of all kinds and size, as well as encourage those around me to donate and contribute to this meaningful and wonderful organisation.

julie ross wizo board

Julie Ross


My passion for WIZO began when I was in my 20’s.

I went to a WIZO meeting early on, and before I knew it I was hosting WIZO functions in my home! We were a true sisterhood back then.  Can you imagine, no mobiles, no internet, no computers, just a telephone…and if you weren’t home, you missed out!

Seriously, I became President of my group, WIZO Yaffa – we developed an amazing reputation for producing fantastic and entertaining events which were well attended and raised lots of money for WIZO.

In the old days, we would literally set up the functions ourselves, cooking and taking the food to wherever the event was held (usually at Hakoah Club!)  The decorations committee met and thought through what would be appropriate for each event.  Rehearsals, laughter, friendship and an abundance of passion for Israel.

In essence, not much has changed.  The passion, the stories, the fundraising…but now we all do it via our mobile phones.

Now as State Treasurer, it is my pleasure to give hours each week to this incredible movement.  Usually fabulous and sometimes challenging, being together as a board, and having known each other for many years, we talk, we brainstorm, we laugh, we act.

rony bognar oam wizo board

Rony Bognar OAM


Rony became the youngest ever President of WIZO NSW and then consecutively the youngest President of WIZO Australia.

Born in Israel, and the child of Holocaust survivors, Rony has constantly worked and volunteered in Jewish organisations for the betterment of the Sydney Jewish community and Israel. But it was in WIZO’s raison d’etre where she found her passion; a dedication to supporting those in Israeli society that need it most.

Rony became the youngest ever President of WIZO NSW and then consecutively the youngest President of WIZO Australia. She took both roles very seriously and worked consistently with strength, determination and pragmatism.

She has been honoured as an honorary Life Member of World WIZO, Honorary Life Member of WIZO Australia and last year an OAM for her work with WIZO and within the Jewish Community.

Today Rony sits on the Board and Executive of WIZO NSW which benefits from her experience and wise counsel.

She has and will always continue to support her passions, and is always grateful for the opportunities that living in Australia gives her to speak up for and help others less fortunate than herself.

wizo gilla liberman board

Gilla Liberman


World WIZO Honorary Life Member; Honorary Life Member of WIZO Australia; WIZO Australia Federal President 2010-2016; WIZO NSW State President 2002-2007 and Gilla sits of the Board of WIZO NSW.

Gilla Liberman was one of the foundation members of NSW WIZO Yaffa in the late 70s. A teacher by profession, her interest in children’s wellbeing and her love of Israel made her the perfect WIZO woman. She has been a dedicated and active leader for over 40 years, a dedication for which she is renowned throughout our community.

When it comes to WIZO, Gilla is not one to shy away from taking responsibilities.

World WIZO Honorary Life Member; Honorary Life Member of WIZO Australia; WIZO Australia Federal President 2010-2016; WIZO NSW State President 2002-2007 and Gilla sits of the Board of WIZO NSW…quite the resume!

Gilla’s leadership has been inspirational, her leadership style has always been by example. Gilla has worked tirelessly all her life as well as being a devoted wife, daughter, sister and loving grandmother to 5 beautiful children.

Gilla is a role model to future generations of WIZO women who can look at her and benefit from her years of wisdom and experience.

esther wakerman wizo board

Esther Wakerman


Esther’s 40-year career within WIZO has been filled with so many highlights. 

From being President of her group WIZO Yaffa for many years, to producing innovative and creative events and continually exploring new methods of fundraising.  Esther is forward looking, a visionary and always sees the bigger picture. She helped produce Fiddler on the Roof at NSW University for WIZO and was also Producer on a joint Production of West Side Story with Moriah College. Esther’s love of music and theatre as well as an audience encouraged her to be involved and participate in many WIZO comedy Reviews, fashion parades, fabulous guest speakers, panel discussions, New Years’ Eve parties, bagel brunches, dances, seminars…….How busy she was!  In these early years she was recruited by Leila Share  to join the Executive of WIZO NSW where she has remained ever since.  She has been President WIZO NSW twice and has led with passion and positivity   Esther exudes enthusiasm and excitement and her wisdom, experience and knowledge of WIZO is to be admired.  She has always used this knowledge to inspire and mentor new and emerging groups. Esther instigated and facilitated educational retreats to inspire WIZO groups. 

Esther has been a recipient of WIZO’s highest accolade, the Rebecca Sieff award.

The young man who escorted her to her first communal event has been her supportive husband for 49 years, they have 3 sons, 5 grandchildren and Esther is still as busy as ever.

gloria newhouse wizo board

Gloria Newhouse


My name is Gloria Newhouse and I am a previous, previous past President.

I was busy in my younger years, I ran a very successful  business for 25 years with a dozen staff which really gave me a good groundwork for understanding the wants and needs of being a team player, a leader, a listener, a learner and a contributing member of a larger community to which we all belong.   They say you ask a busy person to get the job done, and I believe there is never a truer word said.  An intelligent woman can pack so much under her belt when required and put her immense skills to good use. 

wizo diane symonds

Diane Symonds


Diane Symonds, former President of WIZO NSW has been involved with WIZO for the past 23 years.

With a master’s degree in Special Education, Diane has always been passionate about helping and educating youth. This, alongside her love of Israel and commitment to making change, has allowed her immerse herself into an organisation that she truly feels connected to. Diane ran her WIZO Tova group for over 20 years and had enormous success in creating amazing events with her committee. 

michelle spiro wizo board

Michelle Spiro


Coming from a  prominent community minded family, Michelle embraced the idea of becoming involved in a communal organization and the one she chose was WIZO.

Michelle joined WIZO Yaffa about 36 years ago. She soon took on the role of group treasurer. When Michelle finished school, she spent one year in Israel doing the mechina program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When she returned to Sydney, she went to Sydney University and studied Pharmacy and in 1982 she bought her pharmacy in Bondi. Michelle did all the bookkeeping for the pharmacy so to be treasurer of her group was a natural thing for her to do.

In 1999, when WIZO NSW needed a new treasurer, Michelle was offered the position. Michelle modernized the WIZO NSW office by getting a computer program to manage the finances of the organization. She also became honorary bookkeeper.

As well as running her own pharmacy, being a board member of the Pharmacy Guild of NSW for 3 years, and being a WIZO treasurer, Michelle also managed to have three beautiful children. So life was very busy for her. Today her children have children of their own so she is also a very happy grandmother.

Michelle continued as NSW Treasurer for 16 years – until 2015. In 2010 Michelle also became WIZO Australia Treasurer, a position she held until 2016 when the Federal office moved to Melbourne.

In 2008 Michelle was awarded the Rebecca Sieff award for her dedication to WIZO, and in 2015, when she retired as NSW treasurer, she was made a Life Governor of Ahuzat Yeladim and an Honorary Life Member of WIZO Australia.

Since July 2016, Michelle has been a director of the newly formed WIZO Australia Pty Ltd – the entity that can receive tax-deductible donations. Michelle was one of the people involved in getting WIZO the DGR status.

She is also currently on the board of management of WIZO NSW and next year, when the Federal office moves to Sydney, she has been asked to take on the Federal presidency.

And so her wonderful WIZO journey continues.

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WIZO NSW, The Women’s International Zionist Organization, is a worldwide non-profit organization that operates over 800 social welfare projects in Israel.

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